Dove Bird Species
There is no clear separation between Pigeons and Doves, generally the term Pigeon is used when referring to the larger species and Dove to the smaller species. These birds come in different sizes. Some are as small as a sparrow and others are the size of a large chicken. The colors of these birds are usually white and blue gray with color patterns and shades in between. They are long and slender or short and plump. The larger birds are deep chested and muscular; they have small heads and scaled legs. Their beaks are small, short, narrow and the tip is bent down. Doves and Pigeons live around 10 to 12 years. There are different breeds of available. A wide variety of Pet doves and pigeons can be found in the pet market and through breeders. Some of them are Barbary Dove, Diamond Dove, White Dove, Ring Neck Dove, Green Wing Dove, Bleeding Heart Pigeon, Budapest Tumbler Pigeon, Crested Pigeon, Indian Fantail Pigeon, and Purple Breasted Fruit Pigeon.
Domesticated Pigeons and Doves love human contact and are very peaceful and make wonderful pets. Their diet consists of a mix of Greens, which are rich in minerals. Greens such as Spinach, Chick Weed, Clover and Lettuce can be given. Foods available are seed-only diets and commercial mixes consisting of Cereals and Legumes. Fresh water must be given everyday. They drink water by sucking it up and swallowing unlike other birds that throw their heads back. Personal Hygiene includes a bath followed by sunning and preening themselves. Some birds like to bathe while others prefer the shower. You can give the bird a bath with Luke warm water using a hand held sprayer or a hose with a fine spray head. The size of the bird will determine the size of its home. The birdhouse should be big enough so it can flap its wings without hitting the sides. A rectangular cage is preferred to a square one and the bars must be small enough so that the bird cannot stick its head out. The cage should be kept in a bright draft free area, but never in direct sun.
Some of the signs of illness are sitting for longer than usual or being very quiet, closed eyes, head to one side and slimy droppings. Some common illnesses are Pigeon Pox, Internal Parasites like, Tapeworm, and external parasites like, Ticks, Parrot Fever and Salmonellas. An ailing Dove or Pigeon should be taken to an Avian VET for diagnosis and treatment.