Animal Stories - White Dove

Animal-World Information about: White Dove

   When you think of the term 'dove' you think of the White Dove. The White Dove has been one of the most universal symbols of love and peace throughout history!
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Corie - 2010-12-15
I was given a white dove about 6 years ago. After taking him to a pet store to determine if he was a boy or girl, I was told he was a boy. Yesterday he laid an egg. Is it typical for doves to live 6 - 7 years before laying their very first egg? Is it possible for a male dove to lay an egg?

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  • Editor's Note - 2010-12-16
    Males don't lay eggs so I hope you named her Marty or something that works for both sexes! As for when they lay eggs, 8 months of age is when they usually can be paired up and start laying eggs. Your dove obviously is not typical but as an unpaired single it probably isn't anything to worry about.
  • Jessica - 2011-08-11
    I was looking for just that answer I have an unpaird dove that has been laying eggs all summer, the pet store also told us that she was a he. I've been worried cause I didnt think it was normal for a unpaired dove to lay eggs.
  • Charlie Roche - 2011-08-11
    Females lay eggs. This doesn't always happen but it is not unusual. Females just lay eggs. Think of chickens... Usually, something triggers it but sometimes absolutely nothing. She may not lay an egg for 15 years and then lay an egg and then it might not happen again for another 15 years. It is best to just take the egg and place it in some sort of box or plastic container with a little bedding (shredded paper towel, sawdust, carefresh) and let her sit the egg if she wishes. Eventually, she will get tired of it or realize nothing in there and stop. If you pull the egg, the chances are good that she will lay another and another and run into problems possibly with egg binding or a calcium deficiency. Just let her have the egg until she gets tired of it. It takes about 28 days for an egg to hatch and obviously without a mate, the egg won't hatch and she is usually way bored of the sitting before this. It is a surprise, it is a shock but it is not unusual. A specialized bird store will normally knoiw the sex of a bird - and most times they are correct. The chain pet stores do not klnow the sex and just guess. They won't have spent monies on DNA sexing and the breeders for the less expensive birds really can't afford it. Sometimes there are visual differences - parakeets with the male cere normally being a blue color but many times not. So you pays your money and takes the little guy home and you don't know the sex. Surprise - bunch of years later there is an egg and you thought a boy. Interesting surprise.
  • Michelle. - 2011-09-04
    Hello there. I breed white doves. No, it is not at all possible for a male dove to lay an egg. A female dove will have a hole about the size of a dime under her belly closer to her tail. A male dove will have a tuft of feathers in about the same spot. Also, the average total life span of a dove is typically 7-11 years. They can start breeding and laying eggs as early as 6 months of age.
  • Paul Scola - 2011-10-14
    I am proud to be the uncle of four white doves they are about 2-4 months old.It was to me a difficult task to determine the sexes for I started out with 5 who were given to me by a magician so I let them live in a large cage when to my surprise one day I saw an egg on the floor,so I immediately assembled a small box some shredded newspaper a few clothes-pins to support the cage,and observed that a specific two birds tended to the nest.I seperated them to a cge of thier own and since then have proudly raised four.
    I wonder what to do next?????should I leave them all togather till I see them pair off???? I shurly do not know how to determine the sexes,and I would like to continue to breed them,they are really cool.write to me at if you please
mary - 2011-09-28
At the beginning of summer, a white dove or pigeon came to my house and has never left. I feed her wild bird seed, millet, and so it looks as if she likes it here, what do I do in the winter? I live in MI. How could I catch her. She'll come almost to the tips of my fingers then dashes away.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-09-29
    WOW I got the problem as it would be too cold for her to survive in Michigan throughout the winter. I know of 3 ways to catch her and you would have to pick the one you'd be most comfortable with. The problem is if you scare her - then she might not come back to the home to eat for awhile. 1. You say she comes to the tips of your fingers. If you are right handed then put down your left hand with some millet or cheerios or cracker with honey. When she is eating the food in your left hand - grab her around the shoulders with your right and pull her immediately to your chest and hold her. She is not going to bite - she might peck but doesn't really hurt. 2. Take a crate/cage and put the food in the crate/cage with a string/rope tied to the door. You can let her eat in the crate/cage for a few days/weeks just so she relaxes and gets used to it. One day when she goes in the crate/cage to eat - pull the door closed. This is probably the easiest way and the dove will get used to eating in the cage/crate and possibly see it as home 3. When she is eating and you can get close to her, use a butterly or bird net to catch her. You just bring the net over the dove and down. Twist the net over and again just take the dove in the home or hold the dove to your chest. If you decide to use a net - practice first. You have time as it isn't winter and it is awhile off. Possibly the dove will let you pick her up if she continues to see you and especially if you can feed her with your hand. So try the feeding with your hand for awhile first as she just might actually step up onto your hand sooner than you think.
Leon Andersen - 2011-09-13
Can you have 1 cock in with 2 hens?

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    Elisha Metcalf - 2011-09-05
    I don't know if anyone is still responding to this thread but I read a lot of the posts and so far this has been very helpful. We found a white dove on at my husbands work (he runs a landfill). She hanging around for a few hours so I sent my son and brother to go get her. Good thing I did as I looked up online and found they are domesticated and do not live well in the wild at all. Plus, we have a bad storm here right now! I have no idea where to begin with her. Does she live indoors in a cage or outdoors? What can I feed her? Is dove food easy to find? She has bugs all over her how can I get rid of them? I guess I will keep her in a box or something for tonight and will hopefully be able to figure something out tomorrow. ANY advice would be greatly appreciated! I don't know anything about raising domesticated birds let alone doves because I have never been a fan of the idea of having birds as pets, a bird in a cage just seems so cruel to me. But in this case it would be more of a rescue situation so I would be more ok with the idea. Thank you for all of your stories, please HELP!!!!

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    • Daniel llamas - 2011-09-05
      I don't know nothing really about white doves but I just found one outside my apartment it was injured dont really know what to do with it I put it in a box for tonight and gave him rice,pieces of tortilla and water see what happens tomorow.
    • Elisha Metcalf - 2011-09-06
      Thank you so much for your reply Toby! I had read so much about doves at so many different websites I didn't remember which one it was that I actually asked the question on. Anyway, I think I would like to keep her. From everything I've read they seem like a relatively easy pet to keep and I just feel like she was meant to be with me for some reason. We've named her Dovey Franklin. (I love Benjamin ;) We got her a wild bird seed mix and some grit from petco. I've put them in separate bowls along with fresh water. I keep her in one of those plastic totes that come with lids that you store away holiday decorations etc. with a towel that I keep changing a couple times a day. I just cut a shoe box in half and filled it with soft scraps of cloth for a little makeshift nest to make her feel more safe tonight. She flies but not too far and not too well. She has a pretty rough landing and falls forward and appears a little off balance at times but she is eating and pooping well and seems fine considering. I also got her some Ultra Care Mite and Lice Spray and have sprayed her a few times and am just hoping it works pretty quickly. I just feel bad for her for having those all over her and I would like not having to deal with a mite infestation in my house. We are trying to figure out (my husband and I) if what kind of cage we are going to get or we are possibly looking into making a custom one. I'd love to have her something for outside too so she can go out when the weathers nice. Do you think it's ok to have just one and do you have any idea how to tell the sex? Again, thank you so much for your reply, I didn't know if anyone was listening. :)
      Daniel, how crazy that we found a white dove on the exact same day.
    frank cade - 2011-09-02
    Could someone give me info on why I can't get white doves to breed? I have 9 in a very large cage and I know there are males but they never hatch young. Thanks

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      Lela - 2009-08-16
      I have a rather large bird feeder in my yard under a large tree. The feeder is attached to a pulley and a rope. I raise and lower the feeder by the pulley to fill it. I always have a lot of birds of all kinds. The other evening at dusk I noticed there were no birds around. I stepped out side and in another tree sat a beautiful, single white dove. It was not afraid and did not fly away. I went out a number of times and it just watched me. The next morning I went out to fill the bird feeder for the week. I noticed as I walked out the door the beautiful, white dove was sitting in the same place in the same poise. It did not move and was not frightened. I watched it's eyes. The eyes followed me as I filled the bird feeder. I watered some plants that were directly under the feeder. I went into the house. I never saw the dove feed. But I did notice that there were no other birds around all morning. The only other time I saw anything like this was when a Blue Jay came around. All the birds left for awhile as long as the Blue Jay was around the feeder. Can anyone tell me if this a normal reaction of the birds? Does a white dove usually show up at dusk? Does it have an oman when it does show up at a home and stays for awhile (except that it is hungry)? Any comments would be really appreciated. Thanks for making my day ... you little white, winged dove.

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      • Charlie Roche - 2011-08-23
        I have had birds fly into the screen and some into the house. Some are fine and some are stunned. The ones that are stunned just don't move much - if at all. Their eyes are open but they don't really move. I pick them up to keep them warm and sometimes will place them in a box or on a towel to keep them warm again. I offer food/water etc. I pet them and they seem so content with that. Maybe they listen to see where the flock is. Maybe they are just comfortable. Sometimes they just won't let go of my hand or finger. Strange. Sometime I wonder if I have another permanent house guest. But whether it is a few hours - or even a couple of days, they return to their flock. I just take them out often and let them sit on my hand and they seem to cock their head, listen and then fly away.
      • Joe - 2011-08-22
        I was out cleaning my garbage holder with a water hose. I heard bird wings
        flutter behind me.....I was stooping down....and when I turned around I saw this big white dove .. just behind me. It did not fly away as I approached it... So I got a container to put out water for the dove...and went into the house to get some dry oatmeal and regular bird seed...and placed beside the water container. I went back into the house....and hours later when I came back outside....the dove was gone (seemingly)
        and hour or two later I drove my wifes car around to take a bag of garbage to the dump... I got out of the car....put the bag in the back of the station in the car....and the bird appeared against the window. We left and returned about an hour later....The dove was perched on top of my truck and is still there... I placed the water and oatmeal/birdseed on top of the truck near the bird....which did not fly away...
        not sure what to do......must be someones pet.....any suggestions? Joe
      lorna mc keever - 2011-08-16
      Ten white doves were released near my home. They have not flown away. I am sure what to do. They seem quite tame. Any advice what to do with them?

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      • Charlie Roche - 2011-08-16
        You can call the USDA or Fish and Game in your state. I really wouldn't know anything else to do and maybe they would know.
      Lara Sharber5 - 2011-08-08
      One very brave white dove or homing pigeon is visiting my neighbor and good friend, Lural. He was unsure of the type of bird and came over with this wonderful story about Blanca the white dove. After reading up on the dove/pigeon similarities, we believe Blanca to be a sign of peace in that he/she is deffinitely a dove. Lural feared that one of the many felines or Isis, their guard dog, might harm her but despite the danger, Blanca has moved into Casey's room, Lural's roomate. The information here helped us to understand more about the nature of the white dove. We found it to be very useful. I'll keep you updated on the rest of Blanca's journey.

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      • Charlie Roche - 2011-08-09
        Aren't they soothing. Love that small little noise they make.
      GeneNeta Colteaux - 2011-07-18
      We have white doves. We have a very large aviary. With approx.15 doves.We have 8 nesting boxes at different levels.
      Our doves lay lots of eggs , but none are hatching.
      We give our doves food,fresh water to drink daily,a large bowl of water for bathing,grits,treats,vitamins and lots of love....
      We put sand in there nests,with pine straw...they lay lots of eggs ,but none ever hatch.Can someone tell me what more can we do....Thanking you all in advance for any help you can offer...

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      • Charlie Roche - 2011-07-18
        WOW doves usually breed quite well. I have some questions first. How old are the doves and did you get them all at the same time? There are males and females - not just by coincedence all females? Breeding does not necessarily come naturally. Birds usually see the breeding, sitting and parenting activities in a flock. If you happened to purchase all young doves then you might just have to wait till they catch on. The other choice is to purchase a pair of proven doves (that know what they are doing) so the rest can see. My vet had me do this as my macaws weren't catching on. It worked. Are the paents sitting the eggs? Can you candle the eggs with a flashlight to see if fertile? My guess is they just don't know what they are doing yet and movies won't work. They will learn or you will have to get a proven pair to show them. I would also put some carefresh ( little) on top of the sand amd straw and a few twigs for them to chew so they are essentially making a nest. Is there a perch by each of the nest boxes so the male can PROTECT the female while incubating and reverse when he is sitting the eggs? Do you have food dishes set up bu each of the nest boxes being used? Are the doves sitting in pairs on a perch by the next box. I'd even up the birds also - so each has a mate. So do youhave males and females? Are they all the same age and you acquired them all at the same time? Do you have a screw in perch by eachof the nest boxes where male and female will pair and guard their box and then protect and watchwhile the other is incubating? Food set up? Male female pairing behavior? Are the eggs fertile? Sorry so many questions but if you want to figure it out - we just have to go to the basics.
      • Charlie Roche - 2011-07-19
        5 months to 5 years - and nothing. One other thing is that some birds like their privacy to mate. Sounds nuts but it is true. If there is a way to provide additional privacy around the nest box - that might help a lot. How I did it (with caiques) was to take 3 pieces of sheet metal - about 30 x 30 (can't remember the size) and I made an invetered U, clipping the pieces of the sheet metal together. Than I hung that inside the cage - using cage clips right before the nest box. The females are laying fertile eggs but not sitting. Or are the females laying infertile eggs? There is another possibility. Most of the information I can find, say that Doves are not good in community breeding situations - in other words they want privacy and their own area/cage. I bed parrots and also had pet doves (two females as it turned out) and I swear my macaws would wait to DO IT when I walked in the door. A friend of mine had dovs which bred and the aviary was about the size of a 2 - 3 car garage though. First to figure out is if they are actually mating and eggs are fertile and then not sitting? Or are they not sitting? Either could be a privacy issue. Perch will help with sitting and some sort of a divider should help with privacy. How large is the aviary?
      • GeneNeta Colteaux - 2011-07-19
        Cheryl,Thank you for all the information.
        We purchased the doves at different times.They range in age from five months to four years.
        The cage is a large walk-in aviary, so they have lots of room.The nesting boxes consist of plastic, baskets and bowls..with sand and pine needles .. they sit on a board shelf,spaced so the doves have room to walk around them. I did not think about a perch. I will try that ..Thank you so very much .
        I have candled the eggs that have been laid ,I did find one that had a baby,but the shell had a hole in it.Sad.So I know we have at least one male.
        The doves are always bowing and cooing ,and... shall we say loving on each other..
        I do appreciate your help.
      • GeneNeta Colteaux - 2011-07-19
        The aviary is 86 inches wide x 62 inches deep x 79 inches high Walk in size. Very plenty of room. The doves are sitting on the eggs ...sometimes 8-10 eggs will be under one dove, and 2 eggs in another. They are very protective of their eggs ,We give it 15 days candle them and throw them out .I would think maybe it is to hot for them , but then we have a breeding pair,that are producing very well..They just had a clutch...It is a puzzle to me. But I will keep trying,and will try all you have suggested. Thank you again so very much.
      • GeneNeta Colteaux - 2011-07-19
        I see you are on facebook !So are we..We could become friends if you like.
      • Charlie Roche - 2011-07-19
        Friends are good things See you on Facebook. I have been introducing some of my friends to some of my animals. One just asked me if I was nuts...... I like my birds.

        Other though is 5 X 8 is good size but for 7 - 8 pairs - that is pretty small. This is just off the top of my head but let's say a pair wants about a 2 X 2 area (doves don't take a lot of space) but they also want privacy so we are up to 3 X 3 ft. 9 feet times 8 pairs would be 72 feet and you have 40. The aviary is high but up and down doesn't really count as they all want the height for breeding. Frustrating. Per my vet telling me, I purchased a proven pair of macaws and put them dead center in the aviary. All the macaws watched and then one by one going down on both sides of the aviary - they all did it.
      Becky - 2011-06-01
      I just got a new white dove it is the most cutest bird I have ever seen but can someone please tell me what they eat?

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      • Charlie Roche - 2011-06-01
        A commercial dove and pigeon mix or a regular parakeet seed mix supplemented with greens rich in minerals, vitamins, and calcium is a fine diet. White Doves love treats. They not only enjoy their greens, but will also enjoy spray millet and such things as crumbled cornmeal and bread. Grit is essential as all Ringneck Doves swallow their food whole, and it helps grind up the food. Oyster shell or even cuttlebone can be added for calcium and is important for egg layers.
      • Kate - 2011-06-13
        I just feed mine parakeet food, yet I have dove mix and feed it grit every once and a while (the grit is needed for digestion)