Maine, United States
Posted Dec 29, 2009
I have owned doves for almost three years now. Even though they aren't as flashy as parrots and finches and canaries, they have a beauty all their own. Very earthy colors, and for the most part beautiful voices. I am especially fond of their laughing coo...they tend to do it at the perfect time that something funny or embarassing happens. However, if you own a male ringneck, or any dove species really, be prepared for the constant and relentless cooing early in the morning and throughout the afternoon. They are relentless at finding a mate. Be warned, putting a mirror will not solve this problem. If anything it will make it worse. I would recommend getting a pair unless you have copious amount of time to spend with the guy. The females are for the most part quiet. Although you do get the occasional rebel female who acts like a male vocal wise. If you don't like waking up with the sun, don't keep the doves in your room...blankets can't fool them into thinking it's still dark out! I would recommend placing them away from your bedroom if you like to sleep in ;)
All of my doves love, love, LOVE to play with toys! Although they don't have a hookbill and can't climb up toys hanging from the cage, Dove do enjoy a play all their own. Especially anything that has a ring to it. They seem to love to shake balls and bells and other toys that give off ringing sounds. Even cat toys. All of my doves have those cat balls that are plastic where you can see the bell on the inside, in their cages. They love to pick them up and shake them and through them around their cage! A pair of mine actually sit on it like it's an egg! They are truely adorable.
Doves aren't expensive foodwise. You can find a dove food blend at most pet supply stores, or you can mix your own at a feed store. You can get a list of the seeds needed for their diet in a dove care book. I buy in bulk because I own 11 at the moment. Paris Farmers carries a great pigeon/dove mix. Most feed stores will have the correct diet for your dove.
Doves make great family pets, and they will enjoy sitting on your shoulder or on top of their cages for hours at a time. If the dove is handtame (not very hard to accomplish with a little patience) there should be no reson for them to bite. I have only ever been bitten once, and that was because I got to close to Picasso (my female pied ringneck) while she was sitting on her ball (her and Davey, her mate, think it's an egg) Other than that, I have never been bitten and neither has any of the children or adults who have seen my brids.
They absolutely adore sunbathing. If you get a dove you should allow some time where they get sunlight because its adorable to watch them! They flop out on the perch or ground and fan out their tails and stretch one wing above their head or to the side of them to soke up the sun. They they switch sides and get the other wing. They also enjoy bathing in luke wark water. Another adorable activity to watch them do. Especially if you allow them to sunbathe after a bath int he water!
Over all, doves make great pets. They are hardy, playful and very loving towards their mate (weather that me another dove or you!) I would highly recommend doves for first time bird owners or experienced ones! They aren't as high maintenanced as other tropical birds. Just provide a clean cage, fresh food and water and plenty of love!