1 The pair of white doves reside in the servery off of the kitchen.
2 This is a very nicely designed cage with plenty of room for the doves to stretch their wings. It also has four large doors, which makes cleaning a snap.
3 A symbol of peace, these birds are also known as doves of the bible, turtle doves, and magician doves.
4 White doves are good natured social creatures that do well when kept in cages or in aviaries.
5 I've found this book to be extremely helpful in getting to know all about doves.
6 Because these doves are living indoors, we have a full-spectrum lamp sitting next to the cage. Sunlight is required by birds for proper utilization of calcium to keep their bones strong and to prevent egg-laying problems.
7 Just like any pet, to ensure a long and happy life, it's important to feed doves a varied and nutritious diet, and seeds are a big part of that diet.
8 We offer a variety of seeds to keep these birds in optimal health.
9 We buy the freshest seeds and grains available, and only those labeled as dove food.
10 It's also important to offer fresh fruits, vegetables, and dark leafy greens. Uneaten produce is removed daily to avoid any bacteria from forming.
11 Doves also benefit from animal proteins, such as hard-boiled eggs. Normally, there are plenty of eggs to share, but my hens aren't laying that many eggs at the moment, and I'm trying to ensure that there are some to feed the birds every day.
12 The doves love hard-boiled eggs!
13 These beautiful birds are also called magician doves and are commonly used in magic acts.
14 Doves are quite intelligent and can be taught simple tricks.
15 Because they're not easily frightened, doves are actually quite good for use in magic because they don't mind being in a magician's cloth handkerchief or inside their dark top hat.
16 You may have heard of the common practice of releasing white doves during wedding ceremonies.
17 Well, it's really white homing pigeons that are used, as white doves don't fly so well and will not return as homing pigeons do.
18 White doves are very clean birds and they really love a good bath. The water in the bowl is changed frequently.
19 We cut apple wood branches for perching and change the branches when fouled.
20 The bottom of the cage is lined with ground up corn cobs and this gets emptied and changed once a week.
21 We buy the corn cob in large sacks from farm supply stores.
22 Several weeks ago, it seemed like one of the doves was looking for a nest. Doves are notoriously inept in nest-building skills and we had to help by providing this basket.
23 During the middle of October, she had laid two eggs, which she sat on diligently, sharing incubation duties with her mate. By the end of October, one of the eggs hatched!
24 Baby doves are called squabs and are altricial, meaning they hatch naked, blind, and helpless. The parents must feed them and keep them warm at all times, or they will not survive.
25 This is what the squab looked like one week later, with feathers growing in nicely. For the first week, the parents feed the babies a high-protein substance called crop milk, which is formed in a special pouch. After about a week, the parents introduce seeds and other foods.
26 After about two weeks, the parents leave the babies alone between feedings, until the squab is ready to exit the nest. I'll keep you updated!