Mon. Jun 27th, 2022

Poultry for doves

Dove rearing: Doves have good longevity and could live for ten years. It is important to schedule breeding to promote good health of the birds therefore year-round breeding is discouraged by aviculturists. Care of the bird includes bath opportunities and provide wide cage for easy access and accommodation. The bird is very versatile and found in every region of the world except Antatica. There are about 308 species of dove’s ideal as pets or meat production.

unconventional poultry feed

Dove Rearing: Guide on Rearing Doves and Pigeons

Dove Rearing: Guide on Rearing Doves and Pigeons

Difference between Doves and Pigeons

The difference in doves or pigeons are so rudimentary that they are extremely similar birds. The birds are literarily the same species with no difference in scientific classification. It boils down to color, size or name. Pigeon is more of a French word while dove an English word.  Some people attribute larger one to pigeons and smaller grey colored ones to doves. This is not scientifically accurate as they are both members of 308 species of the bird.

Pigeons and Doves

Pigeons or doves are members of the Columbidae bird family. Physical characteristics are short slender bills, short neck, roundish bodies. Scientific classification kingdom Animalia, phylum Chordata, class Aves. There are 49 genera, 344 species and 13 extinct species.

List of Dove and Pigeon

There are huge numbers of doves or pigeons in captivity and wild. We will list only a few popular species of the bird. Common ones are Indian ring-neck, Grey-fronted doves, golden heart, and European pigeon. Others are Jobi dove, Chinese spotted, blue ground dove, Caribbean doves, common Mexican dove, Turtle-neck, Peace doves, Red-eyed dove, spotted, white-tipped and wood doves.

Doves and Pigeons

  • Indian ring-neck
  • Grey-fronted doves
  • Golden heart
  • European pigeon
  • Jobi dove
  • Chinese spotted
  • Blue ground dove
  • Caribbean doves
  • Mexican dove
  • Turtle-neck
  • Peace doves
  • Red-eyed dove
  • Spotted
  • White-tipped
  • Wood doves

Distribution and habitat

The birds are very versatile and found everywhere except Antatica. You have woodland birds, those in temperate regions or open grasslands. Common to Middle East, sub Saharan regions, savanna or mangrove forests they are widely distributed.


There are variations in side from weight 40g – 1500g, length 20- 70 centimeters. The marquise imperial pigeon is one of the largest including the crowned pigeon of New Guinea. While small species are the new world ground dove and dwarf fruit dove. Doves are characterized by short bills, short legs, and large wings. The feathers are flattened, broad and tapering to a point. The feathers are dense on the body come in different colors. Prolific flyers they are very maneuverable during flight and difficult to catch.

Uses of dove

Several species of Dove or pigeon are used for food, sport hunting or reared as pets. Popular in many cuisines found in China, France, Asia, British and Italian cuisine. Pigeon is fried, baked, roasted, boiled, smoked or grilled depending on the chef’s application. The bird has a significant role in Christian religion as a symbol of peace and found in many classic antiquities. They were also used in military applications during the First World War.

  • used for food
  • release birds
  • religious ceremonies
  • rituals
  • sport hunting
  • reared as pets
  • war birds

Dove diseases

Averie’s have contributed significantly to the success of the species. However there are certain species classified as critically endangered. The birds face lots of predatory wild birds, changing climatic conditions and reduction is their habitat. Common health conditions that affect dove are tapeworm, roundworm, and red mites. Others are bacterial infections like Salmonella, Chlamydia or Canker a respiratory disease occasioned by swelling of the throat.

Infection, predators and dove diseases


  • hawks
  • crows
  • eagles
  • weasels
  • wild cats


  • tapeworm
  • roundworm
  • red mites
  • Salmonella
  • Chlamydia
  • Canker

Bird sounds and behavior

Doves or pigeons are associated with cooing sounds. The cooling sound has a relaxing feel and alter in frequency while feeding or mating. The birds are rather friendly if conditioned to receive feed at close proximity but detest handling. They are easily spooked or terrified at sudden movement, load sounds or forced interactions.


The birds feeding habit divides them along grain eaters and fruit eaters. Grain feeders prefer eating grains or seeds while fruit feeders eat mostly fruits. Doves eat seeds whole therefore the handler needs to provide grit in their diet. They eat different types of seeds including poultry feed.

The birds also eat insects, fruits, seeds and plants. Nesting involves use of debris, sticks to build flimsy nests in the wild. Feed-them seed mix, safflower seeds, millet and introduce pelleted feed them establish a feeding schedule and remove uneaten fruits or vegetables. Wash feeding dish regularly and supplement with dietary supplements. Don’t forget to provide clean drinking water for the birds.


The bird’s lay one egg at a time with both parents are caregivers. An interesting adaptation is the production of crop milk by both male and female to feed the young bird.

Price of Doves

The price of doves depends on many factors such as color, release doves, pets or food. Release doves are common in funerals, weddings or sporting activity. White doves attract the highest prices as release doves with prices ranging from $70 to $500 depending on occasion, location and number of birds released. A pair of white doves released at a wedding can cost from $100 to $300. Popular doves reared are white ringed-neck, Barbary, white doves, turtle and ground doves.


By Femi

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