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What do doves eat?

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asked Jan 10, 2016 in Science and Nature by tobylee
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In the wild, Mourning Doves subsist almost exclusively on seeds. This includes peanuts as well as seeds from cultivated grains, wild grasses, weeds and herbs. Sometimes they eat berries and snails as well. They swallow the seeds and store them in a portion of the esophagus known as the crop for later digestion. These birds consume up to 20 percent of their weight in food on a daily basis. [1]



Dove food blends are available in pet stores in seed or pellet form for doves kept in captivity. It is best to feed a dove about 2 tablespoons of food each morning, and the bird should finish the food by evening. If the food is not gone by then, it is possible that the bird is being overfed. Dove owners should add a bit of bird-safe grit or ground oyster shells to the dove food. Three or four times a week, doves can eat minced vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots, cauliflower and bell peppers, as well as greens, such as lettuce, dandelion greens, kale and spinach. They should also have a constant supply of fresh, clean water. [2]


A multivitamin and mineral supplement is recommended for doves kept in captivity. Otherwise, supplementing the diet with calcium glutonate is advisable because it supports egg laying., reducing egg binding and other reproductive issues common in females of the species. [2]



1. https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Mourning_Dove/lifehistory

2. http://www.pigeonrescue.org/birds/care/pigeon-feeding-dove-feeding/

answered Jan 10, 2016 by jems (19,790 points)
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Doves are strict vegetarians and exclusively seed eaters, with 99 percent of their diet seeds. They rarely feed on insects or other items, an unusual practice among birds, who usually eat high-protein foods such as insects, at least while they are young. [1]


Doves prefer a wide range of seeds. They find food by sight or by seeing other birds feeding and they remember where they have found choice foods. Favorite foods are determined by taste, and the size of the seed is not an important factor. Choice foods include many species of wild and cultivated grasses as well as weeds, including euphorbias, crotons, ragweed, amaranth and many others.



Legumes are almost never choice dove foods although doves do eat peanuts, peas. beans and some other legumes. Doves do not tend to eat acorns, or seeds of clovers, chufas, partridge peas, vetches and other plants.


Doves love millet sprays, both small and the larger type. Keep a spray of millet clipped to the side of the cage where the Doves can nibble on them. 


The most important part of the Doves' meal is to have continuous access to fresh water each day. The water should be at least an inch or more deep since the Doves drink with their bill straight down like sucking through a straw. The water dish should be clean from slime and debris. [2]




[1] http://www.caes.uga.edu/extension/taylor/anr/documents/AttractingDovestoYourLand.pdf

[2] http://pet-doves.com/petdoves/feeding_habits.htm

answered Jan 23, 2016 by benbailey (5,400 points)

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