Ask Lafeber


December 26, 2018

Ring neck dove rescue

First Merry Christmas,
I live in Florida and I rescued A young ring neck dove female 9 months ago. I let her free in the wild but she always stay near by the house. Since August she laid 14 eggs. Is it normal? What should I feed her other than her seeds and the grits? I tried raw nuts, berries but she doesn’t eat it. Any advices would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.


Hi Monique,

Merry Christmas to you! Your ringneck dove is actually a feral species that does not belong in the wild in the US. There are flocks of escaped pets, or from dove releases, but they don’t survive as well as the native doves. The whites ones do not do well at all.

You might want to get her a nice large cage and maybe find her a mate – some pet stores or feed stores carry these birds. The egg laying is not good for her and it a big strain on her system. If she gets low calcium, she can die from egg binding. If she is free it is hard to break the cycle, especially in Florida where the climate is mild most of the time. If you bring her indoors as a pet, you can make changes like limiting her exposure to light daily by setting a bedtime and covering her cage. The longer daylight hours is part of what triggers egg laying.

For diet, you can try mixing in some pelleted food for canaries or finches. Try some cooked brown rice with mixed veggies in it. Also offer some dark, leafy greens. You can get a cuttle bone and shave it over her food to try to get more calcium in her. If she keeps laying these eggs and is only eating seeds, it is just a matter of time before her health gets bad. I would suggest a vitamin that mixes in water to supplement her. We do make one that would work for her.

Powdered Bird Vitamins

These are pellets that she might eat:

Finch Granules

Canary Pellets

Good luck with her and again, don’t feel like she needs to be in the wild since she is not native to the US.

Have a Happy New year!



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