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#28390 - 04/09/22 11:48 AM Re: Mourning dove chicks. 2021 [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3035
Loc: WV
Search: How bird feathers grow.

One link that I read said that it could take up to a year for a feather to competely form.

Here is one link.

https://academy.allaboutbirds.org/feathers-article/

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#28392 - 04/12/22 03:43 PM Re: Mourning dove chicks. 2021 [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3035
Loc: WV
I'll give you an update on the dove nest. Today is the 12th, it was the evening of the 8th, I noticed the female dove was breathing hard. All of the other times that I'll looked at her, I've never noticed that before. She was breathing really fast. Same thing the morning of the 9th. Not sure but I think she was trying to lay an egg.

You've all watched a person sleeping. Sound asleep and resting good, you don't really notice them breathing.

But the dove was huffing and puffing. I didn't try to time her breathing, should have. But I watched her this morning, I can tell when she inhales, but it's not nearly as fast as it was the other day.

With her sitting in the nest you can't tell, but I think she has 2 eggs now, maybe 3 ?

I'll keep watching, but most times when I look at her, it's just a bird on her nest. Sitting there resting easy.

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#28393 - 04/14/22 01:15 PM Re: Mourning dove chicks. 2021 [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3035
Loc: WV
Here at "Dove Central", the female dove is breathing heavy again this morning.

By my one thousand one count, I had almost an inhale per second.

Checked it 2 times on the stopwatch on the cell phone, the second time I had 30 inhales in 42 seconds. Minus off 2 or 3 seconds, till I found the right button.

I'll try to check it again tonight when she's resting, but I'd guess her respiration rate will drop down to closer to one breath per 3 or 4, maybe 6 seconds?

She's a small little bird, but we need to know how this stuff works.

I'm sure we have folks here on the forum that have laying hens, do they huff and puff while they're laying an egg? I've gathered eggs lots of times, I've just never noticed.

But something is going on with this female dove.

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#28394 - 04/16/22 11:10 AM Re: Mourning dove chicks. 2021 [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3035
Loc: WV
April 16th, there are 2 eggs in the nest.

I've been reading, the respiration rate of small birds will vary from 30 to 60 per minute.

I timed the female dove the other day, I counted 10 inhales in 12+ seconds.

By my count, it's just slightly below 1 inhale per second. So, it's the same, and my count is fairly accurate. A feller should practice that from time to time. Close your eyes and do a 60 count, then check the clock and see if you need to speed up or slow down. Anyway.

Think i've figured out what was going on the other day. She had an egg stuck cross-ways.

Here is a link to "egg binding".

https://www.thesprucepets.com/signs-of-egg-binding-in-birds-390494

I'll try to copy and paste the same story below.

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#28395 - 04/16/22 11:11 AM Re: Mourning dove chicks. 2021 [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3035
Loc: WV
Egg-binding is a serious and sometimes fatal condition that affects female birds of breeding age. It can affect any bird, but among common pet birds, it is most often seen in smaller species including finches, parakeets, lovebirds, canaries, and cockatiels.1


Basically, egg-binding means that the egg has become "stuck," and the bird is unable to expel it from its body within a normal time frame, which depending on species, can be anywhere from 24 to 48 hours. This causes the bird to strain in an attempt to pass the egg, which owners sometimes mistake as the bird straining to defecate. Your bird will likely appear ill, lose its appetite, fluff up its feathers, sleep more than normal, and may have a swollen abdomen. The stuck egg may make it difficult for your bird to pass feces and urine, as well.

FEATURED VIDEO
Pet Birds - Fascinating Facts and Clever Names
Since it's so important for egg-bound hens to receive prompt medical treatment, owners should know what signs and symptoms to watch for in their pets. If left untreated, your bird can become critically ill and may die.2

What Is Egg-Binding?
Many bird owners are surprised to learn that a female bird that has no contact with a male can still lay eggs. These eggs are not fertilized, so can not produce a viable chick, however. While not every pet female bird will lay eggs, the possibility is there for all of them.2


Egg-binding occurs when an egg takes longer than usual to pass out of the reproductive tract. While the normal length of time to pass an egg varies between bird species, and even between individual birds, most birds pass an egg within 24 to 48 hours. Your bird might lay just one egg, or several eggs. It is possible for a bird to lay an egg normally, but then experience egg-binding with subsequent eggs.


The egg can become stuck inside the bird's vent, which is the opening for expelling materials from the urinary, gastrointestinal, and reproductive tracts. In this case, you might actually see a bit of the egg bulging through the vent.


Eggs can also bind higher up the reproductive tract. An egg may become stuck in the oviduct, which is the tube that leads from the ovaries to the vent, or within the cloaca, which is a chamber just within the vent that collects materials from the urinary, gastrointestinal, and reproductive tracts. Unlike mammals, birds have just one common opening/exit for these three organ systems.


Symptoms of Egg-Binding in Birds
Birds can hide symptoms of illness until the condition becomes too advanced to hide any longer. This helps wild birds survive, as a weak bird is an easy target for a predator but can make it difficult for a pet owner to realize their bird is ill. Recognizing the signs of egg-binding early on is key to your pet's survival. If you observe any of the following symptoms, contact an avian veterinarian as soon as possible. The vet can properly diagnose your pet's problem and get it on the road to a fast recovery.


Symptoms
Rapid or labored breathing
Swelling
Constipation
Fluffed-up feathers
Straining
Sitting on the cage floor
Lameness
Loss of appetite
Sudden death
Rapid or Labored Breathing
Many egg-bound hens look like they are having a hard time breathing, particularly after exertion, such as flying or fluttering within their cage. Even slightly labored breathing is a symptom of egg-binding.

Swelling
An egg-bound hen may appear to have a swollen abdomen or show swelling around its vent from straining to pass an egg. Birds with swelling on any part of their bodies should be seen by a medical professional as soon as possible.

Constipation
If you suspect that a hen may be egg-bound, watch its droppings. You should assume there's a problem if they look abnormal or if it fails to produce any at all.

Fluffed-Up Feathers
One of the most common symptoms of illness in birds, fluffed-up feathers can also be a sign that a bird is egg-bound. If you observe your bird sitting with its feathers fluffed up, assess it for any other symptoms or abnormalities.

Straining
Egg-bound hens often visibly strain to try and pass their eggs. Egg-binding should be suspected in birds that strain but show no progress in moving their eggs.

Sitting on the Cage Floor
Most of the time, birds that are egg-bound tend to sit on the cage floor. Eggs that are stuck inside of a hen can put immense pressure on the bird's spine, sometimes causing paralysis and the inability to perch.

Lameness
If the stuck egg puts pressure internally on the nerves that go into the bird's legs, it can cause lameness or even an inability to stand.

Loss of Appetite
This is a common symptom of several illnesses, but if you notice your bird is not eating, assess it for other signs of egg-binding.

Sudden Death
Unfortunately, in some cases, the first and only sign that a bird is suffering from egg-binding is the sudden death of the bird.1

Causes of Egg-Binding
There are several causes of egg-binding. The most common have to do with the egg itself, the bird's diet, or issues with the hen's reproductive tract.

Sometimes, the egg itself is too large for the hen to pass easily, or is positioned incorrectly inside the reproductive system, making it impossible for the bird to lay the egg normally.

Dietary issues are a common cause of egg-binding, particularly with birds that are deficient in calcium. Lack of calcium can cause eggshells that are weak or partially formed, and more prone to becoming stuck. Also, calcium, vitamin E, and vitamin D help the uterine and oviduct muscles contract forcefully enough to move the egg through and out of the hen's reproductive system. Obese birds are also at higher risk of egg-binding.3

Infections, tumors, or inflammation within the hen's reproductive system can cause swelling that leads to egg-binding.

Diagnosing Egg-Binding in Birds
Often, your avian veterinarian can diagnose egg-binding just by gently feeling the hen's abdomen, as it is often possible to feel the stuck egg inside. However, most vets will take x-rays of the bird, which allows them to see the exact size and position of the stuck egg. Occasionally, an egg becomes stuck before the shell is fully formed, making it difficult to see on an x-ray. If your vet suspects this is the case, they might choose to do an ultrasound, which will show even a shell-less egg.2

Treatment
A bird suffering from egg-binding should be seen by a veterinarian right away, as the longer you wait, the less likely the bird is to survive. Once at the vet's office, if the bird is determined to be critically ill, it will be treated for shock. This usually includes warming the bird, giving fluids and calcium via an IV into a vein, and sometimes providing supplemental oxygen. In some cases, these measures are enough to allow the bird to pass the egg on its own.

If the egg doesn't pass, the veterinarian will assess its position inside the hen. If the egg is inside the cloaca, it sometimes can be massaged out or extracted with lubricated cotton swabs.2

If the massage and natural methods don't extract the egg, it may be necessary to break the egg while it is still within the hen and remove it in parts. If this occurs, the vet will use a needle to remove the contents of the egg, which will cause the egg to collapse. The vet will then clean the hen's oviduct to remove any shell fragments or egg residue. Leaving anything in the hen could lead to infection or internal tissue damage.

Prognosis
With prompt treatment, most birds will survive. However, if the stuck egg causes the hen to be unable to easily breathe or expel waste, and the bird isn't provided emergency treatment, the prognosis is poorer.

How to Prevent Egg-Binding
Since egg-binding is a common condition, it is hard to completely prevent it. It's best to maintain a healthy lifestyle for your hen. Feeding a well-balanced diet that includes enough calcium is crucial, as is preventing your bird from becoming overweight. Your bird should have opportunities for exercise and play each day.

However, birds that tend to lay eggs frequently and have experienced egg-binding may be prone to more episodes of this serious condition. In that case, your vet might recommend hormone injections at the beginning of egg-laying season to prevent your bird from laying an egg.3

Keeping daily watch on your hens will help you know their habits and be better aware if they are displaying any symptoms of egg-binding.

If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your pet, know the pet's health history, and can make the best recommendations for your pet.
Article Sources

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#28396 - 04/20/22 02:37 PM Re: Mourning dove chicks. 2021 [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3035
Loc: WV
I started keeping notes on a scratch pad about the bird nest. Easier to keep track of.

April 17th, Easter Day, the adult dove was out of her nest, sitting on a limb about a foot away. And another dove, I think one of the chicks from the first hatch walked over and tended the eggs. There were 2 eggs. Sometime durning the day the adult female took over the nest again.

The only way that I can tell them apart is the length of their tails. There is about an inch difference.

April 18th we had a snow. Started out as a cold rain, then sleet, ice, and then snowed the rest of the day. Here in town we had 3 inches, 6 inches up in the mountains here around town. The temperature stayed about 35* F. all day, the dove was soaked. It's melted here in the valley, looks like a good bit in mountains yet. I had 28* this morning, usually about 10* colder up on top.

Nothing from yesterday. This morning 4/20/22, I did notice the female squirming and scratching around in the nest. I guess trying to rotate her eggs? I don't think that she'd be doing that if they had hatched yet. But they should be due to hatch before long.

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#28397 - 04/21/22 10:43 PM Re: Mourning dove chicks. 2021 [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3035
Loc: WV
4/21/22. At least one dove egg has hatched.

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#28400 - 04/22/22 07:50 PM Re: Mourning dove chicks. 2021 [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3035
Loc: WV
4/22/22. Both chicks have hatched.

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#28409 - 04/27/22 03:24 PM Re: Mourning dove chicks. 2021 [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3035
Loc: WV
Update on the dove chicks. There are only 2.

Yesterday morning, 4/26/22. The female dove left her nest early, before good daylight. Really that was the first chance that I've had to look at the chicks alone. They are a really pretty color, kind of a flat-black, gray, and it almost looks like fur.

Not sure how long the female dove was off of the nest? She was gone from at least daylight till 8am, later yesterday she was back on the nest. I've watched the chicks feed, about every morning. She feeds them early. I'm sure she feeds them lots of times while I'm not watching too.

Today, 4/27/22. The female dove was off of her nest, right at 6am. She was eating, walking around on my porch (I guess it was her), I guess she's going someplace to get water? Making "dove milk."

The chicks are not as big as a sparrow yet, but they fill the nest. And they breath very fast too. Mother dove is sitting on top of the chicks now.

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#28411 - 04/29/22 12:05 PM Re: Mourning dove chicks. 2021 [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 3035
Loc: WV
Update for yesterday, 4/28/22.

Yesterday morning I went out to feed the birds, the female dove was on my porch, the chicks were alone in the nest. The female dove flushed and landed in a tree after I spooked her, but was right back on the porch, not long after I closed the door.

It was cold and windy yesterday, I had 33* F. at daylight. I think we warmed up into the 50's, but was windy and chilly all day. I was using a push mower yesterday wearing a jacket and toboggan, and didn't get hot.

Last evening I walked by the nest, the chicks were there but something didn't look right. I checked them a little bit closer and they were both dead. I assume that they froze?

Set the ladder up and went up to get them, showed them to a few folks here at work. My daughter Kim was here so I had her take notes for me.

With the 2 little birds in my hand it was easy to see that one was bigger than the other.

Their weights were: 0.12 pounds and 0.10 pounds. An ink pen will weigh about 0.03. So, you're looking at 3 ink pens for the small chick, and 4 ink pens for the big one.

Their wingspan was 8 and 9 inches. That shows just how fast they were growing.

With them stretched out, you could see a lot of naked skin on the chicks, at 33* and windy, that would be chilly. I don't know?

I had 31* and frost on the vehicles today.

We've has some screwy weather this spring. Talked to the mailman the other day, Monday of this week he was in Grant County, said that it was 93* over there, he had 74* when he got home here in Hardy co. Exactly a week before, he had 6 inches of snow at his house and we had 3 inches here in town.

Not sure about the doves? But I kind of expect her to lay eggs again, we'll see.

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