A simple guide to what you feed Doves when they are confined…
Your local pet store should advise you more on this but we recommend that you feed them at a set time every day and generally feed them on a suitable ready-mixed feed including corn, wheat, lentils and pulses.
Ensure that you also provide them with pigeon grit and this allows them to break down the feed and properly digest the hard seeds they eat. Poultry grit is considered the best sort as it contains oyster shell and limestone. Grit should always be available to the doves and can be put into a small dish or grit hopper.
Salt also plays an important part in the dove’s diet, this is mainly due to their relation to the rock doves that live and breed on cliffs around the coast. Course sea salt is advised to be added to their diet but be aware not to give them too much. A pinch of salt a week for 4 doves as a guide would be sufficient.
All food that is feed should be as fresh as possible and should be kept clean and dry. On average each dove eats roughly an ounce of feed a day, ensure you put enough feed out per dove on this guide. Doves also enjoy the occasional piece of bread. Ensure water is always available as it can be surprising how much they can drink.
How do I feed the doves when confined?
We would advise purchasing a two-hook feeder/ feed hopper and place within the confined space outside of the dovecote. By having a feeder it allows you to place plenty of food into it so that the doves can choose when they want to eat.
Alternatively, you can scatter the feed, this can help the doves get used to you and their environment but avoid doing this if the weather is bad. If you choose to scatter the food you will need to do this three times a day.
The feeders can be purchased from reputable pet shops and Internet pet stores. They are most commonly used for parrots and it allows the doves to cling onto the mesh safe and securely.