Baby doves are fed crop milk, which is produced in both parent birds' crop glands. The feed is created during the cycle of incubation. However, not all birds are able to produce the grayish milk. To compensate, parents consume large amounts of seeds and water when they are off the nest and allow the mixture to soak in their crop for feeding purposes.
The most critical period of a dove's life is when it is just born, as survival can be difficult the first few days. To keep the new dove warm, a parent must fluff the feathers on its abdomen. Feathers that are flat keep any warmth away from a baby dove. Therefore, parents must fluff out and preen the feathers to maintain the baby bird's health.
10,000 Birds defines the crop of a bird as a muscular pouch that is situated near the throat or gullet. Expandable in nature, the pouch is used to store additional food for later digestion and is an extension of the bird's esophagus. The crop can extend to the point that it can make a long-necked bird look like it has a short neck. Crops are not exclusive to birds. They are also found on leeches and in some earthworms.Learn More
The nesting period for fledgling doves is just 11 to 12 days, according to East Valley Wildlife. If a baby doesn't leave after 12 days, its parents deny it food until it does so. There is a one-day gap between each baby's birth, so they leave in a staggered pattern.Full Answer >
Rock doves or feral pigeons eat seeds and grains that they pick up from the ground. Pigeons are also opportunistic and will eat cake, popcorn and bits of bread. They have been known to eat discarded animal protein such as meat from chicken bones and cheese from pizza crusts. Doves of all kinds will also eat worms, slugs, snails, insects and small lizards. Some doves have a preference for fruit.Full Answer >
White doves feed primarily on seeds. Rocket Swag lists popcorn kernels, millet and sunflowers as particularly suitable. Grit in the form of crushed oyster and egg shells should be provided separately. Soft foods, such as cornbread and hard-boiled eggs, can be mixed into the seeds. The occasional bug, worm or green can be added to their diet as well. White doves can also eat different grains and wheat.Full Answer >
Mourning doves primarily consume seeds, which make up over 90 percent of their diet. Their diet commonly includes the seeds from plants such as ragweed, sunflower, wheat, millet, corn and pokeweed. Occasionally, mourning doves eat insects and snails.Full Answer >