Doves: Raising Babies
Maintain the squab at a temperature of 95.0 to 98°F. A thermometer should be used. A small bowl of water may be needed to provide enough humidity. There are many good quality squab raising formulas available commercially and I recommend having some on hand at all times if you want to raise doves. Roudybush's Squab Formula works well (see www.roudybush.com). Harrison's Neonatal Formula can be used if you can't get a dove-specific hand-feeding formula.
Weigh the squab twice a day before feeding and keep a chart to make sure they are growing daily. Follow the directions on the formula. Typically the babies go through the following stages of diet change:
- Day 1 to Day 4 - Eats only formula with decreasing amounts of water added as the squab gets older
- Day 5 to Day 12 - Formula mixed with adult diet. Increasing amounts of adult diet as the squab grows.
- Day 12 to Day 21- Adult diet only, fledges around day 21; supplement with formula if losing weight on a daily basis
- Day 21 to Day 28 - Continued adult diet
- Day 28 to Day 30 - Fledglings should probably be removed from the parents' cage to avoid being attacked.