Advice for my ringneck dove?


Well-known member
Oct 19, 2014
Chicago, IL
(Birdie - Jenday Conure)
(Kiwi - Green Cheek Conure)
(Elby - Lovebird)
(Gorou - Ringneck Dove)
Hey yall! I'm actually on a pigeon/dove forum as well, but I find that pigeon hobbyists dominate it for sure (fanciers and racers mostly) and it's not as active. I got some helpful input, but I still feel kinda lost so I thought I'd throw a post up here.

I have a ringneck dove, Gorou, who has always been paired with another dove since I got him up until this year. He's had the worst luck with mates--he's had 3, all of whom passed away. After the first 2 mates passed, I panicked and combed nearby shelters for a single dove. This worked for the most part although he only seemed to kind of tolerate his most recent mate lol, there wasn't the same "spark" as he had with his first two mates. And when his most recent mate passed away, I thought maybe I'll do things a bit differently this time--first of all, he's a senior at this point, and second of all he seems to be kind of cursed and I don't want to inflict his death kiss on another innocent dove (mostly kidding). So I thought, OK, maybe we'll try to be a single dove for a while.

He isn't afraid of me at all, and he does step up, although I have to kind of press on his keel and coax him into it. He definitely doesn't enjoy being handled though, and doves are very physically affectionate creatures, so it makes me kind of sad that he hasn't really come around to seeing me as a friend?

The primary struggle with bonding with Gorou is his chronic disabilities--he has a pretty severe scissorbeak, for instance. I can hold millet, his favorite treat, but he won't even bother to peck at it because without the side of a bowl to leverage I think he just kind of assumes it won't make it into his crop. He also has a bad eye that is a bit weepy and as a result, the feathers around the eye and on the shoulder that he rubs his eye on tend to get gunky and tender. He does NOT like being touched around his face or back because of this, he'd even bicker with his dove mates who tried to preen him. Plus, the maintenance I sometimes have to do to clean up the feathers around his eye and trim his beak has kind of made him even less excited to be around me... I have kind of decided to maybe start outsourcing this maintenance to the vet so that he can hate them instead of me but idk lol 🥲

Any ideas at all would be appreciated!
I’m sorry to hear about all of the doves passing away. How old is Gorou? Has he been to a vet for his medical issues? It is hard when we as parronts have to administer medications, trim breaks, trim nails, clean eyes, and such because our parrots don’t like it. It may be easier to have a vet do it so you can start to build up a relationship again.
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Thank you, I really feel like my luck with doves has been very poor--I'm happy that Gorou is doing relatively well, despite his chronic issues.

As for age--I don't know. I suspect he hatched in 2009, based on the band in his leg saying 09 prominently, but I don't know if the 09 means something else rather than hatch date so it's just a guess. I adopted him in 2013 from a shelter.

He does see a vet for yearly wellness exams, actually I took him in today to see if they could correct for his scissorbeak better than I can but I clipped his beak so recently that they weren't able to touch it up :/. Doves have soft keratin beaks much more like the thickness of talons so it's very easy for me to clip at home but I really think it has made him wary of me, so I guess I'll just plan to try the vet again for the next time. I also asked them to clean up his face feathers, but they told me that there's so much "gunk" that they'd have to pluck them, but I could soften the clumps at home with warm water and possibly clean it up, which was a bit frustrating since the whole idea was to minimize how much I manhandle him at home. It's a long drive to the best avian vet near me lol so it was a disappointing visit but worth a try.
They didn’t recommend any antibiotics for his eyes? Did they say what it was? Is it an injured eye?

I feel so bad for Gorou. He sounds like he’s gone through a lot. He’s lost a few mates too!

For the leg bands. I’m not sure where you are located. I’m in the U.S. When I asked about the leg bands, and if the numbers mean anything. I was informed it depends on the breeder. Which was not exactly helpful when I was trying to find out how old my parrot is as I adopted him. Much about his past is unknown. I was mentally curious. I called Hawaii’s fish & wild life service as that’s what state my parrots leg band states he hatched in.
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He did recently get some antibiotic eye drops, but the problem is that the occasional eye infection is really only half the issue. He had a traumatic injury years ago that caused his sinuses in one side of his face to swell, which worsened his scissorbeak and also kind of presses against his eye on that side, causing frequent runny eye that clumps up his feathers and has resulted in a big bald spot. I think he can still see from that eye but not well. Here's a pic:


Lighting isn't great but hopefully that gives you an idea of the eye situation. In addition to that injury, which happened after I adopted him, he also had a huge chunk missing from his keel bone and over a dozen poorly healed fractures that a previous vet found on an xray, he's had a rough life.

My vet said the same thing about leg bands... I'm also in the US. I've had several vets outright say they didn't think the 09 meant anything, and one vet said, "it certainly looks like a year but it could mean any number of other things," so yea not very conclusive lol. At one point I tried searching the ID number on the band to see if I could get breeder info and came up empty handed.
He is absolutely beautiful ❤️❤️ it sounds like he has had a lot of injuries. That’s heartbreaking to read about. You are probably in the same boat as me because when you adopt minimal is known about the past.

I really like all of my parrots vets. Most have been very helpful. The only problem I’ve ever ran into is when a parrot gets sick & it actually shows… usually they will need a vet immediately in these situations. Avian vets appear to be busy, and there aren’t many available.
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Definitely... he and his mate were my very first birds, I didn't know where to get rescue birds at the time so I ended up at a weird sketchy shelter, he always looked a bit rough around the edges and had like four seizures in the first two months at my home... he hasn't had a seizure since, but it gave me an impression that he wasn't the healthiest. Which ended up being half true, with all the poorly healed injuries they found on an xray, but despite it all he's still going strong all these years later. He's a fighter for sure. Oh and... I say "he" and gave him a masculine name but "he" is actually a female and has laid eggs for me 😳

I love my avian vet, I've been going to the same practice since I first adopted birds like 10 yrs ago. They're definitely busy lately, I feel like six years ago if I had an emergency I could get in right away, whereas now I have to go to the emergency clinic and pay the emergency fee... it sucks, but that's why prevention is the best cure and I'm so particular about yearly bloodwork...

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