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  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.