How to Breed Ringneck Doves
If your looking for a dynamite first pet bird. Look no further than the Ringneck Dove. Ringnecks are naturally calm and gentle. They are easy to feed and water and don’t require a lot of space.
Mature Pair of Ringneck Doves
You need to start with a mature healthy male and female dove. Ringneck doves are physically mature at 6 months of age but I like to wait until they are at least 9 months old.
Sexing ringneck doves can be a difficult task and the key is to observe the doves behavior.Males and females look very similar in appearence. I had what I thought was a pair for 6 months. They would lay eggs but nothing would hatch. I thought maybe one of them was sterile until one day I noticed four eggs in the nest.
I had two females the whole time. What is interesting is the female will make the cooing and laughing sound the male makes if no male is around.I have since aquired a male and can see the differences in behavior now that I have been observing them more closely.
Proper Nesting Material
Ringneck doves nest off the ground so would I do is provide them with a shelf that is approximately a foot and a half by a foot and a half. I use a dog food bowl as the nest and it works great.
The dog bowls are just the right size for the parents and the babies and are very easily cleaned. The male dove will gather sticks and plant material and make a very crude nest. Once he has completed the nest he will sit in the nest and coo and flap his wings to get the females attention. He is trying to convince her that he has a suitable nest to offer her.
If all goes well she will begin laying eggs between 6-8 days after mating.
Outdoor Ringneck Dove Setup
Eggs and Incubation
Ringneck doves lay two eggs. The eggs are generally laid 6-10 days after mating. The female lays her first egg and then 24-48 hours later she lays her second egg. Once the second egg is laid the parents begin to incubate the eggs.
The eggs will hatch in 14 days and both parents share the duty of sitting on the eggs. The female generally sits on the eggs from 5 pm to 9 am and the male takes over during the day.
Caring for Chicks
Once the eggs hatch both parents will feed the chicks ?crop milk? which is rich in vitamins and proteins. After the first week the parents will begin to incorporate seeds into their diet. Then just 3 weeks later then babies are fledged and are capable of being on there own at 4 weeks of age.
Ringneck Dove Breeding Season
Ring neck doves are very prolific and will breed all year long if given the opportunity. I recommend that you only breed 2 or 3 rounds of young a year. Raising babies is a lot of work for both parents so I take away all the nesting material and dog bowl after the second round of young. I keep my doves outside during the summer months and this is the time I encourage them to breed. It certainly makes clean up easier when they are outside.