Diamond doves are one of the smallest of the Australian doves; approximately 8 inches long and weighing less than an ounce. Though appearing small and delicate, diamond doves are actually quite hardy and easy to care for and are prolific breeders in captivity. In fact, if you have both a male and female diamond dove in your aviary, it would be pretty difficult to keep them from breeding.
Things You'll Need
- Male and female diamond doves
- Plastic berry boxes
- Dried grass
- Finch food or quail pellets
House a male and female pair of diamond doves in an aviary. These birds breed best in an aviary setting. They are free breeders and require no special treatment to encourage them to breed. They will be able to breed at approximately 5 months of age.
Provide several perches in the aviary. These birds need to perch, so provide many places in the aviary for perching.
Feed diamond doves finch food or quail pellets. Diamond doves are floor feeders, so sprinkle seed on the ground in the aviary for them to free-feed.
Provide clean, fresh water at all times.
Provide a nesting site. You can purchase plastic berry boxes for them to nest in, but any cup or receptacle will do as a nesting box. Attach the berry box to the side of the aviary about 4 inches from the wall to leave room for the birds' tails. Place the nesting site high up in the aviary and, if possible, behind a limb or branch to provide privacy. Doves will also build their own nests if a nest box isn't provided.
Fill the nest box almost full with dry grass.
Watch for mating behavior. After finding the nesting site, the male will coo and call to the female. The male will fan his tail feathers and touch his beak to the ground to call the female to mate. When she heeds his calls, he will mount her several times, flap his wings and sometimes might force-feed her before mating takes place.
Check the nest for eggs. Two white, oval eggs will be laid soon after mating occurs; one usually two days after the first. The male dove will sit on the eggs during the day and the female at night. Eggs will hatch in 12 to 14 days. Both parents will feed the babies that will grow rapidly and be ready to leave the nest in two weeks. By the time one clutch leaves the nest, the hen will lay eggs again. A breeding pair of diamond doves can produce two babies a month with regularity.