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Cleaning Baby Mourning Dove – Complete Guide

Cleaning Baby Mourning Dove – Complete Guide

As we keep our babies clean, similarly, we need to keep the baby birds clean as well. Cleaning them frequently keeps them free from germs and might also help you develop a great bond with them during their bathing time. Continue reading this article to know how you can clean a baby mourning dove safely.

How To Clean A Baby Mourning Dove?

If you are taking care of the abandoned baby mourning dove for the first time, you can follow the procedure to clean the baby dove with care.

1. Take water in a bowl

Make sure that when you take the water in a bowl, its level should be half the baby dove’s height. You can take lukewarm water, or even the water at room temperature is fine.

You can either bathe the dove with only water, or else you can add some bath salts that are made for the birds. Kindly use the one that is made for doves and pigeons.

2. Place the bowl near the baby mourning dove

Birds usually clean their feathers or other body parts on their own. So, you can place the water bowl near them, and they will then enjoy their bath time. But, when you bring the baby dove out of the cage, make sure that the surrounding area is safe for them.

You can close the doors and windows to prevent the other pets from entering the room. Also, check whether there are any toxic plants, food or wires near the bathing area. And, if there are any, then kindly remove them beforehand to protect the birds from them.

3. Bathe the dove

Birds usually clean themselves on their own, by rubbing themselves on the tree. But, since the baby dove is small, you will have to clean the dove properly. You just have to gently rub your hands over the baby dove’s body. If your bird is oily, only use gentle soap; otherwise, you can avoid it.

Some baby doves might not like to have a bath in the water, so in that case, you can use a mist spray on them. You can take a spray bottle and add clean lukewarm water to it. This will give them the bathing feel and also clean away the dust or dirt from their feathers.

4. Dry the baby mourning dove

Avoid using a towel harshly on the baby dove as it can damage the skin and feathers. They usually shiver after the bath so that they can spill out some water from the body. This makes the drying process easy for them. You can also keep them in a warm area till they become dry. You can clean the baby mourning dove in the morning so that they can dry themselves before it’s dark.

5. Spray mite spray on the feathers

If the baby mourning dove has developed feathers, then you can spray little mite spray on them. But, if it’s a newborn baby, you should avoid spraying anything on them as it might damage the sensitive skin. Even if the bird is an indoor pet, it might develop mites on them, so this spray will help to prevent it. 

Apart from bathing the baby mourning dove, the below activity can be considered a part of the cleaning or grooming process.

Trimming baby dove’s nails

1. Hold the baby dove

Birds are very delicate, therefore you need to handle them with care. If the baby dove is calm, you can easily hold it and trim the nails with your fingers. But, if it is fussy, then you might need to take the help of someone to cut the nails. If you haven’t cut the nails of any bird before, then you can directly take the baby dove to the vet and get them trimmed. And even if you are unable to handle the baby dove at all, you might need to take him to the vet every time.

2. Use human nail clippers

You can make use of the human nail clippers to trim the baby dove’s nails. Try to be gentle during this process and avoid clipping the quick as it might be painful to them and even cause the baby dove to bleed. If in case it starts bleeding then you can dip the claws in Styptic powder to stop the bleeding quickly. You can also use the rotary grinder to trim the nails without hurting them.

3. Trimming the uneven beak

Check if the baby mourning dove has a crooked beak or not. If it has, then you need to take the baby dove to the professional vet to get it in shape. Avoid trimming the beak if the baby dove is newborn. You can even dull the sharp edge of the beak with the emery board. Giving the chew toys to the baby birds also helps to dull their beak.

Do we need to clean the cage after cleaning the baby dove?

Keeping the cage clean is also essential as keeping the baby dove clean. Baby birds are a bit messy and can make the cage dirty, which can lead them to illness. Therefore, if you are not cleaning it every day, you must buy a spacious cage so that the baby dove has enough space for food, water, and playing like spreading the wings.

Here are some tips that you can consider for keeping the baby dove’s cage clean.

  • Remove the feathers and clean up the waste from the cage.
  • Remove the old water and food and replace it with a fresh one.
  • Clean the surface with one of these methods:
  • The mixture of water and vinegar.
  • A mixture of baking soda and water
  • A mixture of ¼ cup borax and baking soda
  • A mixture of ½ cup borax, ¼ cup of white vinegar and 2 gallons of hot water
  • Enzyme spray
  • Place a clean liner of towel or papers on the bottom of the cage.
  • Clean the area around the cage with a cloth or vacuum cleaner.

Precautions to take while cleaning the baby dove

  • If you are using the mist spray, avoid spraying it directly on the bird’s face.
  • Use lukewarm water to clean the baby dove.
  • Keep your pets in another room when you are cleaning the bird.
  • Do not rub the feathers rigorously.
  • Avoid using the soap on the baby dove as it can harm their delicate skin and also strip their feathers.
  • Use a clean bowl for bathing the baby mourning dove.
  • Clean the area after you are done bathing the dove.
  • Do not use a hair blower to dry the feathers of your baby dove, as its heat can burn the delicate skin.
  • Be gentle while bathing them, as this won’t create fear of water in them.
  • If you are using the brush to clean the feathers, make sure you take the brush designed for toddlers. These brushes have soft bristles and wouldn’t hurt them.

Tips to consider while cleaning the baby dove

  • Use clean water for bathing.
  • Bathe the baby dove during the warmest part of the day,
  • Ensure that the water you are taking to bathe the baby dove is at room temperature.
  • Use a soft brush to clean the dove feathers or take a clean mascara brush that is completely clean with no product residues on it.
  • Do not force the baby bird to take a bath if he doesn’t like it. Instead, use a mist spray on them.


Baby birds are very delicate, therefore, you need to be very cautious while cleaning them. I hope this article has given you a clear idea, and now you know the step by step procedure to clean your baby dove. 

If you know any other ways of cleaning the baby bird then do mention it in the comment section below.