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Doves and Powder down


Meeting neighbors
Avenue Veteran
Real Name
Jessica Carpentier
Good evening,

I have always been intrigued by Doves and was wondering if they are powder down producers? I know some parrots produce more powder than others, but how about Doves? The reason I ask is because my husband has had respiratory issues when we had a Cockatiel in the past. However, this bird was in a small apartment, with a carpet, and no air purifier.



Jogging around the block
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Real Name
Isabelle (she/her)
“Unlike many other birds, a dove doesn't have a uropygial gland (also called a preen gland), which contains oil used in preening to help waterproof its feathers. Instead, it has powder down feathers, which are extremely fine feathers that disintegrate into a dust-like substance.”
From this website
In my experience with pigeons, the dust is manageable with a high quality air purifier on 24-7, non carpeted floors and daily cage paper changes.


Checking out the neighborhood
Hi. I kept may kinds of doves over the years.

Fancy pigeons / doves make a huge amount...a crazy amount of the dust. It's like they are covered in talcum powder. If I handled a white one when I was wearing a black T shirt it looked like someone had thrown flour over me haha. Everything get coated in a thick layer of the dust, even if the birds bath every day. I would never keep them inside a house.

Ringneck doves are not as bad, but still quite a lot...probably more than a cockatiel. The males also make a loud 'coo coo coo coo' noise al the time...even during the night....which can get to be really annoyng.

Have you considered a smaller species of dove?

I really recommend zebra doves (if you can find a breeder). They are much smaller than a ringneck dove have have a lovely musical whistling call. They can get very tame and have lovely colours and pattern on them. You can even get pure white ones, but they are very rare, and therefore expensive. They are calm by nature and easy to breed also.

If you clean the cage every day, and mist them with a plant water sprayer or provide a bath for them every day, I doubt you would notice any feather dust. You can keep a singe male for his song and he will get tame with you, but if you have to leave him alone for hours each day its better to get a male / female pair to keep each other company.

Diamond doves are the least dusty, due to their size. I never noticed any dust off mine. However, they are by nature, very skittish and shy. It's very hard to tame them enough to sit on your finger, and they are prone to night frights where they fly madly about in their cage and hurt themselves for no apparent reason during the night. Mine did this even if the cage was totally covered.

I reduced this problem by having a dim light on over night next to their cage. They would still get the night frights but settle down quickly with the light as they can see the perches to land on. I think they jut get bad nightmares.lol