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What Does Baby Doves Eat

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what does baby doves eat

Baby doves need all the nutrients they can get for their proper growth and development. It is the responsibility of their parent’s bird to give them all the nutritious food they need. But when you see an abandoned baby dove that needs your care and attention, it will be best for you to know what does baby dove eat every day.

Baby dove’s food is not the same as the one being fed by adult doves. A semi-solid food called crop milk is being provided by the baby dove’s parents and contains all the nutrients needed for the dove to survive during its infancy. In this article, we will be listing all the possible bird food to serve as a guide for anyone feeding baby doves.


Crop Milk

dove crop milk

Crop milk is the first food being provided by parent birds to the baby doves at the beginning of their infancy stage. The crop milk is being secreted from the lining of the crop of the parent bird and will be poured into the baby doves.

If you think that the regular milk produced by other animals or mammals is the same as the crop milk, think again. They are different, at least in their physical appearance. Crop milk is actually a semi-solid substance similar to cottage cheese.

Crop milk contains a high amount of protein and fats, which a baby dove needs in the early stages of its life. Crop milk also has a great amount of antioxidants and immune-enhancing factors, which will be helpful for the health status of the baby dove.

The crop milk will be provided by the parent bird continuously until such time that the baby dove is ready to digest solid food. The crop milk will provide immunity, growth nutrients, and the overall health development of the baby doves.

Alternative to Crop Milk

If you suddenly find an abandoned baby dove and the need to feed the baby bird is needed, you need to replicate what the parent bird is feeding to the baby dove. A crop milk formula cereal can be given to the baby dove using a small warm feeding tube to replicate how the parent dove provides the food to the baby dove.

But when the baby dove is old enough to consume solid foods, using a crushed oat mix can be used as an alternative to feed the baby dove. If you feel that they are still in the stage where they need crop milk, you can make the food mix in a semi-liquid consistency for the food to be suitable for the baby dove.

Another alternative to crop milk is to use an egg yolk combined with any bird seeds or bird food. But you need to make sure that the seeds are chopped into their most refined form before mixing the egg yolk. This preparation will somehow copy the consistency of the crop milk.

Another alternative is to use parrot seeds and crushed oats for the baby dove’s food. This combination contains enough nutrients for the benefit of the baby dove. You can even add crushed fruits to this particular food mix to enhance the baby dove’s nutrition, but make sure to maintain consistency.

Soy milk is also an alternative to crop milk combined with baby bird food. But when preparing this alternative food, you will need to make the same consistency as the crop milk to let the baby dove enjoy the meal. Lastly, using honey combined with all these alternative foods mentioned above will also provide health benefits to the baby dove.

Kitten Food Mix

kitten food mix

Another alternative food to give a baby dove is kitten food. The kitten food will be combined with cooked egg yolks, an infant whole wheat cereal, and several drops of bird vitamins. To prepare this baby dove food, you will need to mix it well while adding enough water to get the desired consistency that fits the baby dove.

When feeding the baby dove using this alternative food, you can use a straw which will enable the bird to open his mouth. The straw will make the baby dove comfortable while eating the bird food you prepare for the bay dove.

Sunflower Seed Food Mix

Another bird food that you can prepare to provide the bay dove with a sumptuous meal is to use sunflower seed hearts as the main ingredient. Then, you can combine it with dried mealworms to complete the recipe.

When preparing this particular bird food, you will need to mix the two ingredients along with water to get the much-needed consistency similar to crop milk. The consistency should be like a soup so that the bay dove can quickly eat it during mealtime.


What does baby doves eat? Crop milk is an essential food for baby doves, especially in the early stages of the bird’s development. However, if the parent bird abandoned a baby dove, it is your responsibility to take care and feed the baby bird. There are many alternative foods for baby doves mentioned in this article, but the most important factor is to offer food that somehow replicates what the baby dove was eating when the bird was still with the parent.

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