The following information is from a fantastic book about hand-rearing birds. It includes rearing guides for a variety of different species.
by Laurie J. Gage and Rebecca S. Duerr
2007, Blackwell Publishing
Chapter 20: Pigeons and Doves by Martha Kudlacik and Nancy Eilertsen
The number and variety of hand-feeding diets being used in rehabilitation and captive breeding are such that they cannot all be covered in a short chapter. The underlying principle is to mimic the natural diet as much as possible.
The first 2-3 days of life, columbids are fed crop milk, which is high in protein and fat. About day 3 or 4, small amounts of regurgitated seed are added to the milk; crop milk production ceases about day 7-9 and regurgitated seed is fed throughout the fledging period.
Table 20.1. Mourning Dove tube-feeding schedule (weights based on California population). Feed hatchling diet to chicks of weights in bold. Birds on the hatchling diet may not require as frequent feeding as is listed. Check the crop at the interval and feed when crop empties.
|Weight (grams)||Quantity (ml)||Hours between Feeds|
Above 65 grams, skip meal if any seed in crop
Newly admitted juvenile mourning doves over 70 grams will usually self-feed unless debilitated, emaciated, or otherwise compromised.
Above 90 grams, do not tube-feed unless bird is debilitated. Healthy juveniles will almost always self-feed at 90 grams.