Posted by: cpm | 2008/12/26

Doves - pests

Hi Doc

We have over the last 3 years tried everything to get the " dillie"  old lady next door to stop feeding the entire East Rands doves. They are just getting more and more. I have threatened, begged, shouted, shot, used a ketty and and we get nowhere.

Not just is there shit all over our house, on our stoep against our walls against our windows - they sit on our roof and shit so much that the gutters are overfull then the rain just runs down. The other night we had rain comming through our light in the kitchen and the roof because the nook or something was also full of shit. She just always pays the damage.

She send a man to come and clean our stoep once a week and to clean the gutters now.

The people on the otherside of her have sold their house when they also started seeing rats. because the rats eat what the birds eat.

She say' s im not a person of God because I dont want her to feed Gods creatures - i told her He made them - he' ll feed them - i' ve cut treas down because they sit in them and shit all over my garden and the plants rot

PLEASE PLEASE tell me what to do? I' ve tried the spca as well as the healt inspectors - they say its not against the law to feed them.

I said but surely i should be allowed to live in a house without shit! And you must see the dead birds we pick up and the feathers are everwhere...


I dont have a cat - just 2 dogs.

Im desperate please help

she once promised to stop but it never happened she even moaned it costs her R800 every 2 weeks...

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Dear cpm

My sympathies to you. I have three rock pigeons that do the same to my house and can't wait till I get my pellet gun later this year. Your problem is massive compared to mine. I would seek the advice of a solicitor that drive a very fancy car.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Indorin | 2016/02/07

I have old CD 's hanging in the trees, it works. I hope also in your garden. Best regards Indorin

Reply to Indorin
Posted by: Anon1 | 2009/01/09

Most of the pet owners I know have a sense of humour - apparently not the ones on here.... sorry CV, this is a VERY tough crowd :)

Reply to Anon1
Posted by: jax | 2008/12/30

yes well.... bad CV! Just so as you know, it is illegal to shoot any bird in a suburban area, and illegal to shoot any indigenous bird (rock pigeons and all doves included) anywhere unless you have a permit for sport-shooting and or hunting. Applies to pellet guns as well as any other weapon....

And for cpm, I sympathise, but it is equally illegal to poison doves, and could land you in a lot of trouble if you do it.
Chill' s advice is all good - especially the decoy birds of prey. Not sure where you get them, but there are very realistic plastic owls around which do tend to keep the garden birds away, especially if you move them regularly. Try mounting one on your roof. You can also make some cheap bird-proofing using plastic milk bottles cut into stripes of spikes which you can nail along the roofline, gutters and other popular places for s(h)itting.

Asking her to feed only in the morning might also help, if she will agree. And as far as keeping her busy goes, the rehab centre I work for is desperately short of volunteers on the East Rand! If she can drive, we can keep her day so full that she won' t be home long enough to feed anything....if not, if she will do some basic training with one of our volunteers in the area, we can involve her in raising doves and pigeons herself, so that she can enjoy a lesser number with a lot more contact.

And yes, the expectation of regular food does encourage them to breed more and over-populate the area, and also doesn' t teach them to forage for themselves, so that they would indeed die miserably were anything to happen to her. I feed because I also release hand-raised pigeons at home, but I limit the amount of food I give to the outside birds to a few handfuls in the morning, and they know that' s all that there will be. Some of the recent releasees do hang around and sleep here, but it' s only a handful, and they soon leave for greener pastures.

Also, encouraging large numbers of doves and pigeons increases the odds of passing illness amongst them. There is a protozoan disease called trichomoniasis which is endemic amongst Columbids and often results in a slow and unpleasant death for the bird - although completely harmless to humans. Feeding in close quarters can spread this illness at a rapid rate.

If you mail me on jcat456 at gmail dot com I can give you more info on who to contact in the area should she be willing to do some volunteer work.


Reply to jax
Posted by: Carol | 2008/12/28

Cv .... im disapointed in you :( that was disgusting .

Reply to Carol
Posted by: Chill | 2008/12/26

This lady probably gets a lot of pleasure out of doing what she considers to be ' good'  for the birds - I must say I often chuck out bread and stuff for the birds too, but only on a very small scale, and definitely not regularly enough to create an expectation of food among the birds. I' ve seen what can happen if they all cluster around waiting for breakfast to be served!

How about this: Explain to the lady that she is actually upsetting the ecology of the birds. She is creating an expectation of food, and the birds are gathering and breeding according to the abundance of food available - and if something were to cause this lady to be unable to continue to feed them, they will suffer great hardship and starvation.

Also, birds of prey will proliferate and eat all her beloved doves, and it will be her fault!

Also, you could ask her to only feed the birds once a day, if she has to, so that there is no leftover food lying around at night because this is what attracts the rats and mice.

Isn' t there some proper animal welfare agency around that the lady could direct her efforts to? Maybe she could help by nursing injured birds back to health, or even other animals... perhaps Jax will read this and come up with some suggestions.

Finally, please don' t use poison - there must be a clever way to discourage the birds - one thing I' m thinking is that if you could create a falcon or hawk ' shape'  out of black cardboard, this would frighten the birds away - they have an instinctive fear of such things. Also, scarecrows have served a purpose for centuries - couldn' t you think of something along those lines?

Reply to Chill

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