Fruit Dove/Pigeon Diets


The above picture shows the soft mixture I (John Pire) use for the species of fruit doves/pigeons I keep in my collection. The fruits are rinsed and then diced into about 1/4" pieces (these fruits are usually available year round); about 1/2 of the packaged dry dog food is added to the mix. To make the mix drier I add ground pigeon pellets (Nutri-blend Green by Purina). A powdered multi-vitamin/mineral supplement is also be added to the mix.

This diet can be given to the "foster birds" which may be used for fostering the fruit dove species. It is best to switch the foster birds to the new diet before any young fruit dove species are given to them for fostering. I prefer to switch the foster birds at the time I foster the fruit dove eggs. This ensures that they will be eating the new diet when the young hatch.

If the young fruit doves need to be fostered then change the diet as soon as the young are given to the foster parents. OBSERVE that the parents are eating the new diet.


Grit will impact the fruit dove/pigeon's crop & thus cause damage and possible death.

The following diet was sent in to IDS by Crimson in Hong Kong. He is a bird fancier & collector with a growing collection of SOFTBILLED species. Check out Crimson's web site.

Soft Bill Diet

I feed all my birds; parrots, touracos, toucans, fruit doves/pigeons, broadbills, etc. the KAYTEE ORIGINAL SOFTBILLS PELLETS and fruits. I feed apples, pears, papayas, blueberries and melons. I rarely feed mixed vegetables.

I feed only a single type of fruit everyday, such a sonly apples one day, pears the next day, etc. during the weekdays. Then on the weekends I will switch between blueberries, papaya and the melons. I never feed "mixed fruits" due to time limited. The Papaya, blueberries and melons are expensive to feed.

In my experience all my birds love papaya and blueberries; but they donít like the apple and pear much. I have used several "softbilled pelleted diets" as well as the common "chicken pellet; all of my birds preferred the Kaytee Original Softbills Pellet.

I strongly recommend the Kaytee pellet to fanciers if it is within their budget.

Diet for Fruit Doves & Pigeons
John Pire

This diet, sent to me, came from an importer back in the early 1990ís. He used this diet for the fruit eating species of doves and pigeons brought into quarantine. It also contained some information about these species of Columbidae. I give my fruit eating species free choice & they consume the veggies much quicker then the diced fruits contained in the mix I feed.

The colorful fruit doves/pigeons take no seed or grain. Given free choice they will consume fruit to the exclusion of everything else, but will be healthier for a more varied diet. Some species enjoy mealworms and other small live foods, but fruit is the main item of diet for these birds. Efforts should be made to persuade them to take some insectile mixture

Diet For Fruit Doves/Pigeons

4 parts diced pear
2 parts diced apple
1 part sliced tomato
1 part sliced grape
1 part insectile mixture

as well as the above fruit mix, the diet should include a mixture of boiled rice with some soaked trout pellets and chopped egg added.

30g boiled rice
10g trout pellets
1 hard-boiled egg (chopped)

Some aviculturists use food items ranging from soaked chick crumbs to mashed banana for these birds. Often they feed avidly on these and equally unlikely things. Care must be exercised, however, in adding foods high in fats or carbohydrates. Fruit doves/pigeons are generally lethargic and unwilling to take strenuous exercise in captivity. An excess of the wrong foods will lead to obesity and death.


More Diets will be added as received. If you keep the fruit dove/pigeon species and want to share your diet contact IDS by the email link below.


 Diets for Seed-eating Species

Handfeeding Formulas