Frequently Asked Questions
1.Do the doves really return home?
All of our doves undergo many months of intensive training to allow them to navigate home once they are released at your advent. Cousin to the homing pigeon, it would appear they use many senses to navigate. Their ability to home depends on their breeding, excellent health and a knowledgeable trainer. Our more experienced, older doves can travel a distance of upto 150 miles but we only fly out doves upto 50 miles at speeds between 35mph 75mph all the way home!
2. Where do the doves live?
In purpose built modern lofts divided into sections for nursery birds, yearlings, 2 year olds and over. They are fed a diet according to their work and training schedule, pretty much the same as a top athlete.
3. Will the doves mess on my dress or guests?
It is highly unlikely, doves like to perch before they mess - in flight or just before take off a dove's instinct to fly is prevalent.
4. At what point during the occasion should the birds be released?
This is entirely up to you and your official photographer.There can be a lot of creativity in the timing and location of your dove release. We will endeavour to accomodate your ideas.
5. What time of day is best for a release?
most popular time to release your doves is after the ceremony with
your guests gathered around. The specific time of the day is very
flexible, but we must allow the doves enough time to return home before
dusk. We will advise you of this at the enquiry stage.
6. How do the doves arrive at my chosen venue?
The doves are transported in travelling compartments which have been recommended by the Royal Pigeon Racing Association. The welfare of our doves is paramount to us. It is essential you are as accurate about the booking time as possible.On arrival we will ascertain whether your wedding schedule is running to plan.
7. Why use us?
We have had many years of experience looking after and caring for birds and our knowledge of how to achieve the best dove releases is extensive.
8. Are they pigeons, or are they doves?
The common pigeon is actually a type of dove known as the "Rock Dove". So technically speaking, the birds used in releases are doves. However, there is a huge difference between the birds used in releases and regular doves.These birds have been bred for generations for their ability to fly home from distances of up to 150+ miles. Beware of unethical businesses that use the smaller white doves for release. These are the doves you will often find in pet stores for under £10. Not only can they not find their way home, they cannot really fly more that a few feet! Any bird other than a special bred white dove will die when released into the wild, including white pigeons purchased from set shops/farms.
9. My wedding is scheduled for 8:00pm, is that too late?
Basically, yes. Anyone that tells you it's "okay" to release at night should be viewed with caution! How late the birds should be released depends on the distance of the event and the home loft location. Well trained birds can fly at 55-60 mph and should be given adequate time to return home before darkness. They do not see well in the dark and need adequate light for flight, otherwise injuries are likely. The birds do not like to fly in the dark, will produce a very unappealing looking "release" if forced out at night (they actually will not want to come out of their baskets). Provided there is adequate natural lighting at the moment of release, the birds should be given time to return home, or at the very least enough light to sit down somewhere for the night. The birds should NEVER be released in the dark!
10. What about bad weather?
The birds should NEVER be released in foul weather! A quality release company will not want their birds released under such conditions and should have this stipulation mentioned in their contract. They will also return deposits and balances under such circumstances. Make sure to check for this!
11. How far can they fly?
Well trained,quality doves have a range of anywhere between 100 to 1500 miles, depending on many variable factors such as weather, stock quality,etc. While further distances are possible, this would be for only for exceptional specimines. The key here is well trained quality stock, which is not all that common. While it will be hard for the layman to know the difference.Releases within 50 miles are generally safe provided good birds are used. Beware of anyone offering to ship birds to you for self release at exceptional distances! The likelyhood every bird returning home is remote!
12. Can I release them myself, or is it better to have a release coordinator?
While it is possible for anyone to "open" a box and let the birds go, having an experienced professional who is good at what they do at your event will very much enhance the most special day of your life. There is much more to this than simply showing up and opening the lid.... there is an "art" to it. Only experienced professionals understand bird behavior, timing, and what it take seperate the "ho hum" release from the phenominal release!
13. DIY dove releases Don't try this yourself!
We understand that some wedding parties and bereaved families have obtained and released untrained doves in an attempt to save on costs.These doves will not normally leave the venue and will make a nuisance of themselves and may have to ultimately be destroyed. Or they will not be accustomed to surviving in the wild.
14.I have decide to use someone else
There are other dove release people/firms who use untrained/trained birds. Should you decide not to use Doves R Us please be absolutely sure that you do your homework for your own pease of mind and ultimately for the welfare of the birds.