The haematology, plasma biochemistry and erythrocyte osmotic fragility of the Nigerian laughing dove ( Streptopelia senegalensis
) were studied after 4 and 8 weeks in captivity. At 8 weeks, there was a normocytic hypochromic anaemia characterized by reduced values for packed cell volume (PCV), red blood cell count (RBC), haemoglobin (Hb) concentration, mean corpuscular haemoglobin (MCH) and mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration (MCHC), but the mean corpuscular volume (MCV) was unaltered compared with the corresponding values at 4 weeks. The platelet count, total white blood cell count, heterophil, lymphocyte and monocyte counts were also lower at 8 weeks than those of the birds sampled at 4 weeks in captivity. There was also a stress induced increased heterophil/lymphocyte ratio and the erythrocytes were more fragile in hypotonic solution in birds sampled at 8 weeks. Plasma aspartate transaminase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and alkaline phosphate (ALP) increased at 8 weeks, though non-significantly, which might have been due to muscle wasting consequent upon decreased muscular activities associated with prolonged captivity. The results suggest that maintaining wild birds in captivity for a prolonged period could be stressful as shown by the heterophil/lymphocytes ratio and reduced erythrocyte osmotic resistance, and could lead to decreases in erythrocyte parameters and muscle wasting.