NO ONE SHOULD FEED YOUR SWANs BUT YOU !!! YOU ARE THE BEST PROTECTION AGAINST HARMFUL FOOD ITEMs being given to your Private Captive Swans.
This Female Swan died as she turned Four Years Old.
Neighbors in her Community brought their Old Bread during the warm months.
She was not fed any Proper Food by her Owners during these months.
She was found dead by the Spillway of her Pond. It was noted that her Neck was strangely twisted. (Suggesting “Limber Neck” Disease) No Necropsy was Preformed.
The Male on her Pond was found Dead – floating on the Pond when he was just Two Years Old.
When we observe the Public at large feeding any Bird Bread, my concern is how hungry the different Birds act. Are they acting like they are STARVING? …Well they likely are !!! Many kind People mean well, but do more harm then good. This is often a result of Birds being fed so much BREAD!!! Instead of providing Food Items that will truly feed the Birds’ Nutritional needs.
Generally, it is difficult to observed Weight Loss in Swans. They will become less active, probably sleeping more, and will not be able to endure much stress. A Nutritionally Weak Swan may COLLAPSE and DIE if stressed, even for a short time.
A Swan’s Body Temperature is normally 106 degrees F. Mix Bread with Water and the leftover Active Yeast will become Bread Dough in the Swan’s Gizzard. This mixture is indigestible for the Swan and may causes painful gas.
Repeated feeding of Bread will push the Good Bacteria out of the Swan’s Colon and causes Chronic Diarrhea. A large population of Yeast in the Swan’s Colon may cause the digestive process to be sluggish and create painful gas.. Without its normal Intestinal Bacteria the Swan cannot breakdown and absorb the Good Nutrients in their Proper Foods. It is like Humans given a Broad Spectrum Antibiotic which wipes out our normal Intestinal Bacteria and results in Diarrhea.
Once feeding Bread is stopped, it may take a week or so for the Good Intestinal Bacteria to become sufficent for the Diarrhea to stop… Our Veterinarian suggested we feed Probiotics Yogurt to one of our Swans when there was Yeast in his Stool. But, I could not get our Swan to eat it.. We moved him to a new Pond where the Public was unable to feed him.
In Public Parks and Waterways where the Public is allowed to feed Swans Bread freely, the Swans fed large amounts of Bread will be eating and starving to death at the same time. It is common for a more then average number of those Swans to die over the Winter. The general Public is unaware that these Swans may just be replaced the following Spring. This is one reason many place have stopped having Swans – it becomes too expensive, as well as time consuming to keep replacing them.
The Swans at Italian Lake, in Harrisburg are a good example. Years ago there were Swans gracing this Public Lake. All day long well meaning People were bringing leftover bread to feed these Swans. When the Swans showed signs of illness, it was too late to help them.. Efforts to save them failed. The City did not replace them.
In England, they are now posting signs – “DO NOT FEED SWANS BREAD”. They lose thousands of Swans to Bread Starvation every year.
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654
IF BREAD HAS MOLD:ANY Mold on old bread may cause a Swan to die within a week… Bread Mold in the slow moving digestive system of a Swan will allow time for the Dangerous Toxins excreted by some Molds to concentrate and POISON the Swan. This is very, very difficult to reverse once it is inside the Swan’s body. “Limber Neck” disease is a fatalinfectionof Botulismaffecting Birds. It ischaracterizedbyweaknessofthe neck musclesandinabilityto eat.
Old Bread laying in water during hot weather months may cause deadly Clostridia Botulism and other Pathogenic Bacteria to form.
From Dictionary.com: Veterinary Pathology – Limber Neck A fatal infection of Botulism affecting Birds, characterized by weakness of the neck muscles and inability to eat.
From Wikipedia: B. Botulinum toxin is a protein and neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It is the most acutely lethal toxin known. A Lethal Dose may occur from introduction by ingestion, intravenously, intramuscularly or when inhaled.
Botulinum toxin (BTX) can cause botulism, a serious and life-threatening illness in humans and animals.
Avian Botulism (Type A) or Limber Neck is a toxemic disease found in Poultry and Waterfowl. The early visual sign is a weak, hanging, floppy neck. Hence, the common name “Limber Neck” disease. This has been noted when Birds are repeatedly fed contaminated Human food.
The affected Birds display weakness, poor coordination, prostration, poor appetite, shallow breathing, progressing to coma and death. B. botulinus was isolated from the intestinal tract of the affected Birds.
All cases of Botulism cannot be prevented because the various strains of the bacteria that cause this disease are in soil, dust, compost piles and easily form in stagnate standing water.
Stagnate water can be dangerous for drinking because it provides a better incubator than running water for many kinds of bacteria and parasites.
Stagnate water is often contaminated with human and animal feces. Having an working Aerator circulating the water in your Pond will reduce this risk.
There is a Vaccine for C. Botulism available and used by some Swan Owners in the more Southern States. If you are interested in this Vaccine, inquire to the “Regal Swan Project.” http://www.theregalswan.com You will need to have it sent to your Veterinarian to be administered. Or ask your Avian Veterinarian about this Vaccine.
Another problem with Bread in general: Bread has Salt at levels too high for a Swans system. Salty Foods will tax and over work a Swan’s Kidneys. It may cause them excessive thirst and to retain fluids. Over time this may lead to Cardiac Overload, Congestive Heart Failure… and Death.
TREATS should be TREATS Not the Main Part of a Healthy Diet.
SAFER TREATS for SWANS
Cereals Low in Sugar & Salt with NO DYES or YEAST
Plain Cheerios, Corn Flakes, Kix, Chex, etc.
Read the Box – Product Ingredients.
PLAIN GRAHAM CRACKERs.
Apple Slices, Cucumber Slices, Carrot Peelings.
Swans LOVE most Vegetables… Healthy Treats. Swans are Vegetarians
For Captive Swan OWNERs ONLY.. During the Cold Winter Months…
In addition to a Daily Diet of Healthy Feed Mixture…
A “LITTLE” Fresh Course WHOLE GRAIN BREAD may be OK!! The Oil in Whole Grain Breads may be beneficial during Cold Weather. The extra Quick Energy Calories may help the Swans stay warm. Freeze the Loaf of Bread to prevent any Mold. One Slice per Day per Swan. My Rule – From Fall’s First Heavy Frost to Spring’s Last Frost… NO BREAD during Warm Weather Months.
This Information is a Work in Progress….. As I learn more I will add to this information.. &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&& Compiled by (C) L.M.Sweger September 2014 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
IF you are LUCKY and Cygnets Hatch to your Swans in the Spring. REMEMBER these are CAPTIVE Conditions. It is important to understand how your Swans would Care for their Cygnets in Natural, Wild Conditions. You will need to Provide some Special Feed for the Cygnets for their Healthy Development.
FEEDING SWAN CYGNETS
FEEDing Swan Cygnets – A Healthy Start. CLICK to ENLARGE Images
THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS…. It may Never be Finished. I am still Collecting, Learning and Checking on Information for this Topic. I have been Observing, Reading and Collecting the BEST General Information I can find for the Feeding of Mute Swan Cygnets. I have Checked with our Avian Veterinarians, Poultry Specialists at the PA Department of Agriculture at Harrisburg and the Folks who work in our Local Commercial Feed Store.
I Snoop through Feed Ingredient Lists on the Bags and OnLine.. Have asked Numerous Question about the Formulations of Various Brands of Commercial Feeds.. Check Reviews here and there. I am Still Checking.. when a Question is Asked.
There are many Feeding Ideas. Some make Sense and seem to be a Healthy Approaches. Then there are others… I will not suggest.
It should be Reasonable to think that Dog Food is for Dogs, Cat Food is for Cats and Horse Feed is for Horses… PLEASE DO NOT Feed these Feed Formulas to Swans.
THERE IS NO PERFECT FEED FORMULATION FOR SWANS or for their CYGNETS Prepared by any Manufacturer in the USA.
Do a SEARCH for: NON-Medicated Poultry Crumble EXAMPLE BELOW – This is One of Five Pages Listing NON-Medicated. Not all Commercial Feed Product are Available Across the Country.
You will need to do your BEST to Find and Mix Feeds for their Good Health. Some Commercial Bag Feeds are a Good Starting Product. With some Modification/Mixing they will provide a Healthy Swan Diet. NOTE: If a Swan tries to Eat TOO Fast.. The Dry Feed may get STUCK in their Esophagus and Block Swallowing. Forming a Condition called CHOKE. This could be an Emergency…
Supply Water with DRY Feed Mixtures.
Cracked or Whole CORN is NOT a Complete Diet.
It is helpful as part of a Healthy Feed Mixture.
I am sharing this with you, hoping some of this information may Benefit you and your Swans/Cygnets.
Captive Swans and their Cygnets that live on a Pond or Lake where there is Chemical or Biological Run-off of Lawn Care Products and Fertilizers to Control Weeds/Plant Growth and/or Insect Control may not be Living with Enough NATURAL Plant and Insect Variety to Ensure Proper Balanced Nutrition.
Supplemental Feed will help Round-Out the Diet for Swans and Cygnets. Well-Fed Healthy Swans are more Content, will have FEWER Health Problems.
SWANs Require a Diet, Different from Duck, Geese, Turkeys, Chicken. Their Protein Intake NEEDs to be LOWER then other Waterfowl.
ALL Swans are Vegetarians, their Basic Diet will be 80-90% Plant Based.
I see Folks Feeding “Fish Pellets.” Not Good as a Diet, maybe a few for Treats.
The Protein Value of various Fish Pellet Products may Range from 30-40%
A HIGH Protein Diet for Swans will Result in Lipidosis – a Fatal Liver Condition.
This Significantly Shortens a Swan’s Lifespan. The Female in the Koi Pond Above.. Died before Turning 4 Years Old.
Cob – The Male of a Pair of Breeding Swans: Used for the Male during the Breeding Season. With Good Health and Care may Live 25-50 Years.
Pen – During Nesting Time the Female Parent of a Clutch of Eggs. With Good Health and Care may Live 20-30 Years. Females have a Higher Mortality Rate during Nesting.
Clutch – The Eggs in the Nest.
Brood – A Group of young Birds (such as Cygnets) .. that were all Hatched at the same time.
Dam – The Female Parent of a Brood of Cygnets.
Sire – The Male Parent of a Brood of Cygnets.
Cygnet – A Young Swan from Hatching until One Year Old.
Downy Cygnet – The Stage before Feathers Grow In.
Juvenile – A Young Swan from One until Three Years Old.
Swan Cygnets are Precocial. Precocial refers to Bird Species in which the Young are relatively Mature and Mobile from the moment of Hatching. Precocial Bird Species are normally Nidifugous, meaning that they leave the Nest shortly after Hatching (24 hours). Precocial Birds Hatch with their Eyes Open. They are Covered with “Downy Feathers” that will be replaced by Feathers-Plumage. Precocial Birds can also Swim and RUN much sooner after they Hatch than other Birds.
Precocial Birds Find their own Food, sometimes with Help or Instruction from the Parents.
Many Precocial Chicks/Cygnets are not able to Thermoregulate (the ability to regulate their own body temperatures), and they depend on the attending Parent(s) to Brood them with Body Heat for a short period of time. When Spring Weather is Cold and Wet Fewer Cygnets Survive.
***** FEEDING SWAN CYGNETS *****
The Mute Swan Nest usually Matures in mid to late May.
Mute Swan Parents Normally take their Tiny Downy Cygnets to the Water 12-36 hours after the Last Cygnet has Hatched.
Just before the Swan Cygnets Hatch, their Body Absorbs any Remaining Egg Yolk Material.
The Absorbed Yolk can Sustains the Cygnet for an Average of Three Days.
After that they must leave the Nest for FOOD… Swan Parents do not Feed their Cygnets, do not bring Food to the Nest.
The Parents will Check to be sure the Cygnets are Waterproofed, Floating and Swimming Properly before taking them beyond the Water’s Edge. They will take them Further each Time they enter the Water.
During the First Few Days, the Cygnets will be kept Close to the Nest Area.
The Parents will take the Cygnets back to the Nest for Rest Periods and Naps. DO NOT Place Foods for the Cygnets or the Adults Near the Nest. You DO NOT Want to Attract Rodents or Predators while the Tiny Cygnets are Still Using the Nest.
Swan Cygnets Hatch during the Time of Year when there is Normally an Abundance of Insects along their Waterways.
The Parent Swans will take their Tiny Cygnets to Graze in Shallow Areas where there are Tender Grasses and various Young Aquatic Plants and LOTs of Aquatic Insects, Snails, Grubs, Tadpoles and Small Invertebrates.
We Rescued this 8 Week Old Cygnet.. Barely 2 Pounds. “Abigail” would not Eat.. Too Weak to Stand. It Took 10 Days of Encouraging and Fussing with Her for this Fragile Cygnet to Start to Eat Well. Finally ! While Reading, I came across a Comment.. “Cygnets Need to Learn to Eat.” Swan Cygnets MUST “Learn to Eat” and Eat Well during their First 10 Days. One Year Later “Abigail” was a Beautiful, Happy Juvenile.. Heading to Ohio.
Most Young Cygnets will Eat without Any Problem.
The Cygnet is Watching and Learning.
During the First Several Days up to Day 10, the Cygnets need a Higher Protein Diet. In a Natural Setting they will Consume many Small Insects found in their Watery Environment.
The Parent Swans will do their Best to take their Cygnets to a Location which will provide the Diet the Cygnets Need.
During the First 10 days, the Cygnets’ Protein Need is Higher then it will be for the Rest of their Lives. That is why the Insects and Underwater Critters are so Important.
The Swan Family will Swim Together in a Line with One Parent at the Front, the other Parent Watching and Protecting from the Back of the Line.
The “Dam” (Pen) may Carry some of the Young Cygnets on her Back. The Cygnets Crawl-up under her Wings and Nestle in-between and under her Wings.
Sometimes the Cygnets will Ride on their Parents’ Backs. The Swan Family will be able to Travel Quickly.
The Swan “Dam” will be VERY Hungry after Nesting for Five LONG Weeks..
She will Graze in Shallow Waters with her Cygnets where there are lots of Insects in the Aquatic Plants.
In Nature, the Tiny Cygnets Feed on the Water Surface and Depend on the Adults to Stir-up the Water around them.
The Swan Parents do not Feed their Cygnets. As the “Dam” pulls Plants to Eat, she will Dislodge many Nutrient Rich Pieces onto the Surface Water which the young Cygnets would otherwise be unable to reach.
You may see the “Dam” “Foot-Pedaling” the Water with her Feet to Stir-up the Bottom to bring Food Bits to the Surface for the Cygnets to Graze on.
Retention Ponds can be Overwhelmed with Swan Cygnet Poop. This Pond is. By Mid-Summer this Pond was Unhealthy.
If their Diet is Poor and Insufficient they may not Thrive or Survive.
Swan Cygnets have Soft-Fragile Leg Bones… Without a Diet that contains Adequate Calcium, their Legs may Bow, Twist a bit, even Break with Little Pressure. Handle Cygnets VERY Gently, Pick-up Carefully and Set Down GENTLY !
The First Week, Cygnets will Eat some finely Chopped Romaine Lettuce, finely Grated Carrot and a little Chopped Spinach Floating on the Water. Put Grains and Vegetables in Very Shallow Water. Carrots Sink.. At about a Week Old the Cygnets will Eat a little Scratch Feed (Corn-Wheat) Floated on the Water.
On their First Time on the Water, Cygnets will be able to Peck at Water Plants and Insects on their own.
Within 2 to 3 Weeks the Cygnets Start to Eat Aquatic Plants. You will see them Start to “Up-End” and Eat from below the Water’s Surface.
The Cygnets need a Diet Rich in Protein and Calcium for their First Two to Six Weeks.If you are Hand Raising Cygnets – A Sprinkle of Dried Meal Worms is a GREAT Source of Protein and a TREAT ! SO We Thought !! NO MORE.
There are Now (2021) Guidelines – NOT to Feed MealWorm. Surprise.. but it is to Keep our Waterfowl Safe. https://cluckin.net/why-is-it-illegal-to-feed-mealworms-to-chickens.html Cut and Paste to Read this WebSite.. Do a Search for Other Web Articles.
The Cygnets’ Diet will gradually change to more Plant Material.
Swans Living in Fresh Waters will Typically Eat Duckweed, Algae, Pondweed, Stonewort and Wigeon Grass, as well as Tadpoles and Insects such as Milfoil.
Swans Living in Salty Waters will typically Eat Sea Arrow Grass, Salt Marsh Grass, Eel Grass, Club Rush and Green Algae, as well as Insects and Molluscs.
When Choosing a Commercial Feed Product, It is a Good Idea to do a Search for REVIEWs, Recalls.. and other Problems the Manufacturer of these Products have had. Even Brand Names have Quality Control Failures. ASK Your Feed Supplier if they know of any Problems with Feed Products.
READ the Ingredient Labels.. Understand what is in the Formula.
I Grow-up in the 1940-60s. Food was more Basic. I Purchase these Pastry Twists.. I have for many Years.. Great with Morning Coffee. But, if I wanted to Bake this Pastry from Scratch.. I would not Find Most of these Ingredients in ANY of my Cook Books. (Sigh) What are we Eating ? My Point is: Read the Ingredient Labels. Understand what is in the Feed. IF you have any Questions about an Ingredient – Look it Up. Or Call the Company – They are Happy to Share Information.
I Enjoy Several of the Entenmann’s Pastry Treats.
&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&& In the Series of Images and Info that Follows, I have Used Images from a Variety of Years and Places.. Not all are Perfect Examples. I have Picked Images that Show what the Text is Saying.
**** Captive/Hand Raised Cygnets Need a SPECIAL DIET SCHEDULE for Their Age and Size…
If you want to Encourage the Healthy Growth of your Cygnets… Mimic what Mother Nature would Provide.
Put these Early Cygnet Foods IN or VERY Close to the Water. Check or Change any Wet Food Containers at least Twice a Day… DO NOT LET FEED SOUR. Feed/Mixture Sours QUICKLY on Warm Days. DO NOT USE METAL CONTAINER for Food Dishes. All Birds, Swans and Cygnets are Sensitive to Heavy Metal Poisoning. Cygnets will be Eating these “Baby Swan Foods” during Warm Weather.
For VERY Small Cygnets use a Low Saucer or Dish.. … Frisbees Work.
To Keep the Cygnets from Standing or Swimming in their Feed Dish.. Place a Weighted Container in the Center of the Saucer.
Mix Feed with Water to the Consistency of Thin Oatmeal.
After the First Few Weeks, Cygnets will Stop Trying to Swim in their Feed and Water Dishes.. UNLESS they have Very Little Pool Time. Take Care to keep their Food in the Shade if possible to Reduce Spoiling.
Putting their Feed in Containers that Encourage them to Stand may Help to Strengthen their Legs. Not Too High.
It is well known that Swan Cygnets tend to have Weak Leg Bones. They are Growing SO Fast.. their Bones are Stretching-Expanding-Forming. Most Birds have Bones that are Structurally Very Light. You will Need to be VERY Gentle if you want to Pick-up the Young Cygnets.
TRY NOT to Chase, or Grab them in a Way that will put Pressure on their Fragile Legs. Set them DOWN GENTLY..
Cygnets NEED to be Out in the SunShine ***When and Where Safe… Growing Bones need SunShine/Vitamin D to Prevent Rickets/Weak Bones.
The Cygnet Above is “Abigail.” Growing, Gaining Weight…STANDING. (-; ***** A Balance Commercial Feed will help Prevent Vitamin D Deficiency.
The Added Vitamins in these Feeds will Help Prevent various Health Problems.
Cygnets Need to be able to Swim/Bathe Each Day, to Clean and Preen which is NEEDed for their WaterProofing.
&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&& *** DO NOT GIVE SWAN CYGNETS *** CHICK STARTER. *** CHICK – STARTER is Perfect for Chicken Chicks.. NOT SWANS CYGNETS. Chick Starter is for Chickens.
These Commercial Feeds Contains Medication which will INCREASE SWAN CYGNET MORTALITY. These Feeds have Additives to Prevent-Suppress Coccidiosis.
Medicated Feed Chick-Starters are Formulated for Chicken Chicks to help them Combat Coccidiosis, a Parasite Disease found in the Environment. The Standard Medication added is Amprolium. Amprolium is a Preventive that helps Suppress Coccidia Oocysts until the Young Chicks’ Immunity Develops.
Coccidiosis is a Parasitic Disease of the Intestinal Tract Mucosa caused by a Coccidian Protozoa. It may Parasitize the Entire Intestinal Tract. The Disease Spreads by Contact with Infected Feces or Ingestion of Infected Tissue. Diarrhea may become Bloody in Severe Cases. Mortality is Increased..
When Coccidia Ingest Amprolium, they Experience Thiamin Deficiency and Starve from Malnutrition. While Inhibiting Thiamine Utilization by the Coccidia Parasite, it ALSO Causes Thiamine Deficiency in the Birds.
I did Searches of Various Poultry Blogs… Several Folks Raising BackYard Chicken.. Stop Using the Feeds with Amprolium after 8 Days.
With Swan Cygnets these “Chick-Starter” seem to cause Chronic Diarrhea and Malabsorption of Nutrients. Cygnets Weaken – Do Not Thrive. Rapidly Growing Cygnets Need Every Calorie and Nutrient they Eat.
Thiamine, also known as thiamin or Vitamin B1, is one of the B Vitamins. Thiamine Turns Food into Energy to Keep the Nervous System Healthy.
Thiamine is Found in Foods such as Cereals, Whole Grains, Meat, Nuts, Beans, and Peas. Thiamine is Important in the Breakdown of Carbohydrates into Nutrients Needed by the Body.
I Sent for Information to the Company who Formulate Amprolium. HUVEPHARMA Pharmaceutical Company in Bulgaria. They did not Reply.
What a COOL Building..
My Guess, is the Pharmaceutical Company has NOT Tested their Product AMPROLIUM – with Swans/Cygnets.
From Various Sources it is Generally Recommended to Supply NON-Medicated Commercial Feeds.. to Swans and Cygnets. CHECK the LYSINE VALUE… >>> Maintenance Feeds ONLY.
IF you are Unsure what Feed or Schedule to choose, CHECK with your Avian Veterinarian.. Or your STATE’s Department of Agriculture Avian/Poultry Specialists.
Your Cygnets will have a Healthier Start in Life if they get Proper Nutrition.
In the Wild, Swans would have a Range of 3 to 5 Square Miles to Seek ALL the Food Items that they Require for General Health. As the Cygnets Grow, Parents will take them to Find and Eat a Wide Variety of Natural Foods.
Captive Swan Parents will Need you to Evaluate their Environment and Supplement Nutrition to Aid Healthy Growth of their Tiny Cygnets.
Swans Enjoy Grazing on Tender Grass Blades.. NOT TOO SHORT.. When you Mow around the Water’s Edge Rotate Cutting/Not Cutting Areas. Allow some New Tender Growth for the Swans to Graze.
Fresh Cut Grass Floating on the Pond is a Welcome Treat. (Chemical Free)
Hand Raised Cygnets Love Fresh Cut Grass in a Pan of Water or their Pool. ****** It is Funny Watching the Cygnets Sucking Up the Grass. They LOVE it !
Swans will Nibble on the Flowers and Leaves of Dandelion Plants.
A Patch of Lush White Clover is a Tasty Treat.
A ONE Acre Natural Pond may have Everything they Need…
Every Situation is Different… Check there are Edible Plants.
Below is a Suggested Feed Schedule. This has Worked Well for Us.
Weights I Note are Estimates from the Cygnet Data I have Recorded. Their Inherited Genetics will Influence the Cygnets Growth and Future Size.
**The First TWO Weeks provide: *START-N-GROW* If this is available…. One 25 lbs. Bag should be Plenty for a Brood of 6-8 Cygnets for Two Weeks.
Since we were Purchasing Feed.. Chewy.com is a Great Way to Order and have Many Products Delivered.. with Orders of at Least $50.00.
It is Important to know what NORMAL Swan Poop Looks and Smells like. I can not Describe the Smell.. but it is Unique. Their Fecal Waste should be mostly Formed.. Color will Vary with their Diet. Lots of Grains.. Stools will be a Little Gritty Looking. Lots of Green Plants – Grass.. Stools will be more Greenish.. CARROTs will make the Poop Orange. Most Swans LOVE Carrots. Egg Shells for Extra Calcium will Show as White Haze on the Stool. Their Body will Excrete any Excess Calcium in their Diet.
Every Day there is ONE Very Dark, Smelly Splat of Body Waste. It looks like Tobacco Spit.. It Stinks.. Is Normal.. It does Attract Flies..ALL Body Waste is Expelled Through the Cloaca.. Including Urine. Urine is a Wet, Clear-ish Splat of Liquid with White Fleck of Urates. I hope to Find an Example as I Edit more Swan Photos I have Collected.
You Want “Maintenance” Feed – NOT Grower or Finishers.
*Crude Protein 16-18% to Mix. >> Avoid the Higher Protein Feed. *Lysine 0.75 – 1.00% >>> Avoid the Higher Lysine Feed. Ask for Crumble Feed with Lysine 1.00% or Less. A Low Level of Lysine is Important for Healthy Growth. Lysine is an amino acid (a building block of protein). The Body cannot make lysine; therefore it must be Eaten in the Diet.
**These Feed Formulas Should Contain Ca-Calcium & P-Phosphorus. These are VERY Important for the Development of Strong Bones.
Look for Feed that also Contains Vitamin A, D & E… All Promote Healthy Development.
** IF this is Unavailable Try for the Closest Formulation. Ask your Feed Representative for Help Selecting the Closest Match.
*** Hand Raised Cygnets Need a Supply of Fine Grit.. (Fine Play Sand Sprinkled into the Wet Crumble.) Add about a Teaspoon to each Quart of Feed.
When Mute Cygnets Hatch their Average Weight is 9 to 12 Ounces. Tiny FuzzBalls.
For the First One – Two Weeks: Place the “START-N-GROW”/ or Crumble in a Shallow Pan. Add Enough Fresh Water to Cover. It should look like Wet Oatmeal.
****** ** If Possible Place in a Cool Shaded Location in Shallow Water. Use some type of Clean Stone on One Side of the Pan to Prevent the Pan from Floating Out into the Water out of your Reach.
On Days when the Temperature is over 65 degrees you may Need to Clean and Change the Feed Pan at Least Twice.
***DO NOT LET THE FEED SOUR.. SMELL STRONG or START TO BUBBLE. ***Change IMMEDIATELY.
Sprinkle Feed Pan with Finely Chopped Romaine/Dark Curly Leaf Lettuces, Spinach. Dark Greens are Good for them until they are able to Graze for themselves.
If the Cygnets are on your Pond or Lake – You might try Tossing Small Amounts of their Feed onto Clean Shallow Water several Times a Day, so they can Swallow Water with the Feed.
Feeding Swans on the Ground is Environmentally Unsound and Encourages Swans/Cygnets to Leave the Water whenever they see People. This may bring them into Harms Way from Cars, Lawn Mowers, Dogs, Predators, People, etc. >>>> Swans are *Safest* in their Water.
WASH Cat Litter Buckets WELL ! Secure the Handle.. Put in Back. Cut the Opening Lower or Higher for Cygnets Size.
Placing Swan’s Feed on the Ground Increases their Exposure to Disease – Parasites, Bacteria, Molds and Fungus, etc… Always place Feed in a Clean Container or in Shallow Water. DO NOT Allow the Feed to Accumulate, Smell Sour/Spoil or Mildew …
********************* Continue Providing “START-N-Grow” or Change to a Poultry Crumble. Week Two: Add Small Amounts of Cracked Corn/Wheat Scratch 10%.
A REPEAT NOTE: If a Swan tries to Eat TOO Fast.. The Dry Feed may get STUCK in their Esophagus and Block Swallowing. Forming a Condition called CHOKE. This could be an Emergency…
Supply Water with DRY Feed Mixtures.
Week Three: Increase – a little more “Scratch” 20%.
Week Four: Add a little more “Scratch” 30%. – Watch to see what the Cygnets are Eating.
By Five Weeks Mute Swan Cygnets will Weigh appx. 3-4-5 Pounds.
By Six Weeks Mute Swan Cygnets will Weigh appx. 4-5-6 Pounds.
By Seven Weeks Mute Swan Cygnets will Weigh appx. 5-6-7 Pounds.
The Average Weight Gains I have Observed are: The Males Gain about 16 Ounces Per Week. The Females Gain about 12 Ounces Per Week.
Occasional the Females are Larger then the Males of the Same Brood. Size is not a Good Way to Determine their Sex.. It is Just Guessing. The Cygnets below are an Example: The Larger Royal Cygnet is FEMALE. The Two Smaller Polish Cygnets are MALE.. We do Not Guess.. We DNA.
Month Two: “START-N-GROW” or Crumble or Sweet All Stock 50-60% + Scratch 40%
****************** By Eight Weeks Mute Swan Cygnets will Weigh appx. 8-10-12+ Pounds.
Their first True Feathers will Start to Grown In.. !!! Cute Stage. The Cygnets look like they are Wearing Shaggy Fur Shoulder Stoles.
By Nine Weeks Mute Swan Cygnets will Weigh appx. 10-12-14 Pounds.
Month Three: Depends on What Feeds you have Available.
ALWAYS REQUEST NON-MEDICATED FEEDs
A Basic Feed like Sweet All Stock 50% OR All Grain Poultry *Maintainer 50% OR Mazuri Waterfowl Floating Pellets 50% Most Healthy Mute Cygnets do OK with WET Shell Corn.. 10% Crimped or Rolled Oats (Feed Bags) Great for Treats.. 10% of Diet. I would Not Use the Sweet Oats because of the Higher Sugar Value.
We “were” Using Southern States Floating Waterfowl Pellets. This Product Line was Sold.. Now it Varies.. Barely Floats.. Shame. We, Along with Most Swan Folks I know have Stopped Using this Feed.
We are ALL going Back to Mazuri. Mazuri Feed is Also Available through Chewy.com – DELIVERED !
ADD Scratch 40% – Whole Dried Shelled Corn 10% During the HOT Summer Months, Bag Corn and Grain Hatch Tiny Weevils. We might Not be Using these Bag Feeds as Quickly. There are Wheat and Corn Weevils.. They are Harmless.. Wheat Weevils FLY… Corn Weevils Do Not.. they Crawl..
The Weevil Eggs are Present in the Grains.. and Hatch in WARM Conditions. The Cygnets, Ducks, Geese and BIRDs.. Love these Tiny Insects.. I have Given these to our Swans when there is NOT a Large Infestation.
ANY DAMPNESS or Mildew or MOLD.. DISCARD.. DO NOT USE !!! DISCARD Feeds if Mice, Rats, Rodents have Raided Stored Feed.
An Aut-O-Dine in Shallow Water adjusted for Growing Cygnets. The Floating Pellets allow for Grazing – Good Usage.. Some of the Whole Corn will Sink, Soften and be Eaten Later.
By Twelve Weeks Mute Swan Cygnets will Weigh appx. 10-12-15+ Pounds.
At this Stage the Cygnets will be Eating the Floating Pellets that the Adult Swans are Eating. Provide Scratch, Some Shell Corn and Vegetables to keep the Diet Protein Value Reduced..
Allow their Kidde Pool Water to Become a Little Soiled.. They NEED the Bacteria for their Gut.. to Aid Digestion.. Sounds Gross, but it Works. Pond / Lake Water is Dirty.. Public & Well Water in Kidde Pools – TOO Clean. Early on, we had a Terrible Time with the Various Cygnets DIGGING Holes in the Lawn.. Any Place the Grass was WET ! The Cygnets had their Beaks in the Dirt Digging and Sucking Up the MUD ! YUCK..
Once a Week I had to Fill-in the Holes with Soil.. Silly Cygnets.
I Finally, Realized this was an Instinct.. They Swans Wanted the Dirt – they Wanted to Micro-Organisms in our Soil. ****************** Month Four: Same as Month Three – This Feed Mixture-Diet is Good for the Rest of the First Year. Keep the Protein Value between 6-8-10%. Adequate Greens and Plant Materials will help keep the Protein Level down.
There are various Commercial Feeds that will be a Good Start to a Healthy Diet for Swans. Whether you have Extruded Pellets, Crumble or Floating Pellets available you will need to Prepare the Feed Mixture for your Environment.
Male Mute Swan Cygnet Five Months Old.
We had One Hand Raised Male Cygnet that was 24 Pounds at 5 Months ! He will be Eight Years Old in the Spring of 2021.
Male Mute Swan Cygnet Six Months Old.
Mute Swan Cygnets Seven Months Old.
Healthy Mute Cygnets will do Well Outside during the Winter.
Male Mute Swan Cygnet Nine Months Old.
By One Year Healthy Mute Swan Cygnets will Weigh approximately 20-26 Pounds.
By Two Years Mute Swan Juveniles will gain another 2-3 Pounds
A PROPER Diet will help Minimize Weak Bone Problems, “Angel Wing” and InternalOrgan Damage.
An Improper Diet will Weaken and May Shorten a Swan’s Life.
If the Feed you use is Low in Calcium.. You can Add some Crushed BOILED Egg Shells.
One Tablespoon Mixed into 15-20 Pounds of Feed Mixture.
You can Purchase Commercial Crushed Oyster Shell (Calcium).. Add as Directed. Oyster Shell Poultry Treats provide a Good Source of Calcium to Aid Bone Strength and Sound Eggshells for your Adult Pens. The Commercial Oyster Shell Poultry Treats are Heat-Treated for Purity.
Generally you can not Over-Feed a Swan – they Self-Regulate. (There are Exceptions.. There are NO 100% Rules to Swan Behavior.) Swans are not Greedy Creatures and will only Eat what they Need. Over Weight Birds would not be Able to Fly.. Swans Evolved to Fly.
Swans DO Establish a “Pecking Order.” The Dominant Cygnets will Prevent the Submissive Cygnets from Eating if there is Insufficient Food Available.
In Large Broods, there is Frequently One Cygnet that is Too Submissive.
The Larger Cygnets are “Pushy” when Eating.. The Smaller Cygnet gets Crowded OUT !! *****The Smaller Cygnets gets to Eat Easily when Foods are on the Water. ********** ***** You are providing Adequate Food, if there is a Small Amount left in their Feed Containers after 24 Hours.
Keep in mind there May be other Birds or Animals, Rodents Eating the Swans’ Feed. Adjust to be sure the Swans get Enough for themselves.
If there are Rodents or Wild Birds Eating their Feed… BE CONCERNED…
Rodent Saliva and Waste can Carry Fatal Diseases. One being Avian Cholera. Another is Duck Viral Enteritis.. from Migrating Ducks.
In the Winter, Natural Food in the Pond Water will become SCARCE. In Central Pennsylvania from Halloween to St. Patrick’s Day… there is VERY little Nature Food for Swans to Eat. The “Cob” may Drive-off his Young Cygnets to Fend for themselves.
Doing this, he and his Female will have a Better Chance of Surviving until Spring.
Providing Supplemental Feed will Help Prevent this.
When Food is Adequate the Adult Swan Pair will be more likely to keep their Young with them until the Adults are Ready to Breed again the next Spring.
August is a Good Time to Submit DNA Samples for Sex Determination.
It is a GOOD Plan to have New Homes Ready for Surviving Cygnets by the Middle of September when they are 4 Months Old. (16-26 Weeks) We have Found it is BEST to have all Cygnets Rehomed by Thanksgiving. They MUST be Moved to New Homes by 8-10 Months of Age.
The Parent Swans will Start to “Drive-off” their Cygnets as their Mating Hormones Start to Increase in late January-February… The Chasing will CHANGE to Attacks if the Cygnets Do Not Leave.
Time to say “Good-bye and Good Luck” to the 2011 Cygnets at Reddish Vale Country Park, the Cygnets hatched in June 2011, three out of four survived, their Parents are now ready to nest and they have to chase their Cygnets away.
Reddish Vale is a loosely defined area in the Tame Valley close to Reddish in the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport, Greater Manchester, England. www.reddishvalecountrypark.com *******************************
Pinioned Cygnets are unable to Fly-Off.. They NEED to be MOVED to a New Home. The Adults will INCREASE the Attacks until they Injury or KILL their Cygnets. Injuries will often Result in Crippling the Cygnets. Injured Cygnets will Suffer – Increased Risk of Dying. Even their Siblings will Start to Pick on the Injured Cygnets.. They become Helpless.
The Young Cygnet Above had her Hip Ligament Damaged by an Adult Pen. She was Unable to Walk.. Even after Months of Rest her Future was Sealed.
Normally, in Countries where Swans live “Wild and Free” the Cygnets find their way to Non-Breeding Flocks ( Juveniles 1-3 years old). They will Live with these “Juvenile Groups” for Several Years and Eventually Choose a Mate. The Young Adult Pairs will leave the Juvenile Group to Find their own Breeding Territory.
&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&& Information Compiled by (C) Linda M.Sweger >>> UpDated MARCH 2021 I LOVE Swans. I am Learning all the Time… PA SwanLover Linda
I will do my Best to Seek and Share Good General Information about Swans. ************ Spending Time Feeding your Swans and their Cygnets will Socialize them. ******
Trust and Treats.. ********************************************** The Book I like the Best for Anyone New to Swan Care is: The Swan Keeper’s Handbook. Complied by the Veterinarians at the Regal Swan Project in Florida It is a Good General/Basic Overview of Swan Care…
The Regal Swan has Published another Book about: SWANS of the World Habitats This Book can be Ordered through their Regal Swan WebSite
After Working with Swans for Years I do have ONE Thing to Say: “Swan DO NOT Read the Books Written About Them.” There are NO 100% Rules with Swans.. They Surprise Us ALL the TIME. ********************************************** The WebSites Below have a Wealth of General Information about Swans. You can Send them Questions by EMail.. and they will Reply. ********************************************** The Regal Swan WebSite Florida
https://www.facebook.com/The-Regal-Swan-Foundation-Inc-128553688262/ EMail Bolin.S@att.net ********************************************* The Swan Sanctuary in England Links below may have Changed.
Call these Folks if you FIND a Wild Trumpeter or Tundra Swan that is Injured and Needs Help. The General Public MAY NOT Legally Care for a Wild Trumpeter or Tundra Swan.
If you have a Wild Bird Rehabilitation Person near you, try calling them first. They may be able to Provide Immediate Help, Help to Capture, Evaluate Injuries or Medical Needs.
Folks who are Licensed to Rehabilitate will Try to Advise to Help Save all Animals and Birds. *************************************************
It is a Good Idea to Know an Avian Veterinarian in your Area Familiar with Swans. ************************************************* Your STATE should have a Department of Agriculture to Assist you. Check their Location and Phone Numbers – being Prepared is a Good Plan. Your State Department of Agriculture can be Helpful with Pond Environment Problems and Suggestions for Who to Contact.
&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&& This is our “Meadow” at 2 Days Old.. July 15, 2020 he is 11 Years Old. We can not Visit.. because of Covid-19.
I Hope this Information is Helpful and ALL your Cygnets do Well. (-; Linda
The Young Male Below has Adopted these Rescued Mixed Brood Cygnets.
A Fun Week “Cygnet Sitting” with these Rescued Cygnets.