A site dedicated to the proper care and general information of mute swans

BREAD is a “NO – NO” for Swans

August 17th, 2014 | Posted by LadyNerkle1 in BREAD is a "NO - NO" for Swans - (Comments Off on BREAD is a “NO – NO” for Swans)



SWAN Bread
being given to your Private Captive  Swans.


NO Bread

This Female Swan died as she turned Four Years Old.

No Bread for Swans

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.

NO Bread


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.

NO Bread

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.

Beauty of Birds

NO Bread










10 Reasons Why FeedingWaterfowl is Harmful.

New York State – Department of Environmental Conservation Article http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7001.html                                     2014

WildCare Article 2012

SWAN TOO Much Bread

FOR SWANS fed Bread
This is what happens:

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.

No Bread

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.

NO Bread








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.

News BBC UK Coventry & Warwickshire
White Bread causes harm to Waterfowl

UK DO NOT Feed Swans Bread

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 fatal infection of Botulism affecting Birds.  It is characterized by weakness of the neck muscles and inability to eat.

Old Bread laying in water during hot weather months may cause deadly Clostridia Botulism and other Pathogenic Bacteria to form.

Wikipedia – Clostridium botuliinum               http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clostridium_botulinum

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.

Swan Bread Stopped


Swan Bread Stopped

SWAN Bread


Not the Main Part of a Healthy Diet.


Cereals Low in Sugar & Salt with NO DYES or YEAST 

Plain Cheerios, Corn Flakes, Kix, Chex, etc. 

Read the Box – Product Ingredients.

SWAN Treats


Swan Treats

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

Feeding Swan Cygnets

August 5th, 2014 | Posted by LadyNerkle1 in Feeding Swan Cygnets - (Comments Off on Feeding Swan Cygnets)

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 

Mute Swan Cygnets

 FEEDing Swan Cygnets – A Healthy Start.

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.

There are many 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.

prepared by any Manufacturer in the USA.

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.Swan Cygnet
SWAN Esophagus-FoodNOTE: 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.

SWAN Feed SS Corn

I am sharing this with you, hoping some of this information may benefit you and your Swans/Cygnets.

Golf Course Grounds

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.Swan Cygnets

Supplemental Feed will help Round-Out the Swans’ and Cygnets’ Diet.
Well-Fed Healthy Swans are more content, will have FEWER Health Problems.Mute Swans Feeding

SWANs require a Diet, different from Duck, Geese, Turkeys, Chicken.
Their Protein intake needs to be lower then what other Waterfowl require.

Feeding Cygnets

ALL Swans are Vegetarians, their basic diet will be 80-90% Plant based.Feed Swan Cygnet

Swans Fresh Grass

I see Folks Feeding “Fish Pellets” – Not good as a Diet – Maybe a few for Treats.

Feeding Fish Pellets

The Protein value of various Fish Pellet Products may range from 30-40%

A HIGH Protein Diet will result in Lipidosis
– a Fatal Liver Condition.

This significantly shortens a Swan’s Lifespan.


A Few Swan Keeping Terms…

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.Mute Swan Clutch Eggs

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 Swan Cygnet

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.

Cygnets are Precocial

Precocial Birds find their own food, sometimes with help or instruction from the Parents.Swan Cygnet

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.



Swans with Cygnets

The Mute Swan Nest usually Matures in mid to late May.Swan Cygnet

Mute Swan Parents normally take their tiny Downy Cygnets to the Water 12-36 hours after the last Cygnet has hatched.

Swan Eggs Hatching

Just before the Swan Cygnets hatch, their body absorbs any remaining Egg Yolk material.

The absorbed Yolk can sustains them for an average of three Days.

After that they must leave the Nest for FOOD…
The Swan Parents do not feed their Cygnets.

Cygnet WaterProof

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.

Cygnet NapTime

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.

Swan Cygnets eat Water Insects

Swan Cygnets hatch during the time of year when there is normally an abundance of Insects along their Waterways.

Feeding Cygnets

Feeding Swan Cygnets

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 and other small invertebrates.

Feeding CygnetsFeeding Cygnets

Cygnets Grazing

Swan Cygnets MUST “learn to eat” and eat well during their first 10 days.

Cygnets Learn to EatFeed Swan CygnetFeed Swan Cygnet The Cygnet is Watching and Learning.

Feeding Swan Cygnets

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.

Mute Swan Cygnets

The Parent Swans will do their best to take their Cygnets to a location which will provide the Diet the Cygnets need.

Feeding Swan Cygnets

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.

Swan Family

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.

Cygnet on Back

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.

Cygnet Riding on Back

Some times 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..

Swans Feeding

She will graze in shallow Waters with her Cygnets where there are lots of Insects in the Aquatic Plants.Swan Cygnet

In Nature, the tiny Cygnets feed on the Water’s surface and depend on the Adults to stir up the Water around them.Swan Cygnets

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.

Feeding Cygnets

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.

Swans Guarding CygnetsOne Parent will always be on guard as the Cygnets eat.

Cygnets Grow Fast

The tiny Swan Cygnets grow very quickly…
Adequate Food is important the first year as their Bodies develop.

The First Three Month, Cygnet are Eating Machines.

Feeding Swan CygnetsThey Eat and POOP..  Eat and Poop…  Lots of Poop.

Mute Swan Cygnet Poop

If their Diet is poor and insufficient they may not survive.

Swan Cygnets Fragile Legs

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 the Cygnets very gently… Pick-up Carefully… Set Down GENTLY ! 

SWAN Spinach Nutrition

The First Week, Cygnets will eat some finely Chopped Romaine Lettuce, finely Grated Carrot and a little Chopped Spinach floating on the Water.  Swan CygnetAt about a Week Old the Cygnets will eat a little Scratch Feed (Corn-Wheat) floated on the Water.Swan Cygnets

Soon, the Cygnets will be able to peck at Water Plants and Insects on their own.

Feeding Swan CygnetsWithin 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.

Swan Cygnet Up-Ending

The Cygnets need a diet rich in Protein and Calcium for their first two to six weeks.Feed Swan CygnetIf you are Hand Raising Cygnets – A Sprinkle of Dried Meal Worms is a GREAT Source of Protein and a TREAT !

The Cygnets’ Diet will gradually change to more Plant Material.

Mute Swans Grazing

Swans living in Fresh Waters will typically eat pondweed, stonewort and wigeon grass, as well as tadpoles and insects such as milfoil.
Mute Swan FamilyOcean Salt Water Swan

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.

**** Captive/Hand Raised Cygnets need a SPECIAL DIET SCHEDULE  for Their Age and Size…Feeding Swan Cygnets

If you want to increase the Healthy Growth of your Cygnets…Feeding Swan Cygnets

Put these early Cygnet Foods in or VERY close to the Water.
Check or Change any Wet Food Containers at least twice a day…Feed Swan Cygnets
Feed/Mixture Sours quickly on Warm Days.
Cygnets will be eating these “Baby Swan Foods” during Warm Weather.

For VERY Small Cygnets use a Low Saucer or Dish.. Cygnet Saucer Feeder

To Keep the Cygnets from Standing or Swimming in their Feed Dish.. place a Weighted Container in the Center of the Saucer. Cygnet Saucer Feeder

Mix Feed with Water to the Consistency of Thin Oatmeal.
Feeding Cygnets

Take care to keep their Food in the Shade if possible to reduce Spoiling.
Feeding Cygnets

Putting their Feed in Containers that encourage them to stand may help to strengthen their legs. Not Too High.

Feed Cygnets Standing

It is well know that Swan Cygnet tend to have weak Leg Bones. 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…

Swan Cygnets

Cygnets need to be out in the SunShine ***when and where safe… Growing Bones need SunShine/Vitamin D to prevent Rickets/weak Bones.

Mute Swan Cygnet

Proper Commercial Feed will help. They Prevent Vitamin D Deficiency.  The Added Vitamins in these Feeds will help prevent various Health Problems.Swan Cygnet

Cygnets need to be able to Swim/Wash each day, to Clean and to Preen which is needed for their WaterProofing.

Growing Cygnets


These Commercial Feeds contains Antibiotics which will  INCREASE SWAN CYGNET MORTALITY.
The Antibiotic reduces the Natural Bacteria in their Gut.
This will cause Chronic Diarrhea and Malabsorption of Nutrients

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.Swan Cygnet Feed

Your Cygnets will have a healthier start in life if they get proper Nutrition.
Growing Cygnets

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, these Parents will take them to find and eat a wide variety of Natural Foods.

Feral Mute Swan Family

Captive Swan Parents will need you to evaluate their environment and supplement nutrition to aid healthy growth of their Tiny Cygnets.

Mute Swan Family Grazing

Swans enjoy grazing on tender grass blades.. not too short..  When you Mow around the Water’s Edge, try not to cut your Lawn so short.  Allow some new tender growth for the Swans to Graze.

Swans Eat Grass

Fresh Cut Grass floating on the Pond is a Welcome Treat.
(Chemical Free)
Swan Cut GrassSwan Cut Grass

Dandelion Plant

Swans will nibble on the Flowers and Leaves of Dandelion Plants.

A Patch of lush Clover is a Tasty Treat.

Lawn White Clover

Natural Swan Pond
A ONE Acre Natural Pond
may have everything they need…              Country Swan Pond

Every situation is different…

Natural Creek

Pond Plants&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

Below is a Suggested Feed Schedule.

**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.




SWAN Cygnet Start-N-Grow

********** OR a good alternative is:

Crumble (Specialty Poultry Feed) ****UNMEDICATED….

*Crude Protein 16-18% Avoid the Higher Protein Feed.
*Lysine 0.75% Avoid the Higher Lysine Feed.
Ask for Crumble Feed with Lysine LESS then 1.0%

**These Feed Formulas contain Ca-Calcium & P-Phosphorus
This is 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.

SWAN Cygnets Crumble Compare

*** 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.

For the first One – Two Weeks:
Place the “START-N-GROW”/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.

Feeding Cygnets

On Days when the Temperature is over 65 degrees
you may need to clean and change the Feed Pan at least twice.


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.

Feeding Swan Cygnets

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

Feeding Swans on the Ground is Environmentally
Unsound and Encourages the 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.

Kitty Litter Feeder

Cut the Opening Lower or Higher for Cygnets Size.

Kitty Litter FeederPlacing a Swan’s Feed on the Ground increased 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 …

Feeding Swan Cygnets

Continue Providing the “START-N-Grow” or Crumble Feed
Week Two: Add small amounts of Cracked Corn/Wheat “Scratch” 10%.

Two Grain ScratchSWAN Esophagus-Food

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.

Cygnets Three Weeks Old

Week Three: Increase – a little more “Scratch” 20%.

Cygnets Four Weeks Old

Week Four: Add a little more “Scratch” 30%.
– Watch to see what the Cygnets are eating.

Cygnets Five Weeks Old

By Five Weeks Mute Swan Cygnets will weigh appx. 4-5 Pounds.

By Six Weeks Mute Swan Cygnets will weigh appx. 5 Pounds.

Cygnets Six Weeks Old

By Seven Weeks Mute Swan Cygnets will weigh appx. 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.

Cygnets Eight Weeks Old

Month Two:

“START-N-GROW”/Crumble 50%  Sweet All Stock 20%
– Scratch 30%


By Eight Weeks Mute Swan Cygnets will weigh appx. 8-10 Pounds.

Cygnets Two Months Old

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 Pounds.

Month Three:   Depends on What you have Available


A Basic Feed like     Sweet All Stock 50%
OR All Grain Poultry *Maintainer 50%
OR Southern States 18% Waterfowl Floating Pellets 50%
We have Switched to this Product. Less Waste-Better Price.Southern States 18% WaterFowl Pellets

ADD Scratch 40% – Whole Dried Corn 10%

An Aut-O-Dine in Shallow Water adjusted for Growing Cygnets.
The Floating Pellets Float for Good Usage..
Feeding CygnetsSome of the Whole Corn will Sink, Soften and be Eaten Later.
Cygnet Whole Corn


SWAN Feed Alternate
Mute Swan Cygnets 11 Weeks Old

By Twelve Weeks Mute Swan Cygnets will weigh appx. 12-15 Pounds.

Swan CygnetAt This Stage the Cygnets should be able to Eat the Floating Pellets that the Adult Swans are Eating.  Provide Scratch and Vegetables to keep the Diet Protein Value Reduced..

Feeding Cygnets
Swan Cygnets Eat Vegetables

Month Four: Same as Month Three –
This Feed Mixture is good for the rest of the First Year.
Keep the Protein value between 6-8%
Feeding Cygnets
Swan FamilyAdequate 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.

Cygnet Five Months Old

Male Mute Swan Cygnet Five Months Old.

Mute Swan Cygnet 6 Months Old



                   Male Mute Swan Cygnet Six Months Old.                Feeding Cygnets                  Mute Swan Cygnets Seven Months Old. 

Cygnets Seven Months Old

Male Mute Swan Cygnet Nine Months Old. 

Mute Cygnet Nine Months Old

By One Year
Healthy Mute Swan Cygnets will weigh approximately 20-26 Pounds.

Mute Cygnet One Year Old

By Two Years     
Mute Swan Juveniles will gain another 2-3 Pounds

Mute Swan Two Years Old

A PROPER Diet will help minimize Weak Bone Problems, “Angel Wing” and internal Organ Damage.

An Improper Diet will shorten a Swan’s Life.

If the Feed you use is low in Calcium.. You can add some Crushed BOILED Egg Shells.

SWANs EggShell Calcium

One Tablespoon Mixed into 15 Pounds of Feed Mixture.

You can not Over-Feed a Swan – they Self-Regulate.
Swans are not greedy Creatures and will only eat what they need.

Swans do establish a “Pecking Order.”    
The Dominate Cygnets will prevent the Submissive Cygnets from eating if there is Insufficient Food Available.
You are providing adequate Food, if there is a small amount left in their Container after 24 hours.

Cygnet Pecking Order

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 eating their Feed…

Rodent Saliva and Waste can carry Fatal Diseases.
One being Avian Cholera



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.

It is a GOOD Plan to have New Homes ready for Surviving Cygnet by the middle of November when they are 6 months old. They MUST be moved to new Homes by 8-10 months of age.

Mute Swan Cygnets 10 Months Old

The Parent Swans will start to “Drive-off” their Cygnet as their Mating Hormonal start to increase in late January-February… The chasing will change to attacks if the Cygnets do not leave.

Mute Swans Chasing Their Cygnets Away
Published on Apr 6, 2012 Video takes a Long time to Load.

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.

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 which often results in the Cygnets suffering and dying.
Even their Siblings will start to pick on the injured Cygnets..  They become helpless.

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.

Swans New Territory

This is a WORK in Progress                     UpDated  September 2016
Information Compiled by (C) Linda M.Sweger

I LOVE Swans.  I am learning all the time… Linda
StarBug@Comcast.net     (717) 732-6216SWANLovers Info

I will do my best to seek good general Information about Swans.
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 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


EMail Bolin.S@att.net

The Swan of  Stanley Park Vancouver Canada



The Swan Sanctuary in England



From the Swan Sanctuary in the UK


Knox Swan and Dog  – Bob Knox

Canadian Geese Control & Sales
The Trumpeter Swan Society


Mailing Address:    The Trumpeter Swan Society

12615 County Road 9, Plymouth, Minnesota 55441-1248 U.S.A.

Contact Information: Phone: 763-694-7851 Fax: 763-557-4943
E-mail: ttss@trumpeterswansociety.org
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture
Avian Diagnostician (717) 787-4737 General Number
PA Veterinary Laboratory
2301 North Cameron Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9408
2305 North Cameron Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9408


Phone (717) 787-8808 Ext.212 FAX (717) 772-3895

Penn State – New Bolton Center for Large Animals
382 West Street Road 1(814) 863-1983
Kennett Square, PA 19348 Ask for Avian Specialists


Tri-State Bird Rescue        (302) 737-9543

170 Possum Hollow Rd, Newark, DE 19711

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.

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 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.


I hope this information is helpful… and ALL your Cygnets do well.  (-; Linda

This Information is a Work in Progress…..
As I learn more I will add to this information..
Compiled by (C) L.M.Sweger               September  2016
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Common Swan Predators

August 3rd, 2014 | Posted by LadyNerkle1 in Common Swan Predators - (Comments Off on Common Swan Predators)

    One of the Main Reasons Swans are Lost is
to Predators that move about near their Ponds or Lakes.
It can be a Challenge to keep your Swans Safe
ALL the Time.   

The Information for this Page is being Organized.
Click Images to Enlarge


There are Many…

Swan Snapping Turtle


Red-tailed Hawks
Sit up High and Watch for Fuzzy Prey.

Red-tailed Hawk









Red-Tailed Hawk





NIGHT Owls… are Silent Predators of Young Waterfowl.

No Photos Available..


   Another that will Take Young Cygnets and Ducklings…

            Great Blue Herons

Great Blue HeronGreat Blue Heron


German Shepherd
 UK Swan Attacked by DogDog Swan


Domestic and Feral CATs.

Tiny Cygnet act like Play Toys.

Swan Cat


will Steal Swan Eggs and Kill Cygnets and Swans.
Raccoon Swan
Raccoon Swan

Raccoon Swan Over the Years we have Experienced MANY Swan Eggs being Stolen. 


Assorted SNAKEs will take Small Waterfowl..
Swan SnakeSwan Snake


Snapping Turtles


Small Snapping Turtle

Swan Snapping TurtleSWAN Snapping Turtle

Swan Snapping Turtle