Sublingual Entrapment OF Coarse Roots, Grass, Mud, Stones…
Sublingual Impaction in WaterFowl (Under the Tongue)
General Description Bulge Visible Externally, Under the Chin.
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A Wad of Grass and other Things the Swan was Eating becomes Lodged Under the Tongue in the Stretchy Chin Pouch.
A Swan’s Chin Should be FLAT.. If there is a Lump/Bulge under the Chin there is likely some Foreign Material that has Accumulated under the Swan’s Tongue. This Dense Lump has the Potential of becoming Large Enough to make Eating Difficult and May Result Over Time in the Swan STARVING… to Death.
These Under Chin-Tongue Impactions can have Serious Health Impacts.
When a Bulge or Protruding Lump is Observed Under a Swan’s Chin… . . . It NEEDs Attention. These BIG, Hard, REALLY Bulging Wads NEED to be Removed.
Our Experience with the Feral-Wild Swans is Limited. But, NONE of these Swans had Under-Chin-Tongue Impactions. The Difference – They are NOT Grazing on Short Lawn Grass.
As we have been Out and About Visiting with Swans and their Owners, We have Observed Swans with these Bulges Under their Chins.
Some of the Swan Owners Thought this was a Tumor.. and there was Nothing they would be able to do..
It is NOT a Growth, but a Collection of Tough Grass Roots, Dirt, Sand, Small Twigs..etc. Sadly, this May have a Tragic Outcome, IF the Wad of Junk/Grass Under the Tongue is not Removed.
Some Swans are Prone to this and it becomes a Chronic Problem for them. Ingesting DRY Fibrous Foods (Short Grass) may be a Major Predisposing Factor for Sublinqual Impactions to Form.
Some Swans only Need Help Once in a Great while to Remove this “Stuff.” It is Simple to Lift OUT, Once you have the Swan in your Hands.
If you Remove the “Wad” of Material when the Bulge Under the Chin is Small, the Skin will NOT Stretch into a Loose Pouch Under the Chin.
Under Tongue Impactions may occur in both Captive and Wild (???) Swans.. This is Easily Visible… A Bulging Pocket under the Chin.
The Following SWAN Species seem Prone: Cygnus olor – Mute Swans and their Cygnets Cygnus atratus – Black Australian Swans and their Cygnets
Now she had a Patch of Longer Grass to Graze on… Doing Better.
The Chin of a Swan should be FLAT…
Some Breeds of Geese with Dewlap are also Prone to Impactions.
The Swan Below has a Huge, Tight Impaction.. Her Chin Should look like the Edited Image. Her Knob is Flat – She was Unable to Eat Normally. With a Team of Helpers we were Able to Remove this Impaction.
I have Observed some Swans Swinging their Heads with their Beak Open TRYINGto get this Material OUT ! !
The Male Swans below were Living on a Country Golf Course. Grazing on SHORT CUT GRASS.
This is a WAD of Material from Under a Swan’s Tongue.. the Impaction. The Quarter is for Size Comparison.. Not in the Impaction.
Common Item in the Impaction:
The “STUFF” can be Lots of Things Found in your Swans’ World.
Fibrous Grass, Small Roots, Twigs, Fragments of Leaves, Feed, Sand, Soil, Mud, Gravel, Animal Hair, Feather Fibers, String, Stiff Floating Pine Needles, etc, etc, etc. Almost Anything.
There seems to be an Increased Incidence of this when Swans are Eating Feed, Plant Material, Grasses and Soil without Water.
*** TOUGH GRASS THATCH
The IMPACTION LUMP is Frequently a Wad of Tough Grass Fiber.
Swans Enjoy Grazing on Tender Lawn Grass Blades. Grass is a Fiber Plant which Aids their Digestion. Grass is Helpful to Balance the High Protein Value of Commercial Poultry Feeds.
Swans Living by a Lawn where the Grass is CUT SHORT will Pick at the Grass Pulling Up the Tougher Parts of the Grass close to the Ground – the Thatch.
Thatch is a Layer of Grass Stems, Roots, Clippings, and Debris that Settle on the Ground and either Slowly Decompose and/or Accumulate over time. Thatch Build-up is Commonly Found in Lawns where Grass has been Cut Short and the Mulch is Left.
*** LETHAL PINE NEEDLES
Many Ponds and Lakes are Lined with Pine Trees.
When kept in an Environment where there are Pine Needles on the Water Swans can get these Needles in their Mouth while Eating and Drinking.
The Needles can get Stuck under their Tongues. This may Never Happen – Just be Aware.
The Very Stiff Needles may cause Pain, make Eating Difficult. Swans may Slowly Die of Starvation
*** MAMMAL HAIR
Some Impactions I have Removed were Mostly Hair. Likely from Dogs or Cats or some other Animal that was Shedding in an Area where the Swans were Grazing.
Swan will often Graze in the Same Pastures as the Horses..
I have found Pieces of Feathers, String, ….
This “Plug of Junk” under the Tongue can Result in Increasing Difficulty Eating and Drinking. And Eventually Pressure Necrosis.
The Swan Affected may Slowly Starve.. Weaken and Die.. (Severely Under Weight)
Common Visual Signs include Difficulty Swallowing, Ventral Intermandibular Swelling and Chronic to Severe Impactions. The Swan below has the Severe Signs.. His Cheeks are Swollen.
One Sign the Swan is in TROUBLE is when a Mature Mute Swan has a Flat Knob. This is a Visual Sign that the Swan is Under Weight.. Having Difficulty Eating.
The Impaction below is a Collection of Roots, Mud, Small Stones, Grass Blades and a few Clover Stems. You can not see the SMELL. The Coins are to Show the Size of the Wad..
This Lodged Material will Slowly Ferment, ROT, Support Nasty Bacteria and the Poor Swan will have this Smelly Material Squishing in its Mouth/Beak each Time it tries to Eat or Drink.. YUCK !!
Over Time the Rotting Material may Break-Down and Invade the Underside of the Tongue or the Chin Tissues. This will Result in an infection of the Mouth Tissues.. Causing Tissue Pressure Necrosis. > > > NOT GOOD…
At this Stage the Swans will Definitely Need Veterinary Help.. likely Surgery.. Weeks of Recovery with Antibiotics. (More Near End of Page)
From BackYard Poultry Medicine and Surgery A Guide for Veterinary Practitioners Page 228/229 Edited by Cheryl B.Greenacre and Teresa Y.Morishita
While Eating Foods that Accumulates Lateral to the Frenulum Beneath the Tongue Collecting into an Impaction.
Frenulum of Tongue – Wikipedia. The Frenulum of Tongue or Tongue Web is a Small Fold of Mucous Membrane Extending from the Floor of the Mouth to the Midline of the Underside of the Tongue.
In Early Cases, the Beak can be Opened and the Material Simply Pulled Out.
The Coins were NOT in the Impaction. – Just to Compare the Size.
DO YOUR BEST to Remove these Impactions when you see them and whenever it Reoccurs to Reduce Risk of Permanent Dilatation under the Tongue. If the Impaction is left, or frequently Reoccurs, Surgery may be needed to Remove the Loose Stretched Skin that Fills with Debris Easily.
Same Cob as Above.
Same Cob as Above.
The BIGGEST most Challenging Thing you NEED to do is Catch theSwan. If you can Walk your Swan into a Fenced Area and/or Catch/Net the Swan on Land.. that is the Easiest for EVERYOne ! !
Trying to Catch Swans on their Water is a REAL Challenge.
Yes, Catching a Swan on Water is the Most Challenging. Be Sure You Follow Proper Safety Rules.. LIFE Jackets.
The Goal is to Keep the Swans MOVING to Tire them.
One or *Two or *Three People in Quick Moving Kayaks HELPS! Some Swans can be SLOWLY Guided off the Water.
Having Two or Three or Four People Around the Pond is Very Helpful… You will Need People to Net or Catch the Swans as they Leave the Water.
Minimize Shouting as Much as Possible.. Avoid Scaring the Swans.
Canoes and Row Boats are TOO Slow to Tire the Swans.
Once the Swan is Tired, they will Generally Go to Land and Get Out.
Several Helpers Ready to Net and Calm to Swan..
One to Hold the Swan and Another to Remove the Impacted Material.
We Want to SEE a Flat Chin – NOT a Flat Knob ! !
While you have your Swan, do a Quick Check of their Feet and Tongue Color.
If Possible Weigh the Swans or Check their Keel Bone to Estimate Weight.
You WANT Your Swans to have FLAT Chins…
It is EASY Once You have Hold of Your Swan.
Swans have VERY Little Bite Pressure – Gently Open the Beak.
Either Lift the Nail or Apply a Little Pressure to Both Sides of the Jaw Hinge.
Gently PUSH UP Under the Chin.. the Material from under the Tongue. Sweep it OUT.. (I use my Fingers and Wash Later.) It is TOO Risky to use Metal Tweezers – the Swan Will NOT Hold Still.
Cotton Swabs will Help, if you are Prepared.. to Get Behind and Under the Ball of Tangled Fibers..and Dirt..
Especially, if the Impaction is Very Larger or Just Small.. The Young Cygnet Above is Growing, Munching on Grass and has Started a Probable Pouch of Material Under its Chin.. It is Small, Worth Watching.
It Might Clear as the Cygnet Eats and Drinks Out on the Pond/Lake it Lives on.. Keep a Close Watch. Be Prepared to Help.
A Young Cygnet has a Much Smaller Mouth.. a Cotton Swab would be Useful. Trying to get your Fingers in to Remove might be a Challenge.. and a Q-Tip will be Less Dramatic for the Little Ones.
Once you Remove the Debris – Check that there is Nothing Left under the Tongue.
Check the Tongue Color.. It should be a Nice Baby Pink..
If there is any Tissue Damage or Ulcerations on the Tongue or the Skin Pouch Under the Tongue.. This can be Serious… Check with your Avian Veterinarian for Further Treatment Advice.
It is Recommended to Prevent Swans from Grass Grazing for 7-10 Days following Removal of Simple Impactions.. This Time Away from Coarser Food hopefully gives the Sublinqual “Pouch” Time to Return to Normal Size.
If you have a Chance to Keep the Swan from Eating Short Cut Grass for a while after you Remove a WAD.. this may give the Stretched “Pouch” Time to Return to Normal..
Giving Lots of Lettuce or Soft Vegetable Foods on the Pond Water may Help Reduce the Risk of Re-Impaction..
ALSO Very Helpful… Try NOT to Cut the Swans’ Grazing Area Very Short…
Swans Enjoy Grazing on Tender Grass Blades.. They Need the Vegetation/Plant Material for their Digestive System..
Swans Benefit from the Insects in Grassy Places. (Crunchy Munchies)
Consider Alternating the Grass Area you Cut into Three Parts. Cut One Area this Week.. Leave the Other Two Areas Grow..
Then Next Week Cut the Longest, Shaggy Area.. leaving the Other Two.. Rotate so there are some Grassy Areas with Longer Tender New Growth..
AS Time Goes By – And We Meet and Visit More Swans and their Owners.. We SEE more Swans with Under Tongue Impactions..
THIS is a VERY Common Problem with Captive Swans.. Many People who Care for Swans are UnAware.. This Junk may Collect in a matter of Weeks to Months.
This is Fairly Easy to Correct. These Swans are Uncomfortable. The Rotting Material Under their Tongue makes Eating Difficult and Nasty.. This can Lead to Tissue Destruction Under the Tongue. Infection, Wasting, Starvation to Death. HELP Your Swans.
REMOVE SUBINGUAL – Under Tongue Impactions..
More Examples…. WE Helped Removed these….
This Older Cob has had Impactions Removed Several Times.
This Swan with the Large Impaction Under the Tongue. The Knob is VERY Flat.. This Swan is Starving..
We were Able to Catch and Remove the Impaction.
This Swan has a Reoccurring Impaction Problem. It has Reformed. He Looks so Thin..
I Tossed Lettuce and Floating Pellets into the Water… This Cob did Not Try to Eat Any. He just Swam Away.
We were Helpless to Help. The Owners did not Care. This Swan is Starving.
****************************************************************** The Swan below had his Impactions Reoccur Over and Over.. As long as the Junk was removed when Needed, he did OK. But, the Man who Cared for him Retired from the Golf Course. No One Continued to Care for the Cob’s Obstructing Impaction. The Mute Cob Died at the Age of ca. 10 Years Old. So Sad..
**************************************** ANOTHER SCARY IMPACTION – THE Largest I have Encountered.
Young Swans were Purchased for a Town House Complex Pond. The Management wanted to have the Swans for the Pleasure of their Community. The Management did Not have Experience Caring for Swans. This Impaction was HUGE when this Young Swan Arrived. The Person who Raised these Swans was Responsible for the Impactions. It is NOT Difficult to SEE there is Something Wrong Under his Chin.
On a Dark Rainy Evening I had the “Opportunity” to Remove this Tightly Packed Wad of Mud, Grass and Small Stones. I was Worried that I might Split the Skin Open, it was Stretched so Tight. Normally, I would Push-Up the Skin Under the Chin to Move the Material UP Under the Tongue and Lift it OUT. This Time I Opened his Mouth and Pinched the Wad to Tug it OUT from Inside his Mouth.. I did not want to Stress the Skin Under his Chin.
SUCCESS.. It was Packed IN TIGHT ! Poor Swan (Young Cygnet)
I Measured the Wad of Material before I Pulled it Apart.. I Usually Compare the Impaction Material with Coins.. THIS IS AN EGG.
When I Pulled this Huge Wad Apart.. the Smell was NASTY !
The Companion – Future Mate also had a Medium Impaction.
Thanks to a Willingness to Learn, the Management is now Caring for their Swans’ Impactions and they will be Happier & Healthier Swans.
From Far, Far Away.. (In the United Kingdom) Help is ON the Way !! A Visiting Friend of this Swan.. Read this Topic Page.. AND HELPED !! THANK YOU !!
A Young Black Australian Cygnet in New Zealand..
Another Friend of Swans Removes a Wad of Plant Fibers.
Two Weeks Later…. The Same Cygnet is Grazing on SHORT Cut Lawn Grass.
Two Weeks Later…. The Same Cygnet is Grazing on SHORT Cut Lawn Grass.
Two Week Later… Checked and Helped as Needed. This Young Cygnet has Collected Material Under its Tongue Over and Over.. This Cygnet has Easy Access to Very Short Cut Grass.
The Cygnet Seemed to Know this Swan Friend would Help. This Cygnet has a Chronic Problem and will Need to be Watched Closely..
The Swans Below are in a Public Lake. They Graze on the Short Grass.
************************************************************* FEED Your Swans in the Water as MUCH as Possible.
Eating their Foods With and IN the Water will Reduce this Problem.
YOUR SWANS will be Healthier with a FLAT CHIN..
Some, a Few of these Impactions will Over Time Breakdown and Go Away.
But, MOST will Continue to Collect as the Swan Eats. As the Impaction gets Larger, the Swan will have More and More Trouble Swallowing. First, Food becomes Hard to Swallow, then even Drinking is Difficult. These Suffering Swans will Slowly, Eventually Starve and Die.
As the “Junk” Decays, it is FULL of Bacteria that Tastes Terrible. Every Time the Swans tries to Eat, the Nasty Juice becomes Part of what they are Tasting. They will Eat Less and Less.
Depending on how the Lump Decays, it can Rot the Tender Tissues Under the Tongue. The Swan’s Future is now in Peril..
Few People are Willing or Able to have this Tissue Damage Surgically Corrected.
With Chronic Cases, an Intermandibular “Pocket” forms, Requiring Removal of the Food and Surgical Resection of the Stretched Tissue..
The Bulk of the Impaction can be Removed Manually.. If the Mass is Large and Chronic.. It may cause Local *Oral Mucosal Necrosis and *Subcutaneous Food Invasion.
( I have Never Known of any Swans having Surgery for this. ) It is BEST to Avoid getting to this Stage.
Surgical Correction: A Ventral Intermandibular Approach is made and All Remaining Food and Necrotic Tissue is Removed.
With or Without Subcutaneous Food Invasion, the Excess Sublingual “Pouch” is Resected on either Side of the Frenulum (one or both sides may be stretched) and Sutured Closed in a Simple Interrupted and Continuous Pattern.
The Goal is to Decrease the Potential Space to Prevent Future Impactions.
If the Subcutaneous Tissue is Infected and Cannot be Completely Removed, further Surgical Correction may be necessary and Antibiotics may be Required..
Post-Surgery: Dry Fibrous Foods are AVOIDED. Provide Access to Natural Pond Grasses (Swans) OR Grass Prepared in a Food Processor.. OR Soggy Wet Pellets.
These are Intended to be Short Term Options.
The Swan’s Owners should Periodically Inspect the Oral Cavity for Signs of Impactions for up to 3 Weeks Post-Surgery and when Dry and Coarse Foods may Increase Risk of Re-impaction.
If you have ANY Question about Removing an Impaction.. Get IN TOUCH !
&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&& This is a Work in Progress… Updated along the Way.. Information Compiled by (C) Linda M.Sweger Updated JUNE 2021 Thanks to the Swan Folks who have Shared Photo Images. &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
BIG Beautiful, Graceful Mute Swans are a Delight to Behold.
Once we Pinion or Clip to Ground them, Swans DEPEND on their Caretakers to Provide a Healthy Diet. Captive Trumpeter, Black Australian and Mute Swans are Domestic Pets.
ALLCAPTIVE SWANS NEED TO BE FED !!!
I Originally Organized and Posted this Topic Page because I had Met Several People who Did Not or Would Not Feed their Swans.. Or Fed the Swans Inappropriate Feeds.
To Enlarge Images – Right Click Image then Open in a New Tab.
Over the Years we have Learned many Things about Feeding Swans. There is much more then Filling a Feed Bowl each Day.
The Basic Feed Mixture Information is at the End of this Page.
NOTE: If a Swan tries to Eat TOO Fast.. Dry Feeds 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.
Over the Years I have heard: >>( Too many Times .) “Swans are Wild Waterfowl. Nature will Provide.” “They will Find the Food they Need and do not need Supplemental Feed.”
The Pond Above has Little to NO Water Plants for these Swans to Graze on.
The Spring and Summer Environments that Swans and their Cygnets Live and Grow in will ALL be Different. You will Need to be Aware of WHAT is Available for them to Eat.
The Pond Below has a Lot of Natural Plant Growth, String Algae and Water Critters.
This Misconception to NOT Feed Swans seems to come from Various Sources.. Some Breeders may Live in Areas where there is Year Round Food Resources in their Pond. Lots of Plant Growth, Insects, Tadpoles, Worms, Snails, Grubs, etc.
They Pass this Information on to Others without Considering the Environmental Differences in Ponds and Lakes across the Country.
The Remaining Feral Mute Swans Living in the United States will, on Average, have a Territory Range of 3 to 5 SQUARE Miles that they will Access for their Nutritional Needs. In Warmer States there may be Plenty of Vegetation, Grass Grains and Insects Year Round.
Canadian Tundra and Trumpeter Swans Migrate South during the Fall to Areas they know will Provide Food for themselves and their Growing Cygnets.
These Swans will graze on Grains in Fields of Cereal Crops like Corn, Wheat, Soy Beans.. Trumpeter and Tundra Swans are more Likely to be Seen in Grain Fields.
Mute Swans are more Likely to be in a Watery Place.
Below are Three Feral Mute Swans Living Along a Pennsylvania River.
Mute Swans are NOT Migratory Waterfowl.. They will Stay in their Territory Year Round their Entire Adult Life, Unless something Significant Changes for them… Loss of Habitat, Loss of a Mate… Chronic Harassment.
Feral Mute Swan will Fly/Move to Open Water in Winter Months if their Normal Water Environment Freezes.
Their Absence during Nesting Season may cause some Folks to think these Mute Swans have Migrated. Feral-Wild Mute Swans will Generally Seek a more Private Location to Nest.
For Whatever Reason: “Wild-Feral Mute Swans Do Not Nest where they Live, and they Do Not Live where they Nest.”
For Two Months, Feral Mute Swans will likely Find a Private Place to Mate, Nest and Hatch their Brood of Cygnets.
The Location may only be a Half Mile or so away from their Normal Range. They are likely to Return to their Normal Territory once their Nest is “Closed” for the Season. Returning with Tiny Cygnets that are NOT Capable of Flying or Migrating.
In the Parts of the Country where Winter Climate causes Plant Materials to become Dormant, Feral Mute Swans will have a Much Harder Time Finding Satisfactory Sustenance Food.
If Swans are Caring for First Year Cygnets.. This may cause the Smaller Cygnets to Weaken and Die from Starvation. Cygnets that Hatch Late in the Season are Especially at Risk..
I have watched Feral Mute Swans Attempt to Eat the Decaying Vegetation and Leaves they find in Shallow Water; the same Plants that provided Food during the Warmer Seasons. This Organic Material will have some Small Food Value, there may be a Few Calories Left in the Decaying Fibers.
During Warm Weather, Lawn and Field Grasses will Yield Tasty Insects.
With the Summer Lawn Grasses to Graze on.. Watch for Under Chin-Tongue Impactions.. Short Cut Grass is a Common Culprit..
If you Only Mow 1/3 of the Grass along the Pond each Week. Leaving 2 Areas Grow.. Swans ENJOY the Tender Grass Growth.. Then the Next Week, Mow a Different Area.. (Rotating) There will be Some Longer Grass Blades for the Swans to Graze on.
Allow a Strip of Grass to Grow along the Pond – the Grass Seed Heads will be a Treat.
Plus the Longer Grasses will have more Insects for the Swans to Munch on. (-; (-: (-; (-:
Under Chin – Under Tongue Impactions will Make Eating DIFFICULT !! This Swan NEEDED Help..
The Under Tongue/Chin Impaction was Preventing her from Eating.
Removing these Wads of Junk-Debris from under the Tongue is Simple, ONCE you have Hold of your Swan..
When there is Snow Cover on Lawns and Fields, they will not even have this Meager Food Source. Hungry Waterfowl will Pick at Field and Lawn Grasses Attempting to find some Calories.. Something to Fill their Gizzard.
All Living Creatures Can Live for a Period of Time without Adequate Food, as Long as they have Water to Drink. Swans Living on Ponds/Lakes have Water.. but, Foods MAY be VERY Scarce.
Swans are Warm Blooded Creatures, they have a Metabolism like all Warm Blooded Creatures.
When Food is Limited or Absence they will Slow Down, Try to Conserve and Convert their Body Fat, Muscle Proteins – Losing Weight the Same as any Animal or Human.
Wild/Free Waterfowl will Generally Fly in Search of Food. Pinioned/Captive/Fenced Waterfowl that are Starving will become increasingly Desperate and will Eat increasing amounts of Mud and Soft Topsoil. There are some Organic Materials and Minerals in Mud and Topsoil…
Hopefully a few Dormant Insect Grubs, Worms, Snails, etc. These Critters are Calcium and Protein Rich..
If this goes on Too Long, their Gizzard may become “Sand Bound.” Topsoil and Mud contains Silica/Sand.
Sand feels Gritty when Rubbed between the Fingers. Birds/Waterfowl regularly Ingest Small Amounts of Grit to Aid Digestion of the Food in their Gizzard. Eating Small Amounts of Dirt, Mud is Normal.
When Digestible Food is Absent for Long Periods of Time, the Gizzard may become “Sand Bound.”
Once this happens there is NO Room for Digestible Food…. Death from Starvation will likely follow. ************************ Sand is a Naturally Occurring Granular Material Composed of Finely Divided Rock and Mineral Particles. The Composition of Sand is Highly Variable, depending on the Local Rock Sources and Conditions. The Most Common Constituent of Sand in Inland Continental Settings and Non-Tropical Coastal Settings is Silica (silicon dioxide, or SiO2), usually in the Form of Quartz.
Sand is NOT Digestible. It will Pass Through a Bird’s Digestive System along with the Plant Fiber of their Normal Diet. ************************ Until now, I was Referring to the Feral Mute Swans Living in a 3-5 Square Miles Range.
Since Pennsylvania and Many other States have ZERO Tolerance Policy for Feral Mute Swans. The Above Information is Academic.. FYI – Feral Mute Swan are Routinely Destroyed.
Their Freedom was Short Lived.. Images Posted onLine Brought Hunters..
Next, I want to Discuss Captive Swans Living in the Care of Human Caretakers. Living in a much Smaller Environment.
Captive Swans are No Different then Pet Dogs, Cats, Horses, etc. They NEED to EAT ! !
Just Like Cat, Dogs, Horses, Goats, Pigs, Chickens, Ducks, etc.. Swans are Warm Blooded, they have Blood, Brain and Nerve Fibers. They have Skin Tissue, Many Muscles, Light Weight Bones. And Beautiful White Feathers. All these Body Systems NEED Nutrients.
************************ **** CAPTIVE SWANS NEED TO BE FED !!!!
All Animals and Birds we Bring into our Lives are Subject to a Wide Range of Care. From the Total Care of Pets that become Cherished Members of our Family Life, to Farm Live Stock Raised for their Meat, Milk, Eggs, etc.
..To the Sad Neglected, Forgotten, Discarded, Abused Animal Cruelty Cases We see on various TV Animal Rescue Programs.
The Female Mute Swan in the above Image.. She and her Brother were Fed Floating Fish Pellets.. Fish Pellets Average 35% Protein.. this will cause Lipidosis Over Time. He Died before he was 18 Months Old and she Died at 4 Years Old.
LIPIDOSIS: a Disorder of Fat Metabolism especially Involving the Deposition of Fat in an Organ ( as the Liver or Spleen ).
She Never got to Lay her First Egg.. Both Young Swans were found Floating in their Pond.. ( at Different Times.) I Tried to tell these Folks.. they would not Listen..
Swans Fed a High Protein Diet …Look Big and Healthy… They are NOT Healthy.
***************************************************** Folks who have Appropriate Water Environments to Care for Swans, may Desire to have them for Various Reasons. Not all People will take the Time to Research Swans so they are Prepared to Provide Appropriate Care.
The Swans I WORRY about are the Swans Chosen to be Living Lawn and Pond Ornaments.
The Striking Beauty of Graceful Swans will Enhance any Property. The Novelty of having Swans may Pass and Neglect is likely to Follow.
Having Swans is a Commitment. They may easily Live 25-35 Years or Longer with Good Care and Some Luck.
If you Tire of Caring for your Swans, ReHome them to another Interested Person. NEVER Release any Swan into the Environment. NEVER..! ! It is ILLEGAL ALL Across the United States and Canada to Deliberately Release a Mute Swan or their Growing Cygnets. Discarded Pet Swans will likely be Destroyed.
There are so many Different Regulation Governing the Ownership of Mute Swans from State to State, You will need to check the Codes, Policies and Rules for your State..
I have Found it Impossible to Keep Up with all the Revisions and Changes of Mute Swan Policies Across our Country.. You May NOT Find the Most Current Information on the Link Below.. Do Various Key Word Searches for your State.
“Can Animal Rights Be Legally Defined?” In 1978 the HSUS, Humane Society of the United States defined Animal Rights. “Animals have the right to live and grow under conditions that are comfortable and reasonably natural. Animals that are used by man in any way have the right to be free from abuse, pain, and torment caused or permitted by man. Animals that are domesticated or whose natural environment is altered by man have the right to receive from man adequate food, shelter, and care.” Changes to their Environment or the Landscaping may Alter their Food Supplies.
Pinioning any Waterfowl… Changes Everything.
In the U.S. Mute Swans “Owned” by Humans are generally Pinioned to Restrict their Ability to Roam at Large.
They are Classified as: Captive, Domestic, Exotic, Poultry. (Not Wild)
Like ALL Animals and Birds Living in Captivity. They are Entitled to: 1. Adequate and Appropriate Food 2. Adequate Fresh Water 3. Appropriate Shelter 4. Reasonable Safety from Harm 5. Veterinary Care when Needed
The First Rule for Keeping Swans in the Location you want them…. is #1. “Feed them and they will Stay.” “Feeding Your Swans is NOT a Guarantee they will Stay on your Pond. Adequate Food is a BIG Part of their Comfort.
Swans on a Private Pond are Somewhere between Captive and Free.
“Swans do NOT Read the Books” about their Expected Behavior. Swans will have many Surprises as you Enjoy their Beauty and Learn about them.
Mother Nature has Evolved Birds/WaterFowl to be able to do some Amazing Things. Living without Food is Not One.. Imagine Watching these Captive, Graceful Birds, unable to tell their Caretakers that they are Hungry. Respect and Good Care will allow Swans to Enjoy Living with us/you for a Long Time.
Spread the WORD…. Swans need to Eat.
Living on a Totally Natural One Acre Pond with NO Chemicals to Altering the Plant Growth and Insects is Recommended for One Pair of Adult Mute Swans.
The Swans can Graze during the Summer on Yummy Stuff – Pond Stew..
Water Insects, Tadpoles, Fish Spawn, Dragonfly Larva, ETC, Etc…. Pond Critters.
Snails and Slugs provide many needed Nutrients.. You will see them Poking into Shallow Mud seeking Things to Munch on..
A Natural Pond “MAY” Supply all the Swan’s Need.
The use of Lawn Care Products, Insect Controls and Fertilizers Changes the Natural Balance.
Underwater Plants may not be Sufficient, the Lack of Insects will impact Protein and Calcium Resources.
If Swans Need to Leave their Water to Eat…. they become Vulnerable to Predators, Unleashed Dogs, Vehicles and Vandals who Look to Harm them.
Pinioned and Clipped Swans are more Vulnerable when they are Away from their Ponds. Swans in Water are SAFER…. It is also more Natural for them…
The Lovely 1 – 1/2 Acres Golf Course Irrigation Pond in the Below Image had NOTHING Growing in the Water. NO Plants, DuckWeed or Algae.. AND…No Water Insects or Mosquitoes ! !
There were Lots of Common Carp, Blue Gill and Bass. The Fish Populations were Consuming the Few Natural Plants & Insects..
Carp EAT a Variety of Foods. They favor Insects, Aquatic Worms, Crustaceans. They consume Algae and Under Water Plant Matter.
These are the Same Pond Things the Swans would Eat..
Swans Long Necks can reach down under the Water about Three Feet. You will see them “Up-Ending” with their Tails Pointing Straight up in the Air.
Use a Rake and Sweep Along the Water Edge Two to Three Feet Down.. Are there Under Water Plant.. ?? Or are they Absent.. ??? Your Swans MAY/Will NEED Daily Feeding Year Round..
The Public Park Lake Above is Treated with Dark Shade Dye to Prevent Algae and Duckweed. There are NO Natural Plants – NONE.
Fertilizers and Animal Waste Run-off will create Organic Changes to a Pond/Lake allowing for a Wide Variety of unwanted Plant Growth. Big Subject…. LOTS of Variations.
Waterfowl/Swans may be able to Help Control some Nuisance Plants.. like Algae, Duckweed and Watermeal.. but, they still need other Nutrients in their Year Round Diet.
Swans are LARGE Waterfowl… They may Foul a Small Retention Pond with their Poop ! A Water Environment with Flow-through to Refresh the Water is Preferable.
Mute Swans can Live a Very Long Time with Good Care.
The Less they Need to Dig in the Mud/Dirt for Nutrition, the Less Chance they will Acquire Parasites.
Because Mute Swans Feed off the Bottom Mud of a Pond or Lake, which is where Pesticides and Heavy Metals tend to Accumulate, Severe Drought may Expose your Swans to Dangerous MUCK..
Pond Muck: is the Black, Brown, Sticky, Slimy Goop that Settles on the Bottom of most Ponds and Lakes. It tends to Build-up over time without Methods to Prevent it. Muck Results from Dying and Decaying Organics like Algae, Tree Debris-Leaves, Excessive Grass Clippings, Animal Waste Run-off, Fish Waste, Etc.
During Warm Dry Months, Stagnant Muddy Water will put Waterfowl at Risk of Avian Botulism – Fatal Clostridia and other Pathogenic Anaerobic Bacteria. These Bacteria Synthesize and Release Poisonous Substances called Exotoxins
We lost Little “Hannah” to Clostridia after Nesting in 2010. We lost Sweet “Spring” to Clostrida after Nesting in 2018.
Providing a Container of Fresh Clean Water would seem Helpful…
But, Waterfowl will still Drink the Pond/Lake Water.
His World is Nothing but Water and Mud. ( We Brought this Feral Cob Food and Treats. )
There are Pro and Con Discussion about Feeding Wild Waterfowl-Swans Bread. Captive Pet Swans should have a Good Appropriate Diet..
What NOT to Feed Swans: Anything that is NOT Healthy for us: Sugary, Starchy, Fatty Foods, Crackers, Pop-Corn, Chips, Cakes, Cookies, etc.
Milk Dairy Products: Birds Lack the Enzymes Necessary to Digest Milk Sugar, Lactose. Do NOT Feed Swans Onions, Garlic, Mushrooms or Avocado.
We Avoid Bread. DO NOT ALLOW others to Feed your Swans Bread. There is Little to No Nourishment in White Bread for Waterfowl.
White Bread is Poorly Digested, causing Indigestion and Bloating. Yeast may Grow in the Gizzard causing Chronic Digestion Problems. Bread is High in Sugar and Salt Taxing a Birds’ Kidneys and other Organs.
The Swans and other Waterfowl Below – Live on a Popular Community Lake. The Public brings the Waterfowl mostly Bread ALL Day Long.
During the Summer Months Bread is a Dangerous Food for Waterfowl. Molds Growing on Bread may be Fatal. Some Molds will cause Fatal “Limber Neck” Disease. Once the Toxic Mold is in the Swan, there is VERY Little you can do to Reverse these Debilitating Toxic Secretions. Their Mortality Rate is Very High. The Swan becomes Weak, can not hold their Neck up.. becomes Limp.
If they are in the Water, they may Drown. On Land, the Weakness will Affect their Ability to Breathe.
If YOU want to Feed Swans Bread, then ONLY during Cold Winter Months (Fall Frost to Last Spring Frost). Buy FRESH, Freeze and Feed One Slice per Day Coarse Grain or Wholemeal Bread with Seeds and Grains Incorporated into the Bread is a Better Option.
The Grain Seeds Provide some Extra Oils, which Aid the Absorption of Fat Soluble Vitamins – like Vitamin A, C, D, E, K, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, B6, B12, Folic Acid, …ALL Important for Good Health.
If you Enjoy having Swans, the BEST Thing you can do for them is Provide a Wide Variety of Food Items.
Chewy.com is a Great Way to Order and have Many Feed Products Delivered. . . . with Orders of at Least $50.00 – Delivery is Free. This Saves Time and Gas.. Thanks Chewy !
Choose a Good Commercial Poultry or WaterFowl Feed: **NON-Medicated**Poultry Maintenance Feed Mixed with Corn and Grain to Keep the Protein Level LOWER.
Keep the Lysine Level LOW – One Percent – 1.00%… or Less.
It is Not Wise to Purchase Bag Feeds Too Far Ahead. If you Live where there is HUMIDITY.. In the South or North in Summer Months. Heat and Humidity can Cause Mold to Develop in UnOpened Bags – Spoiling the Feed. NEVER Use ANY Feed that Looks or Smells Moldy.. DISCARD !
Corn and Grain Feeds may Hatch Tiny Harmless Insects in Hot Storage Areas..
These Tiny Insects – Likely Corn or Wheat Weevils are OK for Swans to Eat. Swans EAT Lots of Insects – They are Part of their Natural Diet.
The Earth is NOT Homogeneous. You will NOT Find ALL Minerals and Trace Elements Naturally Everywhere. Deficiency in Vitamins is a Common Problem with Captive Waterfowl.
By Using a Good Formulated Feed.. It will not Matter where in the World your Swans are they will be Getting Necessary Vitamins and Minerals and Trace Elements.. All Needed for Good Nutrition and Health.
We > > HAD BEEN USING **Southern States 18% Waterfowl Floating Pellets 2015 thru 2019. WE STOPPED !
This Feed Product has Changed.. >> This Feed is No Longer Available. Most Folks in my Network who were Using this Bag Feed have Stopped. The Southern States Feed is NOT Consistent in Size or Color.. and it Barely Float. This has > > > Changed ! A Sad Fact !
Most Folks who Care for Swans have Decided to Use Mazuri Floating WaterFowl Feed. Mazuri WaterFowl Feed has been Used by Swan Owners for many Years. This Product is Available Across most of the Country.
The First Thing I ask Swan Folks who have Swans Die without any Obvious Reason.. Is… What were You Feeding them..??? If the Answer is a High Protein Diet.. Be Aware ! !
A Steady High Protein Diet will Significantly Shorten a Swan’s Life.. Every Year I hear from Folks who have “Healthy” Swans Die without a Reason.. They are Unaware of this being an Issue..
Their Swans LOOK Big and Healthy.. and are Suddenly Found Dead.. NO Visible Reason. It Fits a Sad Pattern.. Swans Fed a High Protein Diet.. will Frequently Die within Several Years.
We had a Young Female, “Little Hannah” that someone else was Feeding for us… She was on a Pond with their Young Swans.. In ONE Month “Hannah’s” Kidneys were Permanently Damaged.
I Provided the Feed Mixture I wanted for our Female.. but, the Woman kept giving “Hannah” her Feed.. Straight from the Bag – 16% Protein Grower.. We Moved “Hannah” ASAP…
We took “Hannah” for Several Visits to the Vets.. for Blood Chemistries.. Results.. Elevated Kidney Functions – Three Times Normal ! We Repeated these Chemistries Several Times, Hoping for Improvement.. NOPE – Her Kidney Damage was Permanent. So…. we had to Feed “Hannah” a Diet with Very Little Protein. She did not get to be 4 Years Old. Heartbreaking..
We lost Little “Hannah” to Clostridia after Nesting in 2010.
Swans NEED more Supplemental Food during Cold Weather.
Depending on the Winter Conditions, Swans will need more Calories when they are Subject to Winter’s Cold Temperatures. Increase their Daily Feed Rations.
They need Daily Food for the Quick Energy Calories to keep Warm. Avoid Yeast, Sugar, Dyes and Salt.
Swans Cereal Snack Mix I Check the Ingredients.. Choose Cereals that are Low in SALT, SUGAR, have NO DYES or YEAST. Whole Grain Cereals are Better Treats then MOST Human Snack Foods.
We try to use Cereals that Float.. Cereals that Sink are Wasted. ( Become Fish Food. ) OR Place the Cereal Treat in a Shallow Pan of Pond Water.. One of our Little Pens LOVED the Gritty Grape Nuts Mixed in with Wet Whole Corn.
Then there are a Few Times when the Cereal is just Silly Fun !
Occasional some Tossed Cereals Lands on their Back – Between their Wings.
No Fuss – No Muss – Just Turn their Lovely, Long Neck for the Treats !
Some Swans enjoy Plain Graham Crackers.
These can be Broken into One Inch Squares.. and Frisbeed Out to the Swans.
It is Proper Order to give the First Treat to the Dominant Female Swan then alternate between the other Swans on the Pond.
If there are Lots of Fish in the Water, they will QUICKLY Snatch these Treats.
Swans are Grazers not Gobblers.
Swans are Grazers – Eating Small Amounts throughout the Day. Their Food goes into their Gizzard to be Ground into a Form they are able to Digest/Absorb… Swans will Ingest some “Grit” everyday to Aid this Breakdown…
Swans Naturally Eat Small Amounts throughout the Day. Since Swans are Programmed to Fly, they will Generally Not Over Eat. Every Extra Ounce their Body does Not Need will make Flight more Difficult. When their Diet is Not Balanced, they may Over Eat Starchy Grains ( like Corn ), Trying to get the Minerals and Vitamins their Body’s are Craving.
The Bone Structure of Birds is a Light-Weight Scaffolding. There are just Enough Minerals to Form Rigid Bones.
Female Swans need Extra Calcium Rich Feeds. Females Give-up their Body Calcium to Coat their Large Eggs. Once the Cygnets Hatch, the Female Usually Ingests the Shells to Reclaim some of this Calcium.
If the Female is not able to Eat these Shells due to some Loss of the Eggs – Due to Flooding, Spoiling, Egg Predation or Management Replacement Removal she will Benefit from your Help.
To help Supply your Pen’s Calcium Need, it is a Very Good Practice Starting in January, to Add some Egg Layer Feed to their Regular Feed Mix. The Eggs she Lays in the Spring will be Stronger and she will Not Need to Sacrifice as much Calcium from her Body.
There are Commercial Crushed Oyster Shell Products for Poultry to Supply Necessary Calcium. I See this Frequently in Containers on Farms with Chickens. I had to Laugh at the Hen Above Nesting in the Oyster Shell Bucket. But, REMEMBER having AnyFeed in a Metal Container OUTSide is NOT Safe.
Once her Cygnets Hatch, the (Female-Pen) Dam Swan is HUNGRY for EVERYTHING. A Good Balanced Feed Mix with some Extra Calcium, will Help her Body Recover from the Five LONG Weeks of “Sitting” with VERY little to Eat.
“Sitting”Pens Barely Eat for 35 Days… >>>> This is Nature’s Plan. They Typically will Start to EAT the Two Days before their EGGs are going to Hatch.. ( A Signal to Watch for. )
Because their Necks are Long and Slender Swans want to Eat their Foods Wet..
Swans have a Wide, Flat Beak with Tiny Serrations called “Lamella” along the edge. Their Beak is Designed for Biting and Tearing Water Plants. ( They have Little Bite Pressure.) As Swans Open and Close their Beak, they Strain Water from their Food.
Corn Alone is NOT a Complete Diet.
Swans are Grazers.. they Nibble all Day.
Because their Neck is Long and Slender, Swans like to have Water with Every Bite to make Swallowing EASIER.
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…
Choke or Choking means that a Cygnet/Swan is unable to Swallow or Breathe because something is either Partially or Completely Obstructing their Esophagus or their Windpipe.
A Swan that is Choking will have Difficulty Swallowing, it may be Gasping for Breath, or it may be Opening the Beak with an Exaggerated Motion and Attempting to Regurgitate or Gag.
The Cygnet/Swan may begin Extending and Twisting its Neck, Gasping for Air.
Place the Cygnet/Swan on your Lap – Lower the Head and Neck.. Gently Manipulate Along the Neck to Dislodge the Obstruction.
If you Suspect that a Cygnet/Swan has Inhaled a Fluid or Small Object that has Entered the Trachea ( Windpipe ), you can Attempt to Dislodge, by Short Quick Inward Compression of the Keel/Breast Area. You are Basically Preforming the Standard Heimlich Maneuver that is used for a Choking Human.
Listen for Air Exchange.. that the Cygnet/Swan is Breathing.. Place your EAR on their Back between the Wings.. Listen for Breath Sounds. Seek Veterinary Assistance/Advice Immediately following this Maneuver.
If you Suspect your Swan has Aspirated you Should Seek Veterinary Care Immediately. Your Cygnet/Swan may need Antibiotics to Prevent Pneumonia.
Supply Water with DRY Feed Mixtures. Do NOT Put Dry Feeds on the Ground. This will Promote Mold, Bacteria, Parasites, etc.
You Can See in the Image Above.. it is an Effort to Eat the Feed Dry.
When Food-Feed is only Available Once or Twice a Day, Shared from a Tub or Bucket for Assorted Waterfowl, a Swan will Gobble in a Hurry knowing there will be Nothing until the Bucket is Filled Later or the Next Day.
The Swan Below wasEating TOO Fast his Neck is Bulging. This is NOT Normal Eating Behavior for a Swan. This is the way Ducks and Geese Eat.. they are Gobblers.
Migrating WaterFowl may Bring Diseases to Your Pond. IF you are Able to Avoid Feeding them.. Try Not to..
One Scary Disease is Duck Viral Enteritis. DVE Another is Avian Influenza.. Very Contagious. Healthy Domestic Ducks, Geese and Swans will Start to Die in just a few Days. While the Wild Carrier Waterfowl just Fly Away.
In 2022 in Many States, Including Pennsylvania we are Dealing with Avian Influenza.
Most SWANS LOVE LETTUCE… If you Toss a Head of Iceberg Lettuce on the Pond.. They will Play with it like a Soccer Ball. Or Push it Under to Pop-Up. Fun to Watch them Take Turns, Biting the Head and Tossing it About.
Keep ANY Small Metal Items Picked-Up. Swans, like other Waterfowl, will Ingest Small Stones for their Gizzards. If they Ingest a Screw, Nut, Nail, Piece of Wire, a Coin, Soda Can Tab, Bread Twist Tie, etc. This may become a Fatal Snack. Ingested Metal Litter is Called “Hardware Disease.” “Kate” looked Healthy… Died Suddenly within a Week of this Photo. Her Necropsy Found a Small Piece of Iron in her Gizzard.
The Metal Items will STAY in their Gizzard and Slowly Dissolve. Your Swan will become Heavy Metal Toxic.. Destroying their Liver and other Organs. Heavy Metal Poisoning is VERY Difficult to Treat.
Sharp Metal or Glass can CUT into the Gizzard.. > > > Bleeding or Infection.
Watch for Non-Edible Things in the Water.. Basic Trash.. I Dropped a Rubber Glove in the Pond.. “Meadow” started to PLAY with it. I SAW what had Happened.. And, QUICKLY.. Grabbed the Glove.. SIGH !!
Use Clean Dedicated Polyvinyl Containers for Feed Safety.
The Metal Pan below is NOT Safe as a Food Container for Poultry and Waterfowl. The Metal will Slowly Dissolve into the Water.. Heavy Metal Toxic.
Every Pond-Lake Situation is Different. Feeding your Swans can be a Challenge. Brain Storm.
If you have a Canada Goose Problem. They will Raid the Feed.
Large Numbers of Ducks or Geese will Overwhelm a Swan which is Naturally a “Grazer.” The Ducks and Canada Geese are “Gobblers.”
Place Food Items in Water Close to the Water’s Edge… not Deeper then they can Reach.. Grain or Seed (or any Food) should Not be Left on the Bank where it can Deteriorate and Decay, this Rotting Material can Sicken your Waterfowl.
Only put in the Shallow Water what you Expect the Swans will Eat.. Feed or Grain left laying in Water can Spoil and cause Dangerous Bacteria to Grow.
A few Ducks can be Helpful as the Clean-up Crew for Feed Spillage.
Fixed Feeders like the Aut-O-Dine have some Draw-Backs and some Advantages.
All these Rodents May be Carrying Dangerous Diseases/Parasites. As they Raid a Feed Container, they Contaminate the Feed with Saliva, Urine and Poop.
There are some Nasty Diseases Carried by Raccoons. You do not want them “Pooping” where Children will be Playing.
It is Environmentally UnSafe to Put Swan Feed on the Ground.
The Smaller Rodents will Attract the Carnivores – Fox, Coyotes, Coywolves, Roaming Feral Cats, Bobcats.
Depending on your Location maybe a Bear would be attracted to a Feed Container.
Feed and/or Small Rodents may attract Skunks, Weasels, Mink and Larger Predators like Fox, Lynx, Coyote/Coywolves. These may take the small Ducklings, Goslings and Cygnets. Adult Swans become more Vulnerable to Predators.
Have Feed Mixture Available during Day Light Hours Only.
Cover Feed and/or take Inside Over Night.
There are Ways to Discourage Geese.. a Few Ducks are Good for Clean-up.
An Aut-O-Dine Feeding Box for Swans – Polyvinyl. Positioned just out of Reach, Canada Geese can NOT Feed from this Feeder.
Average Cost of the Feeders Varies Year to Year Out in the Elements these will Need to be Replaced after several Years of Exposure. They Need a Stable Post to be Mounted on.. These Need Several Modification to Work for Swans.
***DO NOT FEED THE SWANS ANY FEED with “GROWER” or “FINISHER” in the name. ***DO NOT FEED THE SWANS “Game Bird Feed”
Game Bird Feed is for Bird Raised to Shot and Eat. Wild Duck, Pheasants, Geese.. Game Birds..
The Lysine Levels are TOO HIGH… These Feeds are Designed to Increase the Muscle Tissue and are for Poultry/Fowl headed to someone’s Dinner Table. These Feeds DAMAGE Internal Organs, Shortening the Natural Life Span of a Swan. Many Birds fed these Products will Die in 12-36 months.
The Unnatural Increased Muscle Tissue will add Stress to the Swan’s Legs and Feet. This will Increase the Risk of Painful “Bumble” Foot Sores. The Swans may look BIG and HEALTHY.. but, they are not.
***UnCaring or UnKnowing Breeders may Feed these “Grower” Feeds… Without Regards to the Long Term Health of the Swans. They just want their Cygnets to Grow Fast, Look BIG and Healthy when they Sell the Young Swan Cygnets. Sadly, the Damage is Done. Many only Live a Few Years.
At One Pond we Visited, the Swan was being fed Floating Fish Pellets. The Protein Level in Fish Pellets is 30-40% – WAY TOO HIGH ! ! She Died soon After Turning 4 Years Old.
When you Acquire a New Swan ASK the Previous Owner/Breeder what they have been Feeding the Swan/Cygnet.
SCRATCH GRAIN IS NOT A COMPLETE DIET.
Scratch is Small Pieces.. It is Cracked Corn and Cracked Wheat. By Cracking these Grains.. it is Easier for Young Birds and Chicken to Digest..
A Few Brands will Add Barley.. which Sinks like a Stone into the Mud.. It is Not Practical for Feeding by the Pond..
Cracked Corn and Scratch are Difficult for Adult Swans to Eat.. They Loss about Half of it Trying to Swallow these Little Pieces..
We Stop Mixing Scratch into the Feed Mix of Cygnets by about 10-12 Weeks Old.. Mixing in Whole Corn which is SO Much Easier for Swans to Eat..
It this More Cost Effective to STOP Cracked Corn and Scratch for these LARGE Birds.
I have Come Across a Few People who have Tried to Find a Lower Protein Food… The Protein might be Lower, BUT they are NOT Appropriate for Waterfowl/Swans.
Rabbit Pellets are for Rabbits ! !
Horse Feed is for Horses !! NOT for WaterFowl. Some Horse Feeds are Lower in Protein. And they are TOO Low in Calories to Fiber Ratio. Swans will Starve when Fed Horse Feed.
THE FOLLOWING FEED MIX IS FOR Swans and Cygnets at least 4-6 Months Old or Older. ******************** THERE IS NO COMMERCIAL BAG FEED in the United States that is Formulated for Swans. You need to Mix for a Healthy Swan Diet.
THERE ARE REASONABLY SAFE BAG FEEDs They will Need to be Mixed with Corn for Daily Use.
*** Always ask for “NON-MEDICATED /UNTREATED” Commercial Feed & Corn Very Important. ****************
MAZURI MAINTENANCE is a REASONABLY SAFE BAG FEED Mixed with Corn. Currently Available Across the Country.
Keep the Lysine Level at 1.00% or Less.
Chewy.com is a Great Way to Order and have Many Feed Products Delivered. . . . with Orders of at Least $50.00 these will be Delivered Free. This Saves Time and Gas.. Thanks Chewy !
*** The Commercial Feed Mix we use is: NON-Medicated – Mazuri Floating Waterfowl Maintenance Pellets. Mixed 40% Pellets with 60% Whole Shell Corn.
The Mazuri Formulation provides Vitamins, Minerals, Trace Elements, Etc.
MAZURI Waterfowl Pellets Float for Several Hours.. Great for Grazing.
*** CORN is not a Complete Diet… It is a Supplement.
AVIAN INFANTICIDE: I have been Asking many of the Folks in my Swan Network what they are Feeding their Swans.. Over the Years, I Noticed a Common Fact… with 6-7 Pair of Breeding Swans.
The Swans that were Only Fed Cracked or Whole Corn during the Winter Months were the Swans who were Killing their Tiny Cygnets. Equally the Dams and Sires. Once the Diet was Improved the Next Nesting Season they did not Kill their Cygnets..
My Data Samples are TOO Small to be a Definite Correlation.. But, it is VERY Suggestive that the Poor Nutrient Diet is Related..
The Following can be added as a Treat: About 10% Scratch Mixes – Cracked Corn, Wheat, Barley, Crimped Oats, Alfalfa, Rye Grass Seed. Best Used is in a Shallow Pan of Water.. So the Swans can Suck-up these Small Pieces.
Whole Oats are Better for Horses..
Crimped Oats are made by taking Whole Oats and Partially Flattening them, Damaging the Husk and making them Slightly Easier to Consume and Digest.
Rolled Oats have been Completely Flattened and are Considered Easier to Digest.
Chickens, Ducks, Geese and Swans LOVE Crimped Oats.
( Adding a little Crimped Oats is a Floating Treat. )
I have Started to Add a Small Amount of Crimped Oats to the Corn tossed into the Water. Some of it Floats and is Nice for the Swans to Graze. This is Not Practical where a Current just Carries the Oats Away.
One Family Likes this “Feather Fixer” Feed.. Mixed with Corn to Lower the Protein.
FOR Young Cygnets – NON-Medicated Start & Grow. >>>>> ( OR Crumble – Specialty Poultry Feed) – NON-Medicated.
DO NOT FEED “CHICK STARTER” TO SWAN CYGNETs. These Feeds Contain an Additive that will cause Chronic Diarrhea, Malabsorption and the Death of many of the Cygnets. This is Formulated to help Poultry Chicks deal with Coccidiosis.
Amprolium IS NOT an Antibiotic. It is a Coccidia Preventitive for Chicks for their First 7-10 Days..
When Coccidia Parasites Ingest Amprolium, they Experience Thiamin Deficiency and Starve from Malnutrition, it ALSO Causes Thiamine Deficiency in the Cygnets. Thiamine Turns Food into Energy to Keep the Nervous System Healthy. Tiny Cygnets are GROWING Very Fast.. Cygnets NEED to be Able to Absorb all Healthy Nutrients.
*** FOR SWANs and CYGNETs over 4-6 Months Old. *** MIX Bag Feed so the Protein % is between 6-8%
Whichever you Choose – Mix to the Protein Level of ** 6-8% **
The Protein Percentage of U.S. Poultry Feed is TOO HIGH for SWANs.
Duck, Geese, Turkeys all Tolerate Protein Levels Up to 15-20% ***Swans Average Daily Protein should NOT Exceed 6-8%.
Adjust the Feed Mix by Mixing Whole Dry Shell Corn or Scratch Mix for Young Cygnets. Adding Lots of Vegetable-Plant Material Helps to Keep the Daily Protein Level Down. Lettuce, Romaine, Dark Green Leaf Lettuce, Spinach, Cabbage (shredded), Chinese Cabbage, Cucumbers, Kale, Shredded Carrots for Vitamin A, Chopped Radishes, Apples.
Young Swan Cygnets may Develop Tendon Slippage of the Carpal ( Wrist ) Joint from a High Protein Diet. This May Result in “Angel Wing” Deformity.
Any Feed put out for Swans should be Checked and ChangedDaily.
In the Summer Extrude Feed Spoils Very Easily if it Gets Wet. Spoiled/Soured Feed Can Make a Swan VERY Sick.
If it is Going to Rain… We only put Whole Corn out. In Cold Weather Spoiling is not as much a Problem.
Around Mid-January Consider Starting Feed Formulated for Egg Layers. Mix a Cup into the Daily Feed Mixture Ration.
I Save my Hard Boiled Egg Shells.. and Crush them. I Add a Teaspoon to a Gallon of Feed Mix.
When I see White Calcium in their Poop, I know I have Added Enough.
Swan Poop Tells its own Story. Learn what Normal Swan Poop Looks like. It varies GREATLY with their Diet. Occasionally, look for Any Signs of Parasite. Things that Wiggle !! Watch for Persistent Wet Sloppy Waste – Diarrhea. ??? There are MANY Possibilities.
Check with your Avian Veterinarian at Least Once a Year. See if they will do a Stool Work-up for Ova & Parasites. Sample needs to be Fresh. Their Lab will give you Instructions.
If your Swans Need Extra Vitamins to Improve their Healthy..
Gimbon Vionate – is a Vitamin Powder…. Needs to be used with a Dry Feed Mix… Not to give in Water. To help this Powder Stick to the Feed.. Mix a little OIL or King Syrup for the Vitamin Powder to Stick to…
This Information is a Work in Progress….. As I learn more I will add to this information.. &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&& Compiled & Revised by (C) L.M.Sweger .. NOVEMBER 2022
Now After ALL That…. Sit Back and Enjoy your Healthy Swans.
50 Pounds – Mazuri Waterfowl Maintenance Averages $ 40-50.00 Mazuri Waterfowl Feed has been Popular with Swan Keepers for many Years.
50 Pounds – Poultry Maintainer ( UnMedicated )
Average ( Guesstimate ) Annual Usage of Commercial Feed for Two Adult Mute Swans if they Graze off a Natural Summer Pond and Lush Green Grass.
1 – Bag of Poultry Maintainer 2 – Bags of Waterfowl Floating Pellets 1 – Bag of Scratch – Two Grain 1 – Bag of Crimped Oats 3 – Bags of Whole Shell Corn ********************************************* Addition Expenses if there are Cygnets in the Spring. 1-2 25 Pound Bags of Start-n-Grow for Cygnets OR 1 – 50 Pound Bag of Crumble for the Cygnets
Chewy.com is a Great Way to Order and have Many Feed Products Delivered. . . . with Orders of at Least $50.00. This Saves Time and Gas.. Thanks Chewy !
Healthy Pinioned Cygnets 6-10 Months Old can be SOLD/ADOPTED for: $100.00 to $150.00 to $200.00 to 300.00 to $350.00 Depends on Age – the Number and Sex Available for Sale.
Just for Fun… I Tried to Mathematically Calculate the Amount of Feed for a Healthy Adult Swan.
Birds/Waterfowl should Eat about 25-30 Grams Feed Mix / Kg Body Weight each Day.
Conversion Tables: Kilograms to Pounds.. https://www.metric-conversions.org/weight/kilograms-to-pounds.htm
Conversion Tables: Kilograms/Grams to Pounds. https://www.metric-conversions.org/weight/grams-to-kilograms.htm
EXAMPLE: (ONE) 1 SWAN Weighing appx.. 25 Pounds. ( a Healthy Pen ) (ONE) 1 Pound = 2.3 Kilograms 2.3 KG X 25 Pounds = 58 Kilograms. 58 Kilograms X 30 Grams Feed Mix = 1740 Grams. 1740 Grams Feed Mix = 1.75 Quarts of Feed.. 1.75 Quarts of Feed = A Little less then 4 Pounds Feed Mix /Day.
It is Easier to Start with a Little Too Much Feed – Food.. Then Change the Daily Ration Until there is Just a Little Left at the End of the Day.
I Found this List of Food Items to TOTALLY AVOID !
In September 2022.. I did a Search and Found there are Three USA Laboratories that do Avian/Bird DNA Sex Testing.. Info Below.
Click on Image to Enlarge.
Before you Pinion a Tiny Cygnet: It would be Great if you Could Determine the Sex. Vent Check if You know what to look for.
If you know a Person who knows how to Vent Check.. ASK for Help.
Vent Sexing Cygnets is not 100% Accurate. If you find Male Parts/the tiny Penis.. Then you have a Male.. Pinion the Left Wing.
If you can NOT Find the Penis.. that does not mean you have a Female. For 29 + Years, Everyone THOUGHT “Princess” was a Female. SURPRISE: At 30 Years Old.. “Prince” formerly “Princess” > > and “Victoria” have SEVEN Tiny Cygnets on their Pond..
It is Tricky to Find the Tiny Penis in Cygnets.. it might be Missed. During the First 10 Days after Hatching, It is Suggested that the Penis is Larger due to the Cygnet’s Elevated Hormones.
General Visual Appearance is NOT Dependable. They Look Alike ! !
All Cygnets that might be Female (Maybe Male) should be DNA Checked…
At least Pinion the Right Wing. BETTER to Pinion a Wing when they are Tiny then NOT.
TO Pinion an Older Cygnet or Adult Swan is Time Consuming and Hard on the Swan and their Owners. It is Only Safely Done by an Avian Veterinarian who is > Willing < to Preforms this Procedure.
As I Interact with more Swan Folks across the Country, I am hearing More and More People are Learning their Veterinarians are NOT Willing. They will NOT Pinion.. ONLY Clip.. They Express they have an Ethical Issue to Pinion. SO, Start Early to CALL Avian Veterinarians, so you Know what your Options are.
It is VERY Helpful to know when the Cygnets Hatched. Note that Date ! Then you will Know how Old they are. Swan Cygnets LESS then 10-14 Days Old have ONE Tiny Capillary, ONE Tiny Nerve and Soft Cartilage in the Distal Wing Tip. Pinioning at this Time is the Safest for the Cygnets.
It is Easier to Handle the Cygnets when they are Around 10 to 21 Days Old.. Not So Tiny. Sometimes Catching the Cygnets does not Happen when we Want.. Expect a Delay. I have Used this Method of Pinioning Safely UP to 21 Days.. NO Problems. Check there is NO Bone Forming in Wing Tip. If Bone is Forming you will FEEL it. KNOW How Old the Cygnets ARE !!
THE MOST IMPORTANT is PINION When YOU have the Opportunity and >>>> have Help.
From a Gazette – Direct from WEBSITE: Discussion of Sexing Birds by Vent Checking
The best thing is to get another Breeder who is an Expert at Vent Sexing to help you and supervise you until you’ve picked up the knack of it.
Most Ducks are very easy to Sex while the Geese and Swans resist you more, that is tighten their Vent Muscles so that it is most difficult to invert their Cloacal Region so their Inner Sex Parts come into plain view.
Perhaps the best time to Sex any Water-Fowl is when they are a week or two old, and some say best results are achieved at just 3-4 days old.
Experience indicates that Vent Sexing is best done in the Spring on Adult Birds, when the Sex Organs are beginning to swell.
At this time of year the gentle manual manipulation of a Male’s Vent will cause sensitive twitching and reflex movement. This does not occur when handling Female Water Fowl and is a good indicator of Sex in my judgement, but as mentioned before, an Expert can apply the right amount of pressure and easily cause the Vent to invert itself and expose the Inner Sex Parts so that there is no doubt as to Sex.
Check the drawings that illustrate Vent Sexing in various publications so you know what to look for, and the Penis on a Male will stick out especially when the right manipulation of the anal region is applied, so there is really no guess work involved when done right.
Also, before doing Vent Sexing for the first time, it is my recommendation that you first consult with and receive instruction from an Avian Veterinarian.
End of Quote from Gazette Article ( This Article has been Removed from the Internet.) &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&& &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
I WISH I had found someone who could do the above Vent Sexing Method. But, “Woe is me”… TOO Many Mistakes OCCURRED ! ! Even with Years of Experience, WE DO NOT Guess – We DNA-Check their Sex.
I have read that Vent Checking can Result in Injury to the Cloaca Sphincter. It would be Easy to Scratch the Tiny Sphincter trying to Manipulate it.
SO…. I prefer to Spare the Cygnets/Swans and do the DNA-Sex Testing.
Vent Sexing Swans/Cygnets is NOT Fool-Proof.. A Percentage will be WRONG.. If you Find Male Parts – Penis – Great ! . . But, if you do not find the Tiny Penis, – . . . . . . . . . . . . . . You can not be sure you have a Female.
If you Introduce a Second Male by Mis-Sexing a Cygnet/Swan…. View the Video Link Below… This is NOT a Swan Ballet.
Two Unrelated Mute or Trumpeter Cobs will NOT Tolerate Sharing the Same Territory. ******************************************************* &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&& *******************************************************
Ducks have a Real Penis… Swans NOT so… Male Swans DO NOT have a Penetrating Penis.
Swans are NOT Similar to Ducks or Geese. Male Swans DO NOT have a Penetrating Sex Organ. The Size of their Structure which Transfers Serum is affected by the Current Hormone Level in the Male Swan’s System. ************************************* &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
Over the Years I have talked with Some Folks who Suggest Comparing a Swan or Cygnet’s Size, Vocal Pitch, Behavior will help them Identity the Males and Females. – All Subjective.
This was One Time we Guessed Correctly. Then we DID the DNA to be Sure.
The Knob of both Male and Female Mutes Changes through the Year as the Swan’s Hormones Increase/Decease Annually..
The Same Female Mute Swan Before Nesting & After Nesting Season. Now her Knob is Smaller.
The Knob on a Mute Swan will Change as their Weight Changes. Healthy Swans tend to have Larger Full Knobs.
Underweight Swans have Smaller – Even Flat Knobs.
I do KNOW if a Swan Lays an Egg… that is a Female.. A Healthy Female Swan needs to be at least 2 to 3 Years Old before she will lay an Egg. With each Passing Year, I learn of more and more Female Swans that NEVER Lay Eggs. Their DNA Tests are FEMALE.. But, NO Eggs.. > > Puzzling ! I have asked Avian Specialists for a Reason.. None have Provided an Explanation.
I know of any number of Situations where a Pond had two Males or two Females.. NOT a Female / Male Breeding Pair. The Swan Owners were Frustrated there were NO Cygnets..
There were Never any Cygnets – But there were EGGs that Never Hatched. These were Two Females that were Purchases as a Breeding Pair. OOPs.
************************************************* If you are interested… I will share more OOPs Anecdotes at the End of this Page. Stories of Mis-Sexed Swans.. There are MORE with each Passing Year.
The Above Image – Turned out to be TWO Males.
This Pair of Swans above did not Mate… Just Fussed with Each Other. Lots of Chasing. NO Eggs after Four Spring Seasons – Strange Nesting Behavior.. Yep ! ! TWO MALES !
************************************************* ************************************************** THE MOST RELIABLE WAY TO DETERMINE A SWAN’s SEX is by DNA-Sex Testing.
There are Several Types of Samples that may be Submitted for Testing.
These are Examples of FEATHERs.
Each Type of Sample needs to be Handled Properly to Protect the Sample’s Integrity. THE MOST Important – BE Sure the Sample Submitted is DRY ! A Damp Sample Mailed in the Heat of Summer Months will Develop MOLD.
Very Young Cygnets do not have True Feathers and can not be Feather DNA-Sex Tested. Fuzzy Down is not Acceptable for DNA Testing.
True Feathers will Start Emerging around Eight Weeks. Too Late for you to Know their Sex when you Tie and Cut Pinion Yourself…
It is BETTER to Pinion when they are Tiny With or Without Knowing their Sex.
Try to Pinion FEMALEs on RIGHT WING Tip – the Distal Wing Section. **** ONE WING ONLY **** Pinion MALEs on LEFT WING Tip – the Distal Wing Section. **** ONE WING ONLY ****
THERE IS NO NEED to Pinion Both Wings. The Goal is to Keep the Swans OFF Balance.
************************************* If you are VERY LUCKY.. All your Cygnets will Survive.. That is Generally not the Case when Cygnets are Raised Out on a Pond or Lake with their Parents.
These Royal Mute Swans above had Six Cygnets Hatch. Now there are just Three. A Red-tailed Hawk was Swooping down every Third Day and Snatching a Cygnet.
Predators will Claim many Tiny Fuzzy Cygnets.
The most Common – Red-tailed Hawks, Snapping Turtles, Owls, Great Blue Herons. – Feral Cats, Fox, Dogs > People – Kids.
From Experience, there is a Wisdom in Collecting a Sample if you have a Chance. Identify the Cygnets/Swans and ID the Samples well. Store as the Avian Diagnostic Lab. Instructs.. and Wait until the Cygnets are about 3-4 Months Old to Send the Samples for Testing. ( 12 – 14 Weeks Old.) NO Point having Results for Cygnets that have Not Survived.
The Polish Swan Family below Started with Six Cygnets, now just Three.
The Cygnets above are Still in the Downy Stage.. NO True Feathers.
In the Above Image – the Pen is on the Left – the Cob is on the Right. Honest.
I WISH this was more Straight Forward.. but, Determining the Sex of Cygnets and Swans is a Challenge.
************************************* WEEKS Before your Cygnets are Scheduled to Hatch.
Once the (Pen) Female Starts to “Sit” Full Time, Mark your Calendar and Count 35 – *37 Days. On Day 35 you might be able to hear the Tiny Cygnets in the Shell “Pipping.” If all goes as Planned they will Start to Hatch on Day *37. YEAH !!!
>>>> Collect Your Supplies so you are READY. Check with Family or Friend – who will be willing to Help ? ? EXTRA Hands are Important. HAVE A PLAN !
READ the WEBSITEs for the AVIAN DNA Testing Lab that you Select. I have Spoken with these Labs.. Most Swan Samples Submitted are Feathers.
The Majority of Avian DNA Samples for Swan Cygnets are Collected from June through September. During the WARM-HOT Weather Months. With the U.S Mail being Slower then in Years Past, it is Important to GET your Samples to a Testing Lab ASAP. I Hear various Swan Folks Sending by Special Mail.. Adding to the Overall Expense.. General First Class Mail is Workable..if the Samples are Dry.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING.. is that the SAMPLE be DRY. DO NOT Submit Wet-Damp Feathers, etc. Air DRY First.
Over Time BEST Practices for Submitting Samples are Refined. I Suggest you Read the Appropriate Instructions in these WebSites.
I Checked the Best I could for a DNA Testing Service Closer to PA. I have No Experience with Two of the Testing Labs that Follow. I Appreciate Learning of your Experiences and Review of these Labs.
Their WebSites have Menu Pages with Instructions and Tips.
All these Avian-Bird Testing Laboratories have Collection Kits Upon Request. OR How to Make Your Own.
When a Wet or Damp DNA Sample is confined in Plastic it can become Moldy and the Sample QUICKLY becomes Degraded. Degraded Samples CANNOT be tested. The Labs will Request a New Samples. SEND DRY Samples.
Avian DNA Gender Determination ( bird sexing ) is a Non-Surgical and DNA-Powered Method used by Veterinarians, Breeders, and Bird Owners who CANNOT determine the Gender of their Bird by its Physical Appearance or Characteristics.
>>>> Animal Genetic International ( FLORIDA ) This is the Lab I am most Familiar with.. Their Information Follows the Notes for Other Potential Labs.
>>>> DDC DNA Diagnostics Center ( OHIO ) https://dnacenter.com/testing-pets-vets/bird-dna-testing/ DNA Technology Park 1 DDC Way Fairfield, OH 45014 ( USA ) 1 (800) 625-0874 email@example.com
How do I Know if my Bird is Male or Female? Bird DNA Testing is the Easiest and most Accurate way to Determine whether your Birds are Male or Female.
The Process is Simple: ( Once you have Hold of your Cygnet or Swan.) Order a DNA-Collection Kit from us ( included in the Price of Testing )
OR Make your own Kit at Home, and then send the Samples. DDC Accepts Feather & Blood Samples for Swans. I Spoke with Staff who Said Most Submit Feather Samples.
Once Samples are Received, your Results are Emailed to you within 5 Business Days. &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
I know One Swan Person who Used this Lab..
>>>> IQ Genetics LLC IQ Bird Testing ( FLORIDA ) https://orders.iqbirdtesting.com/ E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 4391 SW 74th Ave Miami, Florida 33155 ( USA ) Phone: 1 ( 833 ) BIRD DNA ( Call or text ) FAX: 1 ( 305 ) 592-4540
With Feather and Eggshell Specimen, we can only Process DNA Sexing. With Blood Specimen, we can do Sexing and Diseases.
There are Other BIRD DNA Testing Service.. in Canada & the U.K.
EMail >>>> ANY Questions with the Animal Genetics Testing Lab. This Lab only Communicates by EMail..
EMails are Addressed during Office Hours – (9:00 AM EST to 5:00 PM EST) Monday through Friday. Due to High Volume of EMail allow up to 5 Business Days for a Response to your Message.
Especially, if this is your First Time to Collect DNA Samples. Become Informed of ALL Your Options: > > >You ONLY Need to Submit One Type of Sample.
Animal Genetic International Toll Free: 1-800-514-9672 The Lab is NO Longer Taking Phone Calls email@example.com Send Your Questions to this EAddress. Fax: 1-850-386-1146 Email: https://www.animalgenetics.us/about-us.php#contactform 1336 Timberlane Road Tallahassee, FL 32312-1766
This would mean a Tiny Spot will have Open Skin Exposed to Dirty Pond Water.
Avoid allowing Cygnets to go back in the Pond for 1 -2 hours..
BE SURE ANY Bleeding is COMPLETELY STOPPED.
ESPECIALLY, if there are Snapping Turtles in their Water.
ANY Bleeding is to be Cared for and Completely STOPPED. I have used Clean Corn Starch and Clean White Flour as an Aid to Stop MINOR Bleeding. WONDER DUST has been Recommended.. This Works Well !!
There is additional Information for Wonder Dust at the Bottom of this Page.
Kwik Stop Styptic Powder should be used CAREFULLY as a Last Resort to Stop Bleeding. DO NOT Allow Ingestion of Kwik Stop. The Powder will become Rock Hard and May Adhere to the Esophagus.
If you are Able to Pinion your Cygnet when they are NOT so Tiny, when 10 to 21 Days Old.. You will have a better Chance to Collect a Blood Dot.
If you can Squeeze a Nice Drop of Blood from the Removed Tip of the Wing when you Pinion, Soak the Blood Drop onto a VERY CLEAN Paper Towel Square. Do your Best NOT to Touch the Area to be Soaked with a Blood Drop. Allow to Dry COMPLETELY – Check with the Selected Lab for Preferred Mailing Container.
OR Use the Blood Dot Kits Requested from Animal Genetics Inc.
Label Samples carefully, Refrigerate in a DRY Container. This can be sent in for their DNA-Sex Test..
****************************************** These Rescued Cygnets are Eight Weeks Old. NOT Pinioned !
If you need to take Older Cygnets (3-12 Weeks Old) to an Avian Veterinarian to be Surgically Pinioned, you will be able to have the Blood Dot Sample Collected from the Wing Tips Removed.
Be Prepared with Blood Dot Submission Kits for Each Cygnet and a way to ID each Cygnet. ALLOW the Samples to DRY COMPLETELY. Follow All Post-Op Instruction to Avoid Infections. YEAH …. A Mixed Brood.
A Blood Dot Sample Fee is $19.50. (in 2021) Both Feather and Blood Dot Results take 5-10 days.
I do not like to see Holes Poked in a Swan’s Feet or Legs to Collect a Blood Dot Sample. This Greatly Increasing the Risk of Painful *Bumble Foot Infections.
Beautiful as they are, Swans Walk, Stand and Swim in POOP.
DO NOT PUNCTURE their FEET.. The Sores it Causes are TERRIBLE..
Bumble Foot Sores are NO FUN to TREAT !!
The Tiny WING TIP of a Cygnet Pinioned when less then 10-14-21 Days, may have a Drop of Blood to Soak onto a Blood Collection Card – . . . . or onto an Absorbent Paper Towel.
I Checked with Animal Genetics.. (October 2014) The Tiny Wing Tip that is Snipped Off when a Cygnet is Pinioned Can be Submitted for the DNA-Sex Testing.. Allow these to DRY COMPLETELY. The Wing Tip has an Area of Skin which is Fresh Tissue Acceptable for Testing.
IF you have a GOOD Way to Identify each Tiny Cygnet when you Pinion them, you can put each Wing Tip in a Carefully Labeled > > PAPER ENVELOPE.
Information: DATE – Specimen Collected – Cygnet ID – Your Name
Fill out the Submission Form *Immediately and *Send ASAP ANIMAL GENETIC, Inc. and Avian BioTech are the Same Laboratory.
Since we were Hand Raising the Rescued Cygnets Above, I Sent Drops of Blood when we Pinioned them.. Squeezed from their Wing Tips. It is Fun to Know their Sex when they are still Tiny. ****************** OR If you want to Wait to Send the Wing Tips… >>>> ALLOW These to DRY COMPLETELY.
Since Some Cygnets may not Survive the First Several Months, it is Practical to Send for the DNA-Sex Testing when the Cygnets are around Three to Four Months Old. ( 12 – 14 Weeks )
Put EACH Wing TIP in a Separate *PAPER ENVELOPE – NOT PLASTIC
BE SURE YOU KNOW WHICH CYGNET the Wing Tip is From. ID the Cygnets SOME WAY…
ID Each Separate *PAPER Envelopes. Place Only One Wing Tip in each *PAPER Envelope with ID INFO.
I Place a Square of Wax Paper between Each Paper Envelope. -Just in Case a Little DNA Fluid Bleeds through.
Put ALL Pinioned Wing Tips in Separate Envelopes together >>>> ( Separate Envelopes with Wax Paper ) in a Larger PAPER Mailing ENVELOPE.. LABEL. Put these in the Freezer. They are Good for One Year. I Checked this with Animal Genetics (June 2016)
Check with > > >Animal Genetics for Instructions to Send Frozen Samples.
At Three to Four Months of Age, you will be able to Send the Ones you Need.
CHECK Handling Instructions for Sending Frozen Samples. Dry Ice is Often Found at Stores that Specialize in Ice Cream.
Mail ALL Labeled Paper Envelopes Inside a Larger Paper Envelope with Submission Form.
****************************** Once the Diagnostic Lab Receives your Sample/Samples you will Receive a Message by EMail..
Then in 3-5 Days the EMail Results will be Ready.. So, allow 8-10 Days for Results..
A Print-Out and the DNA Sexing Report Certificate will come in the Mail in 2-3 Weeks.
Example of the Certificate that Avian BioTech Sends. ( I added the Photo )
This DNA-Sex Test with its Certificate Increases the Sale Value of Swans/Cygnets. This information is Very Desirable to Folks looking for Swans/Cygnets. NO Guessing the Sex.
*************************************** There are other Animal Genetic Labs that do this Testing. This is the Lab I have used for Years.. Original Name * AVIAN BioTech – Avian Services Center *
Feathers must be Plucked..FRESH and Allowed to DRY Completely. Do Not Picked Up Feathers laying on the Ground. No Loose Moulted Feathers. The Test is Run on the Pink Skin Flesh that is inside the Quill.
Feathers MUST be Plucked-Pulled from the Live Bird.
Cygnets must be Old Enough to have Real-True Feathers. Fuzzy Down is NOT Acceptable. Feathers will start coming in when they are around Two – Three Months Old – 60-90 Days.
Pin Feathers are New Growth Feathers.. They are Rich in DNA. 5-6 Pin Feathers are an Acceptable Sample. ( I have not Collected these. )
**************************************** These are Photo Images to help you see what needs to be done…
Pull 6-10 Contour Feathers from the Chest area… A Slight Tug will be needed.. While Lifting Upward.
It Does Not Hurt the Swan to Pull these Feathers… They will FUSS just being held..
The Breast Feathers are Contour Feathers.. NO Very Big.. About 3-4 Inches. They are Curved.
Get Control of the Cygnet/Swan. They may Fuss just being Held. Gather a Small Clump of Breast Feathers – Pinch them.. Pull UPWARD Until they Come Out. No Need to Jerk them. It is NOT Painful for the Cygnet/Swan.
You NEED 6-10 Contour Feathers with the Quill attached to the Feathers.. a Few Extra is OK to Submit..
Place Fresh Pulled Feather Sample in a ZipLoc Bag Allow the Bag to Remain Open to Assure Feathers will DRY. Close the Bag just before Mailing. Label each Swan and Sample so you know which Swan the Results will Correspond to.
You will Receive a DNA-Sex Test Result Certificate for each Cygnet/Swan. This Certificate should stay with the Swan through its Life. This is much like their “Birth Certificate” – “Hatch Certificate.”
Since the SAFE Time to Pinion Cygnets is their First 10-14-21 Days.. It is not always possible to be sure what Sex the Cygnets are when deciding which Wing to Pinion..
It is BETTER to Pinion A Wing by 10-14-21 Days then Not to Pinion. Grounded Cygnets and Swan are Safer as Private Property Pets.
One Lake Community Banded their Tiny Cygnets when they Pinioned them. Then were Unable to Catch and Change the Tightening Leg Bands. Two of the Fast Growing Cygnets had Severely Constricted Legs. Once the Bands were Removed, it Took Months for their Legs to Function.
I was Hoping to find a Safe Permanent way to ID Swans.
There are Metal Registration Bands for Trumpeter Swans. These may not be used on other Swan Species.
There are Colored Bands for Domestic Poultry. NONE are Large enough for Mature Male Mutes.
I made several Calls to Companies that make Bands and ID Tags for Poultry and Farm Animals. Suggestion – This Clip MIGHT work.
June 2016 – After Evaluating these as Possible Permanent IDs for Swans/Cygnets, a Veterinarian felt these might be OK to try on Cygnets that are FOUR Months Old. Clipping ON Wing Skin.
(June 2016) More Information will Follow: SCRAP this Idea. As of August 2018 We have NOT used the Ear Tags Below. The Concern is that NO ONE will LOOK for the Tags Covered with Fluffy Wing Feathers. A Good IDEA -But Not Practical. NONE of the Suggestions Below.. are Really Going to Work.. (Sigh)
721 York St, PO Box 72430 Newport, KY 41072-0430 Phone: 1(859) 261-2035 Fax: 800-261-TAGS (8247) E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Spoke with a Sales Person Natasha April 2016 She felt Metal Livestock “Tags” would work well put on Tiny Cygnets Weighing One Pound that will Grow into Swans 25-30 Pounds. These would be clipped into the Wing Skin. TAKE CARE NOT TO Clip anything but SKIN. https://nationalband.com/metal-ear-tags/
Metal Livestock Identification Ear Tag Cattle Ear Tags Self-Piercing – Self Locking Tamper-Resistant Light Weight Aluminum Will Last for 20+ Years. Style 681 Packs of 100 Number or Letters as you Choose. One Color add $10.00
2018 – For Now, we will keep Seeking for another Idea.
I have Chatted with various Veterinarians about the Implanted ID Chips used with Cats and Dogs.. I did read about a Public Park being able to Recover a Stolen Swan because the Swan had an ID Chip.
Something to Think About.. Draw Back: You would need a Scanner to Read the Chip..
In the END WE Continue to Use Colored Cable Ties. If you have several Cygnets from One Brood that you are SURE you can Monitor the Leg Bands.. DO NOT Allow to GET TIGHT. Constriction Damage to their Legs CAN Cause a Lifetime of Limping.
AND CHANGE as they Grow……. Have at least 4 Colors of SMALL Cable Ties… OR four Colors of Light Weight Cotton Cord (Crochet Floss)…
You can ID a Total of 8 Cygnets. One of Four Colors on Left Legs One of Four Colors on Right Legs
IF you need to ID more then 8 Cygnets.. Use Combinations of 2 Colors… Place 2 Cables Example ( Red + Green ) Keep Careful Records..
CYGNETS GROW QUICKLY… Change Cable Ties OFTEN.. NEVER Let the Cable Ties get Tight on their Legs..
Before you Cut the Cable Tie – Slide a Folded Piece of Paper under the Cable Tie then Put the Scissors between the Cable Tie & Paper. This way you will Not put any Pressure on the Skin when you Snip the Cable Tie Off.
ANIMAL GENETICs AVIAN Biotech International 3382 Capital Circle NE Tallahassee, FL 32308 ************************************************* ANIMAL GENETICs AVIAN Biotech Office in England Animal Genetics (Europe) 1 Mount Charles Rd, St. Austell Cornwall, PL25 3LB ENGLAND
If you are Lucky to know Someone who can teach you to Vent Check the Swans/Cygnets, try to Learn.. Then when you are Unsure Send a Sample for DNA-Sex Testing.
Not Finding “Male Parts” does not mean you have a Female. It just means you did not find a Penis. *************************************
It is Surprising how Difficult it is to be sure if a Mute Swan is a Male or Female. Look at this Breeding Pair – So Similar.
Cygnets of all Swan Species are the same Challenge.
Size of Swan – Size of Cygnet – Not Reliable
In the Summer of 2015, we Rescued Three Cygnets from the Same Brood. The Larger Smoky-Grey Cygnet was the Female. The Two Smaller Creamy White Nest Mates were BOTH Males.
If we had just Guessed… we would be WRONG.
Several Years Ago.. A Swan Breeder with 20+ Years of Experience, Claimed two Mature Swans that were always together were a Male/Female Pair. A Person in Texas Purchased this “Pair” and Arranged for them to be Flown from Pennsylvania. Off to Texas they Flew by Air Mail Cargo. By Good Fortune the two Swans Arrived Safe and Sound. But, it only took the New Owner a Short Time to Realize Both were MALE. He was NOT Happy…
We met an Older Gentleman with a Lone Two Year Old Swan on his Pond. We hoped to help him find a Mate. He was SURE “Swanie” was a Female.
“Swanie” had been Vent Checked Twice… by a Person Familiar with Swans.
I Remember Thinking, this Swan has a Very Large Knob and is “Busking.” I thought… Hummmm.. Acts like a Male. (Not a Good Way to Guess Sex.)
I was told, “No.” A Person who “knows” how to Vent Check, had done so Twice and Determined “Swanie” was a Female. I know “Looks” vary Greatly.. Lone Females may Behave more Aggressive as a Survival Tactic.
This Gentleman Purchased a Year Old Male Juvenile.
Four Years Passed…. The Swans Spent more Time with One Fussing and Chasing the Other then being a Peaceful Bonded Pair. No Mating was Observed – Nesting… Yes – Sorta. NO Eggs.
The Purchased Juvenile Male had Grown into a Large Dominant Male Swan. He would Build the Nest and “Sit” on it..
“Swanie” was NOT Allowed Near the Nest. ??? The Owner was Bewildered and Frustrated at the Pair’s Behavior.
I Suggested several Times this MIGHT be Two Males. But, the Owner was SURE he was RIGHT ! !
One Winter Day, we had a Chance to Pull several Breast Feathers from “Swanie.” When the DNA-Results came back….. “Swanie” was CONFIRMED a Male. The Owner was Shocked !!!