A site dedicated to sharing general care of mute swans

The White Bag Effect

November 23rd, 2015 | Posted by LadyNerkle1 in The White Bag Effect - (Comments Off on The White Bag Effect)

As We Visit and Work with Swans,
We have Observed how Visual they are.
They are Creatures of Habit.

We take their Vegetable and Treats to their Ponds
in White Grocery Bags.


The Swans will Follow “The White Bags.”     
The White Bag Effect

When the Swans see “The WHITE BAGS” from a Distance
They Head Toward Us for their Treats and to Visit with Us.
Mute Swans White Bag Effect  Click Images to Enlarge

Lettuce Drop Bags

We would get Discard Vegetables from a Local Restaurant Kitchen.
Mute Swans White Bag EffectI Sorted the Lettuce Greens into the White Plastic Grocery Store Bags.
Mute Swans White Bag Effect“The White Bag Effect” is Fun !
Mute Swans White Bag EffectHere they Come !
Mute Swans White Bag Effect

“The White Bags” help us Develop Trust.
Mute Swans White Bag EffectSitting Quietly with “The White Bag” Visible.Mute Swans White Bag EffectThe Swans Know there are Yummy Greens in “The White Bags.”
Mute Swans White Bag EffectThe Swans May NOT Recognize our Clothing.. but Always “The White Bags.”
Mute Swans White Bag Effect

for BREAD BAGS to the Pond Area.
NO Rubber Bands or Styrofoam..

Anything Foreign that a Swan Swallows will Stay in their Gizzard..
Indigestible.. Obstructive.
Swan Gizzard

BE VERY CAREFUL to Collect any Metal if you are doing any Construction Projects.
WaterFowl will Pick-up and Swallow Screws, Nails, Nuts, Bolts, etc.
Mute Swans White Bag EffectSWANs Die from Thing that get Stuck In or Puncture their Throat or Gizzard….
The Term for this is “Hardware Disease.”
Be Careful with Coins, Pennies, Nickels, Dimes, Quarters, etc.
Mute Swans White Bag EffectWe want the Treats we Bring for the Swans to be Safe.

White Bag Effect

The Swans see “The White Bags” and Come for their Treats.White Bag Effect When the Swans see our Van, they know we have Greens and Treats.
Mute Swans White Bag EffectWe had the Privilege of Visiting this Mute Swan Family Once a Week.
Mute Swans White Bag EffectThey All Got to Know there were Yummy Lettuce Greens in “The White Bags.”
Mute Swans White Bag EffectThere are Yummy SALAD Greens for All.
Mute Swans White Bag EffectThis Conditioning HELPED when it was Time to Catch the Cygnets.
Mute Swans White Bag EffectThe WHOLE Swan Family would Routinely Walk into the Catch Fencing.
Mute Swans White Bag EffectWe Used “The White Bag” Conditioning all Summer.

One Young Swan was Sitting on the Other Side of this Large Pond.
She did not Come Over when we Stopped to Visit.
The White Bag Effect

I took a White Bag of Greens Out of our Van.
As soon as she Saw “The White Bag,” she Headed Over to Join her Companion Swan.

The White Bag EffectOther Vehicles that Stopped – Did Not have “The White Bags.”
The White Bag Effect Mute SwansWe had “Victoria” with us for Several Weeks.

The Ducks, Geese and Swans will Follow Whoever has “The White Bag.”
Swan White BagSwan White BagSwan White Bag

Swans Follow “The Lettuce Man.”
Mute Swans White Bag Effect

Rob became the “Pied Piper of Lettuce.”
Swan White Bag
DO NOT Take “The White Bags” to Visit Swans
during their Mating and Nesting Time.
“The White Bags” will cause the Male Swans to CHASE You.
Try to Use the Beige or Grey Bags.  

Their Hormonal Aggressive Behavior is Triggered by WHITE. 

Hormonal Male Swan

Once Nesting Season is Over – “The White Bags” are OK Again.

From Way Across the Lawn – “The White Bags” are Visible.
Swan White BagSwan White BagWhite Bag Effect

The Best Part of my Day is Spent with the Swans.  

Swans The White Bag EffectSwans White Bag

“It is a Good Day when I have Swan Poop on my Shoes.” 
Mute Swans White Bag Effect********************************

Some Swan Cygnets Would Get VERY Excited for the Lettuce.
Mute Swans White Bag EffectI had to be Careful they were NOT Pulling “The White Bags” Apart.
Mute Swans White Bag EffectMost Swans and Cygnets LOVE Lettuce.
Mute Swans White Bag Effect
We did “Lettuce Drops” with any Extra Lettuce we get.
We Enjoy Visiting all the Swans and Cygnets we Live Near.

Lettuce Drop

This Information is a Work in Progress…..
As I learn more I will add to this information..
Compiled by (C) L.M.Sweger         UpDated  June 2021

Swans Are Vegetarians

November 23rd, 2015 | Posted by LadyNerkle1 in Swans Are Vegetarians - (Comments Off on Swans Are Vegetarians)

 To Provide a Healthy Diet for your Swans you need to Think Vegetables.
80 % of their Natural Diet is Plant Material. 

Swans are Vegetarians                             
Duckweed Algae    


Swans are Vegetarians

To Enlarge Images – Right Click Image then Open in a New Tab.

You are the BEST Person to Ensure your Swans receive a Healthy Diet.
When you Care for “Captive” Swans they Depend on YOU !!!

Swans Are Vegetarians

Giving Swans Plenty of Variety in their Diet can Help Reduce the Possibility
of Boredom and Increases their Happiness and Overall Quality of Life.

Feral Swan on Creek
Swans are Vegetarians 

If Mute Swans were Living in the Wild, they would have a Feeding Range
of 3-5 Square Miles to Find what Foods their Bodies Require to be Healthy.

Wild Tundra Swans
Wild Tundra Swans

Wild Tundra and Trumpeter Swans
Migrate Hundreds to Thousands of Miles Annually…

They will have a Wide Variety of Plants and Insects to Graze on.

Trumpeter Swans

Mute Swans are NOT Migratory Birds. They do NOT Migrate.

Swans are Vegetarians
Winter Care for Swans

All the Summer Plants they Feed on are Unavailable for Months.

Feeding Swans 
Swans are Vegetarians 

Swans Living on Natural Fresh Water Rivers/Creeks/Ponds/Lakes will Typically
Eat Pond Weeds, Duckweed, Stonewort and Wigeon Grass, some Algae
as well as Tadpoles, Worms, Slugs and a WIDE Variety of Insects.

Swans Eat DuckWeed
Swans are Vegetarians 

Due to Organic Excess, Some Ponds have Lots of DuckWeed.

Swans are Vegetarians Duckweed

DuckWeed is a Great Natural Floating Food..

Feeding Swans Duckweed
Swans are Vegetarians 

Swans will Learn where to Find their Favorite Underwater Plants.

Swans Grazing on Plants
Swans are Vegetarians 

A Pond with Natural Underwater Plants will be Grazed on ALL Day.
There will be Insects and Underwater Critters
that will Help provide Natural Protein and Calcium.

Captive Swans
Swans are Vegetarians 

Once we Pinion or Clip to Ground a Swan, they are “Captive” for us to Enjoy.
They are Classified in most U.S. States as “Captive Exotic Poultry.”  PETs !

Swans are Vegetarians

These Young Swan Cygnets Depend on us to Help them have the Nutrients
that their Bodies need to be Healthy.

Swans are Vegetarians

Healthy Swans may Live 20-30+ Years.

Swans are Vegetarians

The Oldest Known Swan was a Male Mute in England, that Lived to 104 Years.

Older Swan Cob
Swans are Vegetarians 
Male Mute Swan
Swans are Vegetarians 

The Grain-Poultry Feed Mixture Adds Nutrients that a Pond may not Provide.

Food for Swans
Swans are Vegetarians 

With the Pond Plants, Lawn Grass and Poultry Feed Mixture Swans will do nicely.

Golf Course Pond
Swans are Vegetarians 

If Grassy Lawns that Surround a Pond are Treated with Weed and Insect Control Products
and the Chemicals Run/Drain into the Pond they WILL Affect the Natural Pond Environment.
 There may be VERY Few Under Water Plants and Few Insects.  
This is Typical of Golf Courses, Hotel Grounds, College Campuses,
Some Public Park Ponds and many Private Lawns.

Public Park 
Swans are Vegetarians 

Many Pond Owners Love having the Colorful KOI Fish in the Waters.

Swans are Vegetarians 
Pond Koi Fish

A Large School of ANY Species of Fish – KOI – Carp – Bass – Trout – Blue Gill…ETC.
Will Consume their Share of the UnderWater Plants.. They Need to EAT Also.

Swans are Vegetarians 
Pond Koi Fish

If you use Lawn Care Service or Treat your Lawn..
OR have a Large School of Fish… (-;
Check what is Growing in your Pond.

Sweep Down in the Water 2 – 3 Feet with a Garden Rake or Cultivator.
Are you Snapping Under Water Plants.

Swans are Vegetarians 
Garden Cultivator

Putting Vegetables, Grains, Cut Grasses into or onto your Pond
May cause Obstruction where your Pond Drains.

Pond Spillway
Swans are Vegetarians 

This Material may Collect where you have a Pump Filter.

Floating Lettuce
Swans are Vegetarians 

Start with Small Amounts, try Different Areas until you know want Works Best
for your Swans and their Water Environment.

Pond Spillway
Swans are Vegetarians 

If Free Floating Vegetable Cause a Problem at your Spillway..
Put their Vegetables in a Weighted Basket or Handle-less Bucket.

Swans are Vegetarians

With the Lush Summer Lawn Grasses to Graze on..

Swans are Vegetarians

Watch for Under Chin-Tongue Impactions.. Short Cut Grass is a Common Culprit..

Under Tongue-Chin Impaction

Swans are Vegetarians
Under Chin Impaction

Swans Enjoy the Tender Grass Growth..
If you Only Mow 1/3 of the Grass along the Pond each Week.
Leaving 2 Areas Grow.. Five to Six Feet along the Pond Edges.
Then the Next Week, Mow a different Area.. (Rotating)
There will be Some Longer Grass Blades for the Swans to Graze on.

Swans are Vegetarians

Plus the Longer Grasses will have more Insects for them to Munch on.
….. (-; (-: (-; (-:

Swans are Vegetarians

 The Swans will Enjoy seeing you Stop by their Water Environment to Visit,
when you have Vegetables for them.

Swans are Vegetarians

ADDING Vegetables, Especially during Cold Weather Months
will Add to the Swans’ Overall Healthy Diet.

Feeding Swans in Winter
Swans are Vegetarians 
Hand Feeding Swans
Swans are Vegetarians 

Hand Feeding your Swans is a Nice Activity.. It Socializes the Swans.

Hand Feeding Swans
Swans are Vegetarians 

With the Young Female Below – We Needed to ReEstablish Trust..
YEAH ! She Loves Lettuce.

Swans are Vegetarians 

Hand Feeding our Rescued Swans and Cygnets Helped to Socialize them.

Swans are Vegetarians 

When you are Feeding your Swans,
Give the First Treat to the Pen, then the Cob and then the Remaining Swans/Cygnets.

Swans Lettuce
Swans are Vegetarians 

I Cut – Shred – Chop – Enough Vegetable Mix for Several Day.

Swans are Vegetarians
Swan Cygnet Vegetables
Swans are Vegetarians 
Swans are Vegetarians

Most Lettuce and Vegetable come from the Western States…
During the Summer Garden Vegetables may come from Outside the USA.
Listen for any Warning or ReCalls for Contaminated Vegetables & Fruit.

Feeding Mute Swans
Swans are Vegetarians 

SWANs LOVE Vegetables…  

WE DO NOT Purchase ORGANIC Vegetable or Fruit..

Swans are Vegetarians 

Vegetables Allowed to Float Out on their Pond.. the Swans can Graze at Will.
Remember Carrots SINK… Put them in Shallow Water.

Swans Love Vegetables
Swans are Vegetarians 

Our Sweet “Spring” LOVED Radishes.. She would Eat as many as she Could Find.

Swans are Vegetarians

We had an Arrangement with a Local Country Club.
Their Kitchen would Save their Discard Vegetables for us.

Swans are Vegetarians 

We Stopped in Once or Twice a Week.
This Saved them BIG Bags of Discard Vegetables going to the Landfill.

Discard Vegetables
Swans are Vegetarians 

AND, our Swans EAT Very Well.. (-;

Vegetables for Swans
Swans are Vegetarians 
Swans are Vegetarians

      “Thank You” – to the WSCC Kitchen Staff.

Swan White Bag Effect
Swans are Vegetarians 

If you can make an Arrangement with a Restaurant, Farmers Market Vegetable Vendor,
Grocery Store Salad Bar, etc., you will Save Money and You will have Happy Swans.

Waterfowl and Vegetables
Swans are Vegetarians 
Swans are Vegetarians

Swans ENJOY Assorted Vegetables.
They do not need Vegetables Everyday.  But are Happy for them.

Swan Vegetables
Swans are Vegetarians 
Swans are Vegetarians
Swans are Vegetarians
Swans are Vegetarians


MOLDs May Contain Toxins that will Make your Swans VERY Sick.

Swans Benefit
Swans are Vegetarians 

Vegetables help add Fiber to their Intestinal Tract during the Winter.

Swan Vegetables
Swans are Vegetarians 

Most Swans will Instinctively KNOW Lettuce is GOOD to Eat.

Swans are Vegetarians

When you are Preparing a Salad for your Dinner, Save the Trimming
that you would Normally Toss..

Cygnet Salad Greens
Swans are Vegetarians 

Vegetables are more Beneficial in the Cold Winter Months
when Water Plants and Grasses are Dormant.

Swans are Vegetarians

Remember Swans DO NOT have Teeth.
Chop or Slice Firm Root Vegetables THIN.

SWAN Vegetable
Swans are Vegetarians 

I do not..Buying Organic Vegetables..
These Swans are Swimming Water and Eating Muddy Critters..
The Important thing to do for them is to keep their Liver Health.

A Proper Protein Diet will help to keep their Liver Healthy.. 8-10 Percent..
Apple.. I do not buy Organic Apples.. I Wash them..
Cut into Various Size Pieces.. Float them on the Pond..

If there are Apple Trees that are NOT Sprayed..
I will Gather Apples off the Ground..
Check them for any Mold or Bees or Hornets..
Break the Skin and Toss them into the Pond..
The Seed Generally Fall Away.

Swan Vegetables
Swans are Vegetarians 

Cut into Small Pieces: Carrots, Radishes, Cucumbers and their Peels. 
I Like to Chop Enough for Several Day.. Bag..Ready to Go. 

Swan Vegetables
Swans are Vegetarians 
Cygnet Vegetables
Swans are Vegetarians 

The White Cabbage Leaves Sliced into Thin Strips..
The Outside Dark Green Cabbage Leaves are too Tough.

Swan Vegetables
Swans are Vegetarians 

The Yellow-Green Leaves of Celery might be Eaten.
Some Swans Love Kale & Spinach.

Swan Vegetables
Swans are Vegetarians 

Swans may Eat Steamed Leftovers Vegetables like Corn,
Green Beans, Cabbage, Cauliflower & Broccoli.

Cut a Few Seedless Grapes in Half.  Strawberry Caps left close to the Water’s Edge..
Some Swans like Watermelon in the Rind Floating out on the Pond.

Mute Swan Watermelon
Swans are Vegetarians 

Sweet Fruits Fallen from Trees may Attract Bees and Hornets…
Discard them so Swans will NOT be Stung !!

Swans are Vegetarians

 Swans LOVE APPLEs……

Swan Apple
Swans are Vegetarians 

Cut Unpeeled Apples into Quarters or Slices for Adult Swans..
Chopped for Cygnets. Swans can NOT Bite into a Whole Apple.

Swans Apples
Swans are Vegetarians 

Swans Apples
Swans are Vegetarians 

If you have Apple Trees (Untreated) Toss a few Fallen Apples onto the Pond.
Break them Open First, the Swans can not Bite a Whole Round Apple.

Swans are Vegetarians

Swans Love Apples Sent by a Swan Friend in the Netherlands.. Fun Video.

Floating Vegetables
Swans are Vegetarians 

If there are Fish in your Pond that Eat the Vegetables..

Vegetable and Fish
Swans are Vegetarians 

If you Give your Swans Cherries or Peaches.. REMOVE the PITs.
Large Fruit Pits will take a VERY Long Time to Break Down and
Pass Through the Gizzard. They may Irrate the Gizzard Muscles.

Plus Cherry, Peach and Apricot Pits also contain Amygdalin
( A Form of Cyanide ). The Fruit Flesh is Safe to Eat.

In the Water most Apple Seeds will Fall Away.
If the Swans Swallow the Seeds of Apples NO WORRIES.
Apple Seeds have a Hard Protective Shell that Seals
the Amygdalin inside ( a Form of Cyanide ).
The Seeds will pass through their Digestive System
without Releasing Harmful Amounts of this Compound.

Article on Snopes.com about Apples Seeds and Cyanide Compound..

Swans are Vegetarians

Try Putting the Veggies into a Stone Weighted Basket in Shallow Water.

Swans are Vegetarians 
Basket Swan Vegetables
Swans are Vegetarians 
Basket Swan Vegetables
Swans are Vegetarians 

After 24 Hours, Dump and let the Fish have them..

Floating Vegetables
Swans are Vegetarians 

Watch which Vegetables/Foods Float and which SINK.

Feeding Swans 
Swans are Vegetarians 

Place Vegetable that SINK.. like Thin Slices of Carrot in Shallow Water.

Carrots Sink
Swans are Vegetarians 

Whole Dry Corn is a Favorite Sprinkled into Shallow Water.
Whole Dried Corn will Soften a bit in the Water..
Swans seem to like it Soaked in the Water for a few Minutes.

Soften Dried Corn
Swans are Vegetarians 

The Bright Yellow Flowers and Leaves of Dandelions are a Welcome Treat !

Dandelion Swans are Vegetarians 



Swans are Vegetarians
The Cob Below was Introduced to Lettuce when he was 24-25 Years Old..
It took a Few Tries for him to Taste the Float Lettuce..  He Likes It ! 
Swan Lettuce
Swans are Vegetarians 

Swans will Generally Eat All Types of Lettuce.

Salad Greens for Swans
Swans are Vegetarians 

A Floating Head of Iceberg Lettuce is a Fun Lunch.

Swans are Vegetarians 

Not all Types of Lettuce are Equal.

Swans Romaine
Swans are Vegetarians 

Romaine Lettuce has the MOST Nutritional Value.

Romaine Swans
Swans are Vegetarians 

Swans Love Romaine Bunch Butts. Toss them out onto the Pond.

Swans are Vegetarians 
Romaine Lettuce
Swans Romaine
Swans are Vegetarians 

Romaine Lettuce Bunches have Long Dark Green Outer Leaves
that are Generally Discarded.
These Large Dark Leaves have the MOST SunShine Nutrients !!

Swans Romaine Lettuce
Swans are Vegetarians 

Next to Carrots, Romaine is an Excellent Source of Vitamin A,
a Good Source of Dietary Fiber, Multiple Vitamins, Minerals and Tryptophan.

Carrots Vitamin A
Swans are Vegetarians 

Romaine Lettuce has Measurable Pro-Vitamin A (Carotenoid-Betacarotene), 
Vitamin K, Folate-Folic Acid, Vitamin C,
Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3 (niacin), Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine).

Swans are Vegetarians 

Romaine Lettuce contains the Minerals Manganese, Chromium, Potassium, 
Molybdenum, Iron, Calcium and Phosphorous.
The Fiber in Romaine Lettuce helps keep the Swans’ Colon Healthy.

Swans Romaine
Swans are Vegetarians 

Bottom Line –
Romaine Lettuce Contributes to a Healthy Diet for Swans.

Swans are Vegetarians

Occasionally, we Mixed some Drained Tuna Juice/Oil onto the Lettuce.
THAT was a BIG Hit..  The Swans Really Enjoy the Fishy Taste..

Iceberg Lettuce – Crispy, Watery Green Leaves in a Tight Ball…
Iceberg Lettuce has little Nutritional Value.  But, they Love it.

Swan Lettuce
Swans are Vegetarians 

SO….  Romaine for a Healthy Diet…  Iceberg for Fun !

Swans are Vegetarians

Swans will Eat EVERY Bit of Salad Greens Tossed to them.

Swans Lettuce
Swans are Vegetarians 

Toss a Whole Head of Iceberg onto their Pond, the Swans will Take Turns Biting “The Ball”.                         

Swan Lettuce Play
Swans are Vegetarians 

   “Lettuce Play”  “Let-Us-Play.”

Swans Lettuce Play
Swans are Vegetarians 

If you like Special Types of Lettuce and what you Purchased
will not be used by your Family, OR you have More then you will Eat.
It is Worth a try, rather then Discarding the Excess, Butter Head,
Boston and Bibb Lettuces Swans will Eat these..
Plus Leaf Lettuces – Green Leaf and Red Leaf.

Swan Cygnets Lettuce
Swans are Vegetarians 
Swans are Vegetarians

Leafy Vegetables like Arugula, Spinach and Watercress add Variety.
Swiss Chard Leaves were a Big Hit.. Collard Greens not so much..

Swan Lettuce
Swans are Vegetarians 

Q: Is it Safe to Eat the Edges of Lettuce Leaves that have turned Brown?
Q: What Causes Lettuce to Turn Brown?

Lettuce and Pesticide Residues

Floating Lettuce
Swans are Vegetarians 

Lettuce is One Food that Pesticide Residues is Commonly Found.

Virtually all Drinking Water in the U.S. contains Pesticide Residues.
Pesticides are Present in most Food in Very Small Trace Amounts.
The Negative Impact on our Health is Well Documented.
The Liver’s Ability to Process Toxins, the Body Cells’ Ability to Produce Energy
and the Nerves’ Ability to Send Messages can all be Compromised by Pesticide Exposure.

It is IMPORTANT to Protect your Swans’ Liver..
by Feeding them Safely.

Swans are Vegetarians

REMEMBER Swans NEED a Lower Protein Diet.. to Protect their Liver. 
Then they will be Able to DeTox what they Drink and Ingest.
A Diet High in Protein will cause Fatty Liver Disease
and GREATLY Shorten your Swans’ Lives.

Swans with Fatty Liver Disease – Lipidosis look Full Body and Healthy.
But, they are Developing High Blood Pressure and Kidney Disease..
They may Suddenly, Without Warning Die of a Stroke, Heart or Renal Failure.

Swan High Protein Lipidosis
Swans are Vegetarians 


Swans are Vegetarians
Swans are Vegetarians

The Images here have Mainly the Vegetables we have Shared with our Swans.
The Large Crisp Romaine Leaves are Nice for Hand Feeding your Swans.
It is Relaxing to Spend Time with Swans..

Feeding them should be Beneficial for both the Swans and their Care Takers.

Swans are Vegetarians

Feeding Swans on the Ground is Environmentally Unsound
and Encourages the Swans to Leave their Water.

Swan Lettuce
Swans are Vegetarians 

Food left laying on the Ground may Develop MOLD which can be FATAL to the Swans.
BEST to Keep all Food Item at least along the Water’s Edge.

Feeding Swans
Swans are Vegetarians 

Placing Any Food in the Water Close to the Water’s Edge Allows the Swans
to see the Foods that Sink (Corn/Carrots)…

Vegetables Sink
Swans are Vegetarians 
Feeding Swans
Swans are Vegetarians 

and there is Less Chance they will be Surprised by a Snapping Turtle.

Snapping Turtle Vegetables
Swans are Vegetarians 

 BEST to REMOVE Snapping Turtle from Your Ponds.

Feeding Swans
Swans are Vegetarians 

Fish and Harmless Turtles will get to know where you Commonly Feed the Swans
and will often Wait Close by to Clean up the Leftovers.

Swans are Vegetarians 
Painted Turtle

This is helpful, there is Nothing left to Sour or Rot.

Feeding Cygnets
Swans are Vegetarians 


We Find Ways to Place ALL their Food in their Water.

Swans Vegetables
Swans are Vegetarians 

If Swans have to Leave their Water to Eat they become Vulnerable to Predators,
Dogs, Cats, People. Swans in the Water are SAFER. It is also more Natural for them.

Swan Vegetable Basket
Swans are Vegetarians 

Feeding from Containers is a Challenge where the Water Level Changes Quickly.  

Swan Folks in our Network have Shared some of their Feeding Ideas.

Feeding Stations for Swans.

Swan Vegetable Basket
Swans are Vegetarians 

DO NOT Place Feed Containers on HOT Surfaces.
Remember, in the Summer many Surfaces GET HOT!!
A Swan’s BIG Flat Feet may BURN and BLISTER…NOT GOOD !!

In the Bitter Cold Days of Winter, a Swan’s WET Feet can stick to Icy Surfaces..
 just like our Skin would. Swan are Safest in Liquid Water.

Frozen Carrot Ball
Swans are Vegetarians 

Occasionally, I have Frozen Chopped Veggies into a Mold for a Hot Day Treat.

By the End of October there will be Very Little for the Swans to Eat
in the River/Lakes/Ponds/Creeks of Pennsylvania.
Most Underwater Vegetation will become Dormant for the Winter Months.

There is VERY Little in Pennsylvania for Swans to Eat
from Halloween to St. Patrick’s Day.
Five LONG Months…

I have Observed Swans TRYING to Eat the Dark, Decaying Remains
of Underwater Plant Material.
YUCK! Black, Slimy, Decaying Leaves YUCK !
Anything for a few Calories.

Cygnets Salad Greens
Swans are Vegetarians 

Captive Swans need Supplemental Feeding to Remain Healthy.

A Female Swan will Produce a Healthier Clutch of Eggs
if she has “Greens” through the Winter Months.

Salad Green Basket
Swans are Vegetarians 

If you can SAFELY Place Lettuce and Vegetable out on an Icy Ledge..
the Swans ENJOY this as a Salad Bar.

Swan Icy Salad Bar
Swans are Vegetarians 

Swans will Need Time to Adjust to New Foods offered,
and may Eat different items in the Winter and the Summer.
Example: Celery Leaves seem to be an Acquired Taste.
Once they are Exposed a Few Time most Swans Enjoy the Tender Yellow-Green Leaves.

Tasting Lettuce
Swans are Vegetarians 
Swans are Vegetarians

Each Swan has Foods they Likes and Dislikes, just like People.

Swans Salad Greens
Swans are Vegetarians 

You will get to know what will just be Wasted.
Try Small Amounts of a New Food for a Week or Two and Observe what is Eaten.

Swan Vegetables
Swans are Vegetarians 

Once they Eat their Vegetables….

Swans are Vegetarians

Your Swans will Enjoy a FEW Treats.

Feeding Swans
Swans are Vegetarians 

Swans will Eat their Favorite Foods first..
Keep “Treats” from becoming their Primary Nutrition.

Swan Cereal Treats
Swans are Vegetarians 

GOOD Snacks/Treats are Whole Grain Cereal.
A Cup of Plain Cheerios, Kix or Plain Corn Flakes, Bran Flakes Occasionally,
will be Enjoyed.
Avoid Yeast and Colored Dyes that many Cereals have.

We gave our Swans a few One Inch Squares of Honey Graham Crackers.

Graham Crackers Swans
Swans are Vegetarians 

These have NO Yeast and they Float.. and can be Frisbeed Out to the Swans.

Swans are Vegetarians

When Tossing Treats to Swans…
Toss to the Dominate Female first.
Then to the Dominate Male…
They will Take Turns.
Many Swans will Snort “Thank You” for Food and Treats.


NO ONIONS, Garlic, Mushrooms or Avocados..
NO TOMATO or POTATO Plant Materials 
These Plants are Members of the Night Shade Family.
These will Upset a Swan’s Stomach..

Avoid Salty Foods. Avoid Sugary Foods.
Little or NO BREAD, Crackers, Chips or Pop Corn..
NO Meat or Dairy..

Swan Vegetables
Swans are Vegetarians 
Swan Vegetables
Swans are Vegetarians 

This Information is a Work in Progress…..
As I learn more I will add to this information..
Compiled by (C) L.M.Sweger           UpDated       NOVEMBER 2021


Submersible Pump for Open Water in Winter

November 23rd, 2015 | Posted by LadyNerkle1 in Submersible Pump for Open Water in Winter - (Comments Off on Submersible Pump for Open Water in Winter)


There are various ways to keep a “WINTER WAKE” for your Waterfowl.
A Submersible Pump in a Tub may be Effective in your Water Environment.

Click to Enlarge Images 

Swans Winter Care

*****Submersible Pump


Winter Water Wake..
Keeping Water Moving and Mixing to Prevent Freezing.

Every Water Environment is different.
Some Ponds have Open Water Areas all Year Round.
Even in the Coldest Weather. These are Lucky Folks.

For Ponds that will Naturally Freeze during Winter Months,
the Addition of some type of DeIcing Equipment is Necessary.

Waterfowl in Liquid Water are Safer from Predators and the Winter Cold.

Swans Frozen Pond

*****Winter Wake for Swans
When there is a Chill in the Air.. It is TIME to Plan for Winter.

Fall Colors

This Topic Page is about our Experience During the Winter of 2015-2016.

Fall Frost

          “Jack Frost” Visits the Pond.

In Pennsylvania we might need DeIcing by mid-November.
At least for some Nights when the Temperatures drop below Freezing.

Pond Temp

The last several Winters have had some VERY Cold Periods.

Swans Frozen Pond
We have our Swans on a Lovely Pond that will Naturally Freeze over during the Winter. Swans Lovely Pond
We need to be sure our Swans have a SAFE Place to stay in their Pond.

Swans Feeder
And Open Water by their Feeder, so they can continue to Eat while in the Water.

Swans in Fall
We used a Circulating Air-O-Lator in Past Winters.
The Circulating Aeration Systems are OUT in the Deeper Areas of the Pond..

Air-O-Lator Frozen
If the Fan Motor STOPs Working, we have found they are TOO Difficult to Service when the Pond is COLD and Frozen.

Frozen Air-O-Lator

This Winter (2015-2016) we are Going to Use a
Submersible Pump in a Large Vinyl Tub.

Submersible Pump for Pond

This Set-Up will be in the Shallow Area of the Pond by the Dock.

Submersible Pump In Pond

If this works the way we plan, Open Water will extend way out into the Pond.

For Using a Submersible Pump In the Pond for the Winter.

Submersible Pump In Pond

There are Different Brands of Submersible Pumps.
Different Stores – Different Prices…  Check Reviews.

Submersible Pump

I Found a Country Line Submersible Pump.
Country Line Submersible Pump   (NOT Sump Pump)

Submersible Pump

Country Line Submersible Pump was Available at Tractor Supply.


We needed to have Electric Service Close to the Pond.

Electric by Pond

The Pump Safety Information Discourages using Extension Cords.
We arranged for Electrical Lines to be run underground by an Electrical Contractor.

Electric by Pond

They Installed an Outside WaterProof Outlet Cover Box.

Taymac MM7440C Weatherproof Double Outlet Cover
Outdoor Receptacle Protector, 4-3/4 Inches Deep, Clear.

The way the Covered Electric Box came (with Four-Outlets)
it is not Large enough for the ThermoCube to fit inside properly.
The ThermoCube Strip would stick out the Side..

Electric by Pond

The Electrician ordered a different Outlet for inside.
We will only have a two Plug Outlet centered in the Box.

Electric by Pond

Ours is Modified for a GFCI Outlet.
The GFCI will protect the Swans from any Errant Current into the Water if there is a Crack in the Pump’s Electric Cord.

Submersible Pump Electric

Being Outside near Water.. the Dew, Fog and Rain will cause Dampness,
and the GFCI may “Trip”..

THERMOCube Outlet
A Good Reason for the LED Light as an Indicator
> > > to see if the Electric is Turned ON.
Not all “Cute” Night Light Fit in the Covered Electric Box..
If you need to use Extension Cords – Run this through PVC Conduit.
Winter Wake for Swans
Be SURE your Cords are Safe for OutDoor Use.

Electric Cables
A Submersible Pump (NOT a SUMP Pump).
Cost about $90.00. Total for all Equipment about $200.00
We bought One Extra Submersible Pump as a “Quick Change Spare”..

Submersible Pump

Submersible Pump

Debris Screen
The Submersible Pump NEEDs to be in a LARGE Flat Bottom TUB…
It CAN NOT sit on the Bottom of the Pond.

Submersible Pump for Pond
We are not going to put Holes in the Tub AS LONG AS the
Water Flow into the Tub is OK..
I want to Prevent as much Silt from entering the Pump as possible.

Submersible Pump for Pond
The Pump Filter Screen will NEED to be Cleaned of Debris if it Collects any Leaves/Twigs/Dirt.
The Open Water Area will become Smaller if the Intake Screen becomes Clogged.
Pull the Pump-Tub Up and Clean the Intake Screen. “Brushes.”

Cleaning Brushes
Try to put any Cords or Cables in Polyvinyl Conduit (cheap)..
to protect these from Animals/Birds (Swans) Chewing Holes in the Cords.

Submersible Pump

*****FLEX CORD Conduit
Submersible Pump

The Swans will Pick and Chew at Rope, Cords, Electric Cables, etc.

Cable Conduit Clamps

From Past Experiences, I know our Swans will Chew any Type of Rope/Line/Cord we put in their Pond.

Swans Chewing Ropes
The Muck Bucket Tub will sit on the Bottom of the Pond in at least 24 Inches of Water.   A Cheap Muck Bucket BROKE in a few Days.
A GOOD Heavy Duty Muck Tub is worth the Extra Expense.

Submersible Pump
The Weight of the Pump is Sufficient to keep the Tub down on the Bottom..

I want some Extra Support around the Tub, so it will not Collapse when we pull it in to Clean the Intake Screen.


We are going to use a Stainless Steel Chain through a length of Vinyl Tubing thread through Holes in the “Muck Bucket Tub” Rim to attach our Set-up to the Dock.

We pulled the Tub UP several time and the Hose Covered Chain did Support the Tub as the Water Drained OUT.

I was hoping to Thread the Stainless Chain through an Old Section of Hose.. Nope ! ! The Chain is too Big….  So, I had to Slit the Hose for now..

Once I decide if this is a good way to Support the Tub…
I might get some PVC/Vinyl Tubing large enough to Thread the Chain through.
We might Adjust the Chain Connections after we use it a bit.

We are going to Watch for ANYTHING that might be a Tangle Hazard,
And modify where needed…
The Water level is only 24 inches in front of this Dock..
We plan to start using the Submersible Pump without the Extension Hose.

Winter Wake for Swans
Our Swan Friend at the “Country Music Pond”..
just lets their Pump Run without a Hose attached.
His Set-up is about 5 feet down.. off their Dock..
Impressive Results.

Winter Wake for Swans
It keeps about 1/4 to 1/3 Acre of their Pond Free of Ice.

So we will see how much Benefit we get without the Hose.

Submersible Pump
If we put the Hose on and Run it out into the Pond, the Dock Area might not get enough Circulation to Prevent Freezing.

Swans Submersible Pump
We are going to… Try This, Try That. Work in Progress.

If our Open Water Area is not as Large as we hope it will be, we might use a length of Garden Hose running out 5 to 8 feet toward the Main Pond Body. We will be doing some Trials to get this to Work, Cutting the Hose until it Works the way we want.

We will use the Female End of a Hose Repair Kit on the Hose to Attach to the Pump Discharge.

Submersible Pump Hose

The Force of the Water Discharge is apparently Strong..
A Garden Hose might Float and Whip around.
To Weight the Hose (If we use this ??? ) and to keep the Hose from “Whipping” around, I Purchased a 10 Foot Length of Stainless Electrical Pipe.. Not very Heavy.. $6.50

Metal Electric Conduit

We had the Pipe Cut into several Sections:
(1) 4 Foot, (1) 3 Foot, (2) 1- 1/2 Foot Pieces.

Metal Electric Conduit

We will thread the Pipe Sections as Needed on the Hose and use the Male End of the Hose Repair Kit as a Stop to keep the Pipe Sections on.

Submersible Pump Hose
To Extend the Water Flow out into the Pond, it might work better with Plumbing PVC Pipes.. with some gentle angles to Direct the Water Flow out toward the Open Pond.

Our Pond Friend knows how to Heat and Bend these PVC Pipes..
I KNOW Nothing about Plumbing, so here I am a Blank Slate.
IF this is used, I will add images.

The “Thermo Cube Outlet”.. Is Temperature Sensitive..
Model TC-3 Turns the Electric ON at 35 Degrees..
and OFF at 45 Degrees..   The Pump will only Work when Needed.

Check Frequently that the Thermo Cube is Working.
They are NOT Dependable.

Thermo Cube By Farm Innovator:
I Purchased on OnLine..
Also, Found the ThermoCube at our local Home Depot.
These may be available at other Hardware Supply Stores,
Animal Feed Suppliers – Like Tractor Supply.  ?? Check.

THERMOCube Outlet

Plugging in a LED Nightlight will let us know from a Distance when the Electric is ON or if the GFCI NEEDs to be Re-Set.          Optional.
We will know the ThermoCube is Working if the Light is ON.

Submersible Pump
Some Winters are Mild and DeIcing may not be Needed.
Some Winters are LONG and COLD, DeIcing is Needed.
We are Ready to see how this Set-Up Works.

We put our Set-Up in the Pond in Late October.
Turned it ON and WATCHED…
The Swans STARTED to Alarm ! !     >>> Something NEW in THEIR POND..Swans Alarming

Swans Alarming
But, they did come over to see what was in THEIR Pond.
Since we were there, they Quickly Realized there was no Danger.

Swans Submersible Pump

The Pump will be Turned ON for a Few Minutes a Day, while Feeding the Swans. This way they will become Familiar with the Pump Noise and Water Current Near their Feed Station.

Swans Submersible Pump

*****Swans Submersible Pump

Observing the Ripples move across the Pond, it looks like a Nice Size
Area will remain Ice-Free.

Swans Submersible Pump
Min-Max Thermometer with Magnet.

High-Low Thermometer
Our Local Weather Station Forecasts the Average High and Low
Temperature for the Day in our General Area.  The Temperature by a Rural Pond at Night may be several Degrees different.

It is nice to get an Idea when the Submersible Pump will be needed.

High-Low Thermometer

We placed a Min-Max Thermometer on the Shady Side of a Sturdy Post.
The Electric Supply to the Pump can remain OFF until the Pond has
a Potential of Ice Forming.
Min-Max High-Low Thermo

*****************************************************Winter Wake for Swans


Winter Swan Pond Submersible Pump

Mid-January 2016
It is Finally becoming Frigid at Night.  Days are Colder also.
The Pump is Running 24/7 now.

Winter DeIcing Pond

We are NOT Sure we can depend on the ThermoCube to Turn ON.
Winter DeIcing PondThe Pond Water is Ice-Free approximately 80-90 Feet out to the
Island.  Colder Winter Weeks are due during the Remainder of January and February.

Winter DeIcing Pond

After Eight Winters Caring for Swans, I am still AMAZED how well
they do in the ICY-Open Water.

Winter is Getting into the COLD Months…  It is Mid-January.

UpDates will Follow……    Fingers Crossed.


A WINTER DIARY of Ponds Using Submersible Pumps..

Images are from 2014 – 2015 – 2016    Two Swan Ponds.Winter Swan Pond Submersible Pump
Winter Swan Pond Submersible Pump   This is the Deep End of the Pond.
Winter Swan Pond Submersible PumpWinter Swan Pond Submersible PumpWinter Swan Pond Submersible PumpWinter Swan Pond Submersible Pump

*****Winter Swan Pond Submersible PumpAbove the Open Water Area is Shrinking…
                     TIME TO CLEAN the PUMP.

Winter Swan Pond Submersible PumpWinter Swan Pond Submersible Pump

*****Winter Swan Pond Submersible Pump

*****Winter Swan Pond Submersible Pump

*****Winter Swan Pond Submersible PumpWinter Swan Pond Submersible Pump

*****Winter Swan Pond Submersible Pump

*****Winter Swan Pond Submersible Pump

*****Winter Swan Pond Submersible Pump

*****Winter Swan Pond Submersible PumpWinter Swan Pond Submersible PumpWinter Swan Pond Submersible Pump

*****Winter Swan Pond Submersible PumpWinter Swan Pond Submersible PumpWinter Swan Pond Submersible PumpWinter Swan Pond Submersible Pump

MID-MARCH Snow and Ice Linger…
Warmer Days are Coming. Winter Wake for Swans


UPDATE  March 2016

We got our Swans through the Winter..
Reasonable Open Water as long as the Pump was Clean and Running..

But, this Submersible Pump Set-up was MORE WORK for Everyone then we expected.

Every Pond is different..
Our Friends at the “Country Music Pond” Only Needed to Clean their Pump  Occasionally during the Four Winter Months..Keeping a Winter Wake for Swans

Their Dock and Pump are at the Opposite End of the Pond from the Water In-Flow.

There was ONE Frigid Night the Young Males PULLED the Electric Plug OUT of the Socket.  Their Pond was Totally Frozen by Morning.  Only Once.
Keeping a Winter Wake for Swans
Our Submersible Pump Set-up is in Shallow Water by the Dock-Feeder.
This is the Location where several Fields Drain into the Pond.
  Keeping a Winter Wake for Swans
The Rain and Snow-Melt carried lots of Silt, Twigs, Leaves, etc. into the Pond close to the Tub-Pump. The Debris Floated into the Tub and Collected on the Pump Debris Screen.  All this Junk NEEDED to be Cleaned FREQUENTLY.
Not much Fun on Cold Winter Days.

WE are going to look into a Different Type of DeIcing for the Pond Next Winter.   It was Worth a Try…  We Learned what Did NOT Work Well.  Keeping a Winter Wake for Swans

This is a Exit Drainage Flow Stream at a Golf Course..
Easy to See it would have LOTs of Debris if Flowing into the Pond.

Hopefully, you will get the idea.. It is Try This – Try That.
Get to Know “The Ins and Outs” of your Water Environment..

Pond Fall Leaf

Swan Pond Ice

Winter Begins

Cygnets Winter Pond

Swan Biting Ice

Pond Ice

Submersible Pump

Submersible Pump

Swans Icy Morning Bath

Swans Icy Morning Bath

Cygnets Winter Wake

Cygnets Winter Wake

Cygnets Winter Wake

Winter on the Swans Pond

Winter on the Swans Pond

Winter on the Swans Pond

Spring Pond Plants


This Information is a Work in Progress…..
As I learn more I will add to this information..
Compiled by (C) L.M.Sweger                    >>>  UpDated     MARCH 2021