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. When the Swans see the WHITE BAGS from a Distance they head toward Us for their Treats and to Visit with Us.
THE WHITE BAG EFFECT
The Swans will Follow the White Bags.
Click Images to Enlarge
We get Discard Vegetables from a Local Restaurant Kitchen.
I Sort the Greens into the White Plastic Grocery Store Bags.
WE NEVER TAKE TWIST TIES or PLASTIC CLOSURES for BREAD BAGS to the Pond Area. NO Rubber Bands or Styrofoam.. NO BOTTLE CAPS or SODA TABS.
Anything Foreign that a Swans swallows will stay in their Gizzard.. Indigestible.. Obstructive.
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.
SWANs Die from thing stuck in their Throat or Gizzard….
The Swans see the White Bags and Come for their Treats.
When the Swans see our Van, they know we have Greens.
One Young Swan was sitting on the other side of this Large Pond. She did not come over when we stopped to visit. 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 Ducks, Geese and Swans will Follow whoever has the White Bag. DO NOT Take White Bags to Visit Swans during their Mating and Nesting Time. The White Bags will cause the Male Swan to CHASE You.
Their Hormonal Aggressive Behavior is Triggered by WHITE.
We do “Lettuce Drops” with any Extra Lettuce we get. We Enjoy visiting all the Swans and Cygnets we live near.
******************************************************** This Information is a Work in Progress….. As I learn more I will add to this information.. &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&& Compiled by (C) L.M.Sweger UpDate January 2018 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
To Provide a Healthy Diet for your Swans you need to Think Vegetables. 80 % of their Natural Diet is Plant Material.
SWANS ARE VEGETARIANS.
Click to Enlarge Images
**** You are the BEST Person to ensure your Swans receive a Healthy Diet. **** When you care for “Captive” Swans they depend on YOU !!!
Giving Swans plenty of variety in their Diet can help reduce the possibility of Boredom and increases their Happiness and overall Quality of Life.
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 and Trumpeter Swans Migrate Hundreds to Thousands of Miles Annually… They will have a wide variety of Plants and Insects to Graze on.
****** 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.
DuckWeed is a Great Natural Floating Food.. Swans will learn where to find their favorite Underwater Plants.
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. Once we Pinion or Clip to Ground a Swan, they are “Captive” for us to enjoy. They are Classified in most States as “Captive Exotic Poultry.” PETs !
These Swans depend on us to help them have the Nutrients that their Bodies need to be Healthy.
Healthy Swans may live 20-30+ Years.
The Oldest Know Swan was a Male Mute in England, that lived to 104 Years.
The Grain-Poultry Feed Mixture adds Nutrients that a Pond may not provide.
With the Pond Plants, Lawn Grass and Poultry Feed Mixture Swans will do nicely.
If Lawns that Surrounding 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.
If you use Lawn Care Service or Treat your Lawn.. Check what is Growing in your Pond.
Putting Vegetables, Grains, Grasses into or onto your Pond may cause Obstruction where your Pond Drains.
This Material may collect where you have a Pump Filter. Start with small amounts, try different areas until you know want works best for your Swans and their Water Environment. *****
If Free Floating Vegetable Cause a Problem at your Spillway.. Put their Vegetables in a Weighted Basket or Handle-less Bucket.
With the Lush Summer Lawn Grasses to Graze on.. Watch for Under Chin-Tongue Impactions.. Short Cut Grass is a Common Culprit..
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.
Under Tongue-Chin Impaction https://swanlovers.net/category/under-tongue-chin-impaction/
Plus the Longer Grasses will have more Insects for them to Munch on. ….. (-; (-: (-; (-: **********************************
ADDING Vegetables, especially during Cold Weather Months will add to the Swans’ overall Healthy Diet. They will enjoy seeing you stop by their Water Environment to Visit, when you have Vegetables for them.
I Cut – Shred – Chop – Enough Vegetable Mix for Several Day. 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. SWANs LOVE Vegetables…
We have an arrangement with a local Country Club. Their Kitchen saves their Discard Vegetables for us. We stop in once or twice a week.This saves them BIG Bags of Discard Vegetables going to the Landfill. AND, our Swans EAT very well.. (-;
“Thank You” – to the WSCC Kitchen Staff.
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.
Swans ENJOY assorted Vegetables. They do not need Vegetables Everyday. But are Happy for them.
DO NOT GIVE THEM ANY MOLDY VEGETABLES.
MOLDs May Contain Toxins that will Make your Swans VERY Sick.
Vegetables help add Fiber to their Intestinal Tract during the Winter.
Most Swans will Instinctively KNOW Lettuce is GOOD to Eat.
When you are preparing a Salad for your Dinner, save the Trimming that you would normally toss..
Vegetables are more Beneficial in the Cold Winter Months when Water Plants and Grasses are Dormant.
Remember Swans DO NOT have Teeth. Chop or Slice Firm Root Vegetables THIN.
Cut into Small Pieces: Carrots, Radishes, Cucumbers and their Peels. I Like to Chop Enough for Several Day.. Bag..Ready to Go.
The White Cabbage Leaves Sliced into thin Strips.. The Outside Dark Green Cabbage Leaves are too Tough.
The Yellow-Green Leaves of Celery might be eaten. Some Swans Love Kale & Spinach.
Swans may Eat Steamed Leftovers Vegetables like Corn, Green Beans, Cabbage, Cauliflower & Broccoli.
Cut Seedless Grapes in Half. Strawberry Caps. Some Swans like Watermelon in the Rind – left close to the Water’s Edge.
Sweet Fruits Fallen from Trees may attack Bees and Hornets… Discard them so Swans will not be Stung !!
Swans LOVE APPLEs……
Cut Unpeeled Apples Cut into Quarters or Slices for Adult Swans.. Chopped for Cygnets. They can NOT Bite into a Whole Apple.
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.
***** If there are Fish in your Pond that Eat the Vegetables.. try Putting the Veggies into a Stone Weighted Basket in Shallow Water.
After 24 Hours, dump and let the Fish have them..
Watch which Vegetables/Foods Float and which SINK. Place Vegetable that SINK.. like Thin Slices of Carrot in Shallow Water.
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.
Romaine Lettuce contains the Minerals Manganese, Chromium, Potassium, Molybdenum, Iron, Calcium and Phosphorous. The fiber in Romaine Lettuce help keep the Swans’ Colon healthy.
Bottom Line – Romaine Lettuce contributes to a Healthy Diet for Swans. Occasionally, we Mixed some Drained Tuna Juice 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. SO…. Romaine for a Healthy Diet… Iceberg for Fun !
Swans will eat every bit tossed to them.
Toss a whole Head of Iceberg onto their Pond, the Swans will take turns biting “The Ball”.
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. If 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.
Leafy Vegetables like Arugula, Spinach and Watercress add variety. Swiss Chard Leaves were a Big Hit.. Collard Greens not so much..
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 properly.
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.
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.
Feeding Swans on the Ground is Environmentally unsound and encourages the Swans to leave their Water. 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.
Placing any Food in the Water close to the Water’s Edge allows the Swans to see the Foods that sink (Corn/Carrots)… and there is less chance they will be surprised by a Snapping Turtle.
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. This is helpful, there is nothing left to Sour or Rot.
WE DO NOT FEED OUR SWANS OUT of their WATER/Pond.
We find ways to place all their Food in their Water.
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.
Feeding from Containers is a challenge where the water level changes quickly. Be creative.
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.
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.
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.
If you can SAFELY place Lettuce and Vegetable out on an Icy Ledge.. the Swans enjoy this as a Salad Bar.
Swans will need time to adjust to new Foods offered, and will 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.
Each Swan has Foods they likes and dislikes, just like People.
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. Once they Eat their Vegetables…. Your Swans will Enjoy a FEW Treats.
Swans will eat their Favorite Foods first.. Keep “Treats” from becoming their Primary Nutrition. 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.
These have NO Yeast and they Float.. and can be Frisbeed out to the Swans.
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.
********************************* FOOD TO AVOID – DO NOT FEED TO WATERFOWL
NO ONIONS, Garlic, Mushrooms or Avocados.. 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..
******************************************************** &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&& ******************************************************** This Information is a Work in Progress….. As I learn more I will add to this information.. &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&& Compiled by (C) L.M.Sweger UpDated December 2020 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
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..
The Electrician ordered a different Outlet for inside. We will only have a two Plug Outlet centered in the Box.
Ours is Modified for a GFI Outlet. The GFI will protect the Swans from any Errant Current into the Water if there is a Crack in the Pump’s Electric Cord.
Being Outside near Water.. the Dew and Rain will cause Dampness, and the GFI may “Trip”..
A Good Reason for the LED Light as an Indicator to see if the Electric is turn ON. Not all “Cute” Night Light Fit in the Covered Electric Box.. ************ If you need to use Extension Cords – Run this through PVC Conduit. Be SURE your Cords are Safe for OutDoor Use. DO NOT PLACE PLUG CONNECTIONS IN THE WATER ! !
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..
The Submersible Pump needs to be in a LARGE Flat Bottom TUB… It CAN NOT sit on the Bottom of the 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 Slit from entering the Pump as possible.
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.”
Try to put any Cords or Cables in Polyvinyl Conduit (cheap).. to protect these from Animals/Birds chewing holes in the Cords.
The Swans will Pick and Chew at Rope, Cords, Electric Cables, etc.
From Past Experiences, I know our Swans will Chew any type of Rope/Line/Cord we put in their Pond.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If we put the Hose on and Run it out into the Pond, the dock area might not get enough Circulation to prevent Freezing.
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.
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
We had the Pipe cut into several sections: (1) 4 Foot, (1) 3 Foot, (2) 1- 1/2 Foot Pieces.
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.
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 Pipes.. I KNOW Nothing about Plumbing, so here I am a Bland 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.
Plugging in a LED Nightlight will let us know from a distance when the Electric is ON or if the GFI needs to be Re-Set. Optional. We will know the ThermoCube is Working if the Light is ON.
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..
But, they did come over to see what was in THEIR Pond. Since we were there, they quickly realized there was no Danger.
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.
Observing the Ripples move across the Pond, it looks like a nice size area will remain Ice-Free. Min-Max Thermometer with Magnet.
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.
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.
Mid-January 2016 It is Finally becoming Frigid at Night. Days are Colder also. The Pump is Running 24/7 now.
We are NOT Sure we can depend on the ThermoCube to Turn ON. The 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.
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.
Images are from 2014 – 2015 – 2016 Three Swan Ponds.
This is the Deep End of the Pond.
Above the Open Water Area is Shrinking… TIME TO CLEAN the PUMP.
MID-MARCH Snow and Ice Linger… Warmer Days are Coming.
UPDATE March 2016
We got our Swans through the Winter.. Reasonable Open Water as long as the Pump was 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” did not need to clean their Pump even once during the Four Winter Months..
Their Dock and Pump are at the opposite end of the Pond from the Water In-Flow.
Our Pump Set-up is in shallow Water by the Dock-Feeder. This is the Location where several Fields drain into the Pond – about Half the Water that In-Flows to this Pond. The Rain and Snow-Melt carried lots of Silt, Twigs, Leaves, etc. into the Pond close to the Tub-Pump. The Debris flowed into the Tub and collected on the Pump. 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 the Pond for next Winter. It was worth a try…
Hopefully, you will get the idea.. It is Try This – Try That.
This is a Work in Progress….. November 2015
THE LONG WINTER IS FINALLY OVER ! !
This Information is a Work in Progress….. As I learn more I will add to this information.. &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&& Compiled by (C) L.M.Sweger UpDated January 2017 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&