A site dedicated to sharing general care of mute swans

NEW OWNERS – Before You Buy

June 23rd, 2018 | Posted by LadyNerkle1 in BEFORE You Buy Swans - (Comments Off on NEW OWNERS – Before You Buy)


Are you Looking for Living Garden Features for your Pond ??

Mute Swan Pair

The Striking Beauty of these Graceful Birds
will Enhance any property.Mute Swans

Having Captive Swans is a Commitment. They are Pets.


If You are Interested in Owning SWANS…
And are Just starting to Explore the Subject..

Gathering Information before Purchasing Swans will Improve Your Success
as a First Time Swan Owner – Care Taker.Mute Swan Cygnets   Click to Enlarge Images

This is a Basic Summary of things to Know about Swan Ownership.

Mute Swan Pair

Mute Swans (Cygnus olor) are a Very Large and Showy Waterfowl.
With Good Care and some Luck they may Live 20-30 Years.
Having Swans is a Commitment.
Private Property Swans are Captive Pets.Mute Swan Family

If you are thinking about owning Swans, you first need to ask yourself
 if you have a Suitable Water Environment for Swans to Live in.Mute Swan Pair

Folks who have Appropriate Water Environments to Care for Swans
may Desire to have them for Various Reasons.

For their Beauty..
Mute Swan Pair
For help to Control Canada Goose.Canada Geese Control
To Naturally Assist with Management of Pond Plants.Mute Swan Pond

Please take the Time to Research Swans so you are Prepared to provide Proper Care.Mute Swan Family


They are NOT Wild Waterfowl.

The Mature Male Swan is known as a Cob.Male Cob Mute Swan
and the Mature Female Swan is a Pen.Female Pen Mute Swan
Their Young are called Cygnets.Mute Swan Cygnets

*** “Can Animal Rights Be Legally Defined?”
In 1978 the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) defined Animal Rights.
“Animals have the right to live and grow under conditions
that are comfortable and reasonably natural…Mute Swan Family
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.”

*** Pinioning Any WaterFowl… Changes Everything.Pinioned Mute Swan
In the U.S. Swans “Owned” by Humans are generally Pinioned
to Restrict their Ability to Roam at Large.Pinioned Mute Swan Cygnet

In the United States, ALL Captive Swans are Classified as:
Captive, Domestic, Exotic, Poultry, Livestock. (Not Wild)Mute Swan Pair

Like ALL Animals, Livestock 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.

Mute Swan PairWith several Species of Swans the Cob and Pen are Similar in Appearance.
Having DNA-Sex Testing when they are Young Helps Reduce Sexing Mistakes. 
A VERY Common Problem.

In the United States, the Native Tundra and Trumpeter Swans
that Live Wild and Free are Federally Protected by the
Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) of 1918.Wild Trumpeter SwanWild Tundra Swans

Tundra Swans, as far as I have been able to Learn,
may NOT be Owned Privately.Injured Tundra Swan
This Tundra Swan was Injured and taken to a WildLife Rescue.


Privately Bred Trumpeter Swans may, with Proper Registration, be Owned.
Folks who would like to own Trumpeter Swans,
will follow the same Basic Care Practices as for other Swans.Trumpeter Swan Pair

Trumpeter Swans must be Registered – they are Federally Protected WaterFowl.Trumpeter Swan Cygnet
All Trumpeter Cygnets will need to be Registered..
and Each New Owner will need to transfer
Registration Papers and send in the appropriate Forms..
so the Trumpeters can be followed.

Trumpeter Swans MUST be Registered with the:
United States Department of Interior
Fish & Wildlife Service
P.O.Box 779
Hadley, MA (Mass) 01035-0779

Helpful Information can be found through the Trumpeter Swan Society Website.


I am not aware of any State that Restricts Ownership of Black Australian Swans.Black Australian Swans
Where Winter Winds Blow Cold and Ponds Freeze, Black Australian Swans
require some Shelter from the Cold as well as Open Water in the Winter to Survive.Black Australian Swans
The Absolute Minimum Water Environment would be a Few Hundred Square Feet
of Surface Water Area with a Depth of about 4 Feet with GOOD Flow Through.Black Australian Swans

If Black Australian Swans are being Shelter Inside,Black Australian Swans
BE Sure to Close their Door at SunSet for the Night.
Open the Door in Early AM.. Protect them from Predators.Black Australian Swans

Black Australian Swans Nest Twice a year.



Black Necked Swan

Black Necked Swans are Nest-building between August and September.Black Necked Swan
In North America, their Cygnets are still Small when our Fall and Winter begin.



There is something Magical Interacting with these Enchanting Birds.
Being somewhere between Wild and Tame. I Never Tire of spending Time with them.Mute Swan
Observing their Behavior – Watching them Love each other..
Nesting – being Swan Parents is Magical. Each Day is a Gift.Mute Swan Cygnets

2021 – In Pennsylvania, where we Live..
Mute Swans are Still allowed on Private Property.
No Permits Needed… Few Regulations…

As Long as they are ON Your Private Property
Swans are Considered your Property.
Mute Swan Pair
The Same as a Cat, Dog, Horse…etc.
That is their ONLY Legal Protection.

Most States around PA Prohibit Ownership of Mute Swans..

All Swans are at GREAT Risk of being Destroyed if they Leave your Property
and are Found on ANY Public Land or Waterway where Hunting is Permitted.
Only a Few are Successfully Rescued.Mute Swan Public Waterway

It is Illegal to Release or Allow the Escape of Mute Swans or their Cygnets into the Wild.Mute SwansFeral Mute Swan

Any Feral Mute Swan found on Public Lands or WaterWays will be Destroyed. Feral Mute SwanPennsylvania has a ZERO Tolerance for Feral Mute Swans.Feral Mute Swans
We have Lost Several Wonderful Swans this way..Heartbreaking..

PA Mute SwansThe PA Game Commission has given Permission to any Hunters in PA
and any other State that wants to come to PA to Hunt Mute Swans
Permission to Shot these HELPLESS Swans any time they want. Feral Mute Swans

If you give Permission to ANYONE
to Hunt on your Property,

BE SURE to tell them YOUR Swans
are NOT for them to KILL..
NO Pet Swan Hunting

Cygnets Raised on a Private Pond that are Driven off by their Parents
in the early Spring are Helpless to Care for themselves.. Mute Swan CygnetsThey have Not Learned how or where to Find Food.
Many Starve to Death during January to March when there is Nothing for them to eat.Feral Mute Cygnet
It is a GOOD Practice to have them into New Homes by November of the Previous Year.
Make Thanksgiving your Rehoming Goal.
Healthy Four to Six Month Old Cygnets do Well in New Homes.Cygnet New Home


What Water Environments are Appropriate ???Large Fountain Pond

It is Not Difficult to Raise Swans as long as you have a Body of Water
where they can Live and Swim.

Raising Swans Entails that you keep them Fed, Reasonably Safe
and Provide them with Conditions Similar to that in their Natural Habitat.

Your body of Water should Not Lead to a Stream or Connect to a Body of Water
that will Easily Carry the Swans away.Fast Moving Stream

In Captivity, Swans are Readily Maintained on Mixed Grains
and Poultry-Waterfowl Maintainer Feeds.Feeding Mute Swans
Daily Greens, either from Grazing on Under Water Plant Material
or Supplemented Leafy VegetablesFeeding Mute Swans
or Chemical Free Lawn Grazing or Clippings.Swans Grass Grazing

 Transporting Swans,
Feeding Swans & Cygnets, Winter Care,
Protecting them from Predators,

Providing a Reasonable Safe Place to Live.
Annual Behaviors that might Impact your Home and Family.

Hormonal Mute Cob
When it is Time for Mating and Nesting, a Hormonal Cob can be a Challenge.

If you are going to get any Species of Swan, it is Best if you have a Pond
with 1/2 to 1 Acre of Fresh Water with Flow Through to Refresh the Water..Pond Flow Through SpillwayMute Swan Family    You will Need to Learn to Work with and Around Swans.Mute Swan Family
Your Pond will Belong to the Swan Family in the Summer.
You may not be able to Swim, Boat, Fish, etc.

When Cygnets are on a POND there is LOTs of POOP…Swan Pond Poop

The Pond needs to be at least 4-5-6 Feet Deep in the Middle
to allow for Swimming, with Shallow Areas, 1-3 feet around the Banks.
They need a Place to WALK-In and WALK-Out of the Water..Swan Pond
In the case of Mute Swans and Trumpeter Swans the Larger the
Water Area the better.Trumpeter Swans

Mute Swans spend the majority of their time in the Water
and a Larger Water Body is much easier to Maintain.Swan Pond
Larger Natural Ponds should not Require much Maintenance
if they are not over Crowded with Birds.

The more Shallow the Pond the GREATER Chance that the Swans can Die from Botulism.Swan Pond If a Severe Drought occurs, the Swans will be able
to get into Stagnant Muck that they otherwise would not
and Ingest the Anaerobic Bacteria which Secretes a Deadly Toxin.

Swan Grass LawnHaving surrounding Habitat such as Open Lawns and Grassy Banks
away from Woodland Areas is Ideal to prevent Predation
by Coyotes, Bobcats, Foxes, Raccoons, etc.

The biggest Threats to Swans are Predatory Animals, Botulism, Pollution,
Vandalism, Overhead Cables, Uncontrolled Dogs,
Fishing Tackle/Line and Heavy Metal Poisoning..SWAN Fishing Hook
And Neglect and Abusive Care.

The Swans I Worry about are Ones chosen to be Living Pond Ornaments.Mute Swan
The Novelty of having Swans may pass and Neglect is likely to follow.
Swans are a Commitment. They may Easily Live 20-30 Years
or longer with Good Care and Some Luck.

The Responsible Care for Cygnets that Survive Summer:
Cygnets need to be Pinioned.. Sexed Properly.. and New Homes Found.Cygnet New Home
It is Unlawful to Allow Cygnets to Fly Away and become Feral.

If you Tire of their Care, ReHome Swans to another Interested Person. 
NEVER Release a Swan into the Environment.
NEVER.. It is ILLEGAL ALL Across the United States
and Canada to Deliberately Release a Mute Swan.Feral Mute Swan
These Swans are DOOMED !

Discarded Pet Swans will likely be Destroyed by the
Department of Natural Resources/WildLife Management Services.Discarded Pet Swan

Responsible Ownership of Captive Mute Swans

There are Numerous States that require Captive Wildlife Permits
for the Possession and Propagation, a Breeders License, if a Non-Native Species,
such as Mute Swans are Introduced into an Area and are allowed to Breed.Swan Family

Every Year more and more U.S. States are Adjusting their Waterfowl Management Policy
and Prohibiting Ownership of Mute Swans.

If you are Allowed to have and Breed Swans,
you will need to have a Plan for the Disposition of their Young
as most Swans Breed once a Year and can produce 1-8 Cygnets.Mute Swans Cygnets

Black Australian Swans Breed Twice a Year
and can Produce 10-16 Cygnets.
Black Australian Swan CygnetsYou will Need to Find Good Homes for their Offspring.


Check with your State’s Wildlife Authorities –
Wildlife Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) to understand what Permits
or Requirements you will Need to Comply with before you Decide to Purchase Mute Swans.

Where to Find Mute Swan Information for Your State

U.S. Fish & WildLife State by State…. contact Phone #s
Call 1-800-344-WILD

**General Mailing Address in Wash, D.C.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
1849 C Street, NW Washington, DC 20240

Do “Search” for (Mute Swan Management – STATE)
Example Mute Swan management Virginia

Call Your States Department of WildLife – Fish and Boat
Speak with the Agent in charge of Waterfowl Management.

Swan Pond

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

June 21st, 2018 | Posted by LadyNerkle1 in Transporting Swans - (Comments Off on TRANSPORTING Swans and Cygnets)


Transporting Swans

Click Images to Enlarge

Are You Planning to Move Swans to a New Home ??
Maybe to Your Home Pond or Private Lake ??Swan Pond
This may be Exciting for YOU.. ! !

Catching Swan
But, might be Very Scary – even Traumatic for the Swans.Catching SwanJust the Act of Catching the Swans or Cygnets is Stressful.Catching a Swan
Some Socialized Swans will Travel Very Well…Transporting Swans
There are a Few that will be Terrified the Entire Time.Transporting Swans
They Alarm Call and Panic which can Lead to Harmful STRESS and/or Physical Injuries.

It is TRUE that Stress Can Kill Birds.
Remember 3 Things – Be Calm, Stay Calm, Remain Calm.
If you want to know WHY…
SEARCH for and Read about – Capture Myopathy.

FROM: http://wildlifedisease.unbc.ca/
Exertional or Capture Myopathy (disease of the muscle) is a
Non-Infectious Disease of Muscles that is Characterized by Damage
to Muscle Tissues brought about by Physiological Changes,
usually following Extreme Exertion, Struggle and/or Stress.
This can be Fatal..

If a Swan starts to Struggle hold them just Enough to Control them
and Allow them to Calm Down.
Mute Swans generally Settle Down after a Quick Burst of Movement.
Trumpeter Swans tend to Struggle Longer.
We have Little Experience Traveling with other Species of Swans.

DO NOT HUG a Swan’s Ribs TOO Tightly.
They CAN NOT Breathe and will REALLY Struggle.Catching a Swan
Speak Calmly and with a Soft Voice. Yelling will Scare a Swan.
Transporting Rescued Cygnet   This Very Young Rescued Cygnet was all Alone in a BIG Carrier.
All her Nest Mates has been Taken by Predators.
She was Scared.      Whistling to her Helped..  Transporting Rescued Cygnet
I held her, Wrapped in a Towel for Part of the Trip.  Passenger Side.Transporting Rescued CygnetTransporting Cygnet

You are taking Swans from their Home, where they feel Safe.
And in many Cases Away from their Swan Family.

Transporting Swans
You Can NOT Explain what their Future will be.
Transporting SwansMoving Mute SwanTime for a Move to Your New Home, Pond and Family.
Transporting Swans I Hope to Share Information to Help you have a Safe Trip.

PLAN AHEAD: There are Many Things to Do to get Ready.
Transporting Swan
It is GOOD to Transport Mid-to Late Morning..
The Swans need some Time to See and Adjust to their New Home/Pond.Transporting Swans

Have a Large Dark Sheet or Blanket to Cover a Very Rammy Swan.
We have only had Two maybe Three Swans.. Panic.
Rarely Happens.. most Swans Travel Well..

Some are a Little Restless. Some will Stand and Prance..Transporting Swans
They may Rake their Beak..Transporting Swans
A Thinner Tube Sock ( with the Elastic Area Removed) over their Head will Stop Beak Injury.
Remove once the Swan Settles..

Have a Large Towel or Small Blanket Available.Transporting Swans
Wrap the Swan with the Towel to Control their Wings..
This Helps get the Swan in the Carrier-Box without the Wings Flapping all over the Place.
The Swan’s Wings can REALLY Whack you ! !Transporting Swans The Towel is Helpful, if you Need to get into the Carrier-Box for any Reason.

Have EXTRA NewsPaper to Change if Needed.
For a Long Trip, Roll Up some of the Soiled Layers of Newspaper
and Toss when you Stop along the Way.
Have some Plastic Bags for the Soiled Papers.
Swans are BIG Messy Birds.. LOTs of Poop.

It Helps to have Water & Paper Towels for Clean-Ups.
I keep a Gallon of Fresh Water in our Van..
Just in case I need it for ANY Reason..

BE VERY CAREFUL if you try to do some Clean-up..
That the Swan does not get away from YOU !!!!Transporting Swans*****************************************************


DO NOT PUT SWANs or CYGNETs LOOSE in your Vehicle.

This Distraction is NOT Safe for You or the Swans.
The Risk of Breaking their Wings, Legs and Necks.. TOO Risky.

Transporting Swans    These Young Cygnet eventually Died.. from Bone Abscesses.

DO NOT PUT in the Back of a Truck Bed Open to the Air – UnSecured.
IF you need to Transport in a Truck Bed.. Cover Carrier with a TARP.
Shield the Swans from any Rain and Rapid Swirling Air or HOT SUN ! ! 

Will Your Vehicle Allow you to have LARGE Containers Safely Inside ?Transporting SwanWe can Put TWO Large Carriers in Our Van.
OUR TRAVEL-AIRE CARRIERs are 36″ X 26″ X 24″
We can Easily Move Mature Swans.

Is Your Air Conditioning and/or Heat Working. ??
BE VERY CAREFUL NOT to Over Heat the Swans.
You need to keep the Conditions inside the Carrier-Box Comfortable.

Transporting Swans Comfortable Vehicle Temp is Important.
Being Dehydrated and Overheated can cause Brain Damage.

KEEP the Vehicle at a Comfortable Cool Temperature.
Inside the Carrier-BOX Can get TOO Warm. Check Swans Frequently.
Swans can GET VERY HOT in a Confined Space.Transporting Swan

Swans have a HIGH Body Temperature Normally at Rest – 101-103 Degrees F.
When Swans are Active – Flying or Stressed their Temp may be 104-106 Degrees F.
Swans Normally are Able to Cool themselves in Water.Transporting Swans
If the Swans or Cygnets are PANTING  <  <  <  <  <Transporting Swans
They may be TOO HOT !!     This is VERY Stressful.

IF You Stop in Your Travels –
DO NOT Leave Your Vehicle in the SUN.Transporting Swans

One Swan Moved by itself is more Frightening..
Two Swans Moved together are Comforting to Both.

For a Trip an Hour or Less.. you could Skip the Water.
but, a Chunk of Wet Lettuce is a Treat.
It is GOOD if you can See the Swans as you Travel..
Check Swans Once an Hour or Two. Listen for Activity.
Soft Vocal Sounds are the Swans Talking to you..
If they are ALARM Calling.. try to Comfort.. Stay Calm.

IF Transport Time is Over an Hour – Supply Water and Food.

Transporting Swans
Have a Gallon Jug of Fresh Cold Water with You. Corn and Lettuce.
Putting Whole Corn and/or Some Broken Lettuce in the Water Tub.
Transporting Swan CygnetOR A Gallon Jug with the Shoulder Cut Out can be Tied to the Interior.. 
Secure Well so they CAN NOT Untie the Cord.. !!

Once you HEAR a Swan Drinking you will know it is Relaxed.
A Stressed Swans will NOT Eat or Drink.Transporting Swans
When you hear them Slopping in the Water.
Smile, they are Relaxed.. A Sound I Love to Hear…

Keep Noise and Radio Low – CALM and Quiet is Best.Transporting Swans
Talk to the Swans. Let them get to know your Calm Voice..

If your New Swans Perceives you are Kind and Caring… Transporting Swans You may be Starting to Develop “Trust” with them.

DRIVE like you are Transporting a Fish Aquarium FULL of Water.Transporting Swans
Do not Take Turns Quickly or STOP Suddenly.
The Swan may be Standing and this Might Twist their Legs..



Choose a SAFE Transport Carrier-Container-Sturdy Box.

Please have Separate Containers for the Larger Swans/Cygnets.
Mute Cygnets 4-8 Months Old should – Will Weight 16-20 Plus Pounds.Transporting Swan
If One Swan gets Rammy or Panics – they are BIG and can Hurt Each Other.

A Swan’s BIG Feet have Toe Claws that can SCRATCH…Transporting Swans
Swan Cygnet Leg Bones are STILL Fragile, they can Bend Easily.Transporting Swans
This will not Correct itself.. Better to be Safe.

If you are Moving Mute Swans..
A Healthy Mature Mute Pen will be around 24-26 Pounds at most. Transporting Swans
A Healthy Mature Mute Cob may Weigh as much as 30-Plus Pounds. Transporting Swans

Black Australian Swans are Smaller.
Transporting Swans
Trumpeter Swans are Larger by Several Pounds.
Transporting Swans
Transporting Swans

We use Large Hard Shell Pet Transport Carriers.Transporting SwansSwans are BIGGER then they Look.
Transporting Swans

Mature Mute Cobs may Weigh 30 Plus Pounds..Transporting SwansThis BIG COB has been Transported MANY Times in this Carrier.
Transporting SwansTransporting Swans
Transporting Swans
These Come Apart for Easy Washing..
They Come in Various Sizes. A LARGE One is BEST.
OUR TRAVEL-AIRE CARRIERs are 36″ X 26″ X 24″
We can Easily Move Mature Swans.
Transport Carrier
These can be USED for Many Things.. VERY Helpful to Have. Transporting Swans  Transporting Swans


Recently, a Swan Friend Shared Information for these Pet Carriers.

SWANS PETCARE Transport Carrier

36 X 25 X 25.. would be Perfect.. NOT to BIG or SMALL..

These were not Available when we were Purchasing our Carriers..
I Like the Look of these.. AND the Handles..!!
Our Carriers do NOT have Handles.. So Wish they DID !!

NOW, I will Add One Comment.. SWANs are Very MESSY Birds.
They POOP a LOT ! These Mesh Sides might not Contain ALL
the Waste that the Cygnets/Swans will Expel..
Swan Waste is SOFT and Wet.
Maybe ADD an Old Shower Curtain or Tarp
to Protect your Vehicle’s Cargo Area..
On a LONG Trip there will be POOP !

SWANS LESURE PET Transport Carrier
I Like the Look of these.. 
I will not have an Opportunity to Use these.
Until a Person Uses Anything..
it is Tricky to know ALL the Pros & Cons.


If you do not have a Suitable Transport Container,
Check with a Friend or Neighbor who might have a Large Carrier to Borrow.

OR If you do not have Large Pet Carriers Available.
GET a VERY LARGE Sturdy CardBoard Box..or Two.
Transport Carrier
The Box above would be Good for a Swan/Cygnet 10-15 Pounds.

For Mature Swans Try to have Large Sturdy Boxes 36″ X 26″ X 24″
Check these  Boxes will FIT in your Vehicle..

More Info will Follow.. about CardBoard Boxes.

If you are Transporting Very Young Cygnets Smaller Carriers are OK.
Medium Size Cat Pet Carriers. > > >Double Check the Carrier Door is Secure.
Transport Carrier
Only put 2-3 Young Cygnets in One Container. 
They should be OK Together – Comforting Each Other.
A Large Brood 4-8 in ONE Container will Crowd into the Corners.
> > >Smaller Cygnets may be Suffocated.

Transporting Swans
Check them Frequently. Provide some WET Chopped Lettuce..Transporting Swans
Many Times Cygnets will Crowd into the Corners when Scared.Transporting Swans
This Crowding Behavior is Common when Cygnets are 1-6 Weeks Old.
The Crowding may Result in Smaller Cygnets Suffocating.Transporting Swans
Make sure all the Cygnets are Breathing.

Lots of NewsPaper for the Bottom of the Carrier Allows me
to Roll-up and Discard most of the Poop.
Expect LOTs of POOP – that is Normal.Transporting Swans
Young Swan Cygnets are Eating POOP Machines…

Then Head OFF to their NEW HOME in the Morning.
Transporting SwansOR When we had an Early Morning Veterinarian Appointment.
Transporting SwansMost Swans are Comfortable in the Carriers.. We Check on them Frequently.
Transporting SwansThis is an Adult Female Mute Swan.. You can See she has Ample Room. 
She was in the Carrier between 20-24 Hours.
Transporting SwansThis Young Female Knew us Well.. Trusted Us.
Transporting Swans
Her New Home was a Beautiful Place. 


Swans are BIG MESSY Birds – Lots of POOP..

These are Safer for Transporting Swans/Cygnets then Wire Dog Carriers..
( Info Below..)

PLAN for an Adult Swan – 30 Plus Pounds. Transporting Swans

Home Depot and Lowes have LARGE Cardboard Boxes..
These Boxes will be Comfortable for Medium Size Swans..  20-25 Pounds..


Swan Transport Box

For Mature Swans Try to have Large Sturdy Boxes 36″ X 26″ X 24″
Check these will FIT in your Vehicle.
Swan Transport Box

Add a Dozen or MORE Holes for Ventilation. Transporting Swans
Air Holes NOT Larger then 2 Inches.  ( Smaller Holes for Young Cygnets.)
Their Heads can come through Larger Holes.
Swans and Cygnets may Hang themselves
trying to Pull their Heads Back into the Box.

 Transporting Swans Line & Tape to the Bottom a Large Trash-Garbage Bag to make a Moisture Barrier.
Swans are Messy Birds. Add Generous Thick Layers of Newspaper.
Straw is OPTIONAL. NO HAY ! !

A LARGE 3 Pound Margarine Tub Fixed to One Corner.
To Provide about 3 Inches of Fresh Cold Water. Transporting Swans
Some Chopped Lettuce and maybe some Corn in the Water Tub.
Have Scratch for Young Cygnets.. and a Smaller Water Tub.

   A Gallon Plastic Jug is a QUICK Travel Feed and Water Container.
Transporting Swans

Fresh Water in an Attached Tub or Jug – Several Inches. NOT TOO Full.Swan Transport Box
Better to Occasionally Add some Water then have a WET Mess.Swan Transport Box

Swan Transport Box

When you Put a Swan in the Box – Orient it to Reach the Water Tub.Swan Transport Box
Otherwise they may not be able to Turn Around…. Transporting Swans

BE SURE you have a Way to Secure the OPEN FLAPs.
You do NOT want a Swan Loose in your Vehicle. Transporting Swans
Bungees or Ropes
Take Care the Swan can not get Tangled.

SIDE STORY: One Gal Picked-Up TWO BIG Cygnets in Boxes
without any way to Keep the Boxes Closed.Transporting Swans
On the Two Hour Drive Home the Cygnets GOT OUT
into her Car SEVERAL TIMEs.


Inside the BOX Can get TOO Warm.. Check Swans Frequently.
IF You Stop in Your Trip Home..
DO NOT Leave your Vehicle in the SUN !

Once the Swan is Finally HOME and OUT of the Box..


When you Get to the Swans Destination..
Try to Allow them to Leave the Carrier on their Own.
Transporting SwansSome Times we have Removed the Carrier Top..
Transporting SwansSeeing their New Home.. is a Lot to Take in for a Swan.
Transporting SwansSOME Swans WANT to GET to the WATER…

The New Swans will take a Splashy Bath once on your Pond. Transporting Swans

On Transport Day TRY to Stay with the Swan/Swans
until they are Comfortable-OK and Staying on the New Pond.

 Transporting Swans Some Swans Adjust Very Quickly..Transporting Swans
Some are Bewildered and just Want to Go Back Home..
There is Some Benefit from a Quiet Place to Rest and Adjust. Transporting Swans
TRY to Stay with the Swans the First Day or Two.. ! ! Transporting Swans
Check they are on the Pond at SunSet and First Thing in the Morning.


*** When you Go to Pick-up Cygnets:

 Transporting Swans
If there is TIME, ask about their Parents.. ??? Related or Unrelated..???
Try NOT to acquire Brother – Sister Pairings.. Transporting Swans
Try to get your Breeding Pairs from Different Broods.

Ask for about 3-4 Days Worth of the Feed they Normally are Eating.
This will let you know what their Diet has been.
This will be a Clue to their General Health.
A Cygnet 6-8 Months Old should be 18-20+ Pounds.

Check for the Pinioned Wing. OR the Clipped Wing. Transporting Swans
IF the Swan or Cygnet is FULL-WING.. CLIP ASAP ! ! !
Otherwise, when you get Home the Swan will Fly Away !!!!!

Clipping Captive Swan Pets          READ this Complete Page

Ask for the DNA-Sex Certificate.. Check the Date.. Check ID.  > >If Valid.
The Date and Information on the Certificate should make Sense..Transporting Swans

If Sex-Vent Checked: It is more Reliable for Males..
> > > IF the Boy Parts are Found.
For Females Vent Sexing is Unreliable.
If the Female is 3-4 Years Old.. they should Lay Eggs in the Spring. 
> > > Eggs = Female..
Over the Years we have become Aware of a Number of Female Swans
that NEVER Lay Eggs.
 Transporting Swans

Once Home, BE SURE Your New Swans or Cygnets are EATING.
If a Swan or Cygnet is not Familiar with Bag Poultry-Waterfowl Feeds… Transporting Swans
If they have only been Fed Corn – Poultry-Waterfowl Feed is Foreign. Transporting Swans
Feral- Wild Rescues need to Learn what Commercial Bag Feed is.
Put some Feed in their Drinking Water so they Taste it.

During Cold Months, when there are NO Plants to Eat 
a New Swan may NOT Understanding you are Providing Food. Transporting Swans
This is a Reason for a New Swan to Wander Away. 
Make SURE they are Eating ! !

Here a Resident Swan MAY be Helpful. (Not Always)
When they Eats from a Feed Mix Container the New Swan/Cygnet will see. Transporting Swans
Swans do Learn from each other.


LARGE Wire Transport Carriers
Commonly used for Dogs.

 Transporting Swans

The Typical Wire Dog Carrier-Cage.  NO – Not a Good Idea ! ! Not the Safest.Swan Transport

The Risk of Breaking Feathers in this Type of Wire Pet Carrier is VERY High.
Especially, Soon after New Blood Feathers Emerge.
  CHECK for ANY Broken Bleeding Feathers !  Transporting Swans

If BLOOD FEATHERs are Present at the Time of Transport DO NOT use these.

The LONG Flight Feathers can get Caught, Break and Bleed.
New Tail Feathers can Bleed.. Swan DO NOT have Extra Blood.
ANY Blood Lose is a Concern.. Transporting Swans

A Rammy Swan may Injure their Toe Claws and Webbing between the Wire Bars.Swan Transport

As I Talk with Swan Folks..
ONE Person had a Swan get a Leg/Foot through the Wire Bars.
The Swan Struggled to get Free.. Cutting the Thin Leg Skin..
This Swan had to Heal for 10-12 Days before being Released to the Water. 
Another Person had a Swan Push its Head through the Bars..
and they had to CUT One Bar Totally Out to Get that Swan Free.
Using Wire Carriers is VERY RISKY ! 

*** If you ONLY have a Large Wire Type Dog Carrier.
It is BEST to Line the Insides with CardBoard.
( Make Sure the Swans can NOT Swallow Any Strings or Twist Ties.)

Line Bottom with LOTs of NewsPaper or Straw..
NO HAY ! !

DO NOT Put a Swan or Cygnet on Your Pond
if there are ANY BLEEDING Feathers or Bleeding Cuts.

For an EMERGENCY Transport.. for an Injured or Sick Swan
A Laundry or Large Duffel Bag is Useful.
Transporting Swans


GOOD LUCK Moving-Traveling with Your Swans.

I Wishing you many Happy Years with these Enchanting Creatures. Transporting Swans I Love to Visit Swans.



I have found Used Pet Carriers at various Second Hand Stores.
Check Yard Sales and Auctions or some times on CraigsList.
You might find a Large Pet Carrier at a Reasonable Price.

OVER TIME: We have found a Variety of Pet Carriers along the Road. 
Placed out for the Weekly Trash Collection.
Some have been Like New.

ALWAYS WASH Well… Disinfect with 10% Bleach.

Consider HAVING at Least ONE LARGE Box READY at ALL Times.
It is Good to have Something READY, if “God Forbid” you would
NEED to take a Swan to the Vets.TRANSPORTING SWANs

It is a Good Idea for any Swans Owner to have One Box like this Ready 
” Just in Case” there is an Emergency
and a Swan Needs to be taken for Medical Attention.

An Injured or Sick Swan Needs Help Quickly.
When a Swan is in Trouble, they are in Trouble.
Preparing a Transport Box takes Time the Swan may not have.

If the Swan is Weak – you Could Just Wrap them in an Old Sheet.. Transporting Swans

If a Swan was attacked by an Animal.. DO NOT Touch them with Bare Hands.
BE VERY Careful.. to Protect yourself.. Protect your EYEs.
Mammal Saliva MAY CARRY Rabies.

Swans do not get Rabies.. In General Birds do not..
But, if you have a Swan, or Bird, or Pet that is Attack..
be sure to Protect Yourself.. Hands, Arms, etc..

If you have any Pet/Swan that Dies from an Animal Attack..
Try NOT to Touch it with your Bare Hands..
Put – Wrap in TWO Plastic Bags. Then YOU WASH VERY WELL..

 Transporting Swans For any Swan or Cygnet that Dies for an Unknown Reason,
We send to the Department of Agriculture Pathology Lab for a Necropsy.
A Complete Diagnositic Necropsy for PA Residents is around $50-100.00.
CALL PADLS for Instruction and where to Send.
Having a LARGE Box on Hand can be Useful and Save Time.

Swan, Duck and Geese are Sentinel Bird.

SHIPPING Swans by OverLand Mail or Air..
is VERY Risky..

People Experienced with Shipping Swans by Air or Land
have better Success
then the Average Swan Owner. 

Recently, GMA did Segments about Pets-Animals Shipped by Air.
How many Deaths Occur.. ESPECIALLY, in Hot Weather.

I want to WARN YOU… Summer is a TERRIBLE Time of Year to Ship Swans.
The Poor Animals that go by Air are put in Cargo Areas with little Temperature
or Air Quality Control.. In the Winter Temperatures may be below Freezing.

IF they go by U.S. Land Mail they are NOT in Temperature Controlled Trucks.
And, they are just a Box in the Back of the Trucks.

In Both Methods they may be Set Out in the Sun on
Concrete or Asphalt between Connections.
This is WHY we will NOT Ship or Fly Swans
that we Arrange Adoption for.

Shipping Mortality is HIGH during Summer Months..
Spring and Fall are the Safest Time to Ship – If you Do.

There are Private, Commercial WaterFowl Breeders across the United States.
These Folks have Experience with Sales and Shipping of their Birds.
Checking with them may will give you Tips to Improve the Safe Arrival of Birds.

Years ago, you could Purchase Insurance to Cover the Value of a Swan. 
But, the Losses were TOO Frequent.
The Air Services Changed to just $100.00 for any Animal Loss.
Now I am not sure they will Insure at All.

 Express Mail Swan
** Express Mail – Insurance is for Damaged Container not the Swan.

It is JUST not Safe to Fly Swans.. the Containers are so Small.
If the Transport is Delayed they can be in Real Trouble – Stress – Panic. Express Mail Swan
The Risk is HIGH.. The Swan can become Terrified.. > > >No One to Comfort it !

With ALL Forms of Commercial Shipping there are Lots of Regulations to Observe.
Veterinary Health Check Certificates, some States require Vaccinations..

An Unacceptable Number of Swans and Cygnets DO NOT Arrive OK. Transporting Swans
The Boxes-Container they are Shipped in are NOT Treated with Care.
The Shipping Companies – U.S.Postal or Air, etc. Do NOT take Responsibility. Express Mail SwanTransporting Swans
An Injured or Dead Swans does NO One any Good..
Depending on the Time of Year.. Summer – Winter
The Risk is VERY High.. TOO HOT – TOO COLD.

It is NOT SAFE to Transport without Air Conditioning in HOT Weather.
The Swans need their Feet in Water to Regulate their Temperature.
When they are Stressed.. they can easily OVERHEAT..
Stress can Kill them.. BIG Problem with Birds in General.
Being Dehydrated and Overheated can cause Brain Damage.

It would be WISE to have an Agreement between the Seller
and the Buyer who will be Responsible for the Monetary Loss.

The Lives of these Precious Swans are Worth Transporting In Person. Transporting Swans
Have your Swans Moved by Private Vehicle. Drive there.
You can Check on them.. Comfort them.. Provide Food and Water.
Make sure they are Traveling OK..

This is a Work In Progress
(c) Linda M.Sweger     UpDated September  2023


SWAN Lovers