Learn BASIC Information about Female Mute Swan Pairings.
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Mature Female Swans are Called Pens.
HAVING TWO SWAN Pens as a Pair..
Two Female Swans do NOT Need to be Related..
They can be Different Ages.. from Different Parents.
Most of the Year Pens will be Friends/Companions..
Pens are Graceful, Charming, more Even Tempered. Pens are not as Showy as Cobs.
There is Less Risk of Pens Attacking the Public in Public Places. But in Return Pens are more Often Abused by a Few Callous People.
With Two Pens, there is NO “HORMONE” Drama in the Spring. And No Cygnets to Deal with. Cygnets are Cute, but Work..
This is the BIG Concern – Two Pens are VERY Vulnerable during Nesting.
Without a Cob to Protect them Nest Mortality is Higher. It will be Your Challenge to Protect them.
Two Females do Better when there is an Island for their Spring Nesting..
Remember Raccoons will Swim Out to an Island to Steal Swan Eggs. The Pens below were Nesting on an Island – Lost MOST of their Eggs !
Or it may be Necessary to Put up a Section of Fence to Protect them.
If you put up some Protective Fencing around their Nest.. Be sure the Pens can Safely go into the Water Several Times a Day. Pens Leave their Nest for Very Short Breaks to get a Drink and Relieve themselves. Swans DO NOT Release Body Waste into their Nest.
Or Consider a Floating Nest Platform.. An Artificial Island. The Floating Platform Below is Anchored Out from the Bank.
Swan Pens Need to Nest in the Spring.. With or Without a Cob – Mature Pens will Lay Eggs.
Pens will Nest Together or Separately. NO Rules.. Every Spring will be Different.. The Pens Decide.. (-;
Nest Building takes One to Two Weeks.. Pens General Pull Together Cavity Nests.
You Could Provide the Pens with a Pile of Twigs Arranged in a Loose Circle… Pens Like to have One Solid Surface Behind them.. A Wall, Fence, Large Tree, etc.
Maybe they will Accept and Add to a Partial Gathered Nest.. Better Drainage.. Heavy Rain Surrounded the Nest Below.. Note how Swampy. Having a Base of Twigs kept the Nest Cavity and Eggs Dry.
You CAN NOT Remove the Swans’ Eggs to Prevent Nesting ! !
Pens will Recycle and Lay another Clutch of Unfertile Eggs. They will Keep Laying Eggs Until they have a Clutch to “Sit On” and Deplete they Body.
We had One BIG Healthy Pen that Laid at Least 19 Eggs One Spring. She Lost Two Clutches of Eggs to Flooding along a Local Creek.. She Surprised us with a THIRD Clutch of 4 Eggs.. Hatched 3 Precious Cygnets.
First Clutch.. 8 Eggs ( I think ) Second Clutch 7 Eggs.. Both Lost to Flooding. Below is the THIRD Clutch of 4 BIG EGGs !
This Extended her Nesting Season into Warmer and Warmer Weather. After Weeks “Sitting” in the Heat.. her Cygnets Hatched July 14-15th.
The Pens below had to be Moved during Nesting.. ( Emergency Move. ) They Both Recycled and Laid a Second Clutch – Nesting into Late June Heat.
Pens MUST be Allowed to “Sit” on their Unfertile Eggs for 42 Days. The Pens may “Choose” to Leave on their Own.. Some Do.
Normal Incubation Time for Fertile Mute Swan Eggs is 37 Days. Once the Pens Start Incubation – “Sitting” Full-Time.. Mark the Calendar, Count ahead 42 Days..
Pens are VERY Dedicated to their Eggs and will “Sit” Tight on Eggs that will Never Hatch.
Many Pens will Protect their Eggs with their Lives.
Pens are Sorta Aggressive-Protective during Nesting.. They will Hiss and Flog if you get TOO Close to their Nest.
This does Depend on your Level of Trust with them.
Pens DO NOT Eat more then a few Bites of Food during their Incubation Time.
Nature wants the Pens to be VERY Hungry once their Cygnets Hatch. Then they EAT and EAT and EAT.. for 2 to 3 Weeks.
It is NOT OK to just Allow these Pens to Sit and Sit and Sit..
Some Pens will Starve to Death Waiting for their Unfertile Eggs to Hatch. The Beautiful Pen below was Allow to “Sit” for Months.. she Died.
After 42 Days, TAKE all the Eggs Away and Discard.. Do this Carefully, SMELLY Eggs may EXPLODE !!
The Pens will likely stay with their Empty Nest for another Day.. then Leave the Nest and Start to EAT !!!
The Average Mature Pen might Weigh 22-28 Pounds.
For about Three Weeks before Pens Start to Lay their Spring Eggs.. You will Observe them EATING – EATing – Eating !
Poking into Soft Muddy Areas of Shallow Water for the Nutrients they need for their BIG Eggs.
In Early Spring Pens Lay One Egg every other Day. A Clutch of 6 Eggs takes 11 Days.
Pens DO NOT “Sit” on their Clutch until ALL Eggs are Laid.
With a Pen – Cob Pair… the Cob Protects their Eggs.
Pens are out EATING.. Eggs may be Lightly Covered.
Pens may Sit on the Nest for a Few Minutes if they think their Eggs need to be Protected.. The Pen below was Guarding her Eggs when I went to Check them. She had One more to Lay to Complete her Clutch of 7 Eggs.
The Pen’s Body Provides All the Calcium and Proteins for their BIG Eggs.. 6 Eggs at 14 Ozs. each = 5.25 Pounds. 8 Eggs at 14 Ozs. each = 7.00 Pounds.
Pens Barely Eat during Incubation. This is Nature’s Plan !
Once the Pen starts to “Sit” Full-Time.. Incubation Begins. Pens NEED to Sit on their Unfertile Eggs at least 42 Days. MARK the Date each Pen Starts to “Sit” Full-Time.
Once the Pens START to SIT Full-Time. PLEASE DO NOT PLACE Food Near the Nest.. THIS Creates RISK ! This Invites Insects, Rodents, Snakes and Larger Predators. All the Above may Contribute to Nest Mortality..
I have TOO Many Notes of Swans that have been Killed by these Large Roaming Canines.
You need to Note when each Pen Starts to “Sit” Full-Time. The Two Pens will not Lay their Eggs at Exactly the Same Time..
Often this is Staggered over a Two to Three Week Period..
This makes Timing the Eggs in ONE Nest more Challenging.
Learn BASIC Information about Male Mute Swan Pairings.
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Before you Decide to get Mute Swans you should think about whether you want Cygnets or Not.. Basic BackYard Breeding..
There are Male-Female Swan Pairings.. And Same Sex Mute Swan Pairings.
Two Male Swans or Two Female Swans will NOT Produce Young.
There are Pros and Cons to Both Same Sex Swan Pairings.. Males Swans are Called Cobs – Females Swans are Called Pens.
As I have been Working on this Topic.. MY Goal is: To Share want I have Learned, Observed and Others have Shared. So you have Information to Make the Best Choice for Your Pond.
For Male Mute Swan Same Sex Pairs TWO MALE NESTMATES Work the Best.
If You are Interested in Swans because you have a PROBLEM with Canada Geese.. Two Mute Males are a Good Choice.
All Swans Naturally Eat Lots of Plants from Ponds and Lakes. This Helps to Control Excess Plant Growth..
Duckweed, many Algae are Natural Foods for Waterfowl. If you Want to Avoid Chemical or Shade Treatments, Swans may be a Part of your Plant Control Program.
There are NO 100% Rules of Behavior with any Swan Pairings. ALL Swans have Different Personalities..
My Husband has a Comment I will “Quote”… “Swans are Predictably Unpredictable.”
The Image Below made me Laugh.. It is March and the Canada Geese are HERE !
There are Some Predictable Mute Swan Behaviors. They Need Understanding and Patience During their Seasonal Behavior Swings..
Mute Swan Cobs tend to have BIG Personalities. They are more Showy when their Wings are held in Display..
IT is VERY Important that the TWO MALEs be NestMates… Meaning the Two Males Hatched in the Same Nest Brood. This Results in “Brood Imprinting” when they First Hatch..
Two Mute Cobs that are >> NestMates << will Usually be able to Live Together for their Common Life >> 25-30 Years, 85-90% of the Time, as Long as NO Female Swan is Introduced..
Two Male Swans *NestMates – NO Females = No Cygnets.. They Do NOT get as Hormonal as Cobs Protecting a Nesting Pen.
I have had a Chance over the Years to Interact with an Increasing Number of Male Mute Swan Pairings.. *NestMate Work the Best.. ONLY TWO Cobs..
There are Less Raging Male Hormones in the Spring.
Mature Cobs will Protect and may Chase People Away from their Water Areas during the Spring. GIVE them Space and Understanding.
ALL Male Swans have an Annual Increase of their Reproductive Hormones.. This is Out of their Control.
DO NOT WEAR ANY WHITE near the Pond or Lake in the Winter-Spring Months.. WHITE is a Trigger for Male Swans to Protect and Defend..
Three or More Mature Male Mute Swans is a BIG NO-No-no..!!! Will NOT Work. It does NOT Matter how Large the Body of Water.
It is Due to the “Pecking Order” when there are more then Two Male Swans. There will Eventually be a Problem with a Dominant Bully Cob and the Submissive Cob at the Bottom of the “Pecking Order.”
With Multiple Males, it is Likely more then One will Pick on the Most Submissive Male.
The Submissive Male will not be Allowed to Eat.. Likely Chased off the Pond.. which is not Safe a Night.
A Submissive Cob is at Risk of getting Hurt or Killed. A Submissive Male is Helpless.. A Pinioned Male may Walk Away. Unless able to Fly Away.. to a VERY UNCertain Fate..
Every Summer, I have Arranged Two Male Mute Cygnet Pairs for Several People.
Male Swan Pairings are Good for Golf Courses, Community Ponds, Hotels, Public Parks and for Folks not Interested in Cygnets.
Cygnets are Cute ! …. but Cygnets are Work. With Two Male Swans there are No Cygnets to Worry with..
Two Cobs are LESS Problem with the General Public Visitors..
Nesting Swans are an Attraction – People want to get Close. ( We DID ! )
If there are CYGNETs.. Folks want to Photograph them. ( We DID ! )
The General Public are NOT Familiar with an AGGRESSIVE Swan Cob. These Folks are at Risk of being Chased, even Flogged..
With Two Males – No Fussing with Cygnets – No Nesting Drama. Less Aggressive Behavior. – Just Swans to Enjoy..
With Two Males you Need to Warn your Family and Guests in the Spring Months to Keep their Distance.
Cobs may Gather and Build a Nest or Nests.. Sit on it.. Male Swans will Generally not Defend a Nest with NO Eggs..
They are NOT as Vulnerable as Nesting Females. Male Swans are less likely to have a Predator Attack.
The Male Swans are more Likely to Sleep in the Water where they are Safer.. Which will Hopefully mean LESS Nesting Trauma..
THIS is the ONLY EXCEPTION: ( BACK GROUND INFORMATION ) In the Wild, Young Cygnets and Juveniles Naturally Form a “Juvenile Group” when they Leave their Family Unit.
The Six Month Old Male Cygnets in these Images are from Two Different Broods. TWO Male NestMate Pairs. These Cygnets Joined Together in Minutes. We Put them Together for ONE WINTER Until a Lake was Ready for Two of the NestMates.
The Juvenile Groups Provide Comradeship and “Safety of Numbers.” In the Wild there will also be Young Females in these Groups.
As the Juveniles Mature it will be TIME for them to Form Pairs and Leave the Group to find their Own Territory.
With Multiple Males, it is Likely more then One will Pick on the Most Submissive Male. One of the Young Males Below is Showing Submissive Behavior. All these Blended Male Cygnets were Fine for this ONE Winter Together.
Multiple Young Male Cygnets might Live together Peacefully From 6 Months – Until ca. 24 Months Old. ( NO Parents or FEMALEs ) Then New Arrangements will Need to be Made for Some of them.
It is the “Pecking Order” when there are more then Two Male Swans. There will Eventually be a Problem with a Dominant Bully Cob and the Submissive Cob at the Bottom of the “Pecking Order.”
In the Early Spring, when these Young Males were just 12 Months Old.. Two NestMates with RED Leg Bands were Moved to their New Home.
The Male Pairs were Color Banded to Keep the NestMates Together.
The Submissive Male will not be Allowed to Eat.. Likely Chased off the Pond.. which is not Safe a Night.
I have seen how Several Mute Males in their “Hormone Hell” Stage CAN Go After a Weaker Male.. It was NOT Good.
A Submissive Cob is at Risk of getting Hurt or Killed. A Submissive Male is Helpless.. Unless able to Fly Away.. A Pinioned Male may Walk Away to a VERY UNCertain Fate..
THE MAIN BENEFIT – JOB of Two Mute Cobs in Early Spring-Summer.
For Folks that have a BIG Problem with Canada Geese. Those TIRED of their NOISE and Poop-DIRT
If Canada Goose Control is your Main Reason for Seeking Swans..
I Suggest a Same Sex Male Mute Swan Pair. Most Mute Cobs DO HELP with the Pesky Canada Geese..
It DOES NOT Help when we Feed the Geese.
During Jan to late March-April Most Mature Cobs will be “Testy.” It is their Elevated Hormonal Season.. This may last for 6-12 Weeks in varying Degrees..
The Elevated Spring Reproductive Hormones are what Causes Swan Cobs to CHASE Canada Geese off your Pond or Lake.
Two Mute Cobs Generally Chase Migrating Geese off “THEIR” Water. It is Good Exercise for Flightless Swans to CHASE Canada Geese..
Especially, during Migration Season. “NO NEW-Comers are Welcome to their Territory ! “
Canada Geese Goslings that Hatch on your Property will Imprint to Your Property. These Canada Geese will Want to Return Year after Year.
You can Help by Learning How to Discourage the Geese Nesting on your Property..
If young Swans Grow-up with Several Resident Canada Geese.. these may be Well Tolerated..
While this Young Male was Living Alone, A Pair of Resident Canada Geese were his Best Feathered Friends.
Most Mute Swans are Tolerant-OK with Domestic and Wild Ducks..
Most Mute Swans will Live Peacefully with Domestic Waterfowl.
Without a Pen to Stimulate their Reproductive Hormones, these Same Sex Cobs are Less AGGRESSIVE..
There Tends to be more Peaceful Months of the Year, when you can just Enjoy these Stunning Swans..
It is the Migrating Flocks that will Cause most Mute Swans to Charge into Action..
Their Territorial Behavior is like a Bell Curve..
The Natural Reproductive Hormones of Swan Cobs Start to Increase in Late December, Peak January through April and are Declining by May..
Some will Start to Chase while Young Juveniles.
Some will Need to Mature a Bit to do the Job..
Most Male Swans (once 2-3 Years Old) will be Helpful Controlling Canada Geese on a Pond or Lake.
The Young Males below would NOT Allow ANY Canada Geese on their Pond ! Good Job Boys !
The Number of Canada Geese can make a Difference.. TOO Many and the Swans may be Overwhelmed..
NO Matter what Combination of Swans, there will Always be a “Pecking Order.”
One Swan will be Dominant and One will have to be the Submissive One.
Two Cobs “MIGHT/Will ” have a Few Weeks of being Testy with Each Other. They usually Work Out how to Co-Exist. Most Stay BEST BUDS.. One Time you See them there is a Chase Happening..
Then 30 Minutes Later they are Chest to Chest – Head Turning, Expressing that they Like Each Other..
If Cobs Start Aggressive Behavior toward Each Other… What I would Suggest.. Keep a Close Watch ! !
Do Your BEST NOT to Allow Either to be Hurt – This Behavior will Subside.. Try to Distract them.. to Stop Unwanted Behavior. Toss Small Treats onto the Water.. Plain Cereals.
The Same Cobs ONE Month Later. They are Getting Along MUCH Better.
The Cobs may need a Second Feeding Station for a While..
Most Important – YOU STAY Safe… ! ! Do NOT get into or onto the Pond or Lake with them ! ! They will be VERY Protective of >THEIR < Water..
This is NOT Humorous – This is Dangerous – NOT Funny !
The Male Swans that Followed you around as you did Yard Work last Summer.. MIGHT Surprise you with a “WING WHACK” Attack.
I have Swan Folks Tell their Tales of that FIRST Time their Gentle Cob.. …Hit them ! ( OUCH ! ) Be Aware !
“NEVER Turn Your Back on a Hormonal Male Swan”.. Always Know where they are… !
Never HIT the Swans .. ! ! Their Bones are NOT as Strong as a Mammal’s Bones. A Swan’s Bones may Fracture with Sudden Blunt Pressure.
JUST KEEP THEM AWAY.. Keep a Barrier BETWEEN You..
Keep Something with YOU.. to keep them from Coming at You.. We use a “Homemade” Repelling Tool.. OR a Large Polyvinyl Trash Container..
Swan Cobs are Strong.. So BE Prepared to Brace yourself.. !
If you See a Cob Swimming Fast, Pushing Water – Wings UP.. It is Time to MOVE Out of the Way.
This is My Feeling, Not something I know for sure… Like People and Kids, Cats, Dogs, etc..
During a Given Year the Swan Cobs Hormones may be at Different Levels.. One may have more Elevated Hormones then the Other.
I hear from Folks with Two Males.. Some Years they are Perfectly OK.. Maybe Spending Time Apart. But, NO Fussing or Fighting..
Then the Next Year.. There are Periods for Noticeable Discontent..
There is “Play Chasing.” You NEED to Learn the Difference. Young Swans like to Chase each Other.. “Silly Fun”
Since Pinioned Swans will NEVER get to Fly.. the Chasing is Good for their Heart Development. BUT, Aggression.. Hurting each other is NOT Good..
Every Swan Pair will vary. Every Year will be Different. Your Role at this Time will be to Help them if Necessary, by keeping them from Getting Hurt until their Hormones Decline.
Most Important is for Both Cobs to be SAFE at Night. Try to Encourage BOTH to be on the Pond at SunSet.
If Needed, do you have a Place you could put One at Night ? ? Inside a Secure Shelter.. WITH a Door.. if Needed ? ?
I have not had Anyone with NestMates Cobs need to ReHome One.. ( Not Yet.)
UnRelated Males – Yes, I have Helped to Rehome Several.. These were Mostly when the Males were Mis-Sexed. And People Realized they have TWO Males..
A Behavior Common to Same Sex Swan Pairings: Male or Female Pairs may “Mate” with Each Other.. They are Releasing their Sexual Tension.
You will see the Swans Swimming Side by Side, Go through the Mating Act.. in a Non-Aggressive Act. They will Do the Rising Up.. and Bathe Afterwards.
You want to Know this is NOT an Aggressive Attack.
BELOW is an AGGRESSIVE ATTACK.. THIS IS SERIOUS.
This Dangerous Behavior is to BE STOPPED As SOON As POSSIBLE !
ONE VERY BIG IMPORTANT FACT for you to Know..
If Something Happens to One “Brother” of a Male Swan Pairing.. If One Dies for whatever Reason.. or is Lost.. Wanders Away. OR One Cob Needs to be Moved to a New Home..
You CAN NOT Introduce Another Male.. It will NOT Work.
I know of several Situation where Males were put together when Older.. OH MY, that REALLY does not Work. “Feathers FLY…”
The Remaining Cob will only Accept a Female/Pen as a Companion/Mate..
Your Options are:
Allow the Remaining Male Swan to Live Alone. Consider some Fancy Ducks for Company.. A Lone Male Swan will Adjust, ESPecially when there are Lots of Humans to Interact with.. They Benefit from Social Company.
You Could Decide to Introduce a Female and have a Brood Pair.. See NOTE: Below about Young Female….
If you Still do NOT want Cygnets.. Eggs can be Spoiled.. The Swans will Mate, Build a Nest, have Eggs.. There will be the Basic Nesting Drama which will End when Nesting is Over.. NO Cygnets to Deal with..
Swan Cygnets are Delightful – a Fun Experience.. AND Work ! But, that is another Topic Page..
BASICALLY: To be a Responsible Swan Owner. Tiny Cygnets 1-21 Days need to be Pinioned. DNA-Checked around 12-16 Weeks Old… and Rehomed-Adopted by 6 – 10 Months Old..
The Parents will NOT Tolerate their Growing Cygnets when they are Ready to Mate and Nest Again..
Last Option – Rehome the Remaining Cob.. And Start with Another Pair of Male NestMates.
RELATED Note: The Introduction of a Young Female should be Supervised with an Older Male.
A Younger Females may be Perceived as another Swan’s Cygnet. It MAY takes more Time for an Older Cob to Accept her.
You will Want to keep a Close Watch while the Cob gets to know a Young Female.
I have Arranged MANY 4 to 6 Month Females to be a New Companion/Mate for an Older Cob.. ( 4-20+ Years Old ) The Adjustments have been Minutes to Days to Weeks. There is NO Way to Predict..
A Juvenile Female, at Least 18-24 Months Old would be Ideal.. Finding a Juvenile or Older Female is a Matter of Luck. Mature Swan Pens Available for Adoption are Difficult to Locate.
Swans do not like being Alone, they are Social Creatures. Most Older “Bachelor Cobs” will Enjoying the Company of a “Sweet Young Thing” if Given a Chance.
Years Ago, I did some Reading.. I Read about Several Mute Swan Pairs that Lived Together for many Years.. There were Never any Cygnets.. No Eggs.. ??
NO One Suspecting they were Two Male Swans ? ?
And I ask Others with more Swan Knowledge then I had.. about their Thoughts and Experiences with Two Mute Cobs.
Before I started to Suggest Same Sex Male Pairings to Folks.. We Met and Observed Several Mute Male Pairings. Asked LOTs of Question of their Owners.
Some had been together 6-15-20 Years. These do Very Well for Golf Courses and Public Parks, Community Ponds-Lakes.. Camp Grounds, Bed & Breakfasts, Event and Wedding Venues. Any Place where the General Public will be Visitors..
From our Experience.. NestMate Males do Fairly Well Together 85-90% of the Time.
For Private Owners, many Times having Two Cobs was an Accidental Pairing. Cygnets Acquired from the Same Adult Pair.. Not DNA Checked.
The Original Owner not Sexing the Cygnets in a Reliable Way. The Clue was that after 3-5 Years there were NO Cygnets.. Some Nests.. No Eggs..
Every Spring I get Calls to help Shuffle Mis-Matched Pairings.. We NEVER Guess.. Always DNA Check a Swan’s Sex.
Over the Years, we have had THREE DNA Determined Females.. RE-CHECKED to be Sure.. that Never Lay any Eggs.. Apparently, this does Occur.. According to an Avian Specialist.
The Sweet Swan above was DNA-Sex Checked Twice.. FEMALE. SHE Never Nested or Laid Eggs.
Some Unrelated Male Swans will Tolerate or be Best Friends with each other during the Non-Breeding Season..
BUT,,, Late December through Spring Mature Cobs will be Governed by their Increased Reproductive Hormones..
Mature Cobs can be “Testy” with each Other..to Down Right > FIGHTING.. Lots of Chasing.. Especially OFF the Pond.. so the One is Not Safe.. For the Submissive Cob it is often Hard to Eat from a Common Feed Station..
For a Time they are NOT Best Friends. A Lower Percentage of Unrelated Male Mute Swans will Live Together Peacefully..
I have Visited Several Black Australian Cobs.. that are Living Together – Seem to be Bonded.
Watching them during their Pre-Nesting Periods,. they seem to be more Tolerant of Each Other..
Watching the Black Australian Cobs Posturing is like Watching Flamingo Dancers.
I have been trying to think if there have been any NestMate Mute Male Pairs that needed for One to be ReHomed.. So, far Not the NestMates.. Unless I am Not Aware of it.
I have Arranged many Mute Swan Male NestMate Pairings.. Working with Swans I have Learned, Nothing is 100% the Way we Expect or Plan.
As I Gather my Notes and Thought for this Topic Page.. I Wanted to Share a few of the Male Pairings we Experienced..
Jotting down Notes from Photos and Memories.. the Examples are SO Varied.. It would take me Days.
Having Two Male Swans.. has maybe been Unplanned more often then they were Planned to be a Same Sex Pairing.
Almost Every Spring, I have Calls from Swan Folks that Realize they have TWO MALEs.
The Stories are Basically All the Same.. They Acquired Swans. One or Two from a Person, usually a Farmer.. who Said.. “This One is a Female.” She was Vent Checked.. (UNRELIABLE)
I have HEARD.. “The Farmer Said…” Many Times..
The Common Stories: “Swans are Doing OK Together.. but, there are NO EGGs.” “In the Spring they are Fussing with Each Other, Not Mating.” We want Cygnets..
So, I have Arranged for “The Spring Swan Shuffle.”
There are as Many who Decide to Keep their Males.. as there are Folks who Rehome a Male and get a Female.
I Know Swan Ponds that have Two Males by Accident.. Folks who are Relieved to not be dealing with Cygnets.. Their Males are Keeping the Canada Geese Chased OFF.. The Swans are Doing OK.. and.. Well Enough Said.
The One Mute Pair we kept in touch with, ( 2009-2016 ) that had the most Discord in Early Spring were not NestMates. They had 4-6 Weeks of One Chasing the other OFF the Pond..
The Larger Cob Built a HUGE Nest.. He “Sat” on the Nest.. There were Never any EGGs ! The Owner Never Saw his Swans Mating.. Frustrated.
I Said to him for Years.. “I Suspect you have Two Males.” “NO NO NO, They were Vent Checked Twice.. “
Insisting he had a Cob and Pen.. ( Both 6 Years Old) He Complained that their Behavior made no Sense..
One Swan was BIG – Pinioned on the Left Wing. (Male) The Smaller Swan was Pinioned on the Right Wing..(Female) ?
After Days or Weeks of “Swan Arguments”.. his Swans were a Lovely Pair on his Pond the Rest of the Year..
I had a Chance One Winter Day to Snatch Feathers from the Smaller Swan. DNA Result – MALE ! The Larger Swan had been DNA Checked before Purchase.
Once DNA Verified the Swans were Both Male, the Smaller Male was Rehomed and a Female Introduced.
Now the Man’s Brood Pair have Cygnets most Springs.. They are NOT Pinioned.. Not DNA Checked.. Most Left to Fly off or Perish.. Shame..
In Our Early Years of Learning about Swans.. Placing Young Males Less then 6 Months Old Together was Suggested as being an Acceptable Pairing.. I Heard this from Swan Folks Directly. And I found Notes online in a few Places..
I did Arrange One UnRelated Male Mute Cygnet Pairing.. They were 4-5 Months Old. (2013) I was Still Learning.
These Male Cygnets became the Best of Buddies within Days.. They Grew into BIG, BEAUTIFUL Cobs.. Full of Personality. Our Visits with them was a Favorite Swan Pond Stop.
These Young Males were Happy and Expressed their Fondness to Each Other Often.
The Spring these Cobs were Three Years Old, their Owner Mentioned that the Boys had been Squabbling.. It Lasted Several Weeks. She was Glad that had Passed..
The Following Year.. their Fuzzing, Chasing, Out & Out Fighting had become Worse. One Cob was NOT Allowed on the Pond for Weeks.. He was NOT Safe at Night.. A BIG Worry.
I Witnessed them Fighting during One Visit.. Heart-Sick.
The Submissive Cob become Aggressive toward Members of the Family.. His Behavior made Life Outside their Home Risky.
Finally the Family decided to have the One Cob ReHomed.. The Situation had become Intolerable.. It would be Best for All..
I Arranged a Great Home for the One Cob with an Older Female. The Cob became TOO Aggressive Living with the Older Pen. When the Pen Passed (Old Age), the Cob Settled Down.. Now he is Living Alone.. He is Much Loved and Doing Well..
The Five Year Old Cob that was Kept lived Alone for Several Months..
Then One Late Summer Day he Welcomed a Spunky Four Month Old Female..
Now the Family has a Breeding – Brood Pair of Mute Swans. They are Enjoying Cygnets and I have Helped with their Adoptions.
I am Very Aware.. By having All the Swan/Cygnet Data Notes that I have been Keeping Over the Past 17 Years or So.. That Nature has been LopSided with the Ratio of Male to Female Cygnets.. There are Generally More Male Cygnets..
The Brood below is an Extreme Example.. EIGHT Hatched.. ONLY One Female.
This was an Extreme Situations.. Normally there are a Few Females in a Large Brood.
Put this Together with the High Nest Mortality of Females.. It is VERY Common for the Owners of a Cob that Lost a Mate in the Spring to a Predator to be Seeking a New Female.. Many Mute Cobs have Two or Three Pens during their Life Time.
I have a LONG SEEKING FEMALE List All the Time.. There are Never Enough Females.
If there were NOT Homes for Two Male Swan Pairings.. I have NO Idea what People would do with ALL the EXTRA Males.
I have had Calls over the Years.. Reports that their Cobs are not Getting Along.. I keep Notes.. and I have Seldom have these Folks Call a Second Time.. Each Year is Different.
I have Included Three Examples of Mute Swans Fighting.
If you do a SEARCH for Mute Swan Fighting.. there are Many Clips on YouTube. There are Some Clips Mis-Labeled Mute Swans “Mating.” There are Also MANY Photos on the Internet. As Beautiful as Swans are.. they have Can have a Nasty Side.
A Final Side Note: There are a Few States that will Only Allow Male Mute Swans.. They DO NOT Want any Females that Lay Eggs/Hatch Cygnets.
I Hope I have NOT Forgotten Anything Important.. ASK Questions.. Feel Good about your Decision..
The Wonderful World of Swans … Is NEVER Boring.. And You will Never Stop Learning about them.. (-; PA SwanLover Linda M.Sweger – Organized August 2021
Black Australian Swans are Legal Exotic Domestic Poultry in All U.S. States. Black Australian Swans Nest TWICE a Year.. May Produce LOTs of Cygnets. There are Fewer Black Australian Swans in BackYards. It is Trickier to Arrange Homes. It is GOOD to Get to Know Others with them.
We had One Visit with These Black-Necked South American Swans. No Experience with them Nesting.
Young UnRelated Swans will Pair-Bond as they Live Together..
During their Second Year/During the Winter A Young Mute Pair ca. 20 Months Old will Start Pair-Bonding.
The Young Females, ca. 20 Months Old are Receptive for Mating with Mature Cobs.
There are a Few Juvenile Females that will Successful Nesting when Just 22-24 Months Old.
Most Pens are Mature for Nesting by the Age of Three..
The Average Age that Mute Swans are Mature for their First Nesting is 32-36 Months.
Once Swans are Three Years Old, they are Generally Mature Enough to Mate, Build a Nest, Lay some Eggs.
The First Year Swans Nest may have Mixed Results, the Swans are Learning,
More Eggs as the Healthy Pens Mature. (6-9 Eggs) More Success Hatching Cygnets.
Living with the Parent Swans, some Cygnets will be Lost, to a variety of Nature’s Hazards.. Some will Survive and do Well.
You may Allow Cygnets to Hatch or the Eggs can be Spoiled.. There are Ways to Manage.. whether to have Cygnets or Not..
Maybe you want Cygnets Some Springs..
But Decide to NOT have them Other Years..
The Swans will NEED to Nest.. That Can NOT be Avoided.
IF at ALL POSSIBLE – Arrange for UnRelated Swans. When you Adopt a Brother and Sister this will Reduce the Genetic Pool of their Cygnets.
Remember that Cygnets Acquired from the Same Parents, but Different Years.. are Still Brother and Sister..
The Mute Pair below are Related.. They are from Different Years. They have Common Parents from a Large Lake of Swans Allowed to In-Breed. Their Cygnets have been Healthy.. A Small Number of their Eggs do not Hatch.
The Female Swans below are SISTER ! One from 2017 – the Other from 2018- Same Parents.
Since we do not have Wild-Feral Mute Swans – but Mainly Captive Pets. There tends to be a Small Population of BackYard Swans. You need to Make an Effort to Arrange Unrelated Pairs.
The Feral Mute Swan Pair above and below were Destroyed.. We are Not Sure if Any of their Cygnets Hatched Together Survived.
When there is Poor Diversity in the Gene Pool the Swans are Prone to Poor Nesting Result – Fewer Eggs Hatch – Cygnets with Birth Defects – Weaknesses – Failure to Thrive – Poor Immune Systems – Prone to Diseases.
This Tiny Mute Cygnet Below was NOT Healthy when it Hatched.. Poor WaterProofing. This Little One would not Eat – Died. There were Two other Cygnets that were Healthy..
The Young Mute Male Below Seemed OK for his First 8 Weeks.. Then his Sluggish Behavior Suggested Something was Wrong.. One Afternoon he was Gasping for Air.. His Heart was Failing as he was Growing.
We were Unable to Determine if this Neck Deformity was Genetic or from an Injury. The Avian Pathologist that Evaluated him has seen these Neck Deformities Before. Commented that this Might begin while the Cygnets was Forming in the Eggs. “Maggie” was Vent-Sexed – During the Necropsy Identified as Male.
If you have a Nearby Neighbor who has Brood Swans on their Pond. It would be Good to get to Know them.
When you Both have Cygnets it is Good to be able to Arrange UnRelated Male-Female Cygnet Pairs..
This Young Pairing of Mute Swan Cygnets are from Two Different BackYard Ponds.
And, Both Broods will Need to be Pinioned about the Same Time.. and have their DNA Samples Collected at the Same Time.. So, you might have Other Hands to Help with these Projects.
This is a Lineage Chart of some of the Mute Swans we have Help Arrange Home for. It was Fun to Organize.. (-;
If you Want a Male – Female Pairing.. But, NO Cygnets. Then.. having Siblings and Spoiling their Eggs is Reasonable. You will Still have the Graceful Beauty of the Classic Swan Pair.
Cygnets are CUTE ! And Cygnets are Work.
It is Illegal to Allow Swan Cygnets to JUST Fly Away.
Their Fate is NOT to Live a Life Wild and Free.. They are DESTROYED !
All Cygnets should be Pinioned by 21 Days Old, So they are Grounded for Life.. Pinioned Cygnets will be Safer Domestic Pets for their New Owners. It is Much Easier to Find them Homes.
By Late August-September it is Time to Start to Arrange for New Homes.
Cygnets that are Pinioned and DNA Checked will Fetch a Higher Adoption Fee..
IT is WISE to have All Healthy Cygnets Rehomed by Thanksgiving. This Breeding Process will Repeat for 5-15 Years.. If your Adult Swans are Healthy, Happy and Safe..
Sold/Adopted to/Rehomed by Thanksgiving. (6-8 Months Old) Most People are Busy from Thanksgiving through the New Year.. Moving Swans is NO Fun to do during Snowy-Icy Winter Months.
By 5 Months Old, Mute Cygnets are Feathered Out – Weigh between 12-20 Pounds. They are READY to Start a New Life on a Forever Pond.
Few Adult Swans will Tolerate their Growing Cygnets when it is Time for Mating and the Next Nesting Season.
Over Time – by ReHoming Healthy Cygnets to Others for an Adoption Fee.. Scaled by their Age.. You will Recover some of your Cost of Caring for Swans.. This is NOT a Money Making Hobby.. Cygnets will Eat ALL Profits.. They are Eating Machines as they Grow.
Early in January, the Reproductive Hormones of Mature Swans Start to Increase. You will see their Beaks Flush with Pinks.. Lots of Mating..
If you are Planning for Swans to be on a Pond or Lake with Multiple Family Homes..
I Want you to Think about what it will be like to have a Breeding Pair of Mute Swans, Living on a Pond or Lake with other Property Owners..
Be Aware. Check with your HOA.. And/or your Neighbors. Not All Neighbors will be Understanding of the Annual Behavior Changes of a Breeding Pair of these BIG BIRDs.
A Swan Cob, that was Easy-going all Summer and Fall WILL become a Holy Unpredictable, Aggressive, Territorial Boss of the Pond or Lake and some of the Lawns around it.
During this Time all you can really do is GIVE HIM SPACE. AND LOTs of Understanding.
Any Person or Child or Dog that Steps Over the Cob’s “Line” will be Chased.. Challenged to STEP-Back ! > > > Possibly Attacked. Swans have very Little Bite Pressure.. but, they CAN FLOG !!! OUCH !!
It is about 50/50 once their Cygnets Hatch.. Some Cobs REMAIN in Protective Mode..
Some Cob-Sires Calm Down, Once they know they can Scoot their Cygnets along the Water and L > e > a > v > e >> any Person they think might Harm their Family. Most Swan Families would rather Flee then Fight, if they can Swim away.
Most Male Cobs will be Easier to Live with from June to January. Calm-Controlled ( Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ) Unruly January to May.
A Reproductive Hormonal Cob is ALL Hormones – “Hormones with Wings.” They Can Take OVER an Area for 10-12 Weeks. You need to LEARN what is OK, Where his “LINE” is that you should not Cross.. Some Cob are Easier to Deal with. They are ALL Different..
I DO NOT like to Arrange a Breeding Pair for any Place where there are Frequent Visitors who are Unfamiliar with Swans.. Public Parks, Hotel – Condominiums, Golf Courses, College Campuses, etc.
A Hormonal Cob can be a Liability.. They can SCARE People.. Attack and Flog, if someone gets too Close.. ALWAYS Warn your Guests.. to KEEP their Distance.
Swan Cobs are Quiet and Fast. You NEED to LEARN to Work with them.. NEVER Turn Your Back on a Hormonal Cob ! ! ! I Love Cobs.. and we Learned what to do to KEEP Them and Us Safe ! !
We have had Wide Ranges of Experiences during Brood Swans Nesting.. One Mature Cob Trusted me.. I could Walk Up to the Nest.. Brush his Female’s Breast Feathers so she would Stand-up for me to Check her Eggs.. NO Problem.. (-;
Our Current Male.. would NEVER Allow me to do that WITHOUT my Husband KEEPing him Busy.. “Meadow” is BIG, Beautiful and BAD !! Love Him.. (-;
The Swans we Love – “Meadow” and “Brooke.” They are 12 Years Old in the Summer of 2021.
I have tried to Summarize this.. If you have any Questions Ask.. Please ! The More Information you have – the Better Your Swan Success.
********************************************************************** This Information is Gathered from Our Experiences Working with Swans.. PA SwanLover Linda August 2021 **********************************************************************