Bringing New Swan/Swans Home
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HOW EXCITING ! ! ! ! !
You are Bringing a New Swan/Swans Home ! !
Like any BIG EVENT Pre-Planning will make this a GREAT Day ! !
I would Love Every Swan to have a Happy Life.
Information about Traveling with Swans.
Transporting Swans is Exciting.. for Humans..
But, for the Swans/Cygnets it can be SCARY..
Arrange for the Transit Time to be as Short as Possible.
SWANs have a very Wide Range of Emotions…. just like Humans.
No matter where you get your New Swan.. the Swan was Living in Surroundings
that were Familiar. Whether it was Good or Bad the Swan knew what to Expect.
Swans are Creatures of Routine.
The Move to a New Home from Familiar Surroundings can be BEWILDERING.
This Young Cygnet Recovered Within Several Weeks.. Then Rehomed.
Maybe they lived with other Swans that were their “Social Comfort.”
They will probably never see their Swan Friends/Family again.
Swans are very Social Creatures. They have a “Pecking Order”
and know where they belong in that “Order.”
They Eat, Swim, Provide and Receive Care and Protection by the “Pecking Order.”
Once these Sisters were Moved to a Pond where there was an Abundance
of Natural Plant Foods.. This Competition for Food Stopped. Good OutCome.
Side Note: If Swans are Separated and Meet again Years Later,
they will Recognize each other.
They Never Forget.
*** YOU ARE HOME EveryOne is Excited ! ! ! Shhh-h-h-h……
In the Driveway Or by the Pond Or Lake Approach.
Your Vehicle Door or Hatch is Open.
Stand Back unless there is an immediate need to ensure the Swan’s Safety.
Slowly Walk Around in Easy Sight of the Swan for a Few Minutes.
“Nod” Slowly in a YES Motion and say “Hello.”
Speak Softly, Slowly, Calming, Calming….
Minimize Bright Lights/Camera Flashes.
If you know the Swan’s Name or you are giving the Swan a New Name… Repeat it, Clearly.
Swans are able to Learn and Understand far more then most would imagine.
They Think… Evaluate, Learn..
*** IF POSSIBLE – DO NOT Put a New Swan Directly onto your Pond
or Lake Water upon Arrival.
Once you “Let it GO !” you will have Very Little Control.
“FEAR of the Unknown” and other WaterFowl/Swans on your Water Environment
may cause PANIC and the New Swan may take off,
REALLY Take Off as Fast as Possible. * Their Desire is to “FIND HOME.”
Several Notes Below are “For you to Be Aware”..
This does Occur – Not Often.. but it Can Happen..
One EXAMPLE: A Pair of Trumpeters immediately released together
after a Long Road Trip.. The Male PANICKED, took off (not flying) Flapping
and Running across the Water to the Far Side of the Pond.
In Less then a Minute, he made it to a Highway and was Hit by a Passing Vehicle.
The Female Swan of the Pair stayed on the Pond, Crying with Fear.
She had Lost her “Bonded Mate” – her “Social Comfort” had Died Minutes
after Arriving at their New Home. Fear and Panic… Very Sad.
Check on the “Stress Level” of the Swan.
*** SIGNS OF STRESS – Be Aware of this – Rarely Happens.
Panic Behavior, Banging their Head Side to Side, Wide-Eyed Panting,
Vocal Crying, Excessive Struggling. This is not the Normal Behavior.
If the New Swan is TOO Scared you may not have a Happy Outcome.
A “Stressed” Swan needs Time to Calm Down.
Stress can cause a Swan’s System to Pour-Out Adrenalin
and the Overload on the Cardiac System can have FATAL Results.
They can Collapse and Die. Literally, “Scared to Death.”
Swans that Fly have a Higher Tolerance to Cardiac Stress.
Their Heart Muscle gets more Exercise.
It is STILL BEST to keep the Stress to a Minimum.
** Fear/Stress can Quickly Burn a Swan’s Normal Blood Glucose Level
TOO Quickly and cause Hypoglycemia. Especially, if they have not Eaten for a while…
Just In Case, have a Small Container, about an Ounce of Thin (add water -mix)
Honey, Karo or King Syrup. Rubbing a * little* Sweet Syrup under the Swan’s Tongue
and on the Roof of their Beak may help if the Cygnet or Swan happens
to Collapse from Fear/Stress.
The Blood Vessels under the Tongue will absorb these “Quick Simple Sugars.”
Do NOT try to force the Swan to Swallow.. Let the Swan Swallow when able..
Keep in a Quiet, Semi-Dark Area.. until they Recover..
SO Far, we have Never needed this while Moving a Swan..
Swans/Cygnets Raised on a Farm or Pond, that are familiar with Humans,
may just “Go with the Flow” and Accept this Move as an Adventure.
They will Quietly Look Around, Curious about this New Place.
Who Else lives here?? – There is No Way to Predict…
In 10 to 15 minutes, Hopefully the Swan will Appear more Comfortable and
will be Looking Around. They need Time to Absorb the New Things they see,
the Smells and Sounds to Assess if they are/will be Safe at this New Place.
Think of a Very Small Child who Speaks a Different Language from you,
Taken from Everyone and Everything they know.
You can not Explain what is Happening, what will Happen next,
Nor can you Avoid their Fear.
BE Patient, it will Pay-off. You will be Establishing Respect and Trust.
Swans have VERY Good Memories.
They will Remember who is Kind and who they need to “Stay Away From.”
STRONGLY Suggest: You put them into a Barn Stall, or Cozy Secure Shed.
The Young Unrelated Pair below were Introduced in a Barn Stall.
They Spent Three Days inside Together..
On a Lovely Fall Day.. We Escorted these Young Swans to their New Pond.
OR into a Chaperon Fence Area for a few Days – at Least a Few Hours.
It is Very Wise to have a Small Temporary Fenced-in Area
by the New Water Home ready ahead of Time.
Whether you Drive to Pick-up the New Swan from its Original Home,
Or someone Transports the Swan to You,
Or you go to the Post-Office OR Airport,
the Swan will be in some type of Cramped Transport Container.
There will be POOP !!! Once the Swan or Cygnet has a Little Time to Relax..
Gently Rinse the Poop.. Room Temp Water Only.
Otherwise, as the Swan/Cygnets Preen..
they will Preen the Poop all through their Feathers.
In a Shallow Water Chaperon Fenced Area, the Young Female can Wash her Bottom.
This Young Female Cleaned up Well. Soon Off to New Home.
Offer a Container – Pan or Bowl of Water. NO Handle..
Watch for this to be Knocked Over in the Unfamiliar Place.
Once you hear the New Swan Drink, you can Relax a Bit.
A Swan will not Drink if it is Stressed.
If a Long Time Passes without Hearing the Splashy Sound of Drinking,
you might Gently put the Swan’s Beak into the Water Container for
a few Seconds. Then let the Swan decide to Drink when Ready.
Sometimes a little Lettuce in the Water Tub Encourages Drinking.
A Sprinkle of Pellet Feed or Scratch or Corn can be put in the Water Tub..
Swans like their Food in Water… Wet Feed Smells Good.
***A Temporary “Chaperon Fence” for the Introduction-Adjustment is a BIG Help..
ESPECIALLY when you have a Resident Swan.
AS LONG AS it is SAFE from any Predators.
The “Chaperon Fence” will Allow Time for the Swan to Adjust to its New Environment.
It will help Prevent Panic Injuries.
It will Provide a Barrier from any Hostile Resident Swan.
Both the Resident and the New Swan need to meet in a Safe Way.
You will soon know if there will be Aggressive or Welcoming Behavior.
Many Resident Swans are very Territorial and will Chase or Attack a New Swan
as an Invader to their Pond.
At the Very Least, Allow the New Swan to Stay in this Area for a Few
Hours, if it is Not Safe for OverNight.
Do NOT Leave New Swan/Cygnet in an Open Air Fenced Areas at Night.
This is Only SAFE if a Predator can NOT get into the “Chaperon Fence.”
The New Swans/Cygnets are TRAPPED.
You have much more Control and the Risk of the New Swan being
Attacked by the Resident Swan is Reduced.
This is the SAFEST way to Introduce them.
You can Observe their Interaction..
Wait for a While…….. Allowing the New Swan to become Relaxed.
Do Both Swans seem Happy to Meet – to See each other.. ???
Any Aggressive Behavior ?? Stalking the Fence.. or Hitting, Biting..???
If the New Swan Moves AWAY as Far as Possible from the Resident Swan..
Best to Wait for a While to Release.. The New Swan is Afraid.
You want to See, Head-Turning Greetings.. Happy Snorts ! !
Upper Necks Swelling (Happy Emotion), Little Snorty Sounds..
Preening Near Each Other. Eating Close Together.
This Fenced Area will allow Time for the Swans to become Familiar with
your Feed before going out onto a Large Area of Water.
BE Sure they are Eating !
New Feed and Foods may take a Few Days to be Accepted.
Visit them OFTEN.. Sit and Talk with them for a Few Minutes.
Let them get to Know you and your Voice..
*** AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
Check to Ensure the Swan is OK.
I have Created a Topic Page “Before you Let a Swan onto your Pond.”
This Page will have a List of Things to Check before you Release
Your New Swans to your Water Environment. They are Suggestions !
Then if I Can Keep Uploading – A Page about “Swan Introductions”
There are Numerous Combinations – Too Many for this Topic Page.
Very Cute and Very Busy.
If you have a Dog that MOVEs Quickly and/or Barks.. *
PLEASE put the Dog Inside or Out of Sight for now.
The Dog can be Part of the Swan Fun in a Few Days once the New Swan
is Comfortable on your Pond/Lake.
Swans are Naturally Afraid of Dogs. Any Canine.
They will start “Alarm Cries” “Arf Arf Arf” with their Neck Stretched UP Straight
– Head held Flat as Soon as they Sense there is a Dog or Fox in the Area,
LONG before it is seen.
The Dog or Fox or Roaming WildLife will not be in the Direction the Beak is Pointing,
but to the Left or Right of their Head.
Swans are Prey Birds, their Eye are on the Sides of their Head.
Their Peripheral Vision is Very Wide.
Over Time the New Swan will Learn when it will Feel Safe when the Dog is around their Water.
It is Important there is an Area of the Pond/Lake that is Deep Enough
– at least Four-Five Feet Deep where Swans can Retreat to and Feel Safe.
For the First Several Weeks, be alert to the New Swan’s Response
to Lawn Mowers, Weed Whackers, Noisy Equipment.. Loud Noises – Kids.
Be prepared to Modify an Activity which is Frightening the New Swan.
Having a Fenced Area will come in Handy Over and Over.
If you Decide or Need to Put your New Swans/Cygnets Directly on the Water
without being Sheltered or in a Chaperon Fence for an Adjustment Time..
Plan to Spend more Time by your Pond for a Few Days.
There is No Way to be Sure the New Swan will Stay on the Pond..
They May Go Wandering.
*** MOVING TO THE WATER’S EDGE…
Do your BEST NOT to Over Bounce or Drop the Carrier.
Set it Down by the Waters’ Edge.
Again, give the Swan Time to Look Around.
*** RELEASING TO THE POND
There is No Way to Predict ALL the Variables.
The TIME has come – The Swans are Calm, they seem to Like each other.
NOTE: When First Released, Swans will Swim or Flutter
to the Other Side of the New Water Area..
Try to Release so the Area they move toward is Safe..
NOT Toward a Road or “Easy OUT and GONE ! !” Area.
Ask Helpers to Space themselves Around the Pond if Possible.
*** TIME to OPEN the Gate. (Or Transport Carrier)
Open Wide and Walk Away…
Allow the New Swan to Decide when it wants to Move to the Water.
YEAH ! The New Swan/Swans are on your Pond..
If ALL GOES WELL, the Swans will Meet and Greet Each Other
with Puffed-Up Necks and Head Turning.
When you Release the New Swan, Stay with the Swans as long as
it takes for them to Explore Together.
WATCH for ANY Signs of Aggression from a Resident Swan..
BE AWARE: For the first 30-60 Minutes the New Swan may be Welcome..
Then something seems to Happen with some Resident Swans..
They Decide, the New Swan has Over-Stayed their Welcome and
it is “TIME” for the New Swan to LEAVE ! ! This May become Serious..
Flying- Flapping Attacks are NOT GOOD…
The Stronger Swan MAY TRY to Drown the Weaker Swan..
Try to Remove the New Swan to a Safe Place and give the Swans Time
to get to know each other with a Fence between them..
Use your BEST Judgement about the Safety of a Swan in a Fenced Area…
If a Predator gets in the Swan is Helpless.
You know your Area and what Chance there might be for a Predator
getting into the New Swan..
OR Try to Keep the New Swan in a Safe Place – a Shed, Barn or Garage..
Until they are Comfortable Out on Your Pond or Lake.
If you See Chasing.. Watch Closely..
We have Observed this many time: Not Aggressive Chasing..
Fast Swimming is likely to be OK after a while…
Some Quick “Shoulder Nipping” is Normal..
This is “Establishing Pecking Order” Behavior.
Usually only Occurs the First Day or So.
Most Swans are VERY Happy to have a New Companion…
Some will take Weeks to Adjust.. Patience is needed..
After Several Days the Swans should Feel Safe and will Establish a New Routine..
Work Quietly around the Pond.. and Talk Softly.. Trust will Develop … (-;
*** THE POND INTRODUCTION.
There are FIVE Things Swans will Typically do
when they are Introduced to a New Pond/Lake.
- Explore the Pond.. to See What is WHERE ….
Where will I Live..? Where am I Safe.. ?
A Long, Slow Tour of the Water Area.
The New Swan will Check Everything they can.
Who Else lives there ??? … Ducks, Geese, etc.
Swans will Introduce themselves to other Pond Residents..
Hopefully, the Resident Swan will Escort this Tour.
Resident Swans know their General Boundaries and will help
the New Swan learn. It is very interesting to Watch.
Swans DO NOT Understand Property Lines..
WATCH for Wandering.. Especially the First Week or So.
This happens occasionally.. Most Stay in the Water Area..
That is where they Generally Feel Safest.
- Taste the Pond.. What is Good to Eat ???
Dipping and Up-Ending to Taste what Natural Plants are there.
Until they Find the Feeding Station.. it might be Helpful
to Place some Food Items in Several Easy to Find Locations.
- Take a Splashy Bath.. to Wash in their New Water..
This Starts their Immunity to the New Pond Bacteria.
When Released Directly from a Transport Container..
They will CLEAN all the Body Waste Yuck !!
- Sit-Out Along the Bank and Preen..
This is a Sign of Acceptance Behavior.. (-; Relaxed..
Preening Close together is a Sign of Social Acceptance among most Swans.
Much like People Sitting together Watching TV or a Movie.
- AND, for the First Day or Two… they will STAY on the Far Side
of their New Water Environment..
Avoiding People as much as Possible. Trust Takes Time.
Trust – Regain Trust
Make Sure they are ON the Water at SunSet and at SunRise.
As the Day Ends they Think it is Time to go Home..
Most Adjust in a Few Days..
Once Swans are Gliding Silently Together on Your Pond/Lake there is Nothing more Beautiful.
Each time you go to see them, “Nod” Hello… They will respond.
After several Days they should feel Safe and will Establish a New Routine..
“Welcome to your New Home, We hope you’ll be happy here.”
– Jonathan Goldman.
From here I am Organizing Several other Topic Pages about:
** Swan Introductions..
How Swans Meet.. and what to Expect and Watch for.
I just need the Time and Health to Continue Working on SLWS..
My Fear – the Covid-19 Virus.. May End my Sharing Swan Care Info.
Best Wishes.. to You and Your Graceful Swans.
These are Our Experiences.. We are Always Learning..
UpDated May 2021 (c) Linda M. Sweger