Caring for an Injured Swans is a LOTs of WORK !!!
Try to Avoid the Common Injuries.
There Can be Countless Types of Injuries.
Many are JUST Bad Luck – Unforeseen.
This Cob was Hit by a Boat Oar Breaking his Wing – Compound Fracture,
when a Person got TOO Close to his Female and Cygnets.
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Swans are Curious Creatures and will Find the Darnest Way to get Hurt.
The Broken Window in this Shed is a Hazard.
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Below a Partial Discard Can was Lodged into this Swan’s Lower Beak
and Tongue. The Swan’s Suffering Could Easily be Avoided.
Please DISPOSE of Human Litter Responsibly.
Swans Have Very Good Eyesight. Swans Locate their Food by Sight – Less by Smell.
Swan’s Eyes are Located on the Sides of their Head, which Aids Spotting Predators.
But the Trade-off for their Wide Peripheral Vision is Limited Forward Sight,
making them Vulnerable to Flying into Power Lines.
So Sad – the Life of this Beautiful Healthy Young Trumpeter was just beginning.
Fences can be as much a Hazard as a Safer Place.
We Think this Swan became Tangled in a Fence..
“Prince Harry” was a Full-Wing Rescue.. He NEEDED to be Kept Clipped.
That did not Happen. “Harry” Started to Fly About his Local Area.
SWANs/Birds caught on Barbed Wire are likely to Struggle Violently
in an Attempt to Free themselves.
We all know how Damaging a Barb Wire Fence can be..
Gates can be … Well, Not Safe…
Electric Fences are Common for Pastures. They can Cause Mouth Burns.
We Learned of One Female Mute Encouraging her Cygnets to Fly.
She did not Clear the Pasture Fence.. and Broke her Neck.
Fences – Can the Swan get their Head through.. ??? and NOT get it back
through the Openings.. Sharp Edges.. Loose Nails.
UnSecured Bucket Handles are a Tangle Hazard.
Minor Injures can be Cleaned with a Gentle Soap.
Room Temp Water ONLY.
Washing Birds in Hot Water.. will Burn THEM..
The Skin on the Beak can be Scraped.. Watch for any Sign of Infection.
This Tissue Heals Amazingly Quick.. !!!
In VERY Cold Weather the Knob may Freeze-FrostBite..
It will likely leave a Pinkish Scar on the Knob.
Memories of Sad Stories of Swans Dying due to Entanglement.. TOO MANY.
CHECK for TANGLE HAZARDs.
I have Heard TOO many Sad Stories of Swan Dying by Tangling in Ropes, Cables, Wires, Fishing Line.. Some have Swallowed these Items.
Folks in Lancaster Co have had Swans for over 20 years.
NEVER had a problem. Spring 2015 they lost one Female Swan to old age.
They brought a young Female home.. everything was fine.
The Lack of Rain that Summer caused their Pond Water Level to be VERY LOW, the Ropes that kept their Aerator-Fountain in place became Slack and the young Female became Tangled around her Neck.
“We have had so little Rain this Summer and Fall that the Ropes were Exposed and Loose.”
– A Freaky, Sad event
This Never occurs to People that the Ropes that hold Boats in place can also be a problem. Other Cords, Cables, Wires can be Tangle Hazards.
Electrical Cables, Extension Cords.. Potential for Electric Shock.
Running the Cables and Cords through PVC Conduit will Improve Safety.
Another Hazard around Motor Boats… Spilled Oil and Gas. YUCK !
One Female Trumpeter Swan.. Decided to Eat a Length of Rope Tied to
a Tree near her Pond.. She Swallowed the Rope all the Way to the Tree Bark.
Stood there for an Untold Period of Time..before being Rescued..
The Rope was Cut.. and not Removed. – OutCome Unknown.
Getting Caught in Exposed Roots.. will their Break Legs.
Frequently Check any Leg Bands – Especially on Growing Cygnets.
Tight Bands can do Permanent Damage to Legs.
Young Swans have Fragile Legs.. Handle Carefully.
The Young Female below: Her Legs were Bent when she was Younger.
A Mature Male tried to Kill her by Sitting ON TOP of her.. to Suffocate her.
Wire Fencing with Large Gauge Openings have Hung TOO Many Swans.
If they can get their Head/Necks Through – their Feathers may make it Hard to Pull their Heads back Through.. Small Cygnets are Growing.. Get Stuck.
We Stopped to Visit.. Walked down to the Pond of this Nesting Swan.
I found her Stuck in the Fence.. Head on One Side.. Body on the Other..
She was Struggling.. Very Stressed.. I got to her. Freed her – She was Ok.
Sometimes, a Swan just Wanted to get to the Other Side of a Fence..
Swans and Cygnets Hit by Vehicle on Roads are ALL TOO Common.
More the One of the Swans at this Country Pond were Killed.
One Young Male had Adopters coming for him.. He was Hit by a Car that Morning.
Driveways are a Dangerous Place for Swans..
Busy Parking Lots – NOT SAFE…
Several Swans we know of were Injured while on Driveways.
They can Easily be Unnoticed when getting into Vehicles..
They May Not be Seen by Visitors or Delivery Truck Drivers.
DO NOT place Feed Containers on HOT Surfaces.
Remember, in the Summer many Surfaces GET HOT!!
Especially, Landscape Stones, Asphalt, Concrete Sidewalks, Lime Stones, Painted Wood, etc.
If you Can NOT put you Hand on the Surface Comfortably it may be VERY Uncomfortable for Tender Webbed Feet.
ASPHALT get VERY HOT.. BURNS Feet.
Concrete Walks and Sandy Beaches get VERY Hot in Direct Sun..
Many Ponds and Lake Control Bank Erosion with RipRap Rocks..
These Rocks Not Only get HOT, but the Sharp, Irregular Rocks are Difficult for Swans to Walk on. Foot and Leg Injuries Happen.
Adding some Small Landscape Pea Stones will Create Comfortable Places for the Swans to Access the Water..
These Injured Toe Claws Happened when a Young Swan was Caught in a
Doorway and was Struggling on a Concrete Surface at the Opening.
The Claws were Cleaned and Soak in a VERY Weak Betadine.
Triple-Antibiotic Ointment and DRY Bandages for Several Days.
On Icy Winter Days, Very Slippery Surfaces can be Hard on a Swans Feet..
Standing on Ice for a Long Time the Swans may Develop FrostBite Blisters.
It is VERY Important to Keep some Area of Open Water for them to Put their Feet in during VERY Cold Weather.
Keep a Watch for an Ice Collar to Form..
Swans Need to be Checked Frequently During Bitter Cold Weather..
Heat Lamps are Commonly Used to Keep Young Cygnets Warm..
As the Cygnets Grow…. RAISE THE LAMPS !!!
We Found this Young Cygnet with his Head SMOKING !!!
Heat Lamps make me NERVOUS !! – Use with Great Care…
Chances are you will not have Fire Detection in your Out Buildings.
452 Best Heat Lamp Fire Images in 2019 / Inside Chicken Coops
Basic 80 to 100 Watt Light Bulbs will help to Warm the Still Air in a Building.
Snuggle them into Fresh Straw and out of the Elements..
A VERY COMMON SOURCE OF WATERFOWL INJURIES
The Helpless Swan below did not Survive her Jaw Injury.
This Young Cygnet Simply put its Little Head in the Pond to Eat.. SNAP !!!
If a Swan or Cygnet has a Salvageable Injury, it take WEEKs of Care
in a Shelter, WEEKs of Medication-Antibiotics, Wound Dressing Changes
and Several Veterinary Visits. A BIG Job !!!
Snapping Turtle are VERY Harmful to Waterfowl .
SNAPPING TURTLEs are NASTY BEASTs
We have had ALL the Snapping Turtle Damage I ever want to Deal With.
Fishing Hooks and Line Entanglement are TOO Common.
Wild and Domestic Birds ingest Pieces of Trash, Gun Shot Pellets, Fishing Sinkers.
Fishing Hooks are very Damaging.
Discarded Fishing Line causes TERRIBLE Injuries.
Swallowing a Hook and Line… DO NOT Cut the Line.. Seek Vet. HELP !
We have worked with many Swans and Cygnets over the years.. LOVE THEM..
Things (gives me chills) have happened that you would NEVER Expect.
Those Lovely Long Necks get into trouble. – They Swallow DUMB Things.
We were Never able to Determine What this Object Was/is..
It was there in the Gizzard for Months.. X-Rayed Three Times.
The Young Swan was OK, Eating and Growing Normally.
Several Veterinarians Recommended we Do Nothing.. Just Leave it.
Swan are Attracted to Shiny Things..
Shiny Metal.. Hooks, Coins, Hardware like Nails, Screws, Soda Can Tabs, Rings, Jewelry, etc.
Swallowed Metal will not Pass through their Gizzard, Slowly Dissolves becomes Toxic, causing Heavy Metal Poisoning.
OR Sharp Metal will Cut, Puncture the Gizzard Muscles, cause Bleeding, Infection, Death. – “Hardware Disease”
Metal Dissolves, is Absorbed and becomes TOXIC. Heavy Metal Poisoning..
The most common Heavy Metal Poisoning in Birds is Lead, then Zinc.
One of our Rescued Swans had Swallowed a small piece of Iron..
Iron is Water Soluble. She was Fine in the Morning, late Afternoon she was found floating on her Pond.
Her Necropsy Showed, “Kate” died from Iron Toxicity..
Five Times Toxic Level. She showed NO Sign of being Ill.
Her Liver and Heart were Severely Damaged.. So Sad.
THEY will EAT Small Things – Sorta Garbage Pick-up Experts.
Bread Twist Ties, Cigarette Filters, Cigar Butts, Balloon Fragments,
Ribbon, Small Toy Pieces, ETC., Etc., etc……………………
Any Time there is Construction or Repairs around the Water or Building your Swans may Walk around. Be Careful with Nails, Screws, Small Sharp Items. ANYTHING they WILL Swallow.
One Mature Female Died after Eating Styrofoam Packing Peanuts.
She was often fed Bread tossed on her Pond.
Kids tossed the Styrofoam Peanuts into her Pond.
She ate several. She stopped eating and wasted away.
The Styrofoam was found during her Necropsy.
The Family remembered picking up the scattered Styrofoam floating along the Bank.
Another OOPs.. Pool Foam Flotation Noodles left on the Pond..
No One Expected that the Swans would Chew Holes.. into them..
Swans, Waterfowl eat Small Stones to aid Digestion in their Gizzard.. Normal ..
IF this was a Dog or Cat these Small Things might pass through in a few Days.
With Birds anything Solid in their Gizzard stays there until it breaks down.
Broken Glass – CUTs Inside the Swans or Outside the Swans.
Strings, Cords, Rubber Bands.. – “Baby Proof – Swan Proof.”
I have Heard that Dried Pine Needles can Puncture Waterfowl Esophagus Tissues. Try not to Feed where there are Dry Needles.
It is SO Important that Waterfowl can have their Feet and Legs in Liquid Water during VERY Cold Weather.
For Whatever Reason, some Cobs Hate Lawn Care Equipment…
Mowers, Weed Whackers, Anything with a Loud Motor..
Keep a Close Watch – Male Swans MAY Attack these Noisy Cutting Machines.
There are TOO Many Fishing Related Injuries to Post.. TOO Common !
There have been ENDLESS Stories of Swans Entangled, Injured and Dying Due to Carelessly Discarded Fishing Line and Hooks.
The Following Swans were Attacked by UNLEASHED Dogs.
Dog Attacks… The Deep Bites with their Sharp Teeth, do Terrible Damage.
I have heard of Two Instances of Swans trying to Mate on a Pool Cover.
One Event Ended with the Female Dying.
The Other, the Swans Could Not Figure out how to get back off.
Swans can Get onto a Swimming Pool Cover – but Getting OFF is a Problem.
Another Place to Get Hurt… Open Doors to Sheds, Garages and Barns.
Curious Swans will Explore.. They can REACH Up and Pull Things Down.
Over the Years, this Feeder’s Leaning was Unnoticed.. Nothing Happened.
High Wind Storms.. Blowing Debris and Falling Trees..
“Handsome Fellow” was our First Rescue.. That was not Easy.
Over Time and Many Miles we have Helped Care for Many Injured Swans.
This Dear Swan had a Terrible Wing Injury.. It became Infected..
He was Sick and Lost a Lot of Weight before we were able to Rescue him.
We had NO Idea what we were getting into.. A Long Recovery Ahead.
Many Thanks to the Wonderful People who Helped
“Handsome Fellow” Recovered.
“Handsome Fellow” was a Joy. I Miss him Every Day.
These Images of Injuries have been Collected by (c) Linda M. Sweger
I will be Very Happy if I do not need to Add More to this Page. May 2020
Until I Worked on this Topic Page.. I had No Idea how Many Injured Swans
we have Known or Heard their Stories. I Continue to Remember More.