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Feeding Adult Swans – Captive Swans Need to be Fed

January 20th, 2015 | Posted by LadyNerkle1 in Feeding Adult Swans - Captive Swans Need to be Fed - (Comments Off on Feeding Adult Swans – Captive Swans Need to be Fed)

BIG Beautiful, Graceful Mute Swans are a Delight to Behold.

Once we Pinion or Clip to Ground them,
They DEPEND on their Caretakers to Provide a Healthy Diet.
Captive Trumpeter and Mute Swans are Domestic Pets.

Feeding Swans

Today is May 27, 2021.. It is Time for Updating this Topic Page..
Please Bare with me for a Day or Two..

ALL CAPTIVE SWANS NEED TO BE FED !!!

SWAN Esophagus-Food
Feeding Swans

To Enlarge Images – Right Click Image then Open in a New Tab.

 Feeding Swans

NOTE: If a Swan tries to Eat TOO Fast..
Dry Feeds may get STUCK in their Esophagus and Block Swallowing.
Forming a Condition called “CHOKE.”
         This could be an Emergency…

Supply Water with DRY Feed Mixtures.

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Over the Years I have heard: >>(Too many Times.)
 “Mute Swans are Wild Waterfowl. Nature will Provide.”   
“They will Find the Food they Need and do not need Supplemental Feed.”

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

The Pond Above has Little to NO Water Plants for these Swans to Graze on.

The Spring and Summer Environments that Swans and their Cygnets Live and Grow in
will ALL be Different.

The Pond Below has a Lot of Natural Plant Growth, String Algae and Water Critters.

Captive Mute Swans 
Feeding Swans

This Misconception seems to come from Various Sources..
Some Breeders may Live in Areas where there is Year Round Food Materials in their Pond.

Lots of Plant Growth, Insects, Tadpoles, Worms, Snails, Grubs, etc.
They Pass this Information on to Others without Looking at the BIG Picture.

Natural Creek
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

The Remaining Feral Mute Swans Living in the United States will, on Average,
have a Territory Range of 3 to 5 SQUARE Miles that they will Access for their Nutritional Needs.
In Warmer States there may be Plenty of Vegetation, Grass Grains and Insects Year Round.

Migrating Tundra Swans
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

This is Why the Canadian Tundra and Trumpeter Swans Migrate South during the Fall
to Areas they know will Provide Food for themselves and their Growing Cygnets.

Mute Swans in Winter
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Mute Swans are NOT Migratory Waterfowl..
They will Stay in their Territory Year Round their Entire Adult Life,
Unless something Significant Changes for them…
Loss of Habitat, Loss of a Mate… Chronic Harassment.

Feeding Captive Swans
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Mute Swan will Fly/Move to Open Water in Winter Months
if their Normal Water Environment Freezes.

Their absence during Nesting Season may cause some Folks
to think the Mute Swans have Migrated.
Feral-Wild Mute Swans will generally Seek a more Private Location to Nest.

Mute Swans Nesting
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

For Whatever Reason: “Wild-Feral Mute Swans Do Not Nest where they Live,
and they Do Not Live where they Nest.”

For Two Months, Feral Mute Swans will likely Find a Private Place to Mate, Nest
and Hatch their Brood of Cygnets.

Mute Swan Nest
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

The Location may only be a Half Mile or so away from their Normal Range.
They are likely to Return to their Normal Territory once their Nest is “Closed” for the Season.
Returning with Tiny Cygnets that are NOT Capable of Flying or Migrating.

Feeding Adult Mute Swans 
 Mute Swan Cygnets

MUTE SWANS DO NOT MIGRATE.

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In the Parts of the Country where Winter Climate causes Plant Materials to become Dormant,
Feral Mute Swans will have a Much Harder Time Finding Satisfactory Sustenance Food.

Mute Swans Winter
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

If Swans are Caring for First Year Cygnets..
This may cause the Smaller Cygnets to Weaken and Die from Starvation.
Cygnets that Hatch Late in the Season are Especially at Risk..

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

I have watched Feral Mute Swans Attempt to Eat the Decaying Vegetation and Leaves
they find in Shallow Water; the same Plants that provided Food during the Warmer Seasons.
This Organic Material will have some Small Food Value,
there may be a Few Calories Left in the Decaying Fibers.

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

During Warm Weather, Lawn and Field Grasses will Yield Tasty Insects.

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

When there is Snow Cover on Lawns and Fields, they will not even have this Meager Food Source.
Hungry Waterfowl will Pick at Field and Lawn Grasses Attempting to find some Calories..
Something to Fill their Gizzard.

Swans Snow Covered Lawn
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

All Living Creatures Can Live for a Period of Time without Adequate Food,
as Long as they have Water to Drink.
Swans Living on Ponds/Lakes have Water.. but, Foods MAY be VERY Scarce.

Swan Winter Feed
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Swans are Warm Blooded Creatures, they have a Metabolism like all Warm Blooded Creatures.

Healthy Mute Swan
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

When Food is Limited or Absence they will Slow Down,
Try to Conserve and Convert their Body Fat, Muscle Proteins
– Losing Weight the Same as any Animal or Human.

Underweight Mute Swan
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Wild/Free Waterfowl will Generally Fly in Search of Food.
Pinioned/Captive/Fenced Waterfowl that are Starving
will become increasingly Desperate
and will Eat increasing amounts of Mud and Soft Topsoil.
There are some Organic Materials in Mud and Topsoil…

Feeding Captive Swans
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Hopefully a few Dormant Insect Grubs, Worms, Snails, etc.

Feeding Captive Swans
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

If this goes on Too Long, their Gizzard may become “Sand Bound.”
Topsoil and Mud contains Silica/Sand.

Sand feels Gritty when Rubbed between the Fingers.
Birds/Waterfowl regularly Ingest Small Amounts of Grit to Aid Digestion
of the Food in their Gizzard. Eating Small Amounts of Dirt, Mud is Normal.
When Digestible Food is Absent for Long Periods of Time,

the Gizzard may become “Sand Bound.”

Once this happens there is NO Room for Digestible Food….
Death from Starvation will likely follow.
************************
Sand is a Naturally Occurring Granular Material Composed of
Finely Divided Rock and Mineral Particles.
The Composition of Sand is Highly Variable,
depending on the Local Rock Sources and Conditions.
The Most Common Constituent of Sand in Inland Continental Settings
and Non-Tropical Coastal Settings is Silica (silicon dioxide, or SiO2),
usually in the Form of Quartz.

Feeding Captive Swans
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Sand is NOT Digestible.
It will Pass Through a Bird’s Digestive System
along with the Plant Fiber of their Normal Diet.
************************
Until now, I was Referring to the Feral Mute Swans Living in a 3-5 Square Miles Range.

Since Pennsylvania and Many other States have ZERO Tolerance Policy for Feral Mute Swans.
The Above Information is Academic.. FYI – Feral Mute Swan are Routinely Destroyed.

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Next, I want to Discuss Captive Swans Living in the Care of Human Caretakers.  
Living in a much Smaller Environment.

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Captive Swans are No Different then Pet Dogs, Cats, Horses, etc.  
They NEED to EAT ! !

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Just Like Cat, Dogs, Horses, etc..
Swans are Warm Blooded, they have Blood, Brain and Nerve Fibers.
They have Skin Tissue, Many Muscles, Light Weight Bones.   
And Beautiful White Feathers.
All these Body Systems NEED Nutrients.

************************
**** CAPTIVE SWANS NEED TO BE FED !!!!

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

All Animals and Birds we Bring into our Lives are Subject to a Wide Range of Care.
From the Total Care of Pets that become Cherished Members of our Family Life,
to Farm Live Stock Raised for their Meat, Milk, Eggs, etc.

Back Yard Chickens
Feeding Swans

..To the Sad Neglected, Forgotten, Discarded, Abused Animal Cruelty Cases
We see on various TV Animal Rescue Programs.

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

The Female Mute Swan in the above Image..
She and her Brother were Fed Floating Fish Pellets..
Fish Pellets Average 35% Protein.. this will cause Lipidosis Over Time.
He Died before he was 18 Months Old and she did not Live Past 4 Years Old. 

Mute Swans Need to Eat
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

She Never got to Lay her First Egg..
Both were found Floating in their Pond.. ( at Different Times.)
I Tried to tell these Folks.. they would not Listen..

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Swans Fed a High Protein Diet …Look Big and Healthy… They are NOT Healthy.

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Folks who have Appropriate Water Environments to Care for Swans,
may Desire to have them for Various Reasons.
Not all People will take the Time to Research Swans
so they are Prepared to Provide Appropriate Care.

Swan Poor Diet
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

The Swans I WORRY about are the Swans Chosen to be Living Lawn and Pond Ornaments.
Swans are NOT Lawn Ornaments
https://swanlovers.net/category/swans-are-not-lawn-ornaments/

The Striking Beauty of Graceful Swans will Enhance any Property.
The Novelty of having Swans may Pass and Neglect is likely to follow.
Having Swans is a Commitment.
They may easily Live 25-35 Years or Longer with Good Care and Some Luck.

Healthy Male Mute Swan
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Under Chin – Under Tongue Impactions will Make Eating DIFFICULT !!
  This Swan NEEDED Help..

Swan Under Tongue Impaction
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

The Under Tongue/Chin Impaction was Preventing her from Eating.
Under Tongue-Chin Impaction
https://swanlovers.net/category/under-tongue-chin-impaction/

Swan Under Chin Impaction
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Removing these Wads of Junk-Debris from under the Tongue is Simple,
ONCE you have Hold of your Swan..

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If you Tire of Caring for your Swans, ReHome them to another Interested Person.
NEVER Release any Swan into the Environment. NEVER.. ! !
It is ILLEGAL ALL Across the United States and Canada
to Deliberately Release a Mute Swan or their Growing Cygnets.
Discarded Pet Swans will likely be Destroyed.

Discarded Pet Swan
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

            This Gentle Swan was Shot by a Hunter in 2008.

There are so many Different Regulation Governing the Ownership of Mute Swans
from State to State, You will need to check the Codes, Policies and Rules for your State..

Where to Find Mute Swan Information for Your State
https://swanlovers.net/category/where-to-find-mute-swan-information-for-your-state/

Feeding Captive Swans
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

“Can Animal Rights Be Legally Defined?”
In 1978 the HSUS, Humane Society of the United States defined Animal Rights.
“Animals have the right to live and grow under conditions
that are comfortable and reasonably natural.  
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.”
Changes to their Environment or the Landscaping may Alter their Food Supplies.

Pinioned Mute Swan
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Pinioning any Waterfowl… Changes Everything.
In the U.S. Mute Swans “Owned” by Humans are generally Pinioned
to Restrict their Ability to Roam at Large.
They are Classified as:
Captive, Domestic, Exotic, Poultry. (Not Wild)
Like ALL Animals 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

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

The First Rule for Keeping Swans in the Location you want them…. is
  #1. “Feed them and they will Stay.”
Feeding Your Swans is NOT a Guarantee they will Stay on your Pond.
Adequate Food is a BIG Part of their Comfort.

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Swans on a Private Pond are Somewhere between Captive and Free.

“Swans do NOT Read the Books” about their Expected Behavior.
Swans will have many Surprises as you Enjoy their Beauty and Learn about them.

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Mother Nature has Evolved Birds/WaterFowl to be able to do some Amazing Things.
Living without Food is Not One.. Imagine Watching these Captive, Graceful Birds,
unable to tell their Caretakers that they are Hungry.
Respect and Good Care will allow Swans to Enjoy Living with us/you for a Long Time.

Swan Diet
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Spread the WORD…. Swans need to Eat.

Living on a Totally Natural One Acre Pond with NO Chemicals to Altering the Plant Growth
and Insects is Recommended for One Pair of Adult Mute Swans.

Natural Rural Pond
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

The Swans can Graze during the Summer on Yummy Stuff.

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Underwater Plants may not be Sufficient,
the Lack of Insects will impact Protein and Calcium Resources.

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

    A Natural Pond “MAY” Supply all the Swans Need.

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

The use of Lawn Care Products, Insect Controls and Fertilizers Changes the Natural Balance.

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

The Lovely 1 – 1/2 Acres Golf Course Irrigation Pond in the Below Image
had NOTHING Growing in the Water.  NO Plants, DuckWeed or Algae..   
AND…No Water Insects or Mosquitoes  ! !

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

There were Lots of Common Carp, Blue Gill and Bass.
The Fish Populations were Consuming the Few Natural Plants.. 

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Carp EAT a Variety of Foods. They favor Insects, Aquatic Worms, Crustaceans.
They consume Algae and Under Water Plant Matter.

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

These are the Same Pond Things the Swans would Eat..

Use a Rake and Sweep Along the Water Edge Two to Three Feet Down..
Are there Under Water Plant.. ??  Or are they Absent.. ???
Your Swans MAY/Will NEED Daily Feeding Year Round..

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

The Public Park Lake Above is Treated with Dark Shade Dye. NO Natural Plants – NONE.

Organic Pond Run Off
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Fertilizers and Animal Waste Run-off will create Organic Changes to a Pond/Lake
allowing for a Wide Variety of unwanted Plant Growth.  Big Subject…. LOTS of variations.

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Waterfowl/Swans may be able to Help Control some Nuisance Plants..
like Algae, Duckweed and Watermeal..
but, they still need other Nutrients in their Year Round Diet.

Pond Watermeal Duckweed
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Mute Swans can Live a Very Long Time with Good Care.

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

The Less they Need to Dig in the Mud/Dirt for Nutrition,
the Less Chance they will Acquire Parasites.

During Warm Dry Months, Stagnant Muddy Water will put Waterfowl at Risk
of Fatal Clostridia Bacteria.

We lost Little “Hannah” to Clostridia after Nesting in 2010.
We lost Sweet “Spring” to Clostrida after Nesting in 2018.

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Providing a Container of Fresh Clean Water would seem Helpful…

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

But, Waterfowl will still Drink the Pond/Lake Water.

Mute Swan Mud
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

His World is Nothing but Water and Mud.
( We Brought him Food and Treats. )

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There are Pro and Con Discussion about Feeding Waterfowl-Swans Bread.
Captive Pet Swans should have a Good Diet..

We Avoid Bread. DO NOT ALLOW others to Feed your Swans Bread.
There is little to No Nourishment in White Bread for Waterfowl.

White Bread is Poorly Digested, causing Indigestion and Bloating.
Yeast may Grow in the Gizzard causing Chronic Digestion Problems.
Bread is High in Sugar and Salt Taxing a Birds’ Kidneys and other Organs.

During the Summer Months Bread is a Dangerous Food for Waterfowl.
Molds Growing on Bread may be Fatal.
Some Molds will cause Fatal “Limber Neck” Disease.
Once the Toxic Mold is in the Swan, there is VERY Little you can do
to Reverse these Debilitating Toxic Secretions. The Mortality Rate is Very High.
The Swan becomes Weak, can not hold their Neck up.. become Limp.

If they are in the Water, they may Drown.
On Land, the Weakness will Affect their Ability to Breathe.

The Hazards of feeding BREAD to Swans/Waterfowl
https://swanlovers.net/category/bread-is-a-no-for-swans/

If YOU want to Feed Swans Bread, then ONLY during Cold Winter Months
(Fall Frost to Last Spring Frost).
Buy FRESH, Freeze and Feed One Slice per Day Coarse Grain or Wholemeal Bread
with Seeds and Grains Incorporated into the Bread is a Better Option.

The Grain Seeds Provide some Extra Oils, which Aid the Absorption
of Fat Soluble Vitamins – like Vitamin A, C, D, E, K, Thiamine, Riboflavin,
Niacin, B6, B12, Folic Acid,       …ALL Important for Good Health.
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If you Enjoy having Swans, the BEST Thing you can do for them is
Provide a Wide Variety of Food Items.

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Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

It “Should be Reasonable” to think that Dog Food is for Dogs,
Cat Food is for Cats and Horse Feed is for Horses…

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

PLEASE DO NOT Feed these Feed Formulas to Swans.

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Chewy.com is a Great Way to Order and have Many Feed Products Delivered.
. . . with Orders of at Least $50.00.

This Saves Time and Gas.. Thanks Chewy !

Choose a Good Commercial Poultry or WaterFowl Feed:
**NON-Medicated **Poultry Maintenance Feed
       Mixed with Corn and Grain to Keep the Protein Level LOWER.

Keep the Lysine Level LOW –  1%or Less.
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We HAD BEEN USING   
**Southern States 18% Waterfowl Floating Pellets since 2015 thru 2019. 
 WE STOPPED !

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

This  Feed  Product has Changed.. Most Folks who were Using this have Stopped.  
The Southern States Feed is NOT Consistent in Size or Color.. and it Barely Float.
This  has > > > Changed !

Most Folks who Care for Swans have Decided to Use Mazuri WaterFowl Feed.

The First Thing I ask Swan Folks who have Swans Die without any Obvious Reason..
Is What are You Feeding them..???
If the Answer is a High Protein Diet.. Be Aware ! !

A Steady High Protein Diet will Significantly Shorten a Swan’s Life..
Every Year I hear from Folks who have “Healthy” Swans Die without a Reason.. 
They are Unaware of this being an Issue..

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Their Swans LOOK Big and Healthy.. and are Suddenly Found Dead..
NO Visible Reason.   It Fits a Sad Pattern..
Swans Fed a High Protein Diet.. will Frequently Die within 1-3 Years.

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

We had a Young Female, “Little Hannah” that someone else was Feeding for us… 
She was on a Pond with their Young Swans..
In ONE Month “Hannah’s” Kidneys were Permanently Damaged.

I Provided the Feed Mixture I wanted for our Female..
but, the Woman kept giving “Hannah” her Feed..
Straight from the Bag – 16% Protein Grower.. We Moved “Hannah” ASAP… 

We took “Hannah” for Several Visits to the Vets.. for Blood Chemistries..
Results.. Elevated Kidney Functions – Three Times Normal !
We Repeated these Chemistries Several Times, Hoping for Improvement..
NOPE – Her Kidney Damage was Permanent.   
So…. we had to Feed “Hannah” a Diet with Very Little Protein.
She did not get to be 4 Years Old. Heartbreaking..

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

We lost Little “Hannah” to Clostridia after Nesting in 2010.

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Swans NEED more Supplemental Food during Cold Weather.

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Depending on the Winter Conditions, Swans will need more Calories
when they are Subject to Winter’s Cold Temperatures.  Increase their Daily Feed.

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

They need Daily Food for the Quick Energy Calories to keep Warm.
Avoid Yeast, Sugar and Salt.

Swans Cereal Snack Mix
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Swans Cereal Snack Mix         I check the Ingredients..
Choose Cereals that are Low in SALT, SUGAR, and have NO Yeast.

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

We try to use Cereals that Float.. some do Sink and are Wasted.

Feeding Captive Swans
Swans Cereal Snack Mix

Plain Kix, Whole Grain Cheerios, Plain Corn and Bran Flakes.

Swans Cereal Snack Mix
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Then there are a Few Times when the Cereal is just Silly Fun !

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Occasional some Tossed Cereals Lands on their Back – Between their Wings.

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

No Fuss – No Muss – Just Turn their Lovely, Long Neck for the Treats !

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans
Swans Cereal Snack Mix
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Some Swans enjoy Plain Graham Crackers. 

Mute Swan Treats Graham Crackers
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

These can be Broken into One Inch Squares.. and Frisbeed Out to the Swans.

Swans Cereal Snack Mix 
Graham Crackers
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

It is Proper Order to give the First Treat to the Dominant Female Swan
then alternate between the other Swans on the Pond. 

 Feeding Swans  Graham Crackers
Swans Cereal Snack Mix

If there are Lots of Fish in the Water, they will QUICKLY Snatch these Treats.

Swans Cereal Snack Mix
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Swans are Grazers not Gobblers.

They Naturally Eat Small Amounts throughout the Day.
Since they are Programmed to Fly, they will Not Over Eat.
Every Extra Ounce their Body does Not Need will make Flight more Difficult.
When their Diet is Not Balanced, they may Over Eat Starchy Grains,
Trying to get the Minerals and Vitamins their Body’s are Craving.

Corn Alone is NOT a Complete Diet.

Mute Swans Grazing
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

The Bone Structure of Birds is a Light-Weight Scaffolding.
There are just Enough Minerals to Form Rigid Bones.

BIG Swan Eggs
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Female Swans need Extra Calcium Rich Feeds.
Females Give-up their Body Calcium to Coat their Large Eggs.
Once the Cygnets Hatch, the Female Usually Ingest the Shells
to Reclaim some of this Calcium.

Mute Swan Nest
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

If the Female is not able to Eat these Shells due to some Loss of the Eggs
– Due to Flooding, Spoiling, Egg Predation
or Management Replacement Removal she will Benefit from your Help.

Mute Swan Eggs
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

To help Supply your Pen’s Need, it is a Very Good Practice Starting in January,
to Add some Egg Layer Feed to their Regular Feed Mix.
The Eggs she Lays in the Spring will be Stronger
and she will Not Need to Sacrifice as much Calcium from her Body.

There are Commercial Crushed Oyster Shell Products for Poultry to Supply Necessary Calcium.
I See this Frequently in Containers on Farms with Chickens.
I had to Laugh at the Hen Above Nesting in the Oyster Shell Bucket.
But, having Feed in a Metal Container OUTSide is NOT Safe.

Nesting Female Swan
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Once her Cygnets Hatch, the Female Swan is HUNGRY for EVERYTHING.
A Good Balanced Feed Mix with some Extra Calcium, will Help her Body Recover
from the Five LONG Weeks of “Sitting” with VERY little to Eat.

“Sitting” Females Barely Eat for 35 Days…
They Typically will Start to EAT the Two Days before their EGGs are going to Hatch.. 
A Signal to Watch for. 
*****************************************************

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans
SWAN Esophagus-Food
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Swans are Grazers.. they Nibble all Day.

Because their Neck is Long and Slender,
Swans like to have Water with Every Bite to make Swallowing EASIER.

NOTE: If a Swan tries to Eat TOO Fast..
The Dry Feed may get STUCK in their Esophagus and Block Swallowing. 

Forming a Condition called “CHOKE.”
         This could be an Emergency… 

Mute Swans Grazing
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Supply Water with DRY Feed Mixtures.

When Food-Feed is only Available Once or Twice a Day,
Shared from a Tub or Bucket for Assorted Waterfowl,
a Swan will Gobble in a Hurry knowing there will be Nothing
until the Bucket is Filled the Next Day.

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

The Swan Below was Eating TOO Fast his Neck is Bulging.
This is NOT Normal Eating Behavior for a Swan.
This is the way Ducks and Geese Eat.. they are Gobblers.

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Migrating WaterFowl may Bring Diseases to Your Pond.

Migrating Ducks
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

One Scary Disease is Duck Viral Enteritis.   DVE
Healthy Domestic Ducks, Geese and Swans will Start to Die in just a few Days.
While the Wild Carrier Waterfowl just Fly Away.
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Try to find a Way to Feed your Swans so they Do Not Need to Leave the Water.
They are SAFEST in the Water. Swans WANT Water with their Feed-Foods.

Feed Swan in Water
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Try to Find a Place You will be SAFE
Servicing their Food-Feed Station in the Winter.
*****************************************************
Some Feeding Ideas. Things to Think about.
Nice to vary Feeding for the Swans…

Swan Feeding Station Ideas
https://swanlovers.net/category/feeding-stations-for-swans/

Swan Vegetarian
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

In addition to a Healthy Feed Mixture REMEMBER Swans are Vegetarians.

Swans are Vegetarians
https://swanlovers.net/category/swans-are-vegetarians/

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

They like Fresh Cut “Untreated” Grass.. Put Out into the Pond.

Swan Fresh Grass
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Grass Floats and they can Graze on it. Not Enough to Clog Drains or Spillways..
But, maybe a Gallon or so…
Just be sure the Mower Bag does NOT contain any MOLD..

Fresh Pond DuckWeed
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

The Swans Above have a Treat of DuckWeed not Normally in their Pond.
Their Owner Visit a Friend with DuckWeed on his Pond and Brings Home a Bucket FULL.

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SWANS LOVE LETTUCE…
If you Toss a Head of Lettuce in the Pond..
They will Play with it like a Soccer Ball.  Or Push it Under to Pop-Up.
Fun to Watch them Take Turns, Biting the Head and Tossing it About.

Swans Lettuce
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Lettuce Play – “Let-Us-Play”
https://swanlovers.net/category/lettuce-play/

***********************************************************************

*** Swans are VERY Sensitive to METAL.
Best NOT to Store Feed in a Metal Container, unless it is Lined with
a HEAVY Plastic Bag.. or Kept in the Original Feed Bag.

Swan Lead Zinc
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Galvanized Feed Container WILL Contaminate Feed with LEAD and ZINC.

Galvanized Feeders
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Keep ANY Small Metal Items Picked-Up.
Swans, like other Waterfowl, will Ingest Small Stones for their Gizzards.
If they Ingest a Screw, Nut, Nail, Piece of Wire, a Coin, Soda Can Tab, Bread Twist Tie, etc.
This may become a Fatal Snack.   Ingested Litter is Called “Hardware Disease.”
“Kate” looked Healthy… Died Suddenly within a Week of this Photo.
Her Necropsy Found a Small Piece of Iron in her Gizzard.

Swan Metal Poisoning
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

The Metal Items will STAY in their Gizzard and Slowly Dissolve.
Your Swan will become Heavy Metal Toxic..
Destroying their Liver and other Organs.
Heavy Metal Poisoning is VERY Difficult to Treat.

Watch for Non-Edible Things in the Water.. Basic Trash..
  I Dropped a Rubber Glove in the Pond..  “Meadow” started to PLAY with it.
I SAW what had Happened..  And, QUICKLY.. Grabbed the Glove.. SIGH !!

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Use Clean Dedicated Polyvinyl Containers for Feed Safety.

Vinyl Feed Bucket
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

The Metal Pan below is NOT Safe as a Food Container for Poultry and Waterfowl.
The Metal will Slowly Dissolve in the Water.. Heavy Metal Toxic.

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

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Every Pond-Lake Situation is Different.
Feeding your Swans can be a Challenge. Brain Storm.

If you have a Canada Goose Problem. They will Raid the Feed.

Canadian Geese Pond
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

A few Ducks can be Helpful as the Clean-up Crew for Feed Spillage.

Ducks Clean-up
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Fixed Feeders like the Aut-O-Dine have some Draw-Backs and some Advantages.
https://swanlovers.net/category/swan-feeder-aut-o-dine-25/

Swan Feeder
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

If the Pond Water Level Drops, it will be difficult for the Swans to Reach-in.
OR if the Water Level Rises, the Geese will Enjoy a Feast.

One EASY FEED STATION is to use an Old Tire.
(Pick a Nicer One)  AND a Clean Five Gallon Bucket.
(Take the Handle Off – Tangle Hazard.)

Tire Bucket Feeder
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Angle the Bucket as Needed for the Swans to Eat from.
There is a Good Chance the Geese and Ducks will not be able to Reach into the Bucket.
Some Clever Ducks may Jump-in and out.

Tire Bucket Feeder
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

The Bucket is Easy to Clean.. and it can be Taken in at Night.
And can be MOVED as the Water Level Changes.

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

ONLY Feed Swans by your Pond.
Put Feed out in Early AM…. have Available during Day.
Normally Swans Graze from SunRise to SunSet.

They Float Quietly out in the Water at Night.. Trying NOT to be Noticed.

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Removing Feed Container at SunSet Discourages Predators.

Feed-Corn Attracts Mice, Shrews, Moles, Voles, Rats, Muskrats,
Squirrels, Rabbits, Woodchucks, Opossums, Deer, Raccoons.

All these Rodents May be Carrying Dangerous Diseases/Parasites.
As they Raid a Feed Container,
they Contaminate the Feed with Saliva, Urine and Poop.

There are some Nasty Diseases Carried by Raccoons.
You do not want them “Pooping” where Children will be Playing.

Mouser Barn Kittens 
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

It is Environmentally UnSafe to Put Swan Feed on the Ground.

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

The Smaller Rodents will Attract the Carnivores
– Fox, Coyotes, Coywolves, Roaming Feral Cats, Bobcats.

Depending on your Location maybe a Bear would be attracted to a Feed Container.

Feed and/or Small Rodents may attract Skunks, Weasels,
Mink and Larger Predators like Fox, Lynx Coyote/Coywolves.
These may take the small Ducklings, Goslings and Cygnets.
Adult Swans become Vulnerable to Predation.

Have Feed Mixture Available during Day Light Hours Only.

Cover Feed and/or take Inside Over Night.
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There are Ways to Discourage Geese.. a Few Ducks are Good for Clean-up.

An Aut-O-Dine Feeding Box for Swans – Polyvinyl.
Positioned just out of Reach, Canada Geese can NOT Feed from this Feeder.

Aut-O-Dine for Swans
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Average Cost Varies Year to Year
Out in the Elements these will Need to be Replaced after several Years of Exposure.
They Need a Stable Post to be Mounted on..
These Need Several Modification to Work for Swans.

SWAN FEEDER – Aut-O-Dine 25
https://swanlovers.net/category/swan-feeder-aut-o-dine-25/
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THE FOLLOWING FEED MIX IS FOR Swans and Cygnets
at least 4-6 Months Old or Older.
********************
THERE IS NO COMMERCIAL BAG FEED in the United States 
that is Formulated for Swans.
You need to Mix for a Healthy Diet.

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

At One Pond we Visited, the Swan was being fed Floating Fish Pellets.
The Protein Level in Fish Pellets is 30-40% – WAY TO HIGH ! !
She Died soon After Turning 4 Years Old.

Swan Fish Pellets
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans


*** Always ask for “NON-MEDICATED /UNTREATED”

Commercial Feed & Corn   Very Important.
****************
***DO NOT FEED THE SWANS ANY FEED
with “GROWER” or “FINISHER” in the name.
***DO NOT FEED THE SWANS “Game Bird Feed”

The Lysine Levels are TOO HIGH… 
These Feeds are Designed to Increase the Muscle Tissue
and are for Poultry/ Fowl headed to someone’s Dinner Table.
These Feeds DAMAGE Internal Organs, Shortening the Natural Life Span of a Swan.
Many Birds fed these Products will Die in 12-36 months.

The Unnatural Increased Muscle Tissue will add Stress to the Swan’s Legs and Feet.
This will Increase the Risk of Painful “Bumble” Foot Sores.
The Swans may look BIG and HEALTHY.. but, they are not.

***UnCaring Breeders may Feed these “Grower” Feeds…
Without Regards to the Long Term Health of the Swans.
They just want their Cygnets to Grow Fast,
Look BIG and Healthy when they Sell the Young Swan Cygnets.
Sadly, the Damage is Done. They many only Live a Few Years.

Female Swan Died
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

When you Acquire a New Swan ASK the Previous Owner/Breeder
what they have been Feeding the Swan/Cygnet.

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

SCRATCH GRAIN IS NOT A COMPLETE DIET.

Two Grain Scratch
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans


Horse Feed is for Horses !!  NOT for WaterFowl.
Horse Feeds are Lower in Protein.
And they are TOO Low in Calories to Fiber.
Swans will Starve when Fed Horse Feed.

Swan Horse Feed
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

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MAZURI is a REASONABLY SAFE BAG FEED

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Keep the Lysine Level at 1.00% or Less.

FEED MAZURI Maintenance
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Chewy.com is a Great Way to Order and have Many Feed Products Delivered.
. . . with Orders of at Least $50.00.

This Saves Time and Gas.. Thanks Chewy !

*** The Commercial Feed Mix we use is:   
NON-Medicated – Mazuri Floating Waterfowl Pellets.*******

This Feed Product provides Vitamins, Minerals, Etc.

Lysine Feed
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

*** CORN is not a Complete Diet… It is a Supplement.

Commercial Bag Corn
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

The Following can be added as a Treat: About 10%
Scratch Mixes – Cracked Corn, Wheat, Barley, Crimped Oats, Alfalfa, Rye Grass Seed.

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Chickens, Ducks, Geese and Swans LOVE Crimped Oats.

One Family Likes this “Feather Fixer” Feed.. Mixed with Corn to Lower the Protein.

FOR Young Cygnets – NON-Medicated Start & Grow.
( OR Crumble – Specialty Poultry Feed) – NON-Medicated.

Cygnet START N Grow
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

*************************************
DO NOT FEED “CHICK STARTER” TO SWAN CYGNETs.
These Feeds Contain an Additive that will cause Chronic Diarrhea, Malabsorption
and the Death of many of the Cygnets.
This is Formulated to help Poultry Chicks deal with Coccidiosis.

**************************************

*** FOR SWANs and CYGNETs over 4-6 Months Old.
*** MIX Bag Feed so the Protein % is between 6-8%

60%       Whole Dry Corn
40%      18% Waterfowl Pellets
(OR All Grain Poultry Feed Maintainer).

Whichever you Choose – Mix to the Protein Level of ** 6-8% **

Feed Mix for Swans
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

The Protein Percentage of U.S. Poultry Feed is TOO HIGH for SWANs.

Duck, Geese, Turkeys all Tolerate Protein Levels Up to 15-20%
***Swans Average Daily Protein should NOT Exceed 6-8%.

Adjust the Feed Mix by Mixing Whole Dry Corn or Scratch Mix.
Adding Lots of Vegetable-Plant Material Helps to Keep the Daily Protein Level Down.

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Young Swan Cygnets can Develop Tendon Slippage of the Carpal Joint
from a High Protein Diet.
 This May Result in “Angel Wing” Deformity.

Swan Angel Wing 
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

A High Protein Diet will cause a Fatty Liver- Lipidosis to Develop.
May Damage the Swan’s Kidneys, both will Eventually be Fatal.

Most Extruded Poultry Feeds Dissolve Sitting in Water.
It is More Efficient when Using these Products
to Place the Mixture in a Container/Bowl.

Bowl For Swan Feed
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Any Feed put out for Swans should be Checked and Changed Daily.

SWAN FRESH Daily Poultry Feeds
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

In the Summer Feed Spoils Very Easily if it Gets Wet.
Spoiled/Soured Feed Can Make a Swan VERY Sick.

Rainy Day Corn
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

If it is Going to Rain… We only put Whole Corn out.
In Cold Weather Spoiling is not as much a Problem.

Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

(Adding a little Crimped Oats is a Floating Treat.)

Around Mid-January Consider Starting Feed Formulated for Egg Layers.
Mix a Cup into the Daily Feed Mixture Ration.

I Save my Hard Boiled Egg Shells.. and Crush them.
I Add a Tablespoon to a Gallon of Feed Mix.

Crushed Boiled Egg Shells
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

When I see White Calcium in their Poop, I know I have Added Enough.

SWAN POOP Excreted Calcium
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Swan Poop Tells its own Story. Learn what Normal Swan Poop Looks like.
It varies GREATLY with their Diet.
Occasionally, look for Any Signs of Parasite.  Things that Wiggle !!
Watch for Persistent Wet Sloppy Waste – Diarrhea.  ???
There are MANY Possibilities.
Check with your Avian Veterinarian at Least Once a Year.
See if they will do a Stool Work-up for Ova & Parasites.
Sample needs to be Fresh. Their Lab will give you Instructions.

*************************************************************************

I have Started to Add a Small Amount of Crimped Oats to the Corn tossed into the Water.
Some of it Floats and is Nice for the Swans to Graze.
This is Not Practical where a Current just Carries the Oats Away.

Crimped Oats Float
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

Swans are Very Messy, Wasteful Eaters.
The Floating Pellets have Less Waste.

*****************************************************

Swans NEED 30% More Food during Cold Weather Months.
If there is a Small Amount Left after 24 Hours,
or at End of the Day they are Getting Enough.

Feeding Winter Swans
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

***********************************************************************

Diet.. It is Helpful for Swans to have a Little Oil in their Diet..
Especially during the Winter Months.
Adding a Tablespoon of Salad Oil to their Daily Feed Mixture may be Helpful..

Adding Black Strap Molasses to their Feed can Add Vitamins
and Nutrients that might help. ??? We have not used this..
Small Amounts until Condition Improves.

Blackstrap Molasses is the most Concentrated Form of Molasses.
It Contains the most Vitamins and Assorted Minerals.
Some Sources say that it has many Health Benefits.

***********************************************************************

SWANLovers Info
Captive Mute Swans
Feeding Swans

This Information is a Work in Progress…..
As I learn more I will add to this information..
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Compiled & Revised by (C) L.M.Sweger           .. April  2021

Chewy.com is a Great Way to Order and have Many Feed Products Delivered.
. . . with Orders of at Least $50.00.

This Saves Time and Gas.. Thanks Chewy !

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
These Commercial Feed Prices are an Average
for 2015-2018 
In Central Pennsylvania.

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Average/General Cost of Commercial Feed Products
Aug. 2017

Quotes from Davis Agway in Mechanicsburg.
40 Pounds
– Southern States 18% Floating Waterfowl Pellets $ 14-15.00
50 Pounds – Mazuri Waterfowl Maintenance $ 40-50.00
Mazuri Waterfowl Feed has been Popular for many Years.

Mazuri Waterfowl Feed


50 Pounds – Poultry Maintainer (unMedicated) $ 15-18.00

Feed for Swans


50 Pounds – Scratch (Cracked Corn & Wheat) $ 15.00
50 Pounds – Crimped Oats $ 16-18.00
50 Pounds – Whole Corn (shelled) $ 8-14.00

50 Pound of Crumble for the Cygnets $ 16-17.00
25 Pound Southern States Start-n-Grow for Tiny Cygnets $ 15.00
*********************************************
Average Annual Usage for Two Adult Mute Swans

2 – Bags of Poultry Maintainer $ 36.00
2 – Bags of Waterfowl Floating Pellets $ 30.00
1 – Bags of Scratch $ 15.00
1 – Bag of Crimped Oats $ 17.00
2 – Bags of Whole Shell Corn $ 24.00
*********************************************
Addition Expenses if there are Cygnets in the Spring.
2 – 25 Pound Start-n-Grow for Cygnets       $30.00
OR
1 – 50 Pound of Crumble for the Cygnets $ 16-17.00

Healthy Pinioned Cygnets 6-10 months old can be SOLD for:
$100 – 150 – 200 – 350.00
Depends on the Number available for Sale.

Feeding Swans

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