We would strongly suggest that the cygnets are NOT taken from the parents. Keep the family together in the barn ensuring that their straw, water and food is changed daily. Once the weather warms, above 50°F, release the family onto a non-frozen pond. Keep the family including swans misted with warm water during their stay in the barn so that the parents can teach them how to preen, clean and water-proof their feathers.
It is extremely important to keep the cygnets with their parents for approximately 6 months. During this time, the parents teach the cygnets how to be swans, to recognize and escape predators and other essential life skills. These are all skills that no human can teach the swans and are critical for the opportunity of a long healthy
Additionally, swans raised by humans become imprinteid to the point that they begin to think that they are humans and not swans.
This imprinting will significantly decrease the swans' life because they may walk up to anyone or anything, not realizing that they may be encountering someone or something that can do harm to them. Imprinted swans become too trusting and will need to be kept in a closely guarded safe habitat from people and animals. If you are planning on finding a future home for the cygnets, finding an extremely guarded habitat may make your search very difficult.
Finally, once cygnets have hatched, swan parents will usually not start another nest, especially in the cold. We hope this information is of benefit. The Regal Swan
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