Ask the Swan Specialist

In Response To: Re: Mute Swan eats our Bermuda grass (The Regal Swan)

Hi Matt:

Swans are grazers just like other grazing animals such as rabbits, deer, cows. They need vegetation in their diet. Unfortunately, during the winter months, their primary source of vegetation is aquatic and the aquatic vegetation disappears due to cold weather. So, your swan is trying to supplement his vegetation needs. He has found a source (your Bermuda grass) next to one specific pond which is why is not returning to the other ponds. Your grass source is meeting his immediate needs.

The best thing to do for him is to add romaine lettuce (iceberg will also work), but he needs green leafy vegetation. This may be an acquired taste for him so you will need to add the vegetation with his cracked corn and poultry layer mix wherever you feed him. Just make sure that there is water where you feed him because he needs water to eat so that he does not choke. Additionally, you do not want to feed him directly on the bank because during winter months, you will attract predators who also are looking for something to eat during sparse winter months. Pests such as rats and ants will also feed on the food if left on the bank. Break up the lettuce in small pieces like you would add in a salad. He should eventually pick-up the pieces of lettuce and associate this vegetation as his new meal item.

We hope this information is of benefit to you. Please let us know how this situation works out. The Regal Swan
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