Ask the Swan Specialist

Re: Swan Protection
By:The Regal Swan
Date: 30 January 2016
In Response To: Swan Protection (John)

Hi John:

Unless you can keep the birds indoors at night, we would strongly suggest that you not get any swans. The coyotes and bobcats will access the birds if they do not stay in the pond overnight. Although swans usually stay in the water at night, they do not always and may walk around the banks which will leave them susceptible to predators. The only way that you can protect them is to bring them in one hour prior to dusk and release them back on the pond approximately 1 hour after dawn. You may have to alternate times 10-15 minutes each day so the predators do not get wise to the time that the birds enter and exit the water.

The swans can be trained to go indoors, but you will need to build a shelter that is enclosed top to bottom so that no predators can access the birds by digging under the shelter or climbing over and into the shelter. Furthermore, you will need to provide adequate ventilation (warm enough for cold weather, but not too hot) and the substrate will need to be covered with straw so that no abrasive or slippery footing is present that will cause leg or foot injuries. You will need to keep a shallow bowl with fresh water and food overnight. Then, you will need to muck out the straw on a daily basis to prevent mold and pests such as rats and ants from accessing the shelter.

Additionally, swans like all animals, do not always listen, even after being trained. So, you will need a boat or other capture vessel to herd or capture the swans in the event that they choose not to go indoors on cue. This is a labor intensive way to keep swans in an unsafe area, but it is the only way to keep them safe and secure from predators. Coyotes, wolves and bobcats are very smart and will attack when the opportunity presents itself. The Regal Swan

Messages In This Thread

Swan Protection -- John -- 30 January 2016
Re: Swan Protection -- The Regal Swan -- 30 January 2016