Ask the Swan Specialist

Re: Chainlink cage over the swans to prevent them from flying away?
By:The Regal Swan
Date: 4 October 2016

Hi Simon:

We don’t have enough information to answer this question.

1. Are the swans captive? If the swans are wild, then no you cannot do this as it might be illegal under your state wildlife laws.

2. How many swans do you have as a large number of swans may not do well in an enclosed setting.

3. If you erect such a “cage”, you will need to have a large enclosure which will be ˝ on land and ˝ in the water so the swans can preen. There needs to be a zero entrance into the water so that the swans’ legs and feet cannot be damaged from steep slopes. Additionally, a feeder (several feeders if more birds) must be placed in the water in the pen area and changed on weekly basis (more if rain or other inclement weather causes the food to get wet). The surrounding area of the pen must be comprised of a non-slick/non-abrasive substrate and the water depth must be at least 3-4 feet. Again, this may be a costly venture depending on the size of your facility, number of swans. Lastly, enclosed in a small pen is not necessarily a humane adequate habitat unless you are planning on enclosing a full acre, etc.

4. Are the swans pinioned (one wing partially amputated so that the swans cannot fly-permanent)? If these are older swans and they are not pinioned, this is a very difficult procedure for the older swans as they have to be anesthetized and some may not make it through the surgery.

The answer would be to clip the flight feathers of one wing. This is not a permanent solution to flying and must be conducted every 4-6 months. However, this would prevent from having to place them in a cage as they would not be able to fly, but still be able be able to enjoy the full habitat. You need to have a licensed avian/waterfowl veterinarian show you how to conduct this procedure. If done incorrectly, you can cut a blood feather which will cause extensive bleeding.

Without knowing these answers, we’re not sure if an enclosed pen would be your best option. The Regal Swan

Messages In This Thread

Chainlink cage over the swans to prevent them from flying away? -- Simon -- 3 October 2016
Re: Chainlink cage over the swans to prevent them from flying away? -- The Regal Swan -- 4 October 2016