Ask the Swan Specialist

Swans dying, have the feathers on their necks standing upright
Date: 20 October 2016


I have a question about my white Swans. I started to obtain swans some year and a half ago, by purchasing 3 young animals (about 6 months of age) which were brothers or sisters. I have a property with a large body of water and lots of acres of grasslands. There are 3 white geese and some ducks which are all doing fine. Thera are horses and 2 dogs and all seem to get along perfectly fine.

The swans are very docile, never aggresive and can be fed by hand. They recieve lots of bread and pellets for waterbirds.

After 3 months I had already lost 2 swans. I purchased a new one of about 1,5 years of age which died after 9 months. So I was back to 1 again.

Recently I bought a couple of about 4 years old and the male died yesterday after 2 weeks.

Obiously I am at a loss. The remaining swan of the first 3 is doing fine. The female of the last couple also.

Symptoms are not present untill the swan detoriorates in a day or so and then dies. They then are cold, have the feathers on their necks standing upright (hypothermia?) and are lethargic, wont eat, have difficulty raising their neck and seem to have a slight head tremor. NO bleeding, no signs of trauma or illness. Everything happens in a day or 2. Keeping them in a warm envorinment with lots of food and water doesnt help. I loose the animals in question in the matter of one day. All seems fine and suddenly they die.

They tend to separate from the rest of the birds in that day, but in the days before a perfectly mobile, eat and drink and there are no symptoms whatsoever.

All of the other geese, ducks and the 2 remaining swans are fine.

The body of water is fed by a spring and therefore is Always flowing and refreshed. THere are lots of fish which all are fine.

What could be the cause of this phenomena. In the region, there are no swan specialists so I cannot obtain any help.

I live in the Netherlands where these birds are in abundance in the wild.

Hope you van help.

Messages In This Thread

Swans dying, have the feathers on their necks standing upright -- Gijs -- 20 October 2016
Re: Swans dying, have the feathers on their necks standing upright -- The Regal Swan -- 20 October 2016