Ask the Swan Specialist

Re: Habitat in acre pond
By:The Regal Swan
Date: 14 February 2017
In Response To: Habitat in acre pond (Edward)

Hi Edward:

First, the state of NJ is trying to kill all the Mute Swan in the state so they, like other states can introduce the larger Trumpeter Swans for Trophy Waterfowl hunting purposes. So, you may need to have a permit from the state to even possess the Mute Swans, and you would want two females so that you do not produce offspring or you may need a breeder's permit. One thing is for sure, DO NOT let the state introduce Trumpeter Swans in your pond. This swan species is too large and will eat twice the amount of vegetation that a Mute Swan will eat.

As far as the pond, abrasive concrete will cause a condition known as bumblefoot which is caused by cuts or abrasions from the concrete and infected by a staph infection. So, the abrasive substrate is going to be a problem. Secondly, you will need a higher fence so that the swans will not try to climb over the fence, especially in the open area (you need about a 4 foot fenced area), no openings that the swans can get entangled with their feet, necks or bills.

The island would be the ideal location to place their feeder (they need to feed at will 24 hours daily---food is 1/2 poultry layer pellet and 1/2 cracked corn). Without aquatic vegetation, you will need to feed them lettuce as a supplemental food. If the island has any grass, they will probably strip it from sitting, preening and eating the grass. (You will also need to build a pen 12 x 24, feeder inside 1/2 on bank, 1/2 in water totally enclosed top to bottom to use as an introductory pen for the swans for approximately 2 weeks). This will allow the swans to get acclimated to the island, their habitat, the feeder, you and any one else that is going to care for them.

Because there is limited vegetation, you can plant some lemon grass as this will help their aquatic vegetation needs. You can also plant (non-insecticide, non-fungicide, non-pesticide) choleus and petunias as a grazing source of vegetation. There are many other plants that are extremely poisonous, so stick with choleus and petunias which most grazing animals can eat with no problem. We hope this information is of benefit. The Regal Swan

Messages In This Thread

Habitat in acre pond -- Edward -- 14 February 2017
Re: Habitat in acre pond -- The Regal Swan -- 14 February 2017