Ask the Swan Specialist

Re: Housing Swans with no water
By:The Regal Swan
Date: 14 October 2013
In Response To: Housing Swans with no water (Idaho)


The first suggestion we would have is to install a de-icer/bubbler if possible which would keep the water way open. If you can do this, we would suggest that you contact Sue Cruz at ( to determine size and other requirements.

If this is not possible, we would suggest that the swans be housed in a safe barn, shed, garage or other indoor facility that no predators can dig under or climb over. A small water feature such as a sunken (zero entrance) kiddie pool can be used if a barn or outdoor shed is available. The flooring should be covered in straw or sheets. No newspaper or other slippery or hard abrasive surface should be used.

The swans can be watered-down with a hose (warm water, a couple times of day. Swans can go a week without having water on them (we know this from hurricane evacuations), but it is better if you can water them 1-2 times a day. Monitor their food so that the cracked corn/poultry layer pellets and lettuce do not attract pests such as rats and ants. You will need to change the food bowl and surrounding straw or bedding daily. Use insecticides cautiously around the swans' food source. This is the reason that daily cleaning and detail to pests is immediately addressed so that insecticides are kept to a minimum.

Once the pond thaws, then you can let them out in the daytime (1 hour after dawn), but would strongly advocate that you bring them back indoors 1 hour prior to dusk. This will allow the birds to get exercise, sit in the sun, preen and enjoy the water. However, during winter months, coyotes, bobcats, mountain lions, foxes, etc., will hunt before dusk and right after dawn. Therefore, you do not want to allow the birds to stay anywhere near a frozen pond because the predators can walk out onto the pond and grab the swans.

We hope this information is of benefit. If you need further information, please do not hesitate to contact us and hopefully, we can work out an alternative housing option if you cannot use the above ideas. Good luck. The Regal Swan

Messages In This Thread

Housing Swans with no water -- Idaho -- 13 October 2013
Re: Housing Swans with no water -- The Regal Swan -- 14 October 2013