Ask the Swan Specialist

Re: 2 Male Mute Swans Fighting Issues - How to catch a swan and replace it
By:The Regal Swan
Date: 30 December 2013

Hi Andrea:

DO NOT get another swan. There are several reasons:

1. You may need a permit to bring another swan onto your property. Many state laws have now changed regarding the possession of swans.

2. If you get an opposite sexed swan, there is no guarantee that the original swan will even accept it.

3. If you get an opposite sexed swan, you may need a breeder's permit as you will be responsible for all cygnets that the pair produce for the next 30 years. So, you are good in your assessment of not wanting a female.

There are several things that can be done. The older male may just have had a bad day or it may have had a rush of testosterone as breeding season is around the corner. You can pen the aggressive male, but there are no guarantee that this will work or that the other swan will not become aggressive thinking it is now the king of the mountain.

You can keep both swans, but divide the swan habitat and pond so that they can see each other, but can't get to each other. This will keep them from being lonely and will alleviate the possibility of either swan getting to the other one.

In our experience (copious amounts of research and practical experience-more than 40 years with our swan vets), we have seen fights that resolve themselves and the swans go about their business with no harm after a couple of weeks. But, once testosterone levels fluctuate, there could be another fight with one or both seriously hurt. Conversely, we have seen swans raised together that just cannot get along no matter the circumstances.

Should you decide to give away the aggressive swan, we would suggest that YOU DO NOT get another swan. The remaining gentle swan will not accept another male and as stated, there are no guarantees of his acceptance of a female.

Male swans, if they lose their mates, will usually not re-pair. So, he is not going to be lonely and if you think that this might be an issue, get a couple of ornamental ducks or geese. Yes, he might be aggressive towards them, but they will be able to go to the opposite side of the lake and avoid him. As long as there is sufficient food on the lake and you can continue feeding him at will, ducks or geese will not be an issue as he will learn to get along with them as long as there is no threat to his food supply.

In the meantime, you need to keep the injured swan indoors for several more days to insure that he is not hurt and the cold weather does not affect him.

To capture the other swan, you will need a couple of kayaks. Go behind the swan and herd him into a pen or other safe area (no steep banks, rocky areas, or other sites that he can get hurt). Once he is on land, force him into some bushes or an area of a building that you can block him in and then using a net, place it gently over his head or capture him by gently grabbing his neck while controlling the wings. The wings can seriously hurt you if you are not careful.

Lifting him, means that you gently hold his winds and legs. DO NOT hyperextend his legs or feet as you will hurt him. Gently place him in a large box or dog kennel lined with a pad and towels so that he does not slip and hurt his legs or feet. Then, you can transport him back to the breeder, or find him a suitable home where he can live in a captive setting alone on a safe/secure lake or with a female if the proper permits from the new owner have been procured.

We hope that this information is of benefit to you. The Regal Swan

Messages In This Thread

2 Male Mute Swans Fighting Issues - How to catch a swan and replace it -- Andrea -- 29 December 2013
Re: 2 Male Mute Swans Fighting Issues - How to catch a swan and replace it -- The Regal Swan -- 30 December 2013