Ask the Swan Specialist
Date: 5 January 2014
Glad the swan finally took off. It was good weather and the bird was finally able to fly and not risk being blown away or unable to get enough lift to fly.
Corn is very important in waterfowl diet as well as many other species. The corn acts as a filler which will help the bird feel full but, it also provides a very important source of Vitamin A. We have seen waterfowl die from lack of Vitamin A or suffer such detrimental neurological compromise that they cannot walk, fly or right themselves. Ultimately, if they do not die, they have to be euthanized. Lack of Vitamin A could cause any of the above abnormalities that you describe.
Poultry layer pellets provide required nutrients such as Vitamins, Minerals and other micro-nutrients such as magnesium, calcium, etc. The lentils and barley that you are feeding may provide the waterfowl with some nutrients, but not likely to provide them with the nutrients and micro-nutrients that other food sources can provide.
Additionally, lettuce should also be provided to the waterfowl, especially during the winter months to supplement their vegetation needs. Lettuce may be an acquired taste and the waterfowl may take some time to adjust to it. You can add a little bread, not too much. Bread acts as a filler, provides little to no nutrient value and can alter a swan's blood chemistry if too much is eaten. However, it can be very useful as a treat to get the birds to eat other food sources that you provide and if they are ever in need of antibiotics, a veterinarian can use bread or donuts (much better because they hold the antibiotic tablet, yet not something you want to give all the time) as an oral antibiotic delivery system. The Regal Swan
Messages In This Thread
- Lone swan in freezing pond... -- Chris -- 5 January 2014
- Re: Lone swan in freezing pond... -- The Regal Swan -- 5 January 2014