Ask the Swan Specialist

Re: Is it better to get 2 male or 2 female swans?
By:The Regal Swan
Date: 15 February 2014

Hi Bob:

We think either gender would be fine, but there are some considerations that might better fit your needs.

First, are there any predators, domestic or wild? Either gender may be killed if there is not adequate protection such as fencing to keep predators from digging under a fence or climbing over a fence to get to the swans. Having said this, large males may be better able to protect themselves, not always, but in some cases due to their larger size.

Second, do you have any children in the area or someone that may access nesting areas during springtime. (Yes, males will mate with males and build a nest with obviously, no eggs produced). (Females will mate with females, build nests and eggs will be produced, but they will be infertile).

The reason that we ask the second question is that males become much more defensive during nesting and breeding season, whether they have an opposite gendered mate or not. Increases in hormone levels during mating season can cause a docile male swan to become increasingly territorial and agitated at anything or anyone that he senses is a threat to his nest and family.

Female swans will also protect their nests, but they are not as large as the males and will usually defend themselves long enough to escape and then stay away from people. A male may decide to aggressively defend his territory before escaping.

Thirdly, because males are larger than females, if the size of the habitat is limited, female swans may be better suited for a smaller area, with either gender doing well in larger areas.

Finally, you MUST pair the swans at a very young age. It would be best to have siblings that hatched and were raised together to introduce to your pond. The younger the pairings the better the chance that there will be less fights, even though in all wildlife species, siblings will eventually get into small spats.

You will also need a pen built (1/2 in water and 1/2 on land) completely encompassed so that no predators can dig under the pen or climb over the pen to access the swans. A feeder should be placed in the pen to allow the swans to become accustomed to you, their new habitat and their feeding system. The swans need to stay in the pen for approximately 2 weeks to adjust to you and their new habitat. If you just release them onto the pond, they will walk away trying to find their old habitat. You must give them an adjustment period in a pen. The pen should be approximately 12' x 24' to allow them enough area to bathe, preen, sun and feed.

We would suggest that you contact Bob Knox at Knox Swans in Illinois (847) 875-3947. He will be able to get you healthy swans and help you with their habitat set-up. We hope this information is of benefit. The Regal Swan

Messages In This Thread

Is it better to get 2 male or 2 female swans? -- Bob -- 15 February 2014
Re: Is it better to get 2 male or 2 female swans? -- The Regal Swan -- 15 February 2014