Ask the Swan Specialist
Date: 19 May 2014
Feed him a 50% mixture of poultry layer pellets and cracked corn. The poultry layer pellets will provide him with much needed vitamins and minerals such as calcium, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium and other micro-nutrients. The cracked corn acts as a filler, which will keep him satisfied while providing him with much needed Vitamin A. Lack of vitamin A can cause neurological problems. You will need to use a feeder so that he can self-feed at will. You can look on this website under swan feeders to see the dog café type feeder that we suggest using to keep other waterfowl from eating his food as well as preventing pests such as rats and ants. The feeder needs to be mounted on a pole at least 3 feet from the bank to keep predators from accessing him during the feeding session. The use of such a feeder means that you will need to clean it weekly so that the food does not mold and sicken him as well as teach him how to use a feeder.
If you do not mind other waterfowl, and you can keep adding food, you can use a floating feeder. However, you will go through a lot more food since the other waterfowl will be eating as well.
You will also want to provide him with lettuce to supplement the aquatic vegetation, especially during the winter as aquatic vegetation diminishes. Use bread as a treat. Bread will not hurt the swan, but should not be given in large amounts as it can affect their blood chemistry. One or two slices a day is not going to hurt him and will allow him to bond with you to know that you are the caretaker, this is where he gets his food and you will be able to check on him daily (quick observation) to ensure that he is not injured or sick. Also, in the event that he must be provided an antibiotic, a piece of glazed donut looks like bread and can be used to hide a caplet or pill if necessary. So, the more you train him in accepting food from you and becoming friendly, the better the chance that he can survive with you looking after him. If he really gets friendly, you may be able to capture him for veterinary exams and bring him indoors for the winter should your weather turn extremely cold.
Although swans are meant for cold temperatures, they usually migrate to avoid extreme weather conditions. If he cannot migrate, you may have to help him survive by providing either indoor shelter or a de-icer for the pond so that he has ample water and shelter. Frozen ponds and lakes can cause a swan to drown, freeze or be accessed by predators.
Should you need further information on providing a suitable habitat for the swan, we offer a book, Swans of the World Habitats: Setting the Standard for Swan Conservation on this website and our website (www.theregalswan.com). We hope this information is of benefit. The Regal Swan
Messages In This Thread
- Care for wild trumpter swan? -- Tiffany -- 19 May 2014
- Re: Care for wild trumpter swan? -- The Regal Swan -- 19 May 2014