Ask the Swan Specialist

Re: Protecting swan eggs and baby swans
By:The Regal Swan
Date: 4 April 2015
In Response To: Protecting swan eggs and baby swans (Margie)

Hi Margie:

Unfortunately, everything in nature is eaten by something else. In the case of the cygnets, large mouth bass, turtles, egrets, herons, alligators, owls, hawks, coyote, etc., will use them as a food source.

The only way to protect them (and this excludes diseases or accidents such as being stepped on by a parent swan or other injuries), you need to pen the whole family/nest. The pen must be large enough, usually minimum 12 x 24 chain linked or other completely enclosed structure (with poultry fencing or other such fencing on top and bottom) so that no predators can crawl under or climb into the pen to access the birds. The pen must be 1/2 on land with a zero entrance because leg and foot injuries can be deadly for waterfowl, especially the young. The pen must be 1/2 in water so that the family can bathe and feed. A feeder must be placed inside the pen so that the birds can readily feed at will.

The pen must be covered with poultry fencing or windscreen from the bottom rail of the fence up to 4 feet high so that the young birds cannot escape through the fencing and get separated from the parents or drown by getting their heads caught in the fencing.

Once the cygnets reach approximately 3-4 weeks of age, then the family can be released onto the pond. Again, there are no guarantees, and at this age, they may have lost a lot of time trying to learn about the pond and being taught by the parents. You will also be constantly monitoring the pen to make sure that the cygnets are not being trapped or escaping or predators encroaching. The Regal Swan

Messages In This Thread

Protecting swan eggs and baby swans -- Margie -- 4 April 2015
Re: Protecting swan eggs and baby swans -- The Regal Swan -- 4 April 2015