Ask the Swan Specialist

Re: We want a pair of swans
By:The Regal Swan
Date: 19 May 2015
In Response To: We want a pair of swans (Davideen)

Hi Davideen

There are several issues that must be addressed prior to getting swans. They are:

1. Do you have someone that will be responsible for the daily upkeep of the swans, feeding, ensuring their safety and health, cleaning of their habitat etc.?

2. Is the pond free from predators: alligators, foxes, coyotes, raccoons, domesticated dogs and cats?

3. Is there a shelter, i.e., garage, pen, shed or other facilities that the birds can be evacuated and housed during severe weather such as hurricanes or winds over 50mph? Is there a shelter or pen that can be used for veterinary purposes in the event the swans get hurt or sick, or there are issues with the pond that necessitates their temporary removal from the pond?

4. Is there an avian/waterfowl veterinarian nearby in the event something happens to the swans and also for annual veterinary exams? Do you have transportation to the veterinarian in the event of an emergency?

5. Do you or the condo association have a budget for the veterinary care, feed and upkeep of the swans?

6. Do you or the condo association have a small boat with motor or several kayaks in the event of an emergency and the swans need to be captured?

7. Do you have a pen, 1/2 in water 1/2 on land completely enclosed with feeder inside for introduction and veterinary care purposes? The swans must be placed in this safe and secure pen free from predators for approximately 2 weeks to acclimate to the pond, their surroundings and their caretakers. Swans will walk away from new habitats to explore and try to leave.

8. Is the pond fenced? If not, is there traffic in the area that if the swans left the immediate area of the pond to forage for grass, could be hit by a vehicle?

These are just a few of the concerns with swan ownership. Many people and entities throw swans out on a pond and expect them to survive and they can be dead within a day to several weeks from lack of care.

These are just the habitat issues. The next issue will be the species and gender of swans. We would strongly recommend that you get a pair if swans of the same gender. Yes, they will still pair up, mate and nest, but you obviously, will not have cygnets (baby swans). If your swans have cygnets, you may have go be licensed by the state as a breeder. Then, it is your responsibility to have the cygnets pinioned (rendered unable to fly) between 1-3 weeks of age. If the swans fly, you or the condo can be charged up to $500 a day per swan by the Fish and Game Commission as the swans are considered exotic. Additionally, you will be responsible for all documentation of veterinary care and the placement of the cygnets in a new safe homes. Swans can produce 1-10 cygnets a year with some species breeding twice a year. That is a lot of cygnets, however, not all survive due to predation by hawks, owls, turtle's etc. Once the parents begin to breed for the next season, the previous brood is chased from the habitat, meaning you are responsible
for finding them new homes. Now, you understand why you should have the same gender.

Finally, there are reputable breeders and sellers of swans. However, there are just as many unreputable. There are swan sellers who will sell you swans, lie about their age, health and gender. Then, they will not guarantee the swans if something happens to them, yet they may charge you a cheaper or more expensive swan to get your money. It is for this reason, that we highly recommend Bob Knox of Knox Swan and dogs 847-875-3947. We have worked Bob for years. Not only will he deliver the healthy swans, he will help you with habitat set-up and issues. So, will we as we have a book listed on this website: Swans of the World Habitats: Setting the Standard for Swan Conservation.

This book provides details regarding the set-up of the habitat, veterinary pen, species of swans and their behaviors, feeding and general maintenance of the swans. We hope this information is of benefit and should you need more assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are also in Florida and do consult regarding habitat assessment, set-up and veterinary care. The Regal Swan

Messages In This Thread

We want a pair of swans -- Davideen -- 18 May 2015
Re: We want a pair of swans -- The Regal Swan -- 19 May 2015