Ask the Swan Specialist

Molting swans intimidated
Date: 1 July 2015

Hi again, thanks for the advice on fighting swan males - the "time-out" had to be repeated couple of weeks later, but eventually worked.

Latest installment on the swan drama: they're molting and the usually docile Muscovy drakes are chasing one of them out of the pond and jumping on him - this is not normal behavior for these rather elderly, retired drakes. The other angel-winged swan, usually not the dominant of the two, isn't bothered by the ducks - he just outswims them.

We've been locking the victim up at night and letting him out by day in a large, adjacent fenced area while his wing feathers grow out - they're now about 4-5" long. We've been letting him on the pond when we can observe, but he's always watchful and leaves the pond as soon as he sees any of the 2-3 Muscovy bullies coming; but if he's chased out of the pond at night, he's subject to predation. He could outswim them if he wanted to, but if they caught up with him, they could possibly drown him - they're very large drakes. We tried putting the ringleader in a fenced run adjacent to the "duckhouse" for time-out but danged if there wasn't a raccoon in with him late yesterday afternoon. So that took care of that - he's now back out in the general population to continue his bad behavior.

I'd hate to clip the Muscovies' wings - they can't fly all that well anyway and would be more subject to predators. Our pond is fenced all around with hot wire on top, and we maintain hav-a-hart traps, but it's still not 100% secure.

Currently, our plan is to continue putting the scared swan up at night, letting him out in the large fenced area by day and possibly not putting him on the pond at all until his wings grow out. Maybe he'll forget about being intimidated if it doesn't happen day after day. He's got to get his confidence back - he was "King of the pond." Poor guy.

Your advice is greatly appreciated. Seems we get one problem solved and another crops up. Our Australian male didn’t have any confidence issues - he intimidated everyone else, including us.

Best regards,

Messages In This Thread

Molting swans intimidated -- Lynn -- 1 July 2015
Re: Molting swans intimidated -- The Regal Swan -- 1 July 2015