Ask the Swan Specialist

Re: Agressive mom swan
By:The Regal Swan
Date: 5 July 2015
In Response To: Agressive mom swan (Cindy)

Hi Cindy:

The idea to get them in a barn with a separated area so that they cannot crawl into the area with the parents is a wonderful idea. Just ensure that no predators can access the barn by digging under or crawling/climbing over into the barn. This penning of the parents and both cygnets will provide the necessary time to re-bond.

Just ensure that the bottom of the pen (up to four feet high) is covered with poultry fencing so that the young birds cannot try to get out and strangled in the pen. Allow a couple of days to maybe a week or week and a half to see out the assimilation is progressing.

If there are no signs of aggression (because if a parent senses that something is wrong with a cygnet, they may try to put it out of its misery), then you can lead them back to the pond. By the time that the cygnets are 5-6 months of age, they should almost be the size of the parents and can avoid some of the smaller predators such as egrets, herons, owls, hawks, etc.

Just give them time to re-bond. Should there still be aggression, you may need to find a home for the blind cygnet as it will need to be in a very controlled captive setting. If you are planning on giving up the cygnets once they are older to make way for the next mating/nesting season, then try to keep the two cygnets together. Those that are raised together will be better off in the long run and they will look out for each other.

You will need to keep the swans (cygnets and adults) wet with water at least once a day to keep their feathers healthy. They need to preen to keep the oil in their feathers from their uropygial (preen) oil gland as well as zip their feathers. Once you know that you are ready to release the family back onto the pond, two days and up until their release, you will need to thoroughly soak the swans to ensure that the oil gland is working properly. Failure to conduct this soaking, may cause them to drown (especially the cygnets) due to lack of water repellency, or they could catch pneumonia from not being able to keep warm and dry.

Please let us know how this process progresses. If you have to find a home and cannot for the blind cygnet, please let us know and we'll try to help. Hopefully, this will not be the case and the family will carry on normally after the re-bonding process. The Regal Swan

Messages In This Thread

Agressive mom swan -- Cindy -- 4 July 2015
Re: Agressive mom swan -- The Regal Swan -- 5 July 2015