Ask the Swan Specialist

Re: Swan with a prosthesis leg and foot
By:The Regal Swan
Date: 28 July 2015
In Response To: Swan with a prosthesis leg and foot (David)

Hi David:

If she has been separated for long enough that the other swans have bonded, it is unlikely that she will be accepted by the male, and definitely not by the female. Even if she were accepted, if there was a fight, she could get hurt seriously enough to reinjure the leg/foot.

As far as being quick enough to evade predators, probably not and the cold weather will affect the leg/foot similar to a bad case of arthritis in humans.

This swan is going to need extra care, extra shelter and supervision. If you can pen the cove, top to bottom with a 12 x 24 foot area or bigger, then this would be an excellent solution. However, you need to ensure that there is ample bank for her to enter and exit the water with a zero entrance, no steep areas. You will also need to build a small shelter that you can possibly train her to enter at night and during inclement weather. The shelter would need to be enclosed inside the pen.

If you cannot provide a cove setting, then, the best thing that you can do for her is to build her a nice pen on land with a zero entrance water feature inside the pen. Use a sunken pre-made pond feature or dig a trench, 4 feet deep, 6 feet long and lined with pond liner. It has to be zero entrance, (sunk in the ground if you are using a pre-made feature) so that the swan cannot injure its leg/foot when exiting/entering the water.

The pen should be completely enclosed top to bottom so that no predator can dig under or crawl over and into the pen. Therefore, the poles of the pen should be sunk into the ground with the bottom rails sitting on top of poultry fencing that is then wrapped along the perimeter of the pen up to 4 feet high so no predator can reach into the pen. A feeder system needs to be developed so that no rats/ants etc. will be in the pen. You might try to use a floating feeder. The water feature (pond) should have an intake valve and a drain valve so that the pond can be cleaned daily by draining the pond (water feature) and then filling it with clean water.

The pen needs to be at least 12 feet long/ 9 feet wide with 4 1/2 feet of sand/grass surrounding the water feature.

If you cannot provide such a sheltered habitat, you may need to find a poultry farm/wildlife rehabilitation center/zoo etc., to ensure the swan's safety and comfort. If you need help in finding such a facility, please contact us and we will assist you. The Regal Swan

Messages In This Thread

Swan with a prosthesis leg and foot -- David -- 27 July 2015
Re: Swan with a prosthesis leg and foot -- The Regal Swan -- 28 July 2015