Ask the Swan Specialist
Date: 2 October 2016
Animals/birds know when they are sick and will isolate themselves from the flock either through their own actions or the others in the herd/flock. This is nature's way to prevent the spread of disease/illness among the entire group. She knows that she is sick and yes, she may know that she might be dying, (however, if you provided her with the antibiotic, it should have cleared the infection), she still may be reluctant to return immediately to the family. She also may need to have some additional rest without the constant interference with the cygnets and mate. Give her some rest and in a week, try to reunite her with the rest of the family. If she leaves again, you need to remove the cygnets from the lake in your usual manner and then try to reintroduce her back to your pond and see how things go.
To save you some money, you can also feed the swans a mixture of cracked corn and poultry layer pellets, with some bread and lettuce. This mixture is inexpensive as you can buy 50 lb bags of cracked corn and poultry layer pellets for under $20.00. This sized bag should last you several weeks. The cracked corn provides necessary Vitamin A and acts as a filler. The poultry layer pellets provide necessary vitamins and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium and other necessary micronutrients.
Please let us know how this situation progresses. The Regal Swan