Ask the Swan Specialist

winter care
By:The Regal Swan
Date: 13 November 2007
In Response To: winter care (Rick Osborne)

Hi Rick:

Good question. We spoke with one of our swan veterinarians, Dr. Geoffrey Gardner. It seems that the swan is more used to people providing its supplemental food and care and not entirely wild. Therefore, Dr. Gardner stated that the swan should be captured for the winter months. If the swan can fly, capture may be difficult but if the swan gets trapped on the ice once the pond freezes, a capture can be facilitated.

The swan needs to be relocated to a temporary shelter which can provide a fresh supply of water and food. Cracked corn, lettuce and poultry layer pellets should be readily available. The flooring of the temporary shelter should be soft and made of hay, grass or shredded paper to prevent the swan from developing bumblefoot or other foot injuries.

The shelter should have an adequate space for the swan to walk, bathe, sun and preen while being protected from wind, rain or snow. If possible, a medium to large sized kiddie pool within the shelter should be provided as the likelihood that all other natural water sources such as ponds and lakes will also freeze. The pool can be rinsed on a daily basis and food placed directly into the pool so that the swan can swim and eat as she normally would on the pond.

If the swan can fly, she may have been using your pond as a temporary stop-over on her migration journey. This problem may be naturally resolved if she migrates in the coming weeks. Please let us know the progress. The Regal Swan

Messages In This Thread

winter care -- Rick Osborne -- 12 November 2007
winter care -- The Regal Swan -- 13 November 2007