Swans are enchanting creatures and will draw admirers in their direction. They are relatively gentle in nature, but will defend their territory well.
Juveniles are 6-11 months old. Yearlings are 1-3 years. Breeders are 3-6 years.
Can range from 10-30+ years, depending on species, protection and environment.
Mazuri Waterfowl Feed, a bubbler to keep water from freezing, winter housing or shelter in extreme climates.
Swan Breeding and Management
Modern Waterfowl Management
Swans ship via Delta Cargo to your local airport. Swans ship and arrive the same afternoon or evening. We will provide an estimated arrival time and flight reference number. Be sure to check track the reference number on the Delta website several times the day they are to ship, as they may arrive earlier or later than expected. Swans will usually ship in the same crate depending on their size. The crate is normally 3 1/2 feet long and over 2 feet tall and over 2 feet wide. Timely pickup is recommended to lessen the stress on the swans. You will need to provide Delta with the flight reference number and Driver’s Licence to pick up your swans.
When your swans are at their new home, simply open the crate near the water, and they will know what to do from there. Swans are pinioned so they will not fly away.
Feed and Water
We recommend Mazuri waterfowl feed, but any 13%-20% protein pellet is fine. Swans are foragers in the wild and will eat leaves, seeds, stems and tubers of submerged aquatic vegetation, algae, grasses, small invertebrates, larvae, fish and insects. Additionally, swans may be fed spinach, dark green lettuce, shredded carrots, celery, alfalfa sprouts and other vegetables. Cracked corn, brown rice, lentils and split peas are also acceptable foods.
Swans are heat and cold hardy. Swans do need a constant supply of water so an aerator can be used to keep a small area of your pond from freezing during the winter months. They do not need housing on the water and will typically completely avoid any that are provided. The recommended minimum pond size for a pair of swans is a 20’ diameter. A shelter on land should be provided. It needs a roof with walls on at least 3 sides. The open side should not face north.
The Tundra, Trumpeter, Bewick, and Whooper swans are best for extremely cold weather. The Black swan is best for warmer climates. The Coscoroba, Australian Black, and the Black-Necked swans will need to be sheltered in the winter in colder climates.
A minimum of 2’ fence is recommended to keep the swans contained. They do wander on occasion, sometimes during their natural migration season. Fencing will also help keep predators out. A higher or electrified fence may be appropriate depending on the predators in your area.
Grown swans and cygnets are preyed on by foxes, mink, coyotes, bobcats, and sometimes dogs. Newborn cygnets are mainly lost to crows, herons, magpies, turtles, pike and large perch.
Our swans are domesticated and tend to be friendly. However, this is not always the case with swans. Black swans are the most aggressive of the swan species and are territorial. The Whoopers are known to be aggressive. In breeding season, cobs of all breeds will be aggressive when protecting the females while nesting or their young. Swans will hiss and bring their wings up in a defensive posture when they feel threatened.
Swans typically mate for life. If their mate is lost, replace with one of the opposite sex. In some cases, a swan may starve themselves and pass away if no replacement is made.
Breeding season is from early spring to late summer, depending on species. Males are responsible for building a nest and must be approved by the females before mating can begin. Nesting will occur near the water. Incubation is primarily the responsibility of the female. Parents will lead their cygnets to the water to swim and feed 24-hours after hatching.
While most of the swan species can cohabitate, all wild birds have a tendency toward aggression during breeding season. It may be necessary to separate them out during this time. We recommend that you keep the Trumpeter separate from other species at all times. Swans and other waterfowl can live on the same pond together. If the pond it isn’t large enough, the swans may get territorial and chase away the other birds.
Safe Handling of Poultry
After handling poultry, wash your hands with soap and warm water. Do not let young children, elderly persons, or people with weak immune systems handle or touch live poultry. Do not snuggle or kiss your birds. You can get Salmonella from touching live fowl. Your birds can carry Salmonella and still appear healthy and clean. Regularly clean your poultry equipment.
You are dead wrong about the black swans being the most aggressive of all the swans! The mute swan is by far the most dangerous of All the swans! The black swans are the most tame when not breeding! Mine follow me around all the time in the garden where they live
Good morning Shannon,
I’m so glad to hear you have such wonderful black swans! My understanding is that in a traditional sense, the black swans do tend to be the most aggressive of swan breeds overall. I am going to look into this further, and we will make any needed changes. Thank you for your input and bringing this to our attention. Have a great day!
We have a large pond behind a condo in minneapolis we are interested in swans because we are getting hundreds of geese. We would not be able to put up a fence since the pond is so large. Is that a problem? Can they survive in a Minnesota winter?
Julie, The swans would not need a fence, but would need some sort of shelter. They can certainly survive the Minnesota winter no problem! They would just need non-frozen water at all times, so the pond would need a heater, or bubbler of some type. I hope this helps! Let us know if you would like further assistance.
Hi, I have one baby swan (my dog stole an egg, I didint know wherefrom) I am wondering if It will be possible for me to get him back to the “wild” this autumn if I care for him this summer, would he be able to survive?
I do believe it is possible for you to be able to raise this swan up to adulthood with proper care. The bird should retain it’s instincts. The important part is ensuring they have ample food available to them in the area in which it is released. There is always a chance this baby would grow dependent on you and your family, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to try. Please be aware that there may be regulations in your state preventing you from being allowed to raise a wild born swan. I do wish you luck. We are always here to help.
Have a great day!
where can i get about 6 baby white swans
Bill, you can order 6 baby white mute swans right here at Purely Poultry! We should have cygnet white mute swans back available on the website in the next few weeks! We hope to work with you then.
We have a horrible problem with raccoons preying upon our ducks and geese. We have a large natural pond but have had to pen up the few remaining waterfowl to protect them from the ‘coons. Would swans as bigger, more aggressive birds be likely to survive raccoon predation on our big pond? The area is heavily wooded so our electric fencing does not keep out climbing predators who just hop from tree branch to tree branch over the fence. Any suggestions?
While I believe that Swans would, indeed, rectify your predation issue with the raccoon, swans are also very territorial during mating season and would likely chase off the ducks and geese during that time. However, outside of mating season, a pair of swans would be ideal for this situation. Something that could be done to rectify the territorial issue would be to purchase a male/male or female/female pair, therefore reducing the chances of aggression during a mating season. I hope this helps! Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you can think of anything additional that we can help with. ~Shannon M
Would swans be able to live in a climate like Canada we get some pretty cold winters but I would love to get a pair
Great question, Alicia! Being that Canada can get pretty cold, I would recommend these breeds from our Swan Care Page. The Tundra, Trumpeter, Bewicks, and Whooper swans are best for extremely cold weather. You can find the page here: https://www.purelypoultry.com/swan-care-ezp-71.html
I hope that helps, and perhaps you will share some beautiful swan photos with us if you choose to purchase them! Enjoy your day! ~Elizabeth
Hello…I live on a large Pond in Connecticut where there are two swan pairs-one in the North end of the Pond and one in the south end. This Spring one of the pairs had 5 babies. I have been feeding them senior horse grain as that has been easy for me to obtain and shredded lettuce. I never get closer than 10 feet away. Suddenly this morning one of the babies appeared on my shore all alone without the family unit. I think it has come here because it recognizes this area as friendly. I am concerned about this solitary youngster. Any advice?
Thanks for reaching out to us, Lucia! I understand your concern for the youngster and am a bit concerned myself. It sounds like your Cygnet is likely only a couple of months old and (hopefully) was only separated from his parents inadvertently. Swans will raise their young for up to a year before they go their separate ways, so I am going to assume it will work itself out as soon as the Pen notices her baby missing. If she does not, however, you may want to ensure that the little one is cared for by brooding him, if he’s not fully feathered. It depends on lb bawhen this past Spring he was hatched. That being said, make sure that what you are feeding your Swans doesn’t offer empty nutrition, such as lettuce. Offering dark greens, lentils, and protein-rich foods is much more helpful to offset the Swan’s foraging than grains. Considering a bird’s feathers along are 80% protein, you can begin to understand the importance of protein in their diet. A waterfowl feed is best for them, even an 18% duck feed that can be purchased for as little as $15 for a 50 lb bag would suffice. I hope this is helpful and we wish you the best of luck!! If you have additional questions, please feel free to email us at Chicks@purelypoultry.com or chat us any time! Have a wonderful day!
Do you think a chicken coop would work for swans? We are getting ready to move 3 signets to our 5 acre lake and knowing that we have coyotes in the area, we are thinking about putting a chicken coop fence half in the water, with a chicken house on the land. Can you give me any advice?
Good Morning, Janyse! Thanks for the comment! Actually, I don’t believe a chicken coop would be a good fit for the swans, and the reason I say this is because of the size and functionality of the coop vs a swan shelter. While a coop is safe and secure, the Swans likely would not use the coop. They prefer to make nests themselves in tall grasses surrounding your body of water, but they will utilize a 3 sided shelter with no door that faces the eastern sun if there is no other available area for shelter. I’ve seen many floating houses for swans as well, and they work well. I’m afraid a coop would just stand empty.
That being said, being on the water is a deterrent for coyote and most other land predators as they will not brave the water to reach the Swans, and therefore the water provides safety for them with or without the fencing. Fencing may actually prevent the swans from being able to access land when necessary. While they may be susceptible to coyote, etc on land and very well could become victims there, while on the water the swans only have predaory birds and water creatures to watch out for. My recommendation for deterring predators would be our Nite Eyes predator protection systems, placed 20 yards apart around your pond. These will deter predators by seemingly being active eyes in the night. We sell them for under $20 each and they are solar powered so it’s just an easy one-time installation and you’re good. I use these and it helps!
I love that you are already working to protect your swans and I am very happy to help in any way that I can so don’t hesitate to reach out if there’s any more questions or comments! Thanks and good luck with your lucky swans!
We have a 5 acre pond with a male swan, who is not able to fly. A female swan has been flying in and staying, sometimes months at a time. They seemed like the perfect couple. Just recently she left and just a then returned a couple of weeks later with a male swan. So now our swan, who can’t fly, has been kicked off the pond. He won’t come near the water. Winter time is approaching. I don’t know what to do. Any suggestions?
Hi Lana, Unfortunately, I don’t have much for suggestions. The hope is that the male will eventually leave (the one his lady brought in that is.). Really, at the end of the day, it’s your swans territory. If he has chosen to give it over to the lady and her gent, there’s little that can be done beyond having them captured by the local game warden (if they will help) and moved to another location until which point as they are ready to migrate. If you have any questions or concerns along the way, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re always here to help.
Do they eat water lilies? Would they get slong with sandhill cranes?
Swans do not generally eat water lillies. While they do eat various plants, they do prefer to stay with younger, more tender vegetation and various bugs and insects that are in the water. As far as the getting along with Sandhill Cranes, Swans are very territorial, yet are also individuals. I believe Sandhill Cranes would be just fine on the property without harm as I’ve seen many swans share “their pond” with ducks, geese and the like. However, I cannot guarantee that your swan won’t have other ideas when the Cranes appear, we would just have to see depending on the personality of your individual swan. Thanks! ~Shannon
First on behalf of all swan lovers, I would like to extend a thank you & much appreciation for your information on swans/care.
I have inadvertently had to adopt/foster a Black Australian Swan. This is a neighbor’s 3rd attempt to bring swans back to a fresh water lake which is about 562 acres & is the water supply for our city.
His first 2 pairs were trumpeter and/or mute swans not pinioned. He was aggressive in his release as he kept them enclosed for 6 weeks. Upon release, first pair flew off (never to be seen again.) Second pair flew off within a week or so. Third pair was the ABS. One was gone within a few weeks, one is still w/me.
First 2 years, she/he flew off & came back in mid-spring. Spring of 2018, she came back. Around late summer early fall, she was missing for about a month. Next I saw her, she looked horrible. Eyes were barely pink, loss of weight, feathers were dull & she looked disheveled. I notice now she had been severely pinioned as the only part of her right wing she has in tact, is the level attached to her shoulder. I knew when I saw her, my gut told me in short time; she no longer would be here.
Needless to say, I was not going to let her die due to ignorance nor neglect. Here in Virginia we get all four seasons. Plant wise we are now in zone 8, previously zone 7. Noticing from the previous years he barely fed her a handful of some type of dry kibble on occasion. He had not named her (from the way he called her) never spoke to her except to say “here come eat.”
She has made a wonderful recovery. 15 lbs heavier, glossy curling feathers & eyes as red as her beak. I still have a few projects planned to assist her. She no longer has any contact w/the person who paid for her (her choice) as I & a friend are meeting her nutritional needs. Unfortunately, she has bonded w/me and it’s not the first time a swan has. (Info not necessary at this time)
My concern, I have noticed nutria around and I’m concerned for her & other wild birds safety. On our lake there are egrets, blue herons, Canadian geese’s, ducks & cormorants. The lake also holds fishing tournaments. Mammals; raccoons, deer, foxes, etc.
I know I need to provide shelter for colder weather, planned to install electrical power to put in a bubbling or system to keep a small area of the pond from freezing. My plan for shelter was probably a floating shelter. Any suggestions on how to accomplish it? Size, materials etc. Or if a land shelter, suggestions? I have a rather large peninsula off to one side of my property. One small area is cleared of wild debris; rest is left natural. The land as well as my yard, has occasional 4 legged visitors.
In regards to food, many sites suggest brown rice and green lentils. No where have I seen does it say in raw form or slightly cooked. Her buffet for food is varied. Any other websites you can suggest for other food? She does get cracked corn & a waterfowl pellet mixed with vitamins to include fresh vegetables. I plan on sexting & dna testing her, as I would like to get her a friend. Plan on same sex as I do not want to get into a dispute on who would own the cygnets. It is not my intent to make any financial gains off of her but to give her a healthy, safe life.
Any advice, suggestions, I would be grateful.
Again, thank you for caring for those who need protection,
Lucia St. Clair
A young Black Swan appeared on our farm pond approximately a week ago. She appears to be young and very friendly. I have been feeding her 18% protein chick feed. I’m not sure if she flew in or if someone dropped her off. I say her, but should ask how I can tell if it is female or male. Another question I have is should I find her a mate or is it more likely she will fly away to find one (I live in Georgia).
Hello looking for advise I work on a golf course that have two female mute swans. They have laid eggs in the past that were taken by predators however this year they are still nesting on the eggs. 6 eggs appeared on April 29 and noticed another 6 on May 6. I concerned that they are spending to much time on the eggs. I believe the incubation time should be over now I was wondering if we should remove the eggs or just let nature take its course. Any advise would be appreciated .
Hi there, Pullan, I am sorry for my delayed response. Our advice with the Swans imparticular would be to allow nature to take it’s course. This would be different advice if these were chickens or if the eggs were spoiled and had an odor, or if the Pen (female) had missing feathers on her breast or other signs of issue. But, since this is not the case, we would recommend a “wait and see” approach. Thanks so much!
I have a customer at our store wanting a swan food, he said that the protein level should not be above 10% the Mazuri is 14%. Why is it so high when recommendations are at 10% or less
Hi, I have recently obtained a male swan for our large pond. I was unable to secure him a female from a breeder at this point, but will get him one as soon as one is available. At the moment I am trying very hard to make friends with him. He loves the pond and honks when I call his name now. I”m interested in their behavior when feeling threatened and feeling secure. I cannot reach out to touch him, but can get within 10cms of him and we can just hang together this way while he swims back and forth. I’m very careful to not frighten him to the point where he feels he needs to ‘flap’ me.
One thing he does is if he is across the dam and i call him, he will swim up very quickly to me. As I stand on the edge of the pond and he comes in really really fast. I”m wondering if this is an aggressive behavior? He doesn’t flap at me when he does this. Also are you able to advise on what ‘friendly’ behavior from a swan is? I really hope to be friends with him soon and am trying to spend time with him down on the waters edge twice daily where I sit and chat with him and sing to him haha.
Just over a year ago, we purchased property near Houston, TX. We have a 5 acre lake and there is a mute swan who lives on the lake. The previous owner moved out of state about a year prior to us buying the land, and she was not aware of the swan. We are not sure if the swan found our lake on its own or if someone dumped it there.
Sometimes, when we drive near the lake on our (loud) ATV the swan will fly across the lake and beat its wings against the water. Other than that, when we are on the lake, kayaking, fishing, etc, it does not show signs of aggression. We do not feed the swan but the lake is FULL of fish and aquatic vegetation. There are a lot of natural predators in the area and so far, the swan is still with us.
I have a few questions:
1. Since it will fly across the lake and beat its wings against the water, does that mean it can “fly”?? I don’t know how much swans can fly if they have been pinioned. Could it fly away if it wanted to?
2) Can we purchase a companion if we don’t know if it’s male or female?
3) What are the odds that our swan would accept a new one swan the lake?
**We love having the swan on our lake and want it to stay.**
I appreciate your time and any advice that you have,
Thanks so much for the comment! Yes, a low protein diet should be provided to Swans if the feed you are providing is their only food source. In that case, you would purchase an 8% protein feed for them only. However, Swans are mostly herbavores and should be given feed only supplementally when plant matter and aquatic insects cannot be provided due to the environment, weather, etc. When given as a supplement to whatever plant matter and bugs might be available in a Wisconsin winter, for example, the higher protein helps develop feathers and down which are made up of about 80% protein and are necessary for the warmth of the birds. I hope this helps!
Hi, about 2 miles away, a campground had a pair of white swans in their pond for years. A pair has popped up in the river near my house. That river runs behind the campground and is about 2 miles away. I checked their pond and their swans aren’t there. I am assuming that the ones near my house are theirs. I left them a note about them.
If they don’t retrieve them, will they be able to survive ? Not sure what I should do next.
Thanks for your message. It certainly sounds like that would likely be their pair. I would doublecheck with the campground staff to see if they feed them at all throughout any point in the year. If they are used to being fed or supplemented with feed at least in the winter, a swan feeder may be a good idea if you want to take on the responsibility of caring for them if the owners do not retrieve them. If they are used to fending for themselves year round and you live in a warmer climate they may do just fine on their own. I would recommend trying to reach the owners either in person or via phone to see what they have done with them in the past and see if you can get them to take action or make some sort of plan. If you still have concerns for their safety after speaking with the owners. My next suggestion would be to check with your local DNR or animal control to see if they could possibly help with capture or relocation. If you have the option to keep them on your property and would like to do so. I would recommend looking through this website http://www.swanlovers.net. It has a wealth of care information, feed requirements, and more.
I have a pair of mute swans about three years old. They live on a 5 acre pond with plenty of food and I supplement with Mazuri pellets. Last year they did the normal breeding, nest building, she sat on four eggs with no results. This year same thing sat on six eggs for 45 days with apparently no results again. She was very vigilant with the nest. Is there anyway to tell if the male is fertile or is there another problem.
Hello! Well, there’s a lot info on internet ablut kdeping swans bjt one differs from the other and at the end I remain quietly confuse.
I have some certain questions I would like to clarify since I am new to keeping swans.
Do swans destroy a garden by esting the plants and finish with the grass and leave just the ground expose ove a period of time? If yes, there’s a wsy to avoid this from occurring?
Swans are fanous for being very tempered birds but I have read many different stories, from being tame to being so aggressive? Is a matter of personality?
Do black swans eat koi fish? Some say yes and some say not, bjt I saw so many videos on YouTube showing black swaefeeding klis but nlt esting them, so?
Would they be happy if you got a pair of female swans: a mute (Odette) and a black (Odile). Would the two species together be as happy as if you got two of the same.
Yes they can get along as long as a similar Age!
Are fam raised mute swans normilly pinioned? Are farm raised mute swans allowed to be released to the wild? What are farm raised mute swans used for?
They can be pinioned, it’s the choice of the owner honestly but they often are to avoid them migrating. Farm raised Swans are generally used ornamentally only. They should NOT be released into the wild under any circumstances. Some areas are already overrun with Mute Swans and we would not want to see them cause a problem elsewhere OR die.
I purchased a year old male swan and a few months later a pair of two month old swans. (Male and female) The older male chases them out of the pond whenever he sees them. Any chance he will accept them? It’s been two months and he seems more determined than ever to keep them out. I’m concerned that when most of the pond freezes this winter, these three won’t be able to cohabitate together in the smaller, unfrozen area.
I’m sorry to hear that your Swans aren’t getting along. It’s quite normal as Swans are very territorial. Whether or not they decide to cohabitate eventually will come down to the temperament of your older Male swan, I’m afraid. If your pond is big enough, the swans should eventually settle in at two different locations. If you don’t see this soon, however, you may want to consider a new location for either the male or the pair. The single female in the mix of 2 males could create issues in the Spring breeding season as well. I hope this helps. Please feel free to reach out if you need further assistance.
Here is my dilemma, I adopted through my local human society a pair to swans that have been pionioned, they nested in last spring, 6 eggs. 30 days later as we waited for the hatching to begin, one morning we noticed the male was right next to the nest and figured they must be hatching, this is through binoculars, after noticing he hadn’t moved at all we decided to hike through the swap area to investigate. It was heartbreaking to relize he lost his life defending her and the nest as he was less then a foot from the nest. What ever killed him ate his belly out and beheaded him, the hen was back on the nest sitting one 5 eggs, we looked around a found an egg that must have got kicked out of the nest. I called a friend who runs a wildlife rehad and got her incubator and grabbed the hen and her eggs, we put the 5 eggs in the incubator and put her in a coop with straw and gave her the egg that was out of the nest, she totally rejected that egg. The other 5 were put into the incubator. I wanted to see if she would sit again and if so i would give her the rest of the eggs. what ever killed him was going to come back for more and that why i made my decision. Since nothing happen we did go and get a new young male that was a year and a hafe year old. They get along great now. So my question is will she want to use the same nest this year? And if so i plan to put and wire fence up and solor electric fence around it,
(6′ Circumference) around it. Would that help at all? And do you think she will use the same nest? She has sat the 3 years in a row. And help or suggestions will be appreciated .
This is all on private land, i hate using traps.
Thank you so much for and advice.
I live 20 miles north of Tampa, FL. I would love to see swans in our pond behind us. Is the Florida climate suitable? Will they stay all year long? If they migrate, will they return?