Demographics: Juveniles are 6-11 months old. Yearlings are 1 to 1.5 years. Breeders are 15 months and up depending on the breed. Lifespan can range from 10-30+ years, depending on species, protection and environment.
Shopping List: Mazuri Waterfowl Feed, a pond aerator to keep water from freezing, winter housing or shelter in extreme climates.
Shipping: Swans ship via Delta or United Cargo to your local airport. Swans ship and arrive on the same day. We will provide an estimated arrival time and flight reference number. Be sure to check/track the reference number on the airline website several times the day they are to ship, as they may arrive earlier or later than expected. You can track Delta shipments at DeltaCargo.com and United Airlines shipments at Booking.UnitedCargo.com. 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 the airline with the flight reference number and Driver's Licence to pick up your swans.
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Release: Your swans are pinioned so they will not fly away. If your pond has a steep embankment, accommodations must be made so they can get in and out of the pond easily. Upon arriving home with your swans, bring the crate to the edge of your pond. Face the opening of the crate toward the water so the first thing your swans see is the pond. Then all you need to do is simply open the crate. They will take it from there. They should make themselves at home within a couple days.
Feed: 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.
Water: 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 is provided. The recommended minimum pond size for a pair of swans is a 20’ diameter.
Housing: Swans are heat and cold hardy. 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. To create this structure on land, our breeders recommend using 4- 6ft fencing panels. 3 for sides and one on the top for roof. Whatever you use, ensure that there is 6-12 inches of clearance for the wingspan and the height of the bird.
The Tundra, Trumpeter, Bewicks, 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.
Fencing: 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.
Predators: Grown swans and cygnets are preyed on by foxes, mink, coyotes, bobcats, and sometimes dogs. Predators of newborns include crows, herons, magpies, turtles, pike and large perch.
Temperament: 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, males 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.
Mates: 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: 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.
Cohabitation: 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.