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Mute swan moving in

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi, We take in the occasional domestic bird that gets turned in to our Wildlife Rehab Hospital.  We have a Toulouse goose and a mixed domestic goose, both of whom were hit by cars on local highways.  One had a badly broken wing and the other had numerous leg fractures.  They live in a chicken house that we have surrounded with hurricane fencing and lined with 1/2" hardware cloth to keep the raccoons from grabbing them.  The flight is covered with the same hurricane fencing and hardware cloth as we are surrounded by woods.  It is a nice large chicken yard with room for everyone. In the very large chicken house (10X20), we also have my silkie chickens, and some rescue ducks.  It's a mess, but I keep it clean and dry.  The waterfowl prefer staying and even sleeping outside, (except for a very spoiled little runner duck) while chickens and rescue pigeons like it inside the house unless it is sunny.  There is a nice sized pond we installed with a drain as the geese and ducks yuck it up on a regular basis.  We are in Wisconsin, so it has a pond heater in to keep the ice off.

 

Here is the question.  There were two juvenile mute swans turned in who were not with their parents and had been mauled by dogs.  One is able to be released, but the other one had injuries so severe that a partial wing amputation had to be done.  Judging by their feather and bill color, they should probably still have been with their parents.  I have been asked if I would take the one who cannot be released.  Like a lot of people, I absolutely adore swans, and really want this one.  What do you think the odds are that it will get along with the residents?  I am hoping that since it is single and young, that it will adapt to the rest of the birds.  I am planning on putting in an even larger pond this spring.  It eats from the hands of the people at the rehab facility.  It was operated on January 18, so it won't be long that it should be recovered enough to come home.  My waterfowl eat Mazuri Waterfowl Maintenance, romaine, and any pigeon feed, corn, and chicken feed they feel like scarfing up.  Would this be okay for the swan, too?

 

I really appreciate all input.  It is a very peaceable chicken house and yard even with 7 roosters (silkies are lovers, not fighters), and I'd like to keep it that way.

 

Thanks so much.

 

Donna

post #2 of 8
I wouldn't advise on getting the swan sad.png since it is young you do have a chance of it getting along with everyone however swans are in a way 'territorial' as they don't like other waterfowl being near them as much. swans also attack geese in the wild not only that but they kill other waterfowl offspring bc of competition. I'm pretty sure somebody out there has a/some swans that get along with all of their other ducks/geese but I would think it would be to much a risk esp if it turns out to be a male and his hormones turn him into a bully, not any fault of his own, just nature. And swans need space they are way bigger than u think.
I love my muscovies!!! Wood ,Wood ( yes two ducks named Wood), Shell, Flo, Black cap, Trumps, Mute, Egyptian, Indie, Silver, Spur, Salty, Gaddy, NeNe, Widge, Swiss, Mist, Eider, Comb, Leo, Frost, Eos, Fawn, Orchid, Goldy, Tulip, and Pine
Mandarins: Sky and Ember

In memory:
Marble, Lil bit, Europe, Mask, April, Buffy, Marigold, Canvas, Rosey, Mallard, Farm, Crest, Smew, and Celeste
Reply
I love my muscovies!!! Wood ,Wood ( yes two ducks named Wood), Shell, Flo, Black cap, Trumps, Mute, Egyptian, Indie, Silver, Spur, Salty, Gaddy, NeNe, Widge, Swiss, Mist, Eider, Comb, Leo, Frost, Eos, Fawn, Orchid, Goldy, Tulip, and Pine
Mandarins: Sky and Ember

In memory:
Marble, Lil bit, Europe, Mask, April, Buffy, Marigold, Canvas, Rosey, Mallard, Farm, Crest, Smew, and Celeste
Reply
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 


Thanks, Buck.  Except for the silkies, all the rest of the birds are rescues.  I have a half Muscovy duck named Babe who is about 7 years old now.  She was rejected by a wild mallard mama, and someone brought her in to the rehab facility as a duckling.  Apparently, mom had a rendezvous with some free roaming Muscovy drake.  Anyway, Babe was raised by silkies, and still prefers hanging with chickens to ducks.

post #4 of 8
Best advice is give it a try! Let the swan interact with your flock on supervised visits and see what happens! If its sibling is gone, then it will get lonely. Waterfowl are flock creatures and need companionship! I think it will be fine with your other birds. My guess is it will eat same things as the ducks and geese!
post #5 of 8

I've had my pair for 11 years now and have raised numerous cygnets.  If you don't want sadness and headaches, find this swan a home without ducks and other waterfowl, but hopefully with a same-sex, same-age companion.

 

I am dying to get ducks and geese--but never will as long as I have Sampson and Delilah.  Your rescue's a juvie and won't become truly sexually mature until 2018.....but when he does, watch out!!  Swans are not meant to live alone; I don't think it's necessary they actually have a mate as I do know of females getting along and living long term on a single pond, but don't know about males.  And if your swan does have a mate, neither you nor any other bird will be allowed around the pond once breeding season kicks in.  Period.  And breeding season here (NE Ohio) starts around the end of January and lasts until around September before Sampson starts to settle down.  One day, all the mallards in Ohio are hanging out here and everyone is peaceful and then from one day to the next all hell breaks loose and no one is allowed to be here at all.   It is actually kind of comical; sometimes, it appears as if the ducks are thinking "what the hell happened?"

 

And if you do eventually succumb to the considerable temptation and have cygnets some day........there is absolutely nothing sadder than the day the parents turn on the babies because in nature they should have left the pond to find their own territory by the time the next breeding season starts.  They will kill those babies (who still have a voice and "cry" like babies, breaking my heart) if you don't get them out of there fast. Since the babies are pinioned, they're stuck and helpless.  And if they're not pinioned and can fly away, many states (like mine) have Fish & Wildlife depts that are actively hunting/killing the invasive free mutes out there....this has cranked up even more since the big avian flu scare last year.  

 

This will be the second year that I won't allow eggs to hatch and believe me, it takes self discipline to purposely addle a clutch of beautiful eggs.  I don't want to be a "downer" but hope to prevent others (both human and feathered) from going through some of the hard experience we've had over the years. 

 

I hope I can get a few folks to really think about this.  To me, there is nothing more tempting than swan babies!!

post #6 of 8
I have a pair of mature mutes (rescues) and 2 male Chinese geese and a flock of mallards and all live happily on our pond. They all free range. We have an island and at night everyone plays nice and they bed down together. Occasionally I see a fight break out but it is rare and everyone has room so all ends well. They have been together about 4 years ...the geese just arrived last year. My mutes aren't so aggressive. I feed everyday and they all come to eat. If I'm late feeding they are in the yard demanding! Lol. Oh and I do agree with destroying the eggs. We let her lay and she sits...then we Addle them. No babies. Just too much and since they are mutes I just don't want to encourage the issue.
Edited by Vakatgirl - 3/2/16 at 10:40pm
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
It sounds like they all have different personalities. I worked at a County building complex that purchased a pair of mutes to keep the Canadian geese off the pond in the middle of the complex. The geese were nesting right on the same island as the swans.

We can expand, but I am taking this one into my flock. I'm retiring in a year and a half, and then I will look into adding a separate swan pond. Maybe by then I will have another. People around here don't seem to look after the swans, and there are always casualties showing up at the wildlife rehab center.

Thanks, everyone. I will keep an eye out for any aggression.
post #8 of 8
Well my flock just has no option...they have to play nice. We have about 3 acre pond so enough room for all. The rescue I got the swans from has 100s of geese ducks swans together. Carolina waterfowl rescue. You can see some pics on their fb page.
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