Swan in NJ

Discussion in 'Ornamental Fowl (Swans, etc.)' started by Lynne23, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. Lynne23

    Lynne23 New Egg

    Jan 24, 2014
    We had a pinioned swan pair on our lake for about 2 years. Two weeks ago the female was killed after being hit by a car. Since she never left the lake we cannot understand how she got on a busy highway. The lake had been frozen for days at the time. Well the male is now left alone and trying to survive on a frozen lake again. Some questions:

    1. Can he survive on a frozen lake? We are concerned about predators.
    2. We purchased an aerator and are waiting for delivery. But the lake is shallow 1-2 feet...do you think it will keep the lake open enough?
    3. If we opted to try to put him in our garage...do you think this would be ok? Especially if we built a temporary pen for him. Would we just give him food and water...would he be ok not swimming until the lake opens up?
    4. How would we catch him?

  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    I'm sorry about your female swan. The aerator should keep enough water area open for him. We used an immersible pump to keep the water moving to prevent freezing the last couple of winters and it worked but we had to clean the leaves that clogged it every day. We have a medium size man made pond about 1-2 feet deep. This winter we are just keeping a running hose in the pond along with a small heater (Stock tank heater). It doesn't keep as much area unfrozen but it is enough.

    I wonder how many buckets of hot water it would take to melt a little area (even just 3 x 3 feet) of your lake so that you can place the aerator. He would be much happier outside, but he needs water to drink.

    He would be okay inside for a while if he has water deep enough for dunking his whole head. But I would try to melt some ice and keep a bit of water open, if possible.

    Catching a swan is all about cornering him in some way. That may require setting up some barrier and herding him toward it.

    This winter has been a tough one.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2014
  3. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    One other thing to consider when it comes to keeping a swan in a pen, it would take a lot of maintenance because swans poop a lot. I kept a mother swan and her two little cygnets in a pen in the barn just at night for a month. I had to clean it daily and went through a lot of hay.
  4. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

    Mar 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    While you are waiting for the aerator, you could set out rubber dishes or some buckets of water for him to drink from. It will probably freeze, but you could change it a few times a day and at least it would give him something to drink.

    Swans are pretty good at defending against predators, so I wouldn't worry too much about that. You do have to be careful around swans, especially if they decide to get aggressive. Their wings are capable of breaking bones if they get angry enough!

    There are many swans in local lakes where I live in NJ and they do just fine even when the water freezes over. I'm not entirely sure what they eat, but they seem to thrive.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by