Swans- Questions about raising them

Discussion in 'Ornamental Fowl (Swans, etc.)' started by learycow, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. learycow

    learycow Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 1, 2011
    Southern Maine
    I am going to be getting a pair of black swans this spring but wanted to research as much as possible beforehand.

    First things first, what would be the best book(s) to buy with valuble swan info?

    I am getting them at just a few weeks old, so what is the best thing to feed them at this age? I raise ducks and know that medicated feed is harmful to them. If there is anything like this that I should know about swans, please inform me!

    Until they get bigger, I plan to keep them in a coop with a small run. What would be the best thing to use as a temporary pond for them? Or don't they need one right away?

    I plan to fence in their pond to keep predators out. Does anyone have pictures of their pond areas (just for ideas)?

    What else can I feed them other than pelleted feed? (I feed my ducks fresh/leftover veggies and fruit. I just need to know if there is anything along those lines that can be harmful to swans).

    Also, what do they eat as adults? And how much? I don't really have a limited budget, but it would be nice to know approximately how much they eat as adults just so I can figure out how much I will need to get for them and how often.

    Thanks so much! I look forward to the responses! And feel free to add in anything else you feel I should know!
  2. Dr. Todd

    Dr. Todd Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 9, 2010
    There are no good, current books specifically on keeping swans but a general wild waterfowl husbandry book like Simon Tarsnane's Waterfowl: Care, Breeding and Conservation is about as good as you'll find in English at the moment. If your German is good take a look at Die Entenvogel der Welt by Hartmut Kolbe.

    Pick the brain of the breeder you get them from. Spend time looking at how they keep and raise the birds. You'll find lots of people have different ways of raising the same birds but no amount of time on the internet replaces good old farm visits for getting ideas.
  3. skiwithchar

    skiwithchar New Egg

    May 27, 2012
    I'm also interested in any source of info about keeping swans.. the more info we can get our hands on, the less clueless we'll feel, that's for sure! :)
  4. ducclegirl

    ducclegirl New Egg

    Jul 25, 2012
    If you havent yet found your swan keeping info, there is a great resource on this site - written by breeders with lots of case studies
    I have friends who breed white swans and have recommended this....gosh I wish I had room for swans....how romantic!!
  5. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    Ask your breeder what feed they are feeding the cygnets you will be getting. Most people feed lots of chopped up Romane lettuce in their water.. also with their laying mash or swan food. Swans need water to eat so change water often. Lots of grazing on green grass. For little ones a simple shallow dish pan or metal dog pan for water o is fine for babies. You don't want them to get chilled or drown if they can't get out. Give them space to exercise. They need heat and shelter as babies and protection just like chickens. As they get older you can move their water pan larger and larger to a kiddie pool until they are old enough to go onto a pond. I feed mine free choice so Im not sure how much each goes through. I give six swans about three quarts of food every other day. ...but i have other fowl that share...steal...some, plus they graze the pasture. As babies be prepared for lots of mess...and make sure nothing dangerous in water etc is left out as swan drink first...taste after.

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