Ask the Swan Specialist

Re: For baby swans born one week ago: size of water container
By:The Regal Swan
Date: 25 May 2017

Hi Katherine:

You need to use a small rubbermaid container or such with a depth of water approximately 5 inches until the cygnets get larger and then you can add more water. The cygnets should be watched closely and can only stay in the water for approximately 10 minutes at a time, 2 times a day. The cygnets should be placed in and taken out of the bin by you and dried so that they are not soaking, but not completely dry. The cygnets will need to learn to preen using their uropygial gland (preen gland) to keep their feathers water repellent and feathers healthy. Since the gland is not developed at this age, the cygnets can drown very easily and should not be left in the water without supervision. Also, the bottom of the bin should be lined with a small towel so that the cygnet's legs and feet cannot sustain an injury from the bottom of the bin being slippery. Also, climbing in and out of the bin by themselves can cause severe even deathly injuries to necks and legs which is why they should be placed in the bin by you.

Are the cygnets still with the parents? If so, the parents need to teach the cygnets about the pond and their surrounding habitat. Survival without the parents at this age up until 5 months of age is not great. Even with parents, the cygnets are going to have to survive infection, injury and predators. So, if the cygnets can remain with the parents for a significant amount of time, their survival chances will increase. Cygnets raised by humans will never be able to be released into any type of setting except an extreme supervised setting as they will be too dependent upon needs supplied by humans. They can also imprint which means that they do not know how to be a swan and will think and act like a human. This "human behavior"places them in extreme danger in habitats that have open areas (no fencing top to bottom around their habitat). Again, without the care of parent swans, their survival at a young age and even older will be greatly decrease. The Regal Swan

Messages In This Thread

For baby swans born one week ago: size of water container -- Katherine -- 24 May 2017
Re: For baby swans born one week ago: size of water container -- The Regal Swan -- 25 May 2017