Ask the Swan Specialist

Clipping Swans Feathers & Breeding
Date: 15 March 2018

Our swans at the end of last season we noticed were trying to fly. We put them in for the winter and we are ready to release them into our pond. We want to make sure our swans are either pinioned or need to have their feathers cut. We have had our cob for 4 years and we have not done anything to him, so we think he is pinioned. He has never tried to fly until the end of last season. Our pen we got just two years ago. The guy we got our her from cut her feathers, but at the end of last year, she did fly a little, but never got flight to leave.

We are now ready to release our swans to our pond for the year, but we want to make sure they are either pinioned or we need to cut their feathers. Is there a good way to tell if they are pinioned? I assume they should be missing the primary flight feathers on one wing.

If we need to cut the flight feathers on one wing to prevent them from flying, what is the correct procedure to do this. We have seen from the website that you are to cut primary flight feathers 1,2,4,6,and 8, just under the primary covert feathers, as long as there is not blood line on the feathers this far up.

We want your recommendation on this. I believe we can do this ourselves with the proper instruction. I am a very cautious person and very concerned and aware of cutting a blood feather. I know you can kill your swan if you do this.

I also wanted to know about breeding. Our swans have been together for two years and they have not shown any signs of breeding. Can you tell me when they typically start breeding, if they need any special area or enclosure for nesting or if there is anything we can do to assist this process? Their habitat is a 2 acre lake with grass around it and then a cornfield close by that they go into occasionally. I have no fencing or shelter for them to get into on the pond or in our yard by the lake.

Thank you in advance for you assistance.

God Bless You!

Messages In This Thread

Clipping Swans Feathers & Breeding -- Dave -- 15 March 2018
Re: Clipping Swans Feathers & Breeding -- The Regal Swan -- 16 March 2018