Reply To: 1 day old Cygnets left in nest

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Swan Expert

Hi Kimberly

Not sure about registration info. Website seems to be working well.

Sometimes, parent swans will leave the younger hatched swans in nest until they are 24hrs old while they take the older swans out on the lake and return to the nest.

If the cygnets are completely abandoned, the family does not return to the nest or neglects the cygnets, nature will take its course and the cygnets will not survive.

The best thing to do is to fence in the nest before the next breeding season, ensuring tha the fence cannot be dug under or climbed into by a predator. Keep the front entrance opened and out of sight of the swans. Make the area large enough so parents can move and stretch and build the nest. Use bird netting around the outside perimeter of the fencing so cygnets cannot climb out of the nesting area.

Keep the nest site opened until the female lays the last eggs and begins sitting on the nest for long lengths of time. Then, when both parents are inside, close the front side of the nest leaving a large flat “3-4” inch pan of water with cracked corn and poultry layer pellet ( cleaned and changed daily.

This will allow the feeding of the parent swans along with the cygnets without drowning the cygnets which is why you don’t use a deep or large pan.

This fencing will keep the family together until all cygnets are hatched. 24 hrs after the last cygnets hatch, open the fence and once again keep the front of the fence open and out of site of parents (remove front or safely tie back away from front). The parents should return to the nest for a couple of days and then will find another night nesting site. This should help with the abandonment issue.

Now, if abandonment issues occur, it is because the family will not wait on runts to get bigger or stronger- this increases chance of predators following the entire family. The parents know somethimg is wrong with the cygnets and they are not going to survive. Taking the abandoned cygnets will cause a whole different issue. If you cannot designate 24 hrs a day for at least 4 months to feed and care for the cygnets, they will not survive. The best resolution will be to find a farm or waterfowl sanctuary with swans, ducks or geese and see if they will take the cygnets. Sometimes they can be raised along ducklings and goslings so they do not become imprinted by humans. Otherwise, nature must take its course without human intervention. We hope this information is of benefit. The Regal Swan