Feeding Swans whole grain bread as a supplement in the winter

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  • #163582 Reply
    David Tacha, PhD

    I am an administrator for Save our Swans Facebook. When I show people feeding bread to the swans, I get a lot of criticism. I tell them I only supplement whole grain bread in the winter months, I believe I ask The Regal Swan Society and an advisor said it was ok to supplement as long as the bread was fresh. Can you advise me on this subject. I feel it’s better to supplement than let them starve.

    #163611 Reply
    Swan Expert

    Hi David

    Yes, bread- whole or white as long as it is fresh is fine. Bread does not cause angel wing, heart disease, pink feather syndrome or any other negative health effects it has been wrongly associated. Most of this bad information was circulated by wildlife officials, politicians and bird food companies so that the public would stop feeding wildlife or use bird foods. When this stoppage of feeding by the U.K. public occurred, swans began starving. Her Majesty’s Swan Marker, Mr. David Barber, Swan Support, Swan Sanctuary and our organization, The Regal Swan Foundation, began an active “Feed the Bread” campaign. The public began feeding bread and the starvation was mitigated. Swans have now returned to normal weights, although the U.K. is having Avian Flu kill the swans. It is very important to feed the swans as well as other waterfowl to prevent starvation or cause stress from having to search for food during harsh winter weather which renders them susceptible to illness. During Avian Flu outbreaks, supplemental feeding helps the swans stay in their specific areas which may help the birds from picking up the disease in certain areas or transmitting it from their home territory. Year round supplemental feeding using cracked corn, poultry layer pellets and/or bread helps maintain a healthy flock. We hope this information is beneficial. Should you need further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us. For immediate assistance, you can contact us at Bolin.S@att.net
    The Regal Swan

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by Swan Expert.
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