Swan Expert

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  • in reply to: Buying A Water Platform #62563

    Swan Expert
    Keymaster

    Hi Tony

    Please contact Bob Knox at Knox Swans and Dogs. He sells ready made floating nesting boxes for swans. The Regal Swan

    in reply to: Temperatures that swans and other waterfowl can live at #62264

    Swan Expert
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    Hi Matthew

    Mute Swans are built for cold temperatures becsuse they are Northern hemisphere swans. Southern hemisphere swans such as Australian Black Swans cannot suvive in colder temperatures.

    Although we cannot give you precise temperatures, we can state that swans or other waterfowl cannot survive any great length of time in iced-in waters. Ice is the greatest danger as food resources are scarce to non-existent which is why supplemental feeding is critical.

    Ice prevents the birds from eating and drinking. Starvation and dehydration can occur. These and other stresses can induce illnesses such as avian flu and pneumonia.

    Furthermore, if the ice should break and the birds cannot get out of the freezing water, they can die from drowning and hypothermia.

    Lastly, ice can cause the birds to freeze on to the ice or prevent their escape from predators. Predators can walk across stretches of ice to attack and kill birds or other wildlife trapped on the ice.

    It is for these reasons and more that birds migrate. It is captive waterfowl that are in the most danger during extreme cold temperatures.

    Starvation can only take a few days to render the birds ill or dead. This is why we tell pond owners to use aerators/de-icers during the winter months. These devices move the water and prevent ice. When using aerators and de-icers, they must be used consistently at the first sign of a freeze and you must ensure that any moving parts, straps, ropes or other possible entanglement parts are placed in an area or housed in a compartment that are inaccessible to the birds. We hope that this information is of benefit. The Regal Swan Foundation

    in reply to: Research results breed feeding to swans #62176

    Swan Expert
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    Hi Claudia

    Glad we were able to connect. We look forward to receiving your information. The Regal Swan

    in reply to: feeding bread to swans #61660

    Swan Expert
    Keymaster

    Hi Martin

    Just because you ask for donations, does not necessarily mean you receive donations.

    Out of pocket means that we have directly paid for the research ourselves. We decided at the onset that we were going to conduct research regardless if funding was not available, which it wasn’t in most cases. In the vaccine titre testing and blood chemistry, we sought sponsorships from three laboratories to conduct the tests. There were two important reasons for this, one, we did not have the facilities to conduct the tests and second, the equipment, protocols and vaccines were proprietary under the various drug companies. We personnally paid for all other research costs to include equipment, printing of relevant charts and other documents, phone expenses, travel, meals, hotel accommodations, fuel, rental cars or buses (to transport staff and equipment).

    The sponsorship by Proctor and Gamble was an in-kind donation of Dawn Dish Soap and Fairy Washing-up Liquid. This was a necessary part of the research. Through DNA Sequencing and other testing, we established that bacteria caused the condition. Since we found no internal related bacteria, it was readily determined that the bacteria was external (topical). We then, had to develop a means to remove the bacteria and someone mentioned various products along with P&G soap products as they had been safely used in wildlife to remove oil from petroleum spills. We contacted Proctor and Gamble to procure samples of Fairy Liquid in the U.S. so testing of both products could begin as well as other products (non-P&G) that could theoretically be used. We had to conduct additional testing to determine if there were specific ingredients within the various products tested which would show efficacy against the bacteria and identify the specific agent(s). Once that testing was completed, we were able to positively recommend and identify specific ingredients that showed efficacy and the (P&G) products were chosen. Finally, we asked P&G to sponsor several caseloads of Fairy Liquid to be used in the U.K. to wash affected swans along the Thames in an expanded field test. Swans affected with the bacteria were taken to a swan sanctuary where many volunteers began washing the swans and the swans were kept for one week at the sanctuary to test for further efficacy. At the end of the trials, we donated the unused soap product to a U.K. swan sanctuary. We hope this information is of benefit. The Regal Swan

    in reply to: Flooring for swan enclosure #61628

    Swan Expert
    Keymaster

    Swans and other waterfowl must have non-abrasive substrates with zero entrance water features. Steep inclines can cause serious leg and foot injuries. The substrate can have no abrasive features (concrete, gravel, rocks, etc.), or the birds can develop a condition known as bumblefoot, a highly contagious staph infection.

    Now, with this basic understanding of swan needs, there would be several concerns about using artificial grass:

    1. Swans are grazers, meaning they eat grass. The swans will probably pick at the fake blades, not only tearing up the surface, but possibly eating the artificial material which would not be healthy. Eating the material could also cause choking.

    2. Artificial turf can be prone to molds and fungus in extremely wet conditions. The substrate would need to be pressure washed or otherwise cleaned to keep the surface clean from bacteria (from swan poop), molds and fungi. Remember, waterfowl are prone to bumblefoot, so this surface would need frequent cleaning. The chemicals used to clean and prevent mold and fungi, may be toxic to the swans.

    3. The artificial turf is a nylon woven material. Think of the rows of blades being interwoven in a netting type material. Swans have claws and the claws could become snagged in this netting material. We had a swan get its claw stuck in some temporary nylon fencing, and the claw was torn from the foot. Not good, and no one ever considered that a swan would get into the nylon fencing, much less sustain such an injury. Birds and animals do not behave in a manner that you would expect, therefore you have you to consider many possibilities for the chance of injury.

    4. Even though swan pens and habitats do require much work to keep clean, the best substrates are soil, natural grass (although swans will eventually eat and turn to soil), or straw.

    Due to the above reasons, we would strongly encourage the use of soil or more natural substrates, not artificial grass. The Regal Swan

    in reply to: feeding bread to swans #61617

    Swan Expert
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    No one paid for the research except out of our pockets. No public funding has ever been used for our research. Lab tests were provided as an in-kind donation from private laboratories due to the technicality of developing blood chemistry panels exclusive to swans and titre testing for vaccines. So, again, no public funding was provided. Sheila Bolin, The Regal Swan Foundation

    in reply to: feeding bread to swans #61616

    Swan Expert
    Keymaster

    Hi Martin

    We were asked to weigh in on the feeding of bread by the U.K. officials, after they had already endorsed the feeding of bread to swans.

    At that time, we provided Her Majesty’s Swan Marker, Her Majesty’s Swan Warden, veterinarians and Diector of Operations, Swan Support and the Swan Sanctuary a copy of our research which was peer-reviewed and published in Exotic DVM, a journal published by and for Licensed veterinarians. If you go online and search for this info, you will in fact ascertain three points:

    1. We did in fact get published

    2. The publication is out of print and archived.

    3. If you can access the archives, you must provide your licensed veterinary credentials. We do not control access to these archives.

    Our research discussed various veterinary protocols, drugs to be used, dosages of various drugs, etc. All involved, including our veterinarians and those at the swan sanctuaries have agreed that the information should only be provided to licensed veterinarians. None of us want to be responsible for someone (with no veterinary experience misinterpreting the data or trying to procure the drugs and experimenting on a swan or other animal. If you look at one of the posts, someone has already stated they were going to conduct their own research on swans. We know for a fact, this person is not a licensed veterinarian. Exactly,what we do not want to occur. So, our releasing information to only licensed veterinarians, has nothing to do with hiding anything. It is totally to protect the swans and other animals from being extremely injured or killed by someone who thinks that they conduct this type of research with no veterinary training.

    in reply to: feeding bread to swans #61612

    Swan Expert
    Keymaster

    Hi Martin

    Sally Goulden is a licensed veterinarian and submitted her credentials. Because the research is specifically written for Licensed veterinarians, you would need to provide us with your appropriate credentials. If you are not a licensed veterinarian, you can contact Wendy Hermon, Swan Support or Steve Knight, Swan Sanctuary, to confirm that their veterinarians are in possession of our research. These two swan rescue groups are promoting the feeding of bread to swans. The Regal Swan Foundation

    in reply to: feeding bread to swans #61611

    Swan Expert
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    Hi UK Swan Lover:

    We are not advocating not providing the swans with alternative foods such as cracked corn and poultry layer pellets. We are advocating bread for those indivuduals who may not have these foods readily available or cannot afford them. We are stating that the negative impacts of bread that has been spread by wildlife officials, bird feed companies and others do not hold up when investigated scientifically. Bread is a good energy source during the winter months. Also, note, the RSPB does not say bread is bad. They state to use cake crumbs and crushed biscuits which contain some of the same contents as bread, only some cake and biscuits may contain more sugar than bread which may not be as healthy. Again, we are promoting bread as a supplemental food to prevent starvation. If all that people have is bread, or can afford, then feed bread. It beats the alternative of death. The Regal Swan Foundation

    in reply to: feeding bread to swans #61560

    Swan Expert
    Keymaster

    Hi Sally:

    I am going to send you the information to your private email as this site will not allow for the large upload necessary to get the info to you. The Regal Swan

    in reply to: Why would an Injured Cignet be chased away? #57765

    Swan Expert
    Keymaster

    Hi Dee

    Yes, we are aware of the NY DEC’s killing plans we have actively been fighting the plan for the past 4 years. The moratorium on killing/controlling the swans is up this Nov. and the DEC is trying to introduce the same non-scientific plan as before. They were told to provide reliable valid scientific research before any plan could be implemented. They have not.

    Hudsonia LTD, provided research last year showing that the swans were not detrimental to the habitat, were not any more aggressive than any other wildlife, and basically called the DEC’s research non-existent to shoddy. So, please contact your state representatives to ensure that no plan can go forward this year, especially with no current valid research from the DEC.

    As far as the cygnet goes, her wing may be treatable at this time and further delay could cause a problem. You still might be able to ask around anonymously to see if someone might help. Otherwise, the cygnet may survive the parents if it is older, but may not survive in the long run with such an injury. You can contact us directly at Bolin.S@att.net and provide us with your phone number.

    Please DO NOT provide us your info on this forum.

    We may be able to provide you with someone that may be able to help. The Regal Swan

    in reply to: Why would an Injured Cignet be chased away? #57760

    Swan Expert
    Keymaster

    Hi Dee

    Nature protects a species, flock or family from being attacked by a predator tracking an individual member that is sick or injured. The parents are protecting the rest of the family by removing the injured cygnet from the area.

    You might contact a local rehabber or wildlife rescuer to see if they may help in rescuing, treating and relocating the injured cygnet. If the cygnet is continually chased, it may become so stressed that the cygnet succumbs to dehydration, hunger or predation. Ultimately, it may die.

    Now, having said this, you need to be extremely cautious in contacting a wildlife facility. Federal and state wildlife officials are trying to kill all Mute Swans in the U.S. so that the larger Trumpeter Swans can be introduced for Trophy Waterfowl hunting purposes. If you live in a state where wildlife officials require wildlife facilities or veterinarians to kill the cygnet if it is taken to them, then they may also try to kill the entire family. The cygnet does need help, but you must first determine if anyone contacted will indeed help. You may have to contact several wildlife rehabilitation facilities before you get the answer. Animal control or state wildlife officials should not be contacted. The Regal Swan

    in reply to: Will swans separate while raising their cygnets? #56913

    Swan Expert
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    Hi Winnie

    You are very welcome. Thank you for caring for the swans. The Regal Swan

    in reply to: Will swans separate while raising their cygnets? #56841

    Swan Expert
    Keymaster

    Hi Winnie

    First, are you absolutely sure that the female is the swan that is missing? We ask this question because it is usually the female that cares for the cygnets. The male may leave the immediate area to patrol the perimeter of the habitat as we have seen this in several swan pairs. The male will still remain within earshot of the family to return and protect them if necessary. But, 2 weeks is usually a very long time to be separated.

    We have also heard about male swans that will find another mate and have 2 families. So, without being sure that it is the female that is missing, it is difficult to know if either of these scenarios fit your situation.

    Finally, regardless of gender, there is always the possibility that something happened to the other swan. If attacked by a predator, serious injury or death could be the reason for the separation. If killed by a hunter, state or federal wildlife official (yes, there is a concerted effort to kill Mute Swans so the habitat can be freed for the introduction of the larger Trumpeter Swans for Trophy Waterfowl hunting), then obviously the swan will not return. If the other swan were to be ill, it would go away so as not to spread disease to the family. If it recovers, it will return.

    Again, a 2 week separation from the family is highly unusual, but we have heard of extreme separation for whatever reason, only to have the missing member return. Please let us know how this situation progresses and if the swan parent returns. The Regal Swan

    in reply to: Cygnet swan with growth / lump on neck #50603

    Swan Expert
    Keymaster

    Hi Maxine

    Without seeing or examining the cygnet, it is difficult to determine the significance of the lump. It could be anything from an abcess (infection from injury or illness), pine straw penetration, hook or fishing line, the list could on. The cygnet needs to be captured and taken to a wildlife rescue facility or veterinarian and returned to the parents within 2-3 hours, if possible so they will not abandon the young swan. If treatment cannot be rendered within this time period, the cygnet will need to treated and then be placed in a safe secure home and raised with other waterfowl. It cannot be returned to the parents as they will reject it once it has been out of their sight for any extended period of time. They will chase the cygnet to keep it away from their habitat causing great stress, possibly death to the cygnet. The cygnet cannot be placed back into the wild or on another pond at this age because it cannot fend for itself which is why a wildlife rescue facility may be the answer.

    Additionally, some states like New Jersey and Michigan want to kill all Mute Swans and may require that the cygnet be killed. So, you need to cautiously inquire if the veterinarian or wildlife facility can help the cygnet without killing it. Lastly, if the cygnet is injured or sick, the parents will abandon the young bird unless it can be quickly treated and regains its health which may be what you are now observing. The solution is to get the cygnet to a veterinarian quickly. Please let us know how this situation progresses. The Regal Swan

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 50 total)