General information

What to feed the swans at home?

Swans, like other migratory birds, fly to warm regions for the winter, fleeing frost and starvation. Moreover, the lack of food in the winter period is the decisive cause here, since many birds, especially waterfowl, in the presence of food are quite capable of withstanding rather low temperatures.

In fact, with open water, swans can spend the whole winter on it, if they are fed from the shore by people. But during frosts, it is troublesome to keep places free of ice on the pond, so it is easier to keep these waterfowl in the house in winter.

Requirements for the house

The room for the swans can be rebuilt, and it is possible to adapt a barn or other similar structure for this.

The construction of the swan house does not present any particular difficulties:

  1. It is usually erected from materials available at the farm. For example, the roof is made of both wood and reed, and even clay-covered straw.
  2. The floor is preferably made of wood. In cases where the house is located in a lowland or on a ground with close bedding, the floor must be raised a quarter of a meter above the ground.
  3. The walls of the room are plastered and whitened from the inside with a 20% lime solution.
  4. The windows are located at a height of half a meter from the floor and, if possible, from the south.
  5. Inside the room using the grid is divided into sections for each individual separately.
  6. The minimum height of the room should deliver 1.7 m.
  7. Ventilation in the house is done in such a way that the hourly air change inside the closed house is not less than 8 times per hour and not more than 11 times.
  8. Properly made litter on the floor of the house is of great importance. With the onset of cold weather, slaked lime is scattered on the floor in a proportion of 1 kg per square meter, and a 10-cm layer is laid over a litter of sawdust, small chips, crushed corn cobs, sunflower husk or chopped straw.
  9. Feeders and drinkers are installed in the house. At the same time, near the feeders with the main feed are containers with mineral feed in the form of chalk, large river sand, fine gravel and seashells. And under the trough to avoid splashing of water on the litter have a pallet.

However, excessively low humidity in the room adversely affects the bird's body, dehydrating it and drying out mucous membranes. Although swans are able to tolerate low temperatures, they still feel more comfortable at moderate temperatures, so heating is desirable in poultry houses in case of severe frosts. Another factor that is extremely important when keeping swans in the house is the level of gas pollution of the room. Carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide and ammonia, which accumulate in the air, have the most depressing effect on the body of birds, reducing their appetite and leading to various kinds of diseases.

As we have said, ventilation in the house should ensure air turnover at least 8 times every hour. The safety of waterfowl health during wintering in the house depends largely on the hygienic conditions created in it.

When preparing the premises for the winter, while the swans stay outside it in the reservoir, the following measures are taken:

  1. Removed old litter and traces of litter.
  2. Walls are cleaned and whitened with quicklime.
  3. Whitewash and other equipment used in the house.
  4. Feeders and drinkers are washed using a hot two percent solution of caustic soda.

Requirements for the reservoir

As already mentioned, with open water, swans can spend the whole winter on it. To do this, they are suitable for any vast reservoir in the form of a lake, pond or river with clean water and abundant aquatic vegetation. In the case of a river, the holding area should be netted so that the birds do not float away along the river. In addition, for keeping birds on the water surface, feather feathers should be trimmed on the wings, if at a young age the upper phalanx of one of the wings was not amputated. For perfectly flying birds, this precaution is absolutely necessary.

As for the water body itself, in winter it takes a lot of effort to get the water parts free of ice. Polynyas and ice holes must be constantly cut in and cleaned. You can prevent the formation of ice in the water area near the shore with an air compressor.

The constant movement of water with the help of air bubbles formed by the injection of air into the tubes located under water inhibits the formation of ice. It is clear that all this requires considerable physical effort and material costs, so the owners of swans in the winter period most often make a choice in favor of their maintenance in poultry houses.

Those who still decide to keep the birds in the open water in winter usually build a canopy on the shore, under which the swans can hide from the weather, and the shore is covered with a thick layer of straw that allows the birds to warm their wet feet. These waterfowl can hide from the weather and in the houses, which are usually erected on small wooden platforms installed on piles in shallow water. There are also feeders.

What to feed domestic birds in winter

In summer, grass, algae and underwater living creatures serve as the main food of the swans.

In winter, the lack of greenery is compensated by cabbage and root vegetables:

  • sweet
  • carrots
  • onions,
  • potatoes.

In addition to peas and cereals, which provide birds with carbohydrates that supply them with heat and energy, Swans are given vitamin products in the form:

  • fresh cabbage - 50 g,
  • boiled potatoes - 70 g,
  • fresh carrots - 150 g,
  • fresh beets - 20 g,
  • onions - 10 g.
20 g of minced fish or minced meat will add protein to the food, plus 20 g of mineral supplements should be added to all of this. They feed the swans at home twice a day.

Where the swans fly for the winter

Being migratory birds, swans living in northern latitudes migrate to warm lands with the onset of winter. And in this case, they are not interested in heat by itself, but in the presence of food supply. Without fear of cold, these birds can stay for the winter wherever there is open water, and, therefore, underwater food.

For example, often these waterfowl arrive for the winter in Denmark, which is by no means a southern country, but has open reservoirs. Most often, European swans move from north to south inside Europe, settling for the winter in Romania, Italy, Bulgaria, the Volga delta.

But if the swans are sent to the warm edges solely in search of food, then they return home, attracted by the breeding instinct. Temporary shelter gives the birds some food in the winter, but does not provide sufficient space, safety and a wide food supply, which are necessary for breeding and which are available only in their native lands.

What to feed the swans on the lake

Recently, ornithologists began to observe more and more often the phenomenon which they called the decline of the migratory instinct. This phenomenon is the refusal of an increasing number of swans to leave their homes in winter.

Experts explain this phenomenon by global warming, in which water bodies do not freeze during the winter period. In such a situation, there is no point for the birds to leave their native lake in winter. Birds living in urban water bodies, in general, do not have to think about food, because the townspeople literally flood them with food.

And here the question arises: is it all that good people give to birds in the form of edible, it is useful to them? Ornithologists say that the swans, wintering in open water, in general, none of the food should not be given. Say, the birds themselves will get everything they need in the water.

In addition, it is not recommended to feed these waterfowl:

  • smoked meats
  • chips,
  • baking
  • chocolate
  • sausage,
  • crackers,
  • cookies,
  • dry grain.

Last in the list, but not least, dry grain with its sharp edges can damage the esophagus and stomach of these waterfowl, who are accustomed to eating food only with water, i.e. only soaked or boiled grain can be thrown onto the ice of birds, but not dry.

Difficult for the swans staying at home, the winter period can be greatly facilitated by the skilled help of a person who, knowing the habits and preferences of these birds, is able to create comfortable conditions for them to winter.

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A very important condition for the maintenance of swans in winter is air temperature. Negatively, both cold and high temperatures can affect the health of swans. It is very important to determine the optimum relative humidity. High humidity can cause loss of appetite in swans, as well as lead to diseases. Too dry air will lead to poor heat transfer, the bird will always feel thirsty.

Ensure good ventilation in the house. Otherwise, the air will be very gassed, appetite will decrease, various respiratory diseases are possible. It is also necessary to observe the recommended landing density - plant 1 adult swan per 1 square meter of floor space. The space for one bird should be protected with a net, thus making a kind of section.

Directly near the premises should be located pen. In warm weather swans walking in it. In the house for the winter maintenance of swans must be dry and clean bedding. As it can be used peat, straw, shavings, sawdust, husk. Slaked lime is spread under the litter on the basis of 0.5-1 kg per 1 square meter.

Swans in winter: saving, do no harm!

Calls from residents of Kaliningrad began to arrive again in the Kaliningrad Zoo, on the eve of winter, worried about the fate of swans living on urban lakes. This situation is repeated from year to year. We collected the most frequently asked questions and tried to give an answer to them in order to explain what to do when meeting with swans and whether all birds should be “saved” in winter.


Why the swans did not fly away with their relatives?
"Reducing the migratory instinct." So scientifically called the reluctance of birds with the onset of cold weather to fly to warm regions. Scientists see several reasons for this behavior. First, the winters in the Kaliningrad region are getting warmer every year. Reservoirs do not freeze and swans constantly have access to their main food - algae. Secondly, swans attract a huge number of people who, with the best of intentions, feed them. Naturally, the birds get used to the person and absolutely do not want to part with the "bread places" on the urban lakes. IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER! Luring swans a man does them a disservice. Birds continue to wait for the breadwinners even with the onset of severe frosts, however, they usually prefer not to go out on the street once again. Feeding birds suffer, but can not immediately navigate and fly to the frozen waters. As a result, some get sick and even die.
What do swans eat in winter?
The main food of waterfowl is algae. And while the reservoir is not frozen, the swans have access to food. With the onset of severe frosts, many swans move to the ice-free sea coast, where they feed safely until spring.


What can feed the swans in the winter?
Ideally, it is better not to feed the swans at all (see clause 1). But if you feed, then it should be done so as not to harm the birds.
1. Swans absolutely can not be fed black bread! It causes fermentation in the stomach and, as a result, gastrointestinal upset, weakening, illness. White bread is acceptable in the absence of other food, but in extremely limited quantities!
2. It is absolutely impossible to feed the swans with moldy or sour bread! For birds, as well as for people, a spoiled product is deadly.
3. In the cold swans can be fed raw or slightly boiled chopped vegetables: cabbage, carrots, potatoes, and steamed rice or millet. However, in severe frost, all this food freezes to ice. In this case, a grain mixture of wheat, oats and barley or a special compound feed for birds that does not contain salt is suitable as food. IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER! The digestive system of the swan is designed so that it must necessarily drink food. Therefore, feed should be thrown into the water or ashore at the very edge of the water. In extreme cases - on the ice.
How to determine if the birds need my help?
A bird needs human help if:
- there are clear signs of injury or damage,
- the bird lies on the ice and its plumage is covered with a crust of ice or icicles.
In all other cases, the bird most likely does not need human help. Moreover, swans are able to safely tolerate temperatures up to - 15 degrees. In this case, the bird spends all its energy to save energy and maintain heat. She chooses a safe place on the ice away from the shore, lies down and rests. The worst thing that can be done in this situation is to drive her away from her familiar place. IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER! If a bird has a fishing line in its beak, do not cut it! A load or hook can be attached to the fishing line. If you cut the line, it will be impossible to pull it out. In this case it is better to entrust the release of the bird to the veterinarians.
Can I “hand over” a swan to the zoo?
Kaliningrad Zoo does not accept swans for the following reasons:
1. according to art. 4 of the Federal Law "On the Animal World" wild animals and birds are the property of the state. Removing them from nature is possible only with the permission of the competent state. bodies, for example, Rosprirodnadzor. Violation of this requirement entails the imposition of an administrative fine on a legal entity from 10 to 20,000 rubles.,
2. reception of animals from the wild nature is forbidden by veterinary norms,
3. Kaliningrad Zoo does not have sufficient area and conditions for keeping a large number of swans. Especially, considering the fact that every year from 10 to 20 birds try to “attach” here.

Where to go for help if the bird is injured?
In the Kaliningrad region there are a number of public, municipal and private organizations that are ready to provide advice or organizational assistance to those who have found a wounded swan:
1. Department of conservation and use of wildlife objects of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology KO 570-416
2. Kaliningrad Zoo 21-89-14.
3. Public organization “Baltic Swan” 8-911-49-04-700
4. Cranberry 39 Shelter Overeating 8-963-29-21-088
5. The bird park “Priozerye” 8-911-86-57-066
6. Private "Compound on Khutorskoy" 8-911-45-90-460

What swans eat in natural conditions

In nature, they live in open or partially overgrown reservoirs - lakes, rivers, and occasionally in swamps. Most of them fly away to winter in warm regions, where the water does not freeze even in winter. The species that live on the Caspian Sea and in the southern regions of Eurasia do not fly away for wintering.

In nature, swans live in open or partially overgrown reservoirs.

What eats in water

Favorite food - the roots and green parts of aquatic plants, duckweed, small invertebrates - mollusks, aquatic donkeys. It can stick its head under the water and catch fish and frogs swimming with its beak. The depth of the dive reaches 90 cm due to the long neck, but the back half of the body remains on the surface, like a duck.

Swans dive for food

Birds collect full beak of silt and filter it. Edible is separated from inedible from the rest of the thicket, spitting out the unnecessary, and eating, the useful, plants and animals. Nestlings are caught in the shallows of small crustaceans, snails, daphnids.

What eats on land

On land it nibbles grass, eats cereals, does not hesitate to worms, larvae, shells, lizards. Nestlings prefer protein-rich animal food.

Nestlings independently find food on the shore

During shedding, an adult eats up to 4 kg of plants per day. It has a good appetite: to maintain its shape, it needs to eat up to 25% of its own weight per day. Under stress (sudden change of weather, illness, death of a partner, change of habitat), appetite increases.

Swans eat grain in shallow water

Feeding the swans: why, how and when

It is recommended to feed only at low temperatures (from -15 ° C and below) or in case of illness or injury. If in winter the bird is sitting on the ice, hiding its head under the wing, and on its neck there appeared icicles or drizzle, then, most likely, it became ill, injured or supercooled.

In a healthy bird, about 20% of body weight fat accumulates in the winter, so it is not afraid of frosts. Excretions of the oil gland lubricate the feathers and prevent them from getting wet, the subcutaneous fat warms and gives strength even in case of insufficient nutrition in the winter.

Swan plumage does not get wet in icy water

In winter, the swans living in the pond are fed, throwing food directly onto the ice, into the water (wormwood) or from the pelvis. In the warm season, they prefer vegetable food - greens, finely chopped beets, carrots and cabbage, boiled potatoes, and corn leaves. In cold weather need more high-calorie food - cereals.

Even in winter, the swan rests, hiding its head under the wing

Winter swan feeding: zoological advice

A healthy swan will not remain in the reservoir if it cannot find food in it for 3-4 days. Несколько суток он может не есть даже зимой, это не отразится на здоровье. Если он видит, что водоем полностью замерзает или в нем нет пищи, то улетает в более подходящее место.

Подкармливать в дикой природе можно только больных, раненых птиц или при очень больших морозах.

От сильного мороза у лебедя замёрз клюв

In severe frosts, swans spend more energy on maintaining body temperature, so they are given cereals:

  • oats or oatmeal,
  • wheat,
  • millet,
  • barley (barley).

Winter dressing on the city beach

Grains or mixture steamed as follows:

  1. Put the whole grain in a large container (bowl, bucket, basin).
  2. Fill it with clean hot water.
  3. Leave for 3-4 hours at room temperature.

If you want not to steam, and germinate grain:

  1. Put the whole grain in a large container (bowl, bucket, basin).
  2. Fill with clean cold water.
  3. Leave for 11-16 hours at room temperature.

Germinated oats are rich in vitamins and do not damage the stomach wall of swans.

Steamed or germinated cereals become softer and do not hurt the stomach walls. Any grain can be fed only in steamed or germinated form.

How to feed the swans living next to a man

Swans easily get used to the person, therefore they are well acclimatized in nature reserves, game reserves, protected areas and zoos. They can often be found in urban gardens and parks, equipped with ponds.

In some parks and personal farms they make a floating house on the water or put straw on the beach for rest and food.

Shipuns in the city park

Spines and whoopers living next to a person eat everything they offer. The common belief that they can be fed bread and rolls erroneously and annually leads to the death of hundreds of birds. In fact, dangerous spoiled bread - moldy, affected by fungi or pests. Even good bread can cause illness or death to the chicks, so you can not feed the young and even feed them. Adults can be given some white bread, throwing it into the water.

Swans are equally fond of plant food ponds and land. Corn and potato leftovers are eaten in the southern regions after harvest. Mute swan likes small fish, snails, river and lake mollusks, crayfish, tadpoles and frogs.

Plants - the basis of the swan diet

From this article you will learn how to keep a black swan in a private farm, how to breed and how to feed these graceful birds.

Summer diet of adult swans

In summer, instead of vegetables, they give chopped grass - chopped. In addition to food, swans should always have free access to the reservoir with clean water and plants - water or land, as the basis of their power - the grass.

In summer, the main food is greens.

The approximate summer diet for adult birds consists of:

  • Sliced ​​white bread, bran, millet or barley - only 250 g,
  • Minced meat (meat or fish) - only 230 g
  • Green fodder (grass, salad) - 0.5 kg,
  • Mineral top dressing (chalk, bone meal) - 20 g.

Winter menu

The winter diet is different from the summer one - there is no green food in it, but there are more cereals. A smaller amount of fish or ground beef is explained by the fact that in natural conditions in winter it is difficult for birds to fish, and ground protein feed - worms, mollusks and small animals - is hidden under deep snow. In winter, swans are used to eating less animal food, but more long carbohydrates, which provide them with energy and heat for a long time.

In winter, you need more cereals to warm up.

Winter diet adult.

  • Sliced ​​white bread, barley, oats, millet or bran - 700 g,
  • Stuffing (meat or fish) - 20 g.
  • Root crops - 300 g
  • Mineral feeding - 20 g.

Feed your own hands

When growing swans in their own farmstead or farm, they use their own home-made food, since they do not produce industrial feed for them. It is better not to use feed for chickens, geese, turkeys, quails, ducks, because they have different needs for nutrients, minerals and vitamins.

Feed your own hands

Daily diet for adult swans

How to cook feed:

  1. Vegetables, grass, root vegetables, bread, finely chopped.
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a large food container (bowl, enameled basin, bucket, pan).
  3. Add water to form a semi-liquid mash.

Vitamins and minerals for swans

What to feed the swans in the farm

The diet of chicks raised in captivity differs from that of an adult - all components are chopped to be smaller, the protein content is higher. Its main components:

  • millet porridge,
  • chopped hard-boiled eggs
  • minced fish,
  • minced meat.

Swan hatching chicks

Lactic products such as yogurt, cottage cheese, kefir, yogurt are very useful for chicks. They find vegetable food in the pond themselves or with the help of parents.

Before feeding, fish (in the form of minced meat) is mixed with cereals and diluted with water to obtain a wet slurry. Minced fish put no more than 10% by weight of the finished mixture.

Chicks on the shore of the pond

For adults and young individuals, minced meat can be replaced with meat and bone meal in the amount of 4-7% of the daily feed volume.

Approximate ration of swan chicks

What can not feed the swans

Chicks can not be fed bread - it causes indigestion and often becomes the cause of their death. Adults can be given it in small quantities, white and black, without mold, fungal infections and pests.

Do not feed the swans with bread

Dry grain

Swans can not eat dry grain - it is too hard, dense, scratches the walls of the stomach and is not digested in the intestines. For this reason, all cereal feeds for them need to be filled with hot water (steamed) or germinated in cold for 11-15 hours. Food is placed in a basin or a large container of clean and fresh water - they filter it out themselves, let them drain excess fluid and eat it.

Swans prefer plant food - algae, duckweed

Chips, sausage, muffin, chocolate

You can not give smoked, salty and sweet - chips, sausage, crackers, cookies, muffin. Birds with a visible hunt eat the food offered by a man, they have a deceptive feeling of satiety. However, all these products - fast carbohydrates - pass through the digestive tract, but almost do not digest. This is fatty and salty food, which is absent in the natural habitat of swans, therefore their stomach and intestines are not able to digest it. Because of such dressings the microflora of the digestive system is disturbed, the level of sugar in the blood rises, inflammatory diseases occur.

Chips for swans are deadly

How to feed a sick swan

It happens that a swan swallowed fishing weights instead of small stones or hunted it, and lead shot remained in the body. In the craw, pieces of lead rub against each other, its particles get into the stomach, from there into the intestine and into the blood. Lead causes acute poisoning in birds.

In cases of lead poisoning, droppings become watery, green, they weaken, they move little, they eat poorly, and ruffled feathers.

The healthy swan is active and eats most of the time.

Patients are drinking honey diluted in water in a 1: 1 ratio. Well helps glucose solution in a concentration of 5%. One adult bird needs 50 ml per day.

Chickens sick with salmonellosis are fed with yogurt or other fermented milk products, a little potassium permanganate (until a light pink color) or honey (until a sweet taste appears) is poured into drinking water.

Inside, any drugs (drugs, vitamins, minerals) are given in a mixture with medium-sized fish or minced meat.

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