We started raising these spendid birds approximately 10
years ago. Over the years we have developed
a feel for them and what it takes to make them happy, (happy enough to provide us seasonally with babies).
Swans of any color are simply a MUST for any estate, large or small, with a pond on it.
Currently, we have 3 pairs of actively breeding adult
pairs. Generally speaking, their breeding season runs from mid September
through February. The hens will lay up to eight of these powdery
BLUE eggs in her nest before starting to set. I take the babies as
soon as they hatch, a "good" pair will go right back to laying again within
about two weeks. This is called "double clutching". In this
manner I can get up to three clutches per year..per pair if we're lucky.
So far we have been blessed!
These pics show how brothers and sisters always know whom
each other are. These two
clutches are about a week apart in age. They all play together nicely in the water pan
each day when the water is freshened, but retire to their two separate camps when the
splashin' is done. These babies have already been "pinioned" which means they'll
never be able to fly. This is not only required by most every state's law, but is also
much safer for the bird. Swans are like big dumb puppies all their lives. They must be
protected from themselves as well as predators and other dangers. Oh the heart ache of
finding one of your best breeder swans dead in the road's edge...
THIS is what is meant by "ugly duckling"!
These little "Cygnets" are as clumsy as they are ugly
up to about 4 to 5 months. They grow VERY quickly which means the eat and poop ALOT!
Quite messy to raise in those first few months, but certainly worth the hassle in the end.
These are some of the older babies we usually have on
hand for sale locally. These birds
are about 4 months old! With shipping and handling charges so high on the adult sized birds..
truly, having them shipped as 2-4 week old babies is definately the way to go. The babies
are literally poked full of food and water when they leave here - as that is what their "job" is
in their first 3 months of life anyway. I have sent lots of babies to nearly every state in the U.S.
(Alaska too) and to date.. have not lost one bird thanks to the good folks at the U.S.P.S.
and all their hard work.
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