Cygnet tames bad tempered swan

Its me, Pat Goff, back again this week.

Sunday, 30th October 2016, 1:00 pm
Extensive wing injuries to a rescued swan. Picture by Pat Goff.

Elfie really enjoyed going to the bird release and the film she made was brilliant – hopefully you’ve all seen it on YouTube. If not there is a link on our website. It is a good thing we released the birds when we did as the pond is already needed for new ones.

This week the vet came and took off the dressing from the big swan, which was brought in with horrendous wounds to its wing. The photograph shows the state the bird was in when it arrived.

We think the bird may have struck power lines some time before. The skin on the lower wing was completely destroyed and the remaining flesh was badly infected. The only option for the swan was to amputate the damaged part of the wing immediately. Fortunately, the vet was able to do the operation the next day.

The swan is a big bird and was very bad tempered, which made him difficult to deal with since he needed injections of antibiotics and oral painkiller daily. Kay has several large bruises to show for it. Dick usually helps her to subdue the bird for its treatment.

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To be fair, the bird must have suffered greatly with his injuries. In fact, when you see the things some animals suffer with it is amazing they survive at all.

As soon as the vet removed the dressing the swan was allowed on the pond, which he had to himself. He certainly enjoyed the water after being kept in the dry since his operation over two weeks before. We certainly hope it will improve his temper.

He was joined in the pond later by a cygnet brought in from Eyemouth. The bird was being beaten up by his parents for some unexplained reason. He carries his neck a little too far over his back and is unsteady on his feet, which may be due to the stress he would have been under.

He is a good weight at 9.5kg, which is the same as the swan with the amputated wing, so we tried putting them together, being ready to take him off the pond if the older bird was as angry with other swans as he was with us. They have got on fine together. We shall just give the cygnet time to get over his trauma and to make sure there is nothing else wrong with him.

Hopefully, the older bird will be less bad tempered now that he is free of pain.

A week after the big swan came in we picked up another smaller swan, only 6.5kg, and a very placid, well behaved bird too.

It had a damaged wing, which also needed amputation.

This bird is still under cover and having daily treatment, but I can do this one. She is so much better behaved than the other. She is making a good recovery too.

Thank you to everyone who brought in cans of loaf dog food, newspapers and mealworms for our hedgehogs. I think we may have more than last year overwintering with us.

We are taking in little hogs weighing 200g so there must be a few late broods that will not survive hibernation.