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What to feed a swan

So what to feed a swan. If you have pet swans let me tell you what you can feed them. Swans are mostly vegetarians, so they mainly eat plants that grow underwater, although they will occasionally eat insects. This usually happens when the eggs of small fish, tadpoles, worms, molluscs, fish and frogs become entangled in the algae the swans feed on.

The question is should we humans help them by feeding them? In this article, we’ll go over the basics of swan nutrition and tell you what you can and can’t feed swans.

What to feed a swan – feed the swans

For those who wish to create a habitat for swans and feed them, know that it is possible, but keep in mind the followings. Swans need lots of fresh water space to survive. Optimal conditions are 8-15 acres of water and about 5 acres of shallow water, although they may only use 5 acres if there are lots of other essentials.

They fiercely protect their territories and their children. Therefore, they need space to reproduce and maintain themselves. Get too close and they might attack. Minimize obstacles. Swans need a place to fly. Too many fences and other obstacles can impede their movement, which is why they are unlikely to want to hover nearby.

Foods to Avoid

As for what to feed swans, you know what they like to eat. However, this is something you should avoid.

What to feed a swan – bread.

We see people giving bread to the birds all the time and they love the taste. However, this is not necessarily good for them. Their gastrointestinal tract is not suited for delicious refined flour and sugar, so feeding a swan bread is like giving candy to a child. Bread contains more protein than your natural diet, which disrupts your normal eating habits.

Adult swans that eat too much bread can become weak and even sterile. If they have children, they are more likely to be born unhealthy. Swans that eat too much bread will experience a growth spurt. Once their body outgrows their legs, they won’t be able to stand or move normally.

They can even develop a condition called “angel wings” when their wings don’t grow properly. This not only renders them flightless, but also makes them vulnerable to bullying and exclusion from other swans. Finally, if you give them moldy bread, it will kill them.


This can lead to a fatal disease called chocolate poisoning. It starts with gastrointestinal vomiting, diarrhea, etc. It then progresses to affect the central nervous system, causing seizures and eventually death.


While swans can digest apples, the peel can sometimes contain pesticides that are toxic to them. Apple seeds also contain small amounts of cyanide, which can harm even adult swans.

What to feed a swan – onion.

Like chocolate, onions can cause gastrointestinal upset. Constant consumption of onions by swans results in hemolytic anemia, which is quickly followed by respiratory failure and death.

What to feed a swan – Anything that contains salt.

Although swans regulate salt levels to some degree, too much salt can lead to dehydration, kidney failure, and, you guessed it, death. Keep salt lovers away from these birds.



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