Sunday, 24 July 2011

Angel Delight

After a final consultation with Sue Hulbert my Swan and wildlife expert, and the SSPCA. I finally bit the bullet and collected the cygnet from the river this afternoon with the help of my friend and soulmate. Using my experience and a big bit of guile, I managed to spirit away the angel wing cygnet with the parents being unaware of the cygnapp! I gave them all an ample helping of Wheat, so their heads were all underwater busily eating when I grabbed the cygnet and made a quick getaway to my friends car ! It was as stress free a cygnapp as one could ever hope to get.

Having invested in some vetwrap bandage, tubigrip and microtape, I set about repeating the correct method of bandaging the angel wing as I did successfully last year with a duck.

With the wing now re-fixed into position I am hopeful that a week should do the trick and the cygnet will rejoin the family without a hitch. The Cygnet has settled down so far and not pulling at the special bandage which means that hopefully I have got it right. This is the only cygnet from 4 broods that our pair have reared to fall foul of the angel wing disorder. The cause may well be inherited which occasionally pops up after so many broods. It could also have been caused by an injury, such as the fishing line I removed from the harbour the other day, it had a massive tangle at the end of the line, and the cygnet does have rather a scraggy looking neck ! Diet can also be the cause due to vitamin D and manganese deficiency. The natural food in the river has all but vanished since the big summer spate of 2 weeks ago, the Swans have been limited to the beach when the tide allows, and the rocks for seaweed. I do feed them wheat, grass, poultry pellets and wholemeal bread - but cannot vouch for everyone else being so diet conscious. The parents were fed this - plus carrots throughout the winter and were in prime condition when nesting time arrived.

With the cygnet in the garden I wont need to cut the grass this week at least ! It settled into the paddling pool I bought last year for waterbird emergencies, and is now on a diet of wheat, spinach, lettuce and grass...real hospital food !!!

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