So today will no doubt, be etched in my mind forever. See...I got a call from the rescue a few days ago, about a swan. Apparently someone found a swan by the road, just laying there...so they took it in to an Avian vet. The vet thinks this young swan, born last spring, must have hit a power line, and was knocked to the ground. It has a bit of an issue neurologically....but will recover. So, of COURSE, they want me to over winter this "poor bird" and, being the softie that I am, I agree. Now, I have NEVER had a swan before...nor do I know how to take care of one. So, I get on the internet, look up the care of swans, feeding, bedding, etc. And the swan was delivered to me today. Well, since it is having a few issues, I decided to put it up in the barn, in a stall, covered with fencing, to keep it in. I gave it a large water pail...and a pan of feed...set the crate in the stall..and took the door off. I half expected this monster to come diving out of the crate....flapping and hissing...ready to tear us all a new one. Nope, it just sat there...looking at us...so we backed out of the stall, and left it to get used to its surroundings. A few hours later I looked out, and the sheep are standing at the barn door, looking in, and bawling. When I called to them, the sheep ran to the gate, bawling...telling me...there is a monster in the barn!!! So, I get my boots on, and head out there to check on our new resident. Once I go in the barn, the sheep followed...because you know....mom wont let anything happen to them. As I get to the stall, I realize the swan is still in the crate. Now I am worried maybe it cant get out! So, I enter the stall...cautiously....and grab the crate tipping it up and slide the swan out of the crate. It came out like a water balloon, just laying there in the straw. Knowing how mean they can be...I again backed out of the stall...to just watch it, thinking it will get up once I am out. Nope. It laid there just watching me take pictures of it. So, my bright idea...I got a broom handle, and gently poked at it through the stall wall....at first, just a few hisses...but it wouldn't get up. So, I "encouraged" it again...with a few gently pokes..when all of a sudden, this MONSTER jumps up and starts beating its 6 ft wing span at me and the broom stick, then grabs the stick in its enormous beak, and tries to wrestle it from my hands! OH NO WAY am I going to let go, and give this monster a weapon to use on me! I used two hands and was able to get the broom stick away from the swan. Whew! I think I might have peed a little on that one. This is one BIG scary swan!!!! What is my "plan" for the swan?? Well, heck, I have NO idea. I know they can be mean...so I don't want it loose on MY pond. I also found out that being a Mute Swan, they are considered "invasive" and most states will allow farmers to shoot them. So, if I turn it loose next spring...it could be shot. So, for now, the plan is...feed it, and care for it through winter...hoping it gets stronger, ( just not stronger than me) and come spring we find it a new home.
Her are a few pictures of the "Monster in the barn"