Information & Warning on New Vrindaban Swans

(this actually applies to all swans)

Hare Krishna:

The following information is being provided for those who are interested or concerned about the swans well fare. Our swans have three lakes to feed from in addition to fields and a daily supplant of cracked corn and whole wheat. Contrary to a popular current myth, they are not “starving.”

If you are interested to feed the swans, please note the following! Use extreme precaution when attempting to feed them. Best to bring a stick with you. They are very aggressive, they do bite, and their wings are very strong. They can break an arm or a leg with their wings if provoked. When stretching up on their legs and extending their necks, they become quite “tall,” able to attack the necks and faces of anyone 5’6″ and under. If they suspect you have food for them, they will come at you altogether. If this happens, back off and leave the area. (After reading this, I suspect not so many will remain interested to feed the swans!) I plan to post WARNING signs along the lake. Jaya Devi is the main caretaker along with myself when I am present, should you have any questions or concerns. Thank you!

Feeding Swans – the correct way

Please note that their natural diet is best for them and that filling them up with food that is not part of their natural diet should be avoided, as it will prevent them from getting the nutrition they need as well as being potentially harmful.

HOWEVER, when winter conditions set in and little food is available – our help in providing food is likely to be very appreciated and may be even life-saving.

What NOT to feed swans:

Anything that is NOT healthy for us: sugary, starchy, fatty foods, junk food, fast food
NO Bread, chips, cakes, cookies, and cereal, etc – as these foods can cause digestive and serious other health problems
NO Cooked and processed foods.
NO Raw Beans of any kind. However, cooked beans are alright.

What to feed swans:

Note: Any food fed to them should be in manageable size for swallowing. Foods should be as natural as possible, unprocessed without harmful additives.

Please refer to the natural diet as described above or on the relevant species pages … If possible, feed items that are close to their natural diet.

Particularly in the winter months when grasses or other plant vegetation is scarce, greens such as dark green lettuce, spinach, chopped/shredded carrots, celery and alfalfa sprouts and other vegetables and greens make a great supplement. Note that lettuce may be an acquired taste and the swans may take a while to get used to it. Any vegetables need to be cut up into small pieces. Remember, birds don’t have teeth!

Other foods to feed: Healthy popcorn (without artificial coloring and flavorings); corn / cracked corn; whole wheat GRAIN (not processed, not bread – natural state grain); whole oats; brown rice, lentils, split peas and smallish seeds

Equally loved and cherished are peelings from our own food preparations for dinner, such as broccoli, potatoes, green beans, cabbage — GENTLY steamed (only enough to warm up – NEVER cook and NEVER use the microwave to warm up) and feed warm (not hot) to swans who will especially appreciate that when it’s cold outside

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