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Powderpuff has some new additions to the farm- Mute swans

Mute swan cygnets
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2 days old

No ugly duckling
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Ive decided to make a page with what I have learned about Mute swans through my own experience. There is very little information to be found on breeding, raising & incubation for swans.
 
I will be adding photos & information on Mute swans on a regular basis. 
 
The first thing I want to write about is incubating & hatching. Mute swans incubation period varies from 35 to 44 days , I would assume its due to the fact that the female (pen) only lays eggs every other day.The clutch size ranges from 5-10 eggs, and is spread out over a period of weeks.
It seems as if the first laid eggs are the ones to hatch earliest, they are laid, then sat on for short periods over a couple to a few weeks while new ones are being laid.
My eggs were incubated in a still air incubator at the temp of 101 degrees. The humidy was on the high side . Since the hatch time varies, I had to guess when my eggs would hatch. It started with very slight movement of the eggs, then they were really rocking & rolling in the incubator, followed by peeps that i could hear through the egg. None of the cygnets had pipped into the air cell at this time.
After 2-3 days of all this commotion I decided to up the humidity even more, I wrapped each egg that was rocking & peeping in a paper towel, to form a ring (only covering the middle)..this was done loosely & the towels were dampened throughout the day. Day # 2 of the damp towels, we had pipping, it lasted well over 24 hrs..I cannot stress enough..these are the slowest birds I have ever seen at hatching. Must be due to those very long necks which have no strength.
On the 1st evening, I came home to a hatched cygnet, it was just laying there.
This baby laid on its side for nearly 24hrs, only every once in a while it would twitch or jerk its neck & head.
Meanwhile #2, 3 & 4 were right behind 1. The 4 of them laid exhausted for an entire day.After an entire day went by they started 1 by 1 lifting their heads, singing & moving across the brooder to cuddle one another.

Not quite fluffed out yet
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Beautiful silvery fluffballs

After sucessfully hatching 4 more, that makes 8 total..a 100% hatch rate which is excellent.

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