Friday, July 26, 2013

Snake Problem? Let's Fix It!

Hello Chicken Raising Chicks!

This Summer we, and many others, are having a bit of a snake problem.

There are many lakes in our areas that are reporting snake sightings by the dozens.

If you own chickens or other birds this can be a problem for you.

There are many breeds of snakes to be wary of, but a definite worry is the chicken snake.

File:Red Chicken Snake Image 002.jpg
(Image courtesy of Wikipedia)

Chicken Snakes can vary in color from light brown to dark brown to jet black.

So how can you tell if what you're dealing with is a chicken snake?

Well, they tend to hide out in your coop doing this:

Pretty sight huh?

This creatures are an absolute pain to pretty much all chicken raisers.

We recently lost about 12 eggs to one of these sneaky little things.

So, what the heck should you do?

Well first I want to make something clear.

There are a lot of people who have a problem killing snakes. I understand completely and I agree that not all snakes should be killed when you catch them. After all, not all snakes are poisonous or even harmful. Some of them are actually beneficial, such as the rat snake.

However, I personally think that a chicken snake should always be killed when it is caught.


Because chicken snakes are very harmful. Not usually to you, but to your flock.

A single chicken snake can eat dozens of eggs, and then stick around until he's hungry again and then eat more. And on top of that, if your chickens are small enough or if they try and fight back when the snake is eating the eggs, the snake could harm or even kill your chicken.

Even if you catch the snake and release it before it does any damage to your flock, you might be causing someone else a bunch of trouble when that very same snake finds a new chicken coop to raid.

Now, that is my opinion and I ask you to consider it, but the choice is ultimately up to you.

There are many humane snake traps. Simply searching "snake traps" on Google gave me about 4,050,000 results. And you could always find some other way to catch it. I've read that spreading mothballs around the outside of the coop helps keep snakes away, as they hate the smell.

However, if we are agreed on the idea of the chicken snake = varmint then read on.

 The tried and true way of all of our great grandparents is to knock its head clean off with a hoe or shovel. Heck, my great uncle could snap its head off with his bare hands.

But, due to Miranda's any my research after our snake incident, we have found another solution.

Wooden Eggs.

Yep. The kind that can be purchased for about a dollar.

The idea is to keep the wooden eggs in an area where the snake will likely eat them. If you don't mind sacrificing a few other eggs then you could place them all together. Keep them away from your chickens so that they don't get defensive and try to save the eggs.

If the snake eats any of the wooden eggs he should die, as its body can't simulate it. You could also use golf balls.

This is by far the most simple solution and many chicken raisers swear by it.

But, as our snake left after he ate a dozen eggs and injured our rooster, we didn't get to try it out ourselves.

So if this works for you, please let us know.

Thanks for stopping by,

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