So, a few nights ago I was wandering around my yard just after dusk, bent down to pick up a really lovely feather one of our girls dropped there, and found myself looking at the big, fat body of a huge carpet python! I traced my torch along it and it was definitely over 2m long, and about the thickness of my wrist. This thing was bigger than I've ever seen in the inner-city suburbs before.
Unfortunately it was on the move as I tried to arrange having it removed, so now I don't know where it's gone.
The house behind ours has been empty for quite some time, nearly a year, with a really overgrown and wild back garden, but that day someone was around working on the yard and had lights on that night. I think it's a safe bet that the snake had been living there and was disturbed by the lights and movement.
All our chickens have been coop-bound since I spotted it, as we're worried for their safety. But they usually free-range everyday so they're not exactly happy about this.
So a few questions then...
What do you think my likelihood of luring and trapping it is at this point? How long would it be wise to keep everyone confined to the coop for? How do you deal with snakes in your area? Considering it most likely came from the yard behind, and would have been there while our girls free-range daily this whole time without incident, is day time a safe time for letting them out for a scratch around? And what sort of setups do you have to protect from snakes?
Our coop is quite large (~3m long, 2ish wide, and I can stand in it), fully covered with wire mesh about 1cm square. Under it is heavy-duty fox and rat proof wire about 1 inch square, which protrudes about 15inches on all sides and is firmly pinned to the ground. There are no gaps. I feel fairly confident that nothing can get them while they're in the coop. But I feel so bad for them not being able to come out and play like they usually do. I'm planning on making a minnow trap style of thing out of chicken wire and seeing if I can lure this big fella out. Would eggs be good bait? I don't want to use rats or anything, and I certainly don't want to accidentally attract more snakes to our yard, haha.
Thanks in advance for any input.