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What kind of yardbird will kill snakes

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I have had my farm for 4 years now. we have a swamp behind us that when it rains it fills up, and we get a influx of cottonmouths, cane break and other snakes that are poisonist. They have been eating our eggs, and yesterday my dog was bitten by a cottonmouth. I had heard that I should get about 20 guineas to take care of the problem. I have also heard that if I do get them that my dogs and other wild animals will eat them. Can someone help?
Thanks Vicky

post #2 of 10

Indeed, guineas will help with your snake problem! They will make a whole lotta noise while they're at it, though, so just be aware and do your reading on them before deciding on them for certain. They're awesome birds, but they're not for everyone.

Works at a farm animal sanctuary, vegetarian, former wildlife rehabber.

My flock: 70+ chickens (serama, OEGB, various breeds of bantams, and many more!), 9 ducks (6 call, 3 east indies), 3 peafowl, 1 Narragansett turkey, 1 Canada goose. Plus 2 corgis, 1 border collie, 3 cats, 2 horses, 2 cockatiels.

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Works at a farm animal sanctuary, vegetarian, former wildlife rehabber.

My flock: 70+ chickens (serama, OEGB, various breeds of bantams, and many more!), 9 ducks (6 call, 3 east indies), 3 peafowl, 1 Narragansett turkey, 1 Canada goose. Plus 2 corgis, 1 border collie, 3 cats, 2 horses, 2 cockatiels.

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post #3 of 10

How would a guina fowl get rid of such snakes?  Even the newborn are close to being too large to consume.

Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.
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Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.
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post #4 of 10

centrarchid wrote: How would a guina fowl get rid of such snakes?  Even the newborn are close to being too large to consume.


Snake can only contend with one at a time.  A `pack' of guineas would probably work them over like midget turkey hens on amphetamines.

Our turkey hens tag team and kill 2ft. snakes (one in front keeping snake's attention, the other pecking at the back of its head).  Once smaller ones are done in it is quite the game for them to contend for the meal.  They have chased 6ft. Rat snakes up into the trees.  Have a much better idea of how many snakes there actually are on this property (save most from the kind attentions of the turks) owing to the turkey's low regard for serpents.


Edited by ivan3 - 4/25/11 at 5:21pm
post #5 of 10

Another reason to argue against my wifes interest in guineas.  I like my copperheads. To me they are cute with little yellow tails and our Osage variety is most beautiful.

Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.
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Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.
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post #6 of 10

My nephew just got bit by a copperhead...4 vials of anti venin and 3 days in the hospital and he's still not back to normal.

   
the beach
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the beach
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post #7 of 10

I know several folks that have been bitten by copperheads or cottonmouths, including an uncle that got popped multiple times at once while rolling over a log during swamp draining activites..  All survived, some prior to availability of anti-venom.  All got sick or at least swollen up yes, but a farm tractor is a lot more dangerous.  Death by pit vipers in U.S. pretty rare.

Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.
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Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.
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post #8 of 10

centrarchid wrote:     I like my copperheads. To me they are cute with little yellow tails and our Osage variety is most beautiful.


Saved a little one from the circling chicken gang years ago.  Considering that there hasn't been a single death recorded in Missouri, since records started to be maintained, directly attributable to  Copperhead envenomation, alone, we let `em slither.

If you live within a 1/4 mile of a road and let the guineas range, you'll probably be free of the guineas soon enough (only fowl I've ever seen killed by cars, on both gravel/asphalt roads, in Central MO).

post #9 of 10

Neighbor has guineas down road.  They cross road constantly and seem hellbent on taking me out when I drive through on motorcycle.  I sometimes have to drive so slow that almost tip over to keep them from darting across my path at last instant.

Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.
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Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.
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post #10 of 10

Get a cassowary- saw one on tv the other day.  It's a 5 foot tall electric blue dinosaur bird.... of course they said it's considered the "most dangerous bird in the world" and it might disembowel you with its giant talons..... personally I'd rather have poisonous snakes; I can always relocate them.  Seriously- I don't know how big your property is but maybe a low small gauge chicken wire fence (2 ft) on the swamp side would at least keep out or redirect the larger ones.

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