A saga of a rat snake encounter

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by HighSpringsChix, Nov 13, 2008.

  1. HighSpringsChix

    HighSpringsChix Songster

    Oct 23, 2008
    High Springs, FL
    My 2 year old and I went out to collect eggs this afternoon. The coop is a raised A frame with hinged flaps. I lifted the flap, grabbed 3 eggs, turned to put the flap down when SWEET JESUS! THERE'S A SNAKE! It was right there on the 'soffit' of the coop. It could have nailed my arm pit while I was getting the eggs. I almost had a heart attack, and my little girl was saying 'Wow Mommy! There's a snake! It's really cool.' It was brown with black stripes and odviously not poisonous, thank goodness. It just sat there and watched us while I gave my little girl a snake safety lesson.

    It turned out to be a yellow rat snake, which the BYC search turned up as bad to have around chickens. So, armed with rake and machete, I reluctantly went to kill it. (The spawn, much to her dismay, had to stay in the house.)

    The snake was still in the exact same place when I returned. I lined it up for a killing blow, apologized for having to kill it, then whack! ... Whack!.... Whackwhackwhack!... Did I tell you I have the worst machete skills in the world? If I had backed up 100 yards and used a rifle, I could have hit it. But 3 feet of machete blade away? Totally missed. It sort of crawled up the coop, seemingly not to worried.

    I ran around the coop to the door of the run and knocked it off the front of the coop onto the wire. Then ran back out or the run, around the coop, and whack! whack!...whackwhack! I did manage to flip in onto the wire on top of the run. So, I ran back around the coop and whacked at it a couple more times, and flipped it back to the other side. Then I ran back around the coop. It was hanging in the wire, looking at me. It still didn't act afraid. I lined it up (again) for the killing blow... This time I managed to flip it onto the chickens' ladder into the coop. So, I ran back around the coop, to the door of the run, into the run and pinned the nigh-invulnerable pest to the board. (oh, did I mention I was dragging a rake around with me this whole time?) This time I managed to chop it's head of with a single blow of my mighty (dull) machete. TASTE DEFEAT, REPTILE!

    I still felt bad for having to kill it.
  2. TaLani

    TaLani ~ Gemini Chick ~

    Oct 2, 2008
    Bryson City, NC
    What a horrible ordeal! Glad you nor your 2yo got bit! Yuck, I can't stand snakes. I used to live in Bradenton & my grandparents had a pond on their property that I thought was the gathering place on the entire planet for water moccasins! Nasty mean creatures! [​IMG] Glad to know you guys are okay, but what a learning lesson for your little girl - wow! [​IMG]
  3. k0xxx

    k0xxx Songster

    Mar 29, 2008
    North Central Arkansas
    Rat snakes are pretty docile. If you don't have chicks, and you can keep them out of the coop and away from the eggs, they're nice to have around. However, you'd be surprised how small of a hole that one of them can get through. It's a tough call, but sometimes you just have to "whack" them. You handled the situation well.
  4. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator

    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    You might want to sharpen that machete. [​IMG]

    Glad the snake wasn't dangerous to you or your daughter. [​IMG]

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