Anyone else have issues with snakes eating there squabs??

Discussion in 'Pigeons and Doves' started by Pigeon Power, Jul 29, 2014.

  1. Pigeon Power

    Pigeon Power Chirping

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    Indiana!
    I was just wondering if this has been an issue for anyone else. I have a lot of black rat snakes on my land and they where getting in thru my fly pen to my loft.....I had to redo all my fencing because they were even getting through chicken wire, not to mention the opening is three feet off the ground with NO ramp leading up to it. I'm still a bit worried about the cracks in the gate and at the bottom a few cracks were pen meets ground.
     

  2. av8torcrj

    av8torcrj Songster

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    So far this season I've lost 4 birds to snakes. The birds were all just at weaning age. Both times the snake had killed two birds and was in the process of swallowing one. The type of snake has been consistent, what we call a rat snake or chicken snake around here. Just the other night I found yet another lurking around the coop trying to get in. I have historically had a live and let live attitude regarding snakes especially since they help keep rodents under control. More recently however I have been leaning towards more of a " scorched earth" policy as I am growing weary with varmints and vermin that are after everything from my livestock to food crops. I have tried to seal all cages to prevent intrusion but the snakes are very persistent and can seem to manage their way through the smallest openings. I'm sorry for your losses and share your frustration. I've decided snakes are just plain gross.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
  3. loftkeeper

    loftkeeper Songster

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    we have them they come for the mice that eat the spilled or left try to control that next before bed make a trip to the loft and check make sure you look up in rafters this is when I find most snakes be sure bring shovei to remove dead snake worse thing I show was snake with grown bird stuck in mouth and couldn't swallow birds suffocate I have heard all the wives tales spread powder sulhpur ropes but only thing that works is tight loft and checking
     
  4. Pigeon Power

    Pigeon Power Chirping

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    Indiana!
    Thanks for your input everyone, I've had birds in three different locations in my life and have never had to even think about snakes. They are the worst! This year one snake ate four of my babies within two days(like you AV close to weaning). I had to shut them up for days before I got there fly pen re-done. I think in the future, with my next loft I will have my fly pen up off the ground. With this one I lined the whole fly pen with gardening netting. I like snakes and they do help a lot with keeping local rodent populations. However I had my husband kill this one because I honestly was just so angry...he ate two babies, the parents which I had been trying two years to breed...and finally did then the snake ate BOTH babies...then threw them up and came back for 3 and 4.....Hopeful now both snake and bird with be safe from each other. Lucky my loft is sealed shut (other then the fly pen door) and has no rafters loftkeeper...however I check for snakes a couple times a day now and try and shut up the fly pen door early in the evening because I think that's when snakes like to eat....evenings and early morning right?
     

  5. av8torcrj

    av8torcrj Songster

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    I can tell you a snake story that will make your skin crawl. Several years ago we were remodeling the kitchen. There were open holes in the floor where the plumbing entered the house. One afternoon I came home to find a snake skin hanging in one of the holes, half inside, half dangling into the crawl space below, all six feet of it. I searched carefully inside the house for the snake which was nowhere to be found. I assumed it came in, shed its skin, then left the way it came. I then plugged the holes. Fast forward two weeks. I had a pair of pigeon babies one of which was lagging behind in development and not getting fed enough. Before work I brought in the larger sibling so the runt could get the parents undivided attention for a few hours. The little guy was placed in a small basket in the living room. When I came home I immediately noticed the basket was empty. I was very surprised in that the little bird was too small to get out of the basket alone. Then it dawned on me...... And yes, a careful search revealed a fat nasty snake with a bulge in its belly curled up by the fireplace. That thing had been lurking inside my house for two weeks!!!!!
    To answer you question about when snakes hunt, I have mostly seen them on the prowl just at dusk but I have found them with a mouth full of my pigeons in mid afternoon.
     
  6. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Crowing

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    That's a very interesting story! That snake was living a life of luxury in your house.... a free fresh pigeon squab dinner and then a relax by the warm fire.... all he needed next was a cigar and a glass of wine.

    I do confess I like snakes.... I even have a pet corn snake. But I don't like them eating my birds. A few year back my ducks were going missing at the rate of one a week. At first I thought... one got lost, then maybe one got killed by a dog, and then maybe some was stealing them..

    It was after loosing 5 huge adult Muscovy ducks that my neighbor woke me up at 1 am after coming home from the city to see a huge python wrapped around one of my ducks on the road.

    It was too big to try to do anything... and the duck was dead. The snakes suddenly gave up the idea of a meal and rushed off and dived into the lake. It came back the week after and I saw it stalking my sleeping ducks on their island. After that I sold my ducks to a friend as I had no way to stop the snake.
     
  7. Pigeon Power

    Pigeon Power Chirping

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    Indiana!
    Ick both amazing stories! Makes my skin crawl~!
     

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