Avoiding Snakes

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Nancy, May 15, 2007.

  1. Nancy

    Nancy New Egg

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    May 15, 2007
    Hi chicken peeps:

    I am new to the site. I live in Dallas, TX and have confirmed that the City of Dallas allows hens but no roosters in my backyard. I plan to use my hens only for eggs, not for meat or breeding.

    My next step is to read as much as I can about chicken raising before I bring in 3 or 4 to my backyard. My biggest concern is not the time commitment, cost, etc. but rather the possibility of attracting SNAKES!! We live in a heavily treed area next to a small storm drainage "creek" that already attracts rats. I don't want our nearby chicken coop to be the next stop for the rats, and then the SNAKES!!! I love and respect nature generally, but am very scared of snakes. I would appreciate your responses to the following:

    1. Are snakes just part of the territory; that is, do you just learn to deal with them and after a while get used to them?

    2. If the answer to the above is yes, how often do they appear in the coop and the run?

    3. Can I feed my chickens during the daytime and remove the primary food source in the p.m. so that the rats (and snakes) aren't lured into the run in the p.m., or does the food source need to be out there continuously for the chickens?

    4. Even if I control the food source to only be available to the chickens during the daytime, are rats also attracted to the chicken poop (not sure the correct name for this), especially if it contains bits of grain, or is this not a problem?

    5. I plan to build a coop that is attached to a large outdoor run. If I assure that the coop is totally sealed (other than screened cross ventiallation, closing entry doors for humans, and a chicken entry to the run) and I make the outside walls and roof of the run out of 1/2 inch hardware cloth, wll this keep out the snakes?

    3. Any other suggestions as to how I can avoid snakes?

    Thanks for sharing your experience with me!

    Nancy
     
  2. houndit

    houndit There is no H or F in Orpington!

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    I have very seldom in the 8 tears of chicken raising had a snake in the hen house/yard . Sometimes if it is small the chickens will just eat the snake. The rats are attracted to feed no matter what. We have not had them cause any trouble. Chickens will even sometimes eat a rat or mouse. You could take away the feed at night if you wanted to. That would not bother the chickens at all.
     
  3. Lu King

    Lu King Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We put our chicken feed in large metal garbage cans, so the mice and rats can't get to it.

    I don't know about people in other areas of the country, but from what my friends and neighbors around here tell me is that dogs are their worst problem.
     
  4. halo

    halo Got The Blues

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    My Coop
    Quote:
     
  5. Chicken Boo

    Chicken Boo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As far as I know, your only real problem with snakes are if they are big enough to eat the eggs once your chicks are too big for a snake to swallow. They will steal the eggs right out of the nest. The snakes in my area that are big enough have not found the egg source yet. [Knock on wood]



    Last summer, when my chicks were ~3-4 months old, there was a garter snake in the garden with them. They had the poor little guy surrounded and were about to pounce. If I did not just happen to have a couple pieces of bread for the girls as a treat in my hand, he would have been divvied up in hunks.

    I do suggest that you do your best to limit possible entrances for snakes and any other possible predators.

    Good Luck.
     
  6. TammyTX

    TammyTX Overrun With Chickens

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    Rat snakes will be a problem. We had to kill a small one the second night our chicks (five weeks old) were out.

    You are further north so maybe y'all won't have the same problems we've had but it was not unusual for us to have a four foot rat snake in the coop with our old flock. They ended up with more eggs than we did in the end.

    New flock, new rules...kill every snake we see.
     
  7. Edfewlass

    Edfewlass Out Of The Brooder

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  8. theOEGBman

    theOEGBman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 13, 2007
    Central California
    Mice and rats tend to come with the chickens, and snakes come with the mice and rats. Keeping your feed up at night and in metal bins would definitely help. I love snakes and have never had any mess with my chickens, its pretty frustrating actually,lol. Keep a bucket and a long stick handy. Whenever you find one, scoop it up and put it in the bucket. Drive far away and let the thing go, it will help keep down your rodent population.
     

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