Black snake eating eggs 1 hen?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by FeatherstoneFrm, May 23, 2019.

  1. FeatherstoneFrm

    FeatherstoneFrm Songster

    Aug 1, 2014
    Appling, GA
    I found a black snake in my nest box about two weeks ago. I don't kill black snakes because they kill the copperheads so I left him alone. Since then in have noticed him in the roof of the coop under the tin an few times. I put ping pong balls in all the tests and collect the eggs regularly.
    Am getting eggs from all but 1 hen. Is it possible that the snake has a preference?
    The hen doesn't appear to be egg bound. Eating and drinking fine and energetic. She is an Australorpe and a consistent layer.
    Opinions? Thanks
  2. Henriettamom919

    Henriettamom919 Songster

    May 1, 2019
    North of Seattle
    Is it possible the presence of the snake is stressing her out?

    How old are your girls? Has it been hot recently?
    Sequel likes this.
  3. DobieLover

    DobieLover Easily distracted by chickens

    Jul 23, 2018
    Apalachin, NY
    My Coop
    Can you better secure you coop to keep the snake out?
    I personally would not kill the snake either but I also wouldn't allow it in the coop. It could also be hurt by eating the ping pong balls.
    Sequel likes this.
  4. In the rafters, on the roof!
    Is this a walk in coop? I would be to squemish to go in there!
    Your answer will be to add hardware cloth to all the gaps and holes that he could be getting through. Then there is the open chicken door. How do you stop him from using that?
    Are your chickens free range or in a run?
    You also might have to capture this particular snake and relocate him a distance from your farm. He likes eggs, and may have to be removed.
  5. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I would remove the snake too. It may also be after mice around the coop but eggs are easier.
  6. FeatherstoneFrm

    FeatherstoneFrm Songster

    Aug 1, 2014
    Appling, GA
    My coop is an open pallet design inside a run. The snake doesn't bother me and I don't mind if it eats an egg here and there because I don't want to find another copperhead around the coop and these guy eat the copperheads.
    Yes the ping pong balls would kill it but it seems to be smart enough to avoid them. Someone else though ate both of my ceramic fake eggs over the last few months so this is not our first snake.
    I do check carefully before entering the coop and haven't seen it in several days.
    I just wondered if anyone else might have experienced this.
    Hazel, the hen in question, is 14 months old and has been laying consistently since Sept. All others are still laying so I'm thinking the snake is getting Hazel's eggs.
    IMG_20190510_135013889.jpg IMG_20190510_135453613.jpg IMG_20190510_135515041.jpg
  7. Fishkeeper

    Fishkeeper Crowing

    Oct 30, 2017
    Central Texas
    No, the snake wouldn't eat eggs from one specific hen. Now, it might eat eggs that are in one specific nest, if it specifically likes that nest. But it's not going to go through all the nests looking for eggs from one hen, it'll just grab whatever eggs are easiest to get.
    Why do you put ping pong balls in the nests? That'll kill your beneficial snakes.
  8. ConnieA

    ConnieA Songster

    Mar 9, 2015
    Can you smell the snake in Hazel's area? Snakes have a very distinctive odor. If you have any doubts, visit a pet store that sells reptiles.
    Willowspirit likes this.
  9. Fishkeeper

    Fishkeeper Crowing

    Oct 30, 2017
    Central Texas
    That smell tends to be more on where they live, not just where they've been lately. Or on the snake itself, if you're willing to pick up and smell one. They smell like warm scales if you're smelling the actual snake. Which I realize isn't a very helpful description when you don't know what scales smell like.
    FeatherstoneFrm and Mimi’s 13 like this.
  10. Mimi’s 13

    Mimi’s 13 fuhgettaboutit

    Jan 6, 2018
    Centre, AL
    Okay, black snakes and king snakes are good snakes, but I still don’t want them out and about where I can see them and definitely not inside my coop, in the walls, rafters or nest boxes. Eek!:eek:
    50-45-1 likes this.

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