Can Snakes Climb Hardware Cloth?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by TwoCrows, Oct 13, 2018.

  1. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the word!

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Ok snake experts, I need some information. In all my years I've never had trouble with baby snakes slithering through the 1/2 inch hardware cloth my my run. There must have been a load of Garter snakes born in the yard close by somewhere because its been a banner year for these babies getting into the run. I've seen them come right in through the wire! And because we also have rattlers here too, I need to nip this in the bud.

    So I am thinking of putting up 1/4 inch hardware cloth 2 feet up from the bottom of the run, I don't want to cover the entire thing due to cost. My question is, can they climb hardware cloth? I've seen snakes stick to just about anything their scales can get a grip on, if they can climb hardware cloth I'm not sure if 2 feet is enough? These particular baby snakes are about 12" to 16" in length. You can see I attempted to wire up more 1/2 inch wire offset so that the holes are smaller but still found them able to get in. Help!

  2. HuffleClaw

    HuffleClaw Quack!

    Jul 8, 2018
    I’m not sure, but your coop is GORGEOUS! :love
    Lady_Bat, Geena, puffypoo and 6 others like this.
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    No experience here, but I am betting that they can. I've seen black snakes climb right up a tree and on numerus occasions have seen garter snakes up in shrubs.
  4. MissChick@dee

    [email protected] ~ Dreaming Of Springtime ~

    Aug 18, 2017
    Caliente Nevada
    How about buying a roll of screen you know the replacement rolls for screen doors is fairly cheap.
  5. Shadrach

    Shadrach Roosterist

    Jul 31, 2018
    Catalonia, Spain
    My Coop
    The snakes here can climb a tarpaulin:eek:
    Lady_Bat, puffypoo, WthrLady and 5 others like this.
  6. DobieLover

    DobieLover Easily distracted by chickens

    Jul 23, 2018
    Apalachin, NY
    My Coop
    The rocks around your coop are the perfect habitat for snakes to live in. That is likely drawing a lot of snakes to your coop.
  7. penny1960

    penny1960 Going back to La La Land

    Dec 29, 2015
    Mossyrock, WA
    No opinion on snakes from me saw the first little garter snake maybe 6 inches long they have to stay in the main yard or the chickens eat them
  8. coach723

    coach723 Crowing

    Feb 12, 2015
    North Florida
    Small (baby) snakes can go right through 1/2 hardware cloth. You have to use no larger than 1/4 inch to stop them. If your snakes are climbing, the fence has to be slanted outward at about 30 degrees to stop them being able to climb, or has to be very smooth and slick.

    Lady_Bat, dawg53, Texas Kiki and 12 others like this.
  9. Evelyn's Mom

    Evelyn's Mom Songster

    Hello! I agree, your coop is sure pretty! About snakes. Some climb better than others, garters aren't the best climbers but they certainly can and do if they want to. I have one in captivity here at work. I would say they can't climb straight up 1/4" hardware cloth but if it is slanted, wavy, or a little imperfect, they will certainly try. Also, garter snakes aren't known for eating chicken eggs, so may be after worms, insects, frogs, and small mice. They are great hunters...also, chickens will sometimes eat small snakes so good luck to the babies that wander in! Garter snakes give birth to live young so the mom has to give birth nearby for there to be a lot of them, and around here, late summer and fall is baby snake season.
    That said, many other snakes are most excellent climbers, as you stated. Especially black rat snakes and black kingsnakes. Those two are well known for climbing and eating baby birds, eggs and also chicken eggs if they can get them. I would definitely try to keep the big ones out. These "black" ones can climb nearly any rough surface so minimizing gaps and holes will go a long way in keeping them out. Also, keeping mice out will help. So having them "around" is good! " IN " the coop, is not so good. As for rattlesnakes, you're on your own there... not the best climbers I think, but I'm not a rattler expert! Best of luck to you!
  10. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the word!

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Wow, thank you all for your complements, comments and suggestions, you guys are fabulous! :bow :clap :hugs

    I never thought baby mice could fit through 1/2 inch hardware cloth but they do as well! They used to get in and scurry into the coop as too but I have since put a stop to them entering the coop. But they still do occasionally get into the run at night I am sure.

    As for the rocks along the outside, Lizards love to hang out there in the summer basking themselves in the heat and the smaller Lizards can also squeeze through the cloth too. (Had I known all these things could get in, I would have originally used 1/4 inch cloth!! :barnie) This is how I first saw a small snake get in through the wire, I was sitting with a chicken on my lap in the coop and I heard all this clawing at the wire on the outside of the run, there I saw a Lizard running for it's life coming into the run with a snake in hot pursuit! So no doubt yes, the snakes find these rocks appealing to hang out in.

    Also, something else I changed up early last year, Feb., 2017. I switched from sand to wood mulch. Sand was SO dirty and the clean freak than I am, :lol: I couldn't take the dust anymore. Wood mulch is SO much cleaner, warmer in the winter, smells good, just an all around nice bedding. I keep a big pile behind the coop and THIS is what I suspect attracts snakes. Obviously these babies were just born in July or Aug, and are now looking for winter hideouts. My coop and run smell just like this mulch and appears to them to be a perfect place to hibernate out of the weather. Snakes love to den up together, last thing I need is for the baby Rattlers to join in! :barnie (Fortunately Rattlers are pretty rare at this altitude of 7,000 feet and cold winters, but we do see Prairie Rattlers on occasion).

    The "screen" idea that @[email protected] mentioned isn't a bad idea, but if they can climb Tarpaulins like @Shadrach mentioned, maybe this won't work? I need to watch the video that @coach723 left for me. And thank you @Evelyn's Mom for all the valuable info on Garter snakes! And thank you to the rest of you, you guys gave me the support I was looking for!! :hugs

    I will stew on this and let you know what conclusions and actions I take to solve this issue!! We are expecting HIGHS in the 30's next week, snow too, so most of these snakes should be burrowed up somewhere by now or soon! (yeah, in my mulch pile and hidden in the bedding of the coop, run, under the nest boxes. :oops:)

    Thank you again to ALL of you!!! :)

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