Do chickens make snakes worse?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by buffy O's, Jun 21, 2009.

  1. buffy O's

    buffy O's In the Brooder

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    May 24, 2009
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    Oh, somebody tell me it isn't so![​IMG] I'm just wondering because I am totally scared-to-death of snakes. I don't mean 'oh, that scares me' I mean I am really, really, really scared, like a phobia I guess you would call it. Can't stand to see pics or anything of snakes.
    So I love my chickens, but I am really nervous about going out to the coop because I am so afraid, I don't want to give my chickens up tho. So I'm just wondering if they really do make them worse. We live out in the country and normally kill [my husband anyways] a few snakes each year.
    So far he has killed a black snake, chicken snake & a copperhead. The copperhead was while bush hogging and he didn't know it but guess who found it? Yeah, me! The other 2 were out by our chicken house which is where we normally see them even before we had chickens. I know they say black snakes keep away the bad snakes but they would keep me away too![​IMG]
    oh, yeah, one of my chickens ate 2 baby cooperheads, both around the chicken house, so I wondering where's the mama?! So we thought we would keep her because she is a good snake eater I guess you would say, well, wouldn't you know it , I think she is a he! [​IMG]

    thanks,
    Buffy
     
  2. dixiechick

    dixiechick Songster

    Everything loves to eat chickens! But I haven't noticed a boom in our snake population. I figure if the snakes come in, there is also a nice hungry chicken hawk who would settle for snake rather than my pen of chickens.

    Don't worry!
     
  3. HOUSE OF ROCK A DOODLE

    HOUSE OF ROCK A DOODLE In the Brooder

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    Apr 24, 2009
    I don't like snake either in person or pics they give me the willies ,but I have had free range chickens for 3 yrs and I haven't seen a snake. (murphy's law now I will) lol but I don' t find that chickens draw snakes could be wrong but I'm not going to start looking for them either.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2009
  4. HOUSE OF ROCK A DOODLE

    HOUSE OF ROCK A DOODLE In the Brooder

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    Apr 24, 2009
    COPPERHEADS ! Oh my goodness. aren't they poisoness? and don't they get pretty large I thought you were talking about garden snakes. eeeeeekkkkkk. good luck with that
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    Snakes will not eat grown chickens unless the snake is one of those huge pythons or boas which are not native to the US. They will eat baby chicks and eggs, however, so they are a predator.

    The chickens themselves probably do not attract snakes. I grew up on farm and in around 12 to 14 years of collecting eggs daily, I saw one black snake in the chicken house. It is pretty rare.

    What will attract snakes is vermin, especially mice. If you manage your flock in a way to minimize mice, you are doing a lot to keep the snakes away. Mice will be attracted to the feed. Store it in mouseproof containers. Have an active mouse trapping program. Keep the area around the coop clear so the mice and snakes do not have piles of stuff or tall weeds to hide in.

    Good luck!
     
  6. Camelot Farms

    Camelot Farms Chickenista

    Our big barnyard roo is a great snake deterent. He found a small black snake (18 inches) up by the porch and was doing his best to get ahold of it. We intervened but I think he would have had him even if we hadn't helped out.

    We have not seen a change in our snake population after adding our chickens...
     
  7. Marion

    Marion Songster

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    I agree with Ridgerunner, keep the vermin away and the snakes will go elsewhere looking. I personally would rather have a big ole rat snake hanging around than a disease carrying mouse. The copperheads would have to move on though!
     
  8. Boondachs

    Boondachs Songster

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    Mar 23, 2009
    Calvert County, MD
    Where do you live?
     
  9. Bridget399

    Bridget399 Songster

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    Apr 8, 2009
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    I'd be dumping mothballs around my coop. Just make sure there NO where where any of your birds or animals can get them. They are highly toxic. I put mine in old milk jugs with holes poked in the bottom. That way the rain doesn't dissolve them and the smell still get out. You can use snake away, but it smells just like mothballs and is quite expensive.
    Moth balls work for me. And I have black snakes, garter, and yellow racers. So far I haven't had one in the coop, just my house!

    I know how you feel about snakes. I was never afraid of them until we moved out here and have had so many!!
    Good Luck!
     
  10. LizzyJo

    LizzyJo Songster

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    I know what you mean about snakes.

    I lived near Stanford University at one time and the Psychology Department there placed an ad in the local newspaper to find people that were afraid of snakes. The idea was to cure the phobia with behavior modification therapy. They were so glad to find someone so phobic as me (I?). I couldn't look at pictures on TV (well they were moving, it didn't matter if they couldn't get me) or even static pictures in books. I didn't care if they were venomous or not, it was how they looked not the damage they might do.

    Anyway, the first session was to talk calmly to me about snakes in general and why I wanted to do this. Then I was taken to a hallway about 30 feet long with a door at the end of it. The student explained that there was a 10 x 10 foot room behind the door. The light was already turned on in the room. The room had a table against the far wall. The table had a glass aquarium with a sturdy screen cover over it. AND THERE WAS A SNAKE INSIDE THE GLASS CAGE! The idea was to see how close I could get to the hall side of the door. Then the challenge was to touch the door knob. Then I was to see if I could open the door. The first day I actually stood in the open doorway and looked at the unmoving snake in the secure cage 10 feet away. That was enough for me, I had to go home and rest.

    The next week I was able to gradually approach the cage, put on a big thick glove and actually touch the screen. I know how pitiful this sounds to people that aren't afraid of snakes, but those who are know how brave I was.

    I love animals and it always bothered me that I had this fear. Snakes (I used to be afraid of the word, even) are God's creatures too. Also I had a small child and I didn't want her to grow up with this same irrational fear. I guess you could say I was motivated.

    Anyway, it took about seven visits, once a week, until I was slowly brought to the point where I was actuallt sitting in a chair with a four-foot corn snake named Charlie (I think it was important that he had a name), draped around my body. To this day I really don't care to be around snakes, but if I see one I don't go into the panic-freeze thing. I can see pictures and tv snakes. If I had to pick one up for some reason, I guess I could, but I wouldn't like it. So far that hasn't been tested in 35 years.

    The point is, your fear can be cured, but I don't know if someone could do it alone. The people I feel sorry for are the ones that are terrified by moths or spiders. Those things are everywhere and can pop out at anytime. If snakes were as common as moths and spiders, I probably would have died from heart failure before I was ten.
     

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