ducks and snakes

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by TLWR, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The duck house is up on our deck. Ducks come up at dusk and sit in front of it until I go out and tell them it's bedtime and they get in their house and I lock them in.
    Today, while going through the scrap plywood pile, DH lifted a piece of ply and I saw a coil of snake and jumped back and DH dropped the board to figure out why I jumped back. I didn't look closely at it, not my style, I see a snake, I get as far away from it as I can. DH got a better look.

    I do know we have black racer snakes (or maybe black rat snakes - some pretty big). The one we saw tonight he thinks could have been a gray rat snake or something like that.
    I know eggs will be eaten if the snake finds it.
    But what about the ducks themselves. 3 pound Runners really aren't all that big...
    I thought I remember from initial research that we wouldn't have an issue. But one of the guys doing the gutters on the garage said the black racers will chase you down and would eat the ducks.

    So??? Do I need to worry about black racer (and maybe rat snakes) eating the girls????
    And how the heck do I try to protect them from that!
     
  2. MissusDee

    MissusDee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have seen big rat snakes in my duck pen, bumpy with eggs (no eggs for me that morning) with my mallards. The snake never seemed to bother them except the fact it was after the eggs. I would think little ducklings though would be prey to them. Mallards are pretty small for ducks.
     
  3. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Quote:Same here! We get black racers and yellow rat snakes all the time, I have to be quick to get any eggs. The hen in my avatar? She's standing about 12" from a 5' yellow rat snake, and she's a bantam Cochin. She just steps over the snakes.

    I have Mallards, too, and they just grumble at the snakes.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2011
  4. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Same here! We get black racers and yellow rat snakes all the time, I have to be quick to get any eggs. The hen in my avatar? She's standing about 12" from a 5' yellow rat snake, and she's a bantam Cochin. She just steps over the snakes.

    I have Mallards, too, and they just grumble at the snakes.

    Good - that's what I thought I found last year before I ordered them as I didn't want to be losing ducks to the snakes. But after the gutter guy told me the snakes we have here will chase a human down and eat the ducks if it sees them.... I was hoping he was crazy.
     
  5. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've never heard of a snake chasing down people, I don't know why people say stuff like that.
     
  6. ravnis

    ravnis New Egg

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    black racers will do that occasionally and they will whip at a person so to speak, but eat people... thats science fiction stuff as far as I know. Had 2 chase my dad and I ~50 feet(wasn't marking the distance at the time, so might be more or less) and then suddenly stop. I suspect it had a nest there, animals can do amazing things to protect their young. That was the only time I have seen it in 40+ years.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2011
  7. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:He never mentioned snakes eating people, just chasing them and eating the ducks.
     
  8. The Duck ABC's

    The Duck ABC's Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When I see a snake the first thing I look for is the head. A triangle shaped head tells you it is a viper and you have to worry about venom. A lizard shaped head mean it is a constrictor and it usually does not contain a venom. You cannot go 100% by that, but you can always go by the triangle head when it comes to venom. I'm lucky we live in an area where we do not have venomous snakes. The have the rattles reported, but they are rather rare here. The majorities are constrictors and we have lots of them. Racers or gopher/rat snakes are plenty of here. I love them, even though some of them get 5 feet long. What they eat are rodents, this means rats and mice. Rats and mice can be bad for ducks too. The snakes to like eggs, so if you can house your ducks in a way that they do not get the eggs you are fine. They will not take on ducks, but ducklings is another story. So be glad you have some snakes, because they take care of pets you don't want around either.
     
  9. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've always said it is a toss up between mice and snakes. At least mice are cute... outside. And I can trap those and DH can take care of them.
    Snakes - we do have 4 or 5 poisonous ones in southern AL. I know which ones they are and refreshed what they look like last night, but really, I don't pay enough attention and just leave as quickly as possible. I'm not just a little afraid of snakes, I'm petrified of them. I don't with them all harm, I just wish they'd stay well out of my sight. I leave them alone and they can leave me alone, which include being far far far away.

    Same crazy dude told me I could look into their eyes and the shape of the slit would tell me as well. Again, not getting that close to a snake!

    With the garage done, it is just final clean up to be done and we can clean up the last bits of stuff in the yard so hopefully we don't have great snake snoozing places.
     
  10. The Duck ABC's

    The Duck ABC's Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would not go that far either and check on eye shape. I leave mine alone. We have fields and a meadow around our property and the mouse population is really large. At night you can see all their eyes shining with just a flash light. There are hundreds! Had some problems with 3 foot long female garter snakes last year. The boys are quite short. They went into my koi pond and pulled some of the gold fish out and left them next to the pond. After that I went and caught them. I used a broom stick with a metal hook on it. A large bend nail on the end will work too. Was quite easy to catch them. I put them into a 5 gallon bucked put a lid on and drove them down to the reservoir where I released them into some vegetation. I do not like to touch snakes either, so the stick with hook is as close I like it. It is always a good idea to be familiarized with the local snakes. The Internet is great, because now you can search for pictures of snakes in your area.
     

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