GIANT SNAKE = bye bye egg production.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Farmer Connie, Aug 2, 2018.

  1. Farmer Connie

    Farmer Connie All My Friends Have Hoofs

    16,025
    50,674
    1,207
    Feb 28, 2017
    Florida Peninsula
    My Coop
    Distress can play a major role in a dramatic decrease in egg production within your flock. A snake just being present and not necessarily eating the eggs can make your egg layers turn off their switch.
    RAIN, that is a reality we are dealing with at the moment. An unprecedented amount of precipitation. With the rain comes the need for rodents to seek out dry and higher ground. We are catching rats in record numbers right now in our barn. They are even up in the rafters.

    Back to egg production. Our barn is in close proximity to our big egg house. Currently it houses close to 100 egg layers. For the last few days, we have been collecting only 7 eggs! Yesterday, only 3 eggs. Good grief. We are still feeding the birds $ but getting no return for our investment.
    Proof positive their is a problem- we have 5 other hen houses far away from the barn and big hen house and they are producing a bounty of eggs!

    Last night, right at 11 P.M., upon locking down the barn, as I approached the building, all of the young newbie chickens in pens were flapping-jumping-screaming in mass hysteria! Great, drama at bedtime. A massive yellow rat snake was on patrol. Doing his job- seek and destroy rats- their staple.
    I yelled out for my secret weapon, hubby. He walks out a snatches it up while the young birds are still all going ape poop.
    aug 1 2018 (2).JPG
    These creatures are fabulous for rodent control but not so good for poultry egg production. If you have rodents, you have snakes too. If not now, soon enough you will. that's what they do. While you are watching Netflix and have your butt planted in your lazyboy chair, these creatures are trying to find a meal to survive. They come out at night, just like the rats do. aug 1 2018 (3) copy.jpg
    We measured the yellow rat snake at 6 ft 7 inches. The largest one we've caught ever was an 8 footer. This one is not as long but has a good circumference. Also this one is not aggressive. They have been thrashers in recent past. This one was almost tame. No twitching and very little constricting. Not fighting to get away at all. aug 1 2018 (2) copy.jpg
    So being my Husband, and all the ridiculous stuff he does, when I was putting the camera away, he came out from the hallway, from the bedrooms after I herd a scream. I said "why did you bring that thing in my house'?!. He knocked on our guests bedroom door and said open up, I think you lost something. What a clown. Try going back to sleep after that sight, being city folks.


    So hopefully egg production resumes here shortly. We are paying out a bunch of change for feed and almost zero return. In the meanwhile, DH has placed the snake in an old 100 gallon fish tank and is going to feed it rats from our live traps for a few weeks before releasing it. As a token of gesture for helping us keep the rodent population on it's toes and aiding in the reduction of the rodent's numbers. DSC03385.JPG





    Here is a pic of a recent past one who was mean and nasty- snake 3.jpg I guess this is why hubby is going to feed the friendly one.


    Never a dull moment.
     
  2. Chicken Whisperers

    Chicken Whisperers Songster

    300
    670
    167
    Jun 29, 2018
    Meridian Idaho
    That's a cool snake, but I agree that the chickens wouldn't like it. Last time I caught a snake it was a baby, only a foot or so long, and the hens thought he was a yummy worm!! I kept him away and eventually let him go. I guess it depends on how big the threat is to scare the eggs away!:gig
     
  3. DobieLover

    DobieLover Easily distracted by chickens

    3,048
    20,730
    932
    Jul 23, 2018
    Apalachin, NY
    My Coop
    I love that you are not killing the snakes! They serve a valuable purpose.
     
  4. Chicken Whisperers

    Chicken Whisperers Songster

    300
    670
    167
    Jun 29, 2018
    Meridian Idaho
    Yup: the bigger snakes around our house like to eat some of the mice that we have problems with. They sure can be helpful!
     
  5. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    18,662
    5,203
    511
    Nov 18, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
    I have electric around my coop. One day when I went out to the coops I noticed a snake in the fence it had been electrocuted. It's tail was on the ground and the rest of the body was across the electric wire and in the fence. About a week later there was another snake in the fence electrocuted in almost the exact same place.
     
    Kfults and Farmer Connie like this.
  6. Wow, Connie. I'm down here inland of Tampa and feel your pain with the rainy season. You guys got nailed up there.
    I'm doing a search to find out what is wrong with one of my Delaware hens, I'm not sure she's laid her first egg yet but some of my 6 month old hens have laid their first egg this week.
    She is squawking loud; almost a combination of cry and desperation, and walking around in the coop looking up at the windows. She jumps up on the roosting pole and looks up at the windows. I set her in the nesting box where there are a few eggs, but she walks out. I thought for a second "is she blind?" but it doesn't seem so. She's allowing me to pick her up, not thrashing, like she just wants me to help. She's looking me IN THE FACE.
    I was just in there again, and in the door threshold was a 6" baby striped snake, reared up and ready for battle. I don't know if that's why she's been looking up, checking for snakes or not. I threw a rag over it and threw it far away into the field. It could've fit through a very small hole, and since I don't see any tiny eggs or other snakes I'm assuming it got in that way.
    I don't know what's upsetting her, and that squawk-cry is painful to listen to. I'm painting the outside of the coop right now, so I'm nearby, but not too close.
    If you've got any ideas, I'd love to hear them.
     
  7. Yes they are. In fact small snakes are relished by chickens, eagerly consumed, and they make hens lay more eggs, not fewer.

    BTW, from the picture of her hubby's left thumb it looks like the shake made him hurt himself
     
  8. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    24,808
    4,265
    586
    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    I lost quite a few chicks, cockerals and pullets to yellow rat snakes when I lived in southeast Georgia. Mean snakes, they even went after my birds during the day.
    19157_003sn.jpg 5601988.jpg
     
  9. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    18,662
    5,203
    511
    Nov 18, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
    This one was lurking around one of the coops.
    snake 045.jpg
     
  10. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    24,808
    4,265
    586
    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Ugh, Eastern Diamondback :(
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: