I think snakes are coming at night and stealing my broody's eggs.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by HippieChickyMama, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. HippieChickyMama

    HippieChickyMama Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 27, 2009
    Tecumseh, Kansas
    Hello,
    I think snakes are coming at night and stealing my broody's eggs. We mark the eggs with the date and they have been disappearing one or two at at time for the last couple weeks. The only thing it could be is a snake. I have read a bunch of posts on here but the posts seem to get really off track with snake lovers getting mad that people are advocating killing the snakes and arguments about how "great" snakes are, or how to kill them. The problem is that I haven't seen one yet. I can't kill it, or dispatch it to a far away place if I can't see it. I don't care to hear about how wonderful snakes are. I just want to keep them out of my coop. I don't want my 4 year old to reach her hand into a nest box to collect eggs and get bitten by a snake. I live in Kansas where we have both "safe" snakes and Venomous ones and I can't tell the difference. It doesn't matter anyway.....safe or not they are eating my eggs and that is just not ok with me! So, if you have a solution as to how to keep them out of my coop, please help. I can't spread moth balls or other chemicals because my birds free range. Does anybody know if DE will bother the snakes? Or if crushed egg shells will keep them out? I was told that if you bake the eggshells then it won't cause the birds to start eating eggs. True? No? Any deterrent that works but won't hurt my birds? I have 8 guineas but at night they roost 3 storys up on the very top of my barn. I also have turkeys. Thank you and Peace~~~
     
  2. Kenabelle

    Kenabelle Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 27, 2009
    I had the same problem (well have as it happened again last night). Sorry for your loss, I'm seething too, and I have pet snakes. I'm pretty sure I'm going to sit out there with my shotgun though, to take care of the problem. I've been researching this today, and though I'm pretty new here on BYC, no one had responded so I thought I'd put in my two cents! [​IMG] so, about three months ago I had this problem, and used snake away (a chemical product around the perimeter of the fence), and it worked. The snake had taken 10 of my chicks, 3 of which he couldn't swallow because they were too big, just left them dead with spit covered heads [​IMG]. With only 2 babies left, I put the snake away around the outside and they made it to adulthood. However, now it's washed away and he ate 4 eggs last night, and even killed the brooding hen. Plus, I hear it's not safe for chicken consumption, so probably not good for you. Anyway, I understand how it is so frustrating. I've heard agricultural lime sprinkled around will help deter snakes, and won't hurt, but do your own research, I haven't tried it. Also a thick line of oyster shell around perimeter is supposed to be uncomfortable for their bellies to slide over. And oyster shells are good for chickens to eat, as well. I've heard a radio playing on talk radio will keep them away because of the human voices, but snakes can't hear very well, so don't know how much truth there is to that. You might try a circle of flour around the coop to make sure it's a snake, it will have to cross the flour and will inevitably leave a tell-tale belly path. You might try moth balls inside a plastic container with holes poked in it so the smell permeates and the chickens won't be able to get to contents. Is your coop raised off the ground? You could wrap the legs in sticky paper so the snake will get stuck or won't be able to pass. Also, just reinforcing coop is a good idea. I'd put hardware cloth over any and all cracks and openings. Hope you find something that works. Sorry again about your snake problem, like I said, I'll be out in my coop with a shotgun this week.
     
  3. chickensrfood

    chickensrfood Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 24, 2010
    Use the hardware cloth half inch will keep out all snakes. It is likely a rat snake coming in at night. get yourself some netting and place it around the nesting hen. The snake will get tangled in it. Like I said though using the smaller mesh for the whole coop fixes the entire problem from ever occurring. Also elevating nest boxes on smooth wood surfaces can keep a snake from reaching them.
     

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