I'll look twice the next time I turn the corner to my Silkie pen...

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Chellester, May 17, 2008.

  1. Chellester

    Chellester Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 22, 2007
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    A couple of days ago, I was doing my afternoon check on my chickens. I have 4 breeding pens lined up inside a fenced yard, and I was walking along the front of the pens to check the birds, make sure they had enough food and water, check for late eggs, etc. The second to the last pen is the largest of the 4 and sticks out a bit, which hides the last pen, which is my Silkie pen, from view until I turn the corner and am right on it.

    I turn the corner around the largest pen to open up the door to the Silkie pen, and this is what greeted me...




































    [​IMG]

    This is a California gopher snake. Somehow it had wound its way up the side of the pen by winding its way through the chicken wire and got itself firmly stuck in three places. It was right at eye level and right by the door latch to open the Silkie pen!

    Now, I'm not afraid of snakes, but this definitely suprised me and I let out a little yelp! After the initial shock, I took a little closer look and saw what had happened. It was still alive, and mostly okay except for obviously being very stuck and it's skin being scraped up in a few places.

    After checking to make sure my Silkies were okay, I called for my DH to help me get the snake out of the wire. There was no way to just pull the snake free of the wire without killing it, so my DH grabbed a pair of wire cutters and cut the wire away while I held the snake's body away from where my DH was cutting the best I could (I'm the only one in my family that is not afraid to handle snakes).

    After we got it free, I walked with it wrapped around my arm for about 1/4 mile and released it in a brush pile. It was remarkably calm during the whole ordeal, but I did hold it right behind it's head the whole time just to be on the safe side. [​IMG] This was one of the largest gopher snakes I have seen; I estimate it was around 4 1/2 feet long.

    I have no idea what it was doing in my Silkie pen and why it decided to climb up the side of the pen in the chicken wire... I don't know if these kind of snakes will go after eggs, I have no chicks in these pens, and a full grown Silkie would be way too much for a snake of this size to handle. Maybe it was just looking around the chicken pens hoping it would get lucky and find something small enough to eat, and ended up being pecked at by a barrage of Silkie beaks and decided the best direction to head was up. Whatever the reason was, it sure made for an interesting afternoon! [​IMG]

    Here's another pic of the stuck snake from the inside of the pen:

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

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    What a stupid snake!

    Glad you got it out - but now your pen is messed up - or were you able to repair that?
     
  3. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

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    [​IMG] [​IMG] And here I thought reaching into the scratch bin and being greeted by a mouse was a surprise!!! LOL!

    [​IMG] That was nice of you to, um, relocate him... glad he didn't get dinner before you found him!
     
  4. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Stupid thing! I'm sure it was going for the eggs (or was trying to, anyway).
    I had a California King attempting to snatch eggs... As far as I know, it never actually got any...I caught it Steve Erwin style while is was cruising across the backyard. [​IMG] It scared the heck out of DH because I just got up from the chair, ran over and grabbed it! We rehomed him a mile away in in a big field.
    Be on the lookout for another snake... Where there is one Cal Gopher snake, there is another!
     
  5. Chellester

    Chellester Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 22, 2007
    Nor Cal
    Quote:My DH only had to cut in one place in each of the three spots where the snake was stuck, then we were able to bend back the wire and pull the snake out without causing it any further injury. So the damage to the wire isn't too bad at all... the "holes" in the chicken wire are just twice as big now where the snake was stuck at. [​IMG]
     
  6. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

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    California
    Quote:Where was the video camera? [​IMG]
     
  7. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Quote:Where was the video camera? [​IMG]

    To me, it's no big deal.... But to my city slicker DH? He about died. We were talking, and next thing he knows, I'm up and running, he doesn't know what I'm doing, and then I have a snake in my hands. [​IMG] He wasn't so sure when I told him to jump in the Jeep and take me to the nearest field!
    I probably would have thought twice before up and grabbing a big boy like that gopher snake, though! [​IMG]
     
  8. countryatheart

    countryatheart Out Of The Brooder

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    May 3, 2008
    Victoria, TX
    Shudder!!!! I am not a snake fan. I do not believe in just killing them either. I too, recently ran into a 3 ft. rat snake in my chicken coop. I have since, closed some gaps in the door. However, this is only helpful at night when the door is closed! The snakes are more active this time of year-my brother recently nearly knelt down on a spread adder in his garden. My dad killed a western diamond back at the deer camp/ranch, and several other people I've talked to have seen various kinds of snakes recently.
     
  9. Buster

    Buster Back to Work

    Hey that's a crazy thing to happen! DW is proud of you for handling the snake, she loves snakes! I don't mind them myself. I would have jumped a little too at seeing that thing at eye level. Glad it all worked out for you and the snake and the silkies.
     
  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    We have had to cut rat snakes out of deer netting more times than I want to remember. How they get their bodies through those little 1/2" holes, I have no idea, but they manage. And we always rescue and release them. (Jordan, are you reading this?????)

    Edited for stupid wrong word usage, sorry
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2008

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