Mites & a Snake

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Xanadu, Aug 23, 2013.

  1. Xanadu

    Xanadu Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 20, 2012
    Well I went out to the run/coop day before yesterday to get the eggs & found a 4 1/2 foot snake inside the cat litter converted nesting box in a circle around two eggs. Since I have gotten as many as three eggs I am wondering if he ate one. I scared him away with my husbands grabber stick as he was smaller in diameter than the opening of the grabber stick or I would have carried him outta there. My husband thinks he was a venomous snake because he had a diamond shaped head with indentations behind the head. I don't know what kind he was I just wanted him out of the nest box and out of the coop and run but he slithered behind a hay bale I have in there and I couldn't get to him. The previous night I had spent picking teeeny tiny little black dots off myself by painting them with superglue and peeling them off with the result of some seriously itchy spots left behind. Then it happened again the "night of the snake" visit and I am suspecting they are mites either from the chickens or the hay as I usually sit on a concrete block when I go into the run with them and try to get them to get used to me enough to jump onto my lap for a mealworm treat. The two oldest will follow me through the yard to the lightweight tractors I made for them out of plastic toddler enclosures with welded wire roofs but the younger four are not so cooperative yet as the only two I have tried that with so far didn't want to go where I wanted them to yet. Hence the treat training. But I digress. I am hoping for advice as to how I can collect eggs, catch the younger chickens to take back & forth to the tractors and do other coop/run related activities without becoming an ongoing meal for the tiny black bugs. I am scratching and itching as I speak. I have since covered the entire downstairs wood floors with diatomaceous earth including some in my bed, put my rubber coop boots into a bag of diatomaceous earth and completely covered them inside & out with it, laundered & hot dryer dried all the clothing I've worn out there. But now I'm gun shy & they need their food not to mention tractor time. I'm heading out to feed them regardless if I have to throw it through the welded fencing but am forlornly wondering if I have to get rid of my chickens which would mean giving them to the Chicken rescue group in Memphis that takes loving care of them until they die naturally. My husband says he is gonna have a guy come take all the hay outta there but I don't know if that's gonna solve the problem. My husband is in a wheelchair or he would brave the bugs and do it. I'm sure among all you VERY knowledgeable chicken afficianados out there is some good advice for me. I hate to give up my girls (and one surprise of a very beautiful rooster) but I can't handle itching like this going on long term.
     
  2. Xanadu

    Xanadu Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 20, 2012
    I guess I said something wrong as everyone else who has posted on this subject has at least one reply. Oh well. Managed by putting my boots into a large plastic bag with a scoop of DE and coating my hands & arms up to my elbows with the DE & an intense hot scrubbing shower immediately to feed my girls & collect the eggs yesterday without waking up last night with new bugs so I did it again today. If I go bug free again tonight I'll know I've at least got a system. I also created them a very good dusting hollow with DE in several places in the run which surrounds the playhouse/coop and lightly sprinkled most of the rest of the coop & run with it. Now if we don't all get pnuemonia (sp?) from breathing the DE we're good. The snake hasn't shown back up so far so we're good there also but I do want to get a snake stick (with a loop on the end).
     
  3. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    Try dusting with Sevin dust for the bugs. Large, unindented blocks of text are hard to read.

    A book on snakes will show you the photographs of snakes so you can tell which ones are poisonous. Most of the snakes one encounters are not poisonous.

    Chris
     
  4. Xanadu

    Xanadu Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 20, 2012
    Thank you for the advice on the bugs Chris.

    I agree with you about the large block of text. I will try to amend my ways.

    Oh and my son thought we would have to kill the snake but I would never do that unless I thought it was a rattle snake and I couldn't find any other way to protect my chickens & eggs. I feel strongly that they also want to live and have their place in the ecology. Since I've been seeing this and a couple of other snakes in the yard over the last couple of months the large numbers of mice that had been in the coop have dissapeared.

    I wanted to post the brief video here my son made of me annoying the snake out of the nesting box but if I understand correctly how you have to do it I didn't want to share it with the world on youtube to do it.

    Have a great day!
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2013

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