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Need a snake alarm! Can Guineas help me?

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by IronEagle, Dec 15, 2015.

  1. IronEagle

    IronEagle Out Of The Brooder

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    I live in a remote and heavily forested area of Mexico and I'm having a terrible time with snakes. I have domestic birds of all types, geese, turkeys, ducks and chickens. The primary snake type is boa constrictor and we've had them here from 1 foot up to 12 feet long. Once we found 5 snakes in 5 days but typically it's about 2 per month.

    So far my turkey hens have proved to be the most helpful in sounding the alarm for snakes, but their call does not sufficiently penetrate the forest so that I can hear them from the house and she doesn't call at all at night. I also have 5 black-bellied whistling ducks that will call when they see a snake but they are too brave and try to attack and I'm afraid one will get choked.

    I'm hoping guinea fowl will be helpful. I have heard that Guinea Fowl are really snake averse and will sound the alarm if they see one. Anyone have experience with this and have any insight? I lost a Rouen duck last night and I'm really needing to beef up defenses. The Rouen was in a brooder house that I thought was secure but the snake burrowed through the sand and under the wall to get in. My husband dug around the house today and buried rocks so hopefully that can't happen again but now I have a hen set in there and I'm stressed.

    I have the geese that sound the alarm for people, dogs and hawks and the whistling ducks that sound an alarm for just about everything else. Looking for a good snake alarmer!

    Thanks for all the help!
    Iron Eagle
     
  2. Trefoil

    Trefoil Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Guinea fowl won't help at night. Your best bet would be to get pigs.
     
  3. GodofPecking

    GodofPecking Chillin' With My Peeps

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    build a snake trap, possibly a tilt trap made from a long pipe which is, in it's resting / armed position has the smell of chick wafting through it. Recycle the snakes you catch by leaving them dead for a few days in a bucket and then shaking out the maggots to the chooks. Chooks LOVE maggots to eat. If they can dig their way in, they'll prefer the front door through the trap every night of the week.
     
  4. GodofPecking

    GodofPecking Chillin' With My Peeps

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    a snake trap like this will make the problem an advantage. the snake locked in the pipe might be put down by drowning so that you do not need to open the pipe at all, which is safest thing to do.

    I have an image but cannot attach it. I will do so after I work out how.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2015
  5. GodofPecking

    GodofPecking Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So long as I read it incorrectly, then the idea of using Guinea pigs to protect chickens against snakes will only work when there are a LOT of guinea pigs so that the snake is no longer hungry.
     
  6. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    Northern Colorado

    ROFL :D

    A whole buffet of guinea pigs lol ;)

    I think they meant pigs, big pigs, the bacon ones ;)

    That's awesome as a visual lol :D
     
  7. IronEagle

    IronEagle Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 22, 2014
    QR, Mexico
    We've definitely had plenty of run in's with snakes during the day as well so if they are a good alarm during the day that will also be helpful. Then maybe I can make the trap mentioned by GodofPecking to protect the house at night but the flock can still free range during the day and we can keep a listen for the Guinea alarm.

    One of the things that led me to researching Guinea Fowl was a Youtube vid I saw where 4 Guinea's were surrounding a snake (giving it a wide berth) and making a ton of racket. They weren't attacking the snake, just looking at it. That's exactly what I need because right now my turkey will sound her alarm and then run away from it and then if I hear her (her call is not very loud) I have to hunt all over to find the snake. Meanwhile the turkey is standing behind me still calling even though I can't see anything.

    Just want to get an idea if the Guinea's will help the situation. But I'm also in general intrigued by them and want to give them a try in my flock and see how it goes.

    Thanks for all of the insight!
    IE
     
  8. IronEagle

    IronEagle Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 22, 2014
    QR, Mexico
    This looks great! It's exactly what we need. I'm putting this on the project list. I'm going to have to use a pretty big pipe though in order to fit the whole snakes so his own tail won't stop the pipe lid from closing. Did you use 3" PVC?
     
  9. GodofPecking

    GodofPecking Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Anything the snake can fit in and not escape from. In my case it was not for snakes, it was for mice. There is a mouse tilt trap which is for sale, I had many of those however the mouse would chew it, and the next mouse would chew it, and the next and the next. Eventually they could get out. I changed the design to the above one, which is simple to make but always works perfect. I've caught more than 30 mice in my first home made trap.

    The working of the trap has nothing to do with nibbling a bait, it simply balances, so whatever you are catching only needs to enter once and it's done. I had used aluminum channel which had a hole in the middle at least large enough for the animal to fit into, actually about 2 times that big. The metal door had a metal hinge, I just lined them up and drilled tiny holes and then put stiff wire through and bent it. The catch for the door is wire, the wire attaches to the body and runs along out the end where the door is, turns 180 degrees and comes back. I will draw detail.
     
  10. GodofPecking

    GodofPecking Chillin' With My Peeps

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    here is detail for the end.

    For mice or rats. the door is rests on something to keep it open, like a AA battery.

    For this application, a nail in the wall would do, or make a hole in the coop wall and insert a short piece of the same pipe as you use for the trap and secure the small piece in place. The door rests on the short piece and the trap lines up with the short piece. When the trap tilts, the door is lifted clear and swings closed.

    [​IMG]
     

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