Rats then Snakes

jtbuck

Chirping
12 Years
Mar 29, 2009
99
3
96
Florahome
I have a rat prob. at barn, was catching some with traps. Then a big rat snake showed up it helped a little now a 2nd smaller one at barn.
Now I'm not getting eggs... I'm around barn most all day and check eggs daily. What could be the problem, chickens quit laying or snake eating eggs and not rats????
 
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cgmccary

Crowing
13 Years
Sep 14, 2007
1,855
356
301
NE Alabama
I have a rat prob. at barn, was catching some with traps. Then a big rat snake showed up it helped a little now a 2nd smaller one at barn.
Now I'm not getting eggs... I'm around barn most all day and check eggs daily. What could be the problem, chickens quit laying or snake eating eggs and not rats????
Rat snakes are good at cleaning out the rats and mice. They will also eat eggs; however, not knowing how many eggs you get every day but snakes do not eat every day or even every week -- they fill up (eat all at once, a lot) and eat about every two weeks (depending on the snake, others may go longer without eating) -- so you should not be losing eggs every day unless there are a lot of snakes (i.e. more than two) -- They eat less often or not at all in the cold months. I had pet bullsnake & king snake and it was nothing for them not to eat but about monthly.
 

jtbuck

Chirping
12 Years
Mar 29, 2009
99
3
96
Florahome
Rat snakes are good at cleaning out the rats and mice. They will also eat eggs; however, not knowing how many eggs you get every day but snakes do not eat every day or even every week -- they fill up (eat all at once, a lot) and eat about every two weeks (depending on the snake, others may go longer without eating) -- so you should not be losing eggs every day unless there are a lot of snakes (i.e. more than two) -- They eat less often or not at all in the cold months. I had pet bullsnake & king snake and it was nothing for them not to eat but about monthly.
Well I caught both in the nest box, saved one egg
from them
 

melroseladi

Songster
8 Years
Mar 17, 2011
744
45
143
Melrose, Florida
I had a bad time with rat snakes last year. I had no issue with them except they were not eating the rats they were eating my eggs. Again I tolerated the egg loss thinking that the snakes were helping with the rodent problem. Then a rat snake killed some of my guinea keets through their cage even though they were to big for the snake to eat and the snake could not get them out of the cage. What those little keets head and face looked like after the snake got hold of them, well lets just say I no longer tolerate snakes any where near my birds.

There are enough rats, mice, and rabbits around in the wild that there is no reason for them to be eating our eggs or chicks. If they are eating our eggs and chicks then that means they are not eating the rodents so what is the point of keeping them around. I now rid my chicken area of any found snakes and use lots of rat traps to cut down on rodents.

Penny
 

Arizona Son

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 31, 2013
116
18
88
Avra Valley, Arizona
Well so far I have removed 4 and just found another today......

Holy crap, that's a lot of snakes you are finding! If I were you. I'd try selling the snakes, there are a LOT of people into keeping reptiles as pets these days. Maybe put an ad on Craigslist & see if there is any interest. You could possibly make a few bucks to help ease the pain of losing eggs. Just a thought.
 

Sparrow

Songster
11 Years
Apr 11, 2008
644
24
168
That's a Yellow/Everglades Ratsnake. You live in a very healthy environment if you are finding that many snakes!
 

Bikerschick

In the Brooder
6 Years
May 12, 2013
31
1
25
N. Ellis Co., Republic of Texas
I just have to share this... take it how you will. My apologies ahead of time to any snake-lovers.

We keep golf balls in our nesting boxes. A pretty common thing, I think.
The other day we were out under the carport and thought we had found a really large shed snakeskin.
Nope. Upon looking a little closer, we realized it was just a pretty well decayed dead snake.
(Not as gross as you would think, almost like just the skin really.)
So its laying there in the leaves, and my husband goes to pick it up, to see how long the sucker was... OMG.
There was this weird huge bulge in it about halfway down. He says, "An egg?" And looks at me with a shrug.
We tore him open a little and out fell a golf ball. It had killed him I figure, since he couldn't process it, nor spit it back out.
So... I'm thinking...
A snake that lives off rats.... it would be safe here.
But I've added several more golf balls to the various nesting spots. And if we get another egg-eater, I hope he picks carefully!


 

Arizona Son

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 31, 2013
116
18
88
Avra Valley, Arizona
If this wasn't a problem, it would be real funny!

Would it help to raise the nests up , like say, 6 feet up?

No, not at all. Most if not all snakes that eat eggs have evolved to be able to climb, as that is where they are going to typically find birds nests
thumbsup.gif
 

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