Snake has taken up residence near my coop

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by lisebarb, May 30, 2010.

  1. lisebarb

    lisebarb Songster

    I know it's not poisonous but it's about 2 feet long and about 1.5 inches thick. Could be either a northern ribbon snake or a Butler's garter snake???? It's taken up residence right next to my coop and is sporting a big bulge in its belly which may explain why I found one of my girls' eggs in the dirt yesterday.

    I don't want to kill it and I'm too afraid to pick it up (even with my garden gloves). I would like to relocate it to the woods just down the lane from me. Any idea how I can catch it?? [​IMG]
  2. Straubby

    Straubby In the Brooder

    May 12, 2010
    new hampshire,ohio
    go to wal-mart and get yourself one of those "Gopher" grabbers then pick it up and put it in a pillowcase for the ride down the road.if not a pillowcase make sure you use a breathable bag.probably be easiest to grab about in the middle of the body with a snake that small.good luck and watch its head even non-poisonous snakes have teeth.
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I would keep the snake safe. I bet it's eating any mouse or rat that camps out near you coop. I found a family of snakes under a log behind my coop and for a short while, till I think they moved away for winter, I didn't find any mice all summer! Those snakes are good things. A few eggs if they really are eating any, is a small price to pay vs rats or mice chewing up the coop and stealing feed. A snake isn't going to move an egg from one place to another, so I think a hen probably just had an accident.
  4. Use a hoe for removing and/or killing [​IMG]
  5. fancbrd4me02

    fancbrd4me02 Songster

    Get an empty trash can with a lid and a person to help you. If you can, get a trash can that has a flat side or is rectangular. Find the snake, and tip the trash can on it's side with the open side facing the snake. Take a hoe or a rake, and shoo (scare the snake towards the can). Often, the snake will balk at the opening of the can, so be ready to put the hoe under the snakes belly and flip it into the can. Your helper should be ready to move the can if the snake manages to avoid going into the can on the first try. The second the snake slithers into or is flipped into the can, your helper must flip the can upright immediately. I have caught hundreds of snakes this way, very easy and you don't have to touch them. Snake can be easily relocated.
  6. lisebarb

    lisebarb Songster

    Quote:Great idea! Thanks for that. If I see it tomorrow morning when I go out to feed the girls I'm gonna try this. We have little garter snakes around and I don't mind them but this one is quite big and has planted itself right in an area that I walk in several times a day. If it just hid in my wood pile where I wouldn't see it, I couldn't care less.

    Thanks again! [​IMG]
  7. Bridget399

    Bridget399 Songster

    Apr 8, 2009
    South Western PA
    Is it in a hiding place next to the coop? Elliminate the hiding place, or it will just come back or another will take its place. Keep debris out of the yard and away from the coop, leaving no place for it to hide. In my experience, they don't like to be out in the open where they are volunerable to predators (hawks, owls, etc). I keep the grass short and string trim at least every other week and haven't had a snake in nearly a year. Good Luck!
  8. I have seen my hens kill and eat smaller snakes.
  9. joebryant

    joebryant Crowing

    Until last week I had a snake about five feet long hanging around my coops for two years. He never bothered anything. I've saved him from cats and dogs a dozen times since he was very small. Last week I saw him too close to my four small chicks. He went for a three-mile ride to a wooded area.
  10. TwistedSerpent

    TwistedSerpent Songster

    Apr 28, 2010
    A snake that small is physically unable to eat an egg, and both those species you listed are primaraly insect/worm/fish eaters. They will take out a nest of baby rodents if they find it but its not their main diet, and most chicks are way too large for one to even waste energy on.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: