Snake? killed one of my chicks :( - need advice - help please!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by hipeatall, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. hipeatall

    hipeatall Songster

    Mar 2, 2009
    I found one of my sweet little 10 week old olive egger chicks dead in the new coop this morning [​IMG] . I am thinking a snake got her because she was "wet" from head to shoulders with some sort of gooey mucus-like stuff (not water). There were no puncture marks and her neck was not broken. It looks like the snake got her 1/3 down and realized it couldn't handle it and spit her out.
    I'm soooo bummed out about this... I just moved them to this new coop day before yesterday and I really thought I had made the coop predator proof... of course I was thinking raccoons and foxes... not snakes! eek! The sides are 1/2" hardware cloth... the top is coated chicken wire (note that the top of the yard is only 2 feet off the ground)and the bottom has a 24" welded wire (2"x4") apron.
    Does this sound like a snake to you? This is the first time I've found a chick like this so I'm not sure... it's just the only thing I could think of that would do this... could it be something else?
    How would you remedy this situation? I read that covering the entire coop with plastic bird netting might work - I just happen to have TONS of it out in the barn... what do you think would that do it... or do you have other suggestions?
    I'm so worried now that I know they are NOT safe... help, please!
  2. bturbo87

    bturbo87 Songster

    Apr 22, 2010
    i have heard that cat urine will help deter them and that there is a retail chemical called snake away, but i have never seen it and dont have cats... my anit snake gear consistes of a .45 and a shovel
  3. hipeatall

    hipeatall Songster

    Mar 2, 2009
    So do you think this sounds like a snake?
    I don't have any issue with killing a snake, especially one that kills my chicks.
  4. aprophet

    aprophet Songster

    Jan 12, 2010
    chesapeake Va.
  5. Bat Cave Silkies

    Bat Cave Silkies Songster

    Feb 11, 2010
    Bat Cave, NC
    Definitely sounds like a snake....
    In the 6 yrs that we've lived here, I've had chickens and black snakes. The snakes NEVER bothered the I never bothered the black snakes.

    Last week, I went out to turn all the birds out and found a 4 ft black snake INSIDE my Silkie grow-out pen. Obvious lumps in the snake....shot it about 4 times with the 22.....drug it outside....chopped its head off....retrieved my birds. The chicks looked like what you are describing. What amazed me was the head of the black snake was like 1 inch long and 1/2 inch wide....yet it swallowed a 2 month old Silkie which was the size of a water bottle.

    Went back to the barn an hour later.....found a 6 ft black snake INSIDE the Silkie grow-out that one before it swallowed anyone.....emptied the 22.....ran in the house and got a pistol (don't know what size), emptied that into the snake, and the darn thing was still after us....finally got it outside and chopped its head off......none of my birds inside that one.

    We were in the process of remodeling the barn, so I guess its my fault. The grow-out side is now complete AND snake proof. Used the 1/4 inch hardware cloth to cover the 2x4 framing~~no snake has been able to get through that.

    Sorry for your loss...
  6. hipeatall

    hipeatall Songster

    Mar 2, 2009
    Quote:Yes, we have lot's of "fun" ones in our area...

    So, I would really like to know if it sounds like a snake did this to my chick?

    Also, does anyone have any suggestions as to what I can do to make my coop snake proof?
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2010
  7. hipeatall

    hipeatall Songster

    Mar 2, 2009
    Quote:Thank you for sharing your story... I'm so sad you lost chickies too.
  8. Chook-A-Holic

    Chook-A-Holic Songster

    Oct 5, 2009
    Central, N.C.
    Quote:Definitely a snake. Some species of snakes literally try to swallow more than they can are capable of. The only way to keep one large enough to pose a threat is to wrap the whole run in 1/2"hardware cloth and go over the whole coop with a fine tooth comb to make sure you don't have any gaps or holes large enough for one to get his head through. When I attach a coop to a hardware cloth wrapped dog kennel run, I even use a mortar bag to squeeze mortar around the gaps and crevices around the pop door(this is usually the weak point)and any other areas that one may slide through. Also pay special attention under/around doors and their latches(depending on your setup).

    I recently just made the run to my brooder/coop snake proof. Before letting the chicks out into the run I caught one of the resident blacksnakes and put him in the run. Two days later he was still in there trying to find a way out. I figured if he couldn't get out, one couldn't get in. I let him go, then let the chicks out into the run.
  9. hipeatall

    hipeatall Songster

    Mar 2, 2009
    I just got done moving all 20+ something chickies back into the old coop where they will be safe while I modify the new coops to make them snake proof... off to buy more hardware mesh...
    Thanks everyone for the suggestions and snake attack confirmations... [​IMG]

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