snakes in the chicken coop or chicken yard

momto3redheads

Hatching
11 Years
Mar 15, 2008
1
1
9
Hi. I am new here. Just registered. My three boys are begging to raise chickens. They want to live on a farm. We only live on one acre. So we planted a small garden for starters. They wanted a horse, I told them no. Now they are begging for chickens. We live out in the country (rural area). Since I also have longed to live on a farm (my grandparents and great-grandparents are/were farmers), I thought I could give in to this one request of theirs. I have decided to fence in a 35 x 25 area for the chicken yard and have an 8 x 8 chicken coop. Here is my problem . . . SNAKES. Can't stand them!!!!!!!! I can't even look at them on the television. I even have nightmares about them. A phobia that dates back to an incident on my grandparents farm when I was 5. I live on property that borders a national forest, so I know they have to be close by. I have only seen one since we moved here 6 years ago, and he was dead (we unknowingly ran over him with the truck). I know there are mice, coyotes and possibly panthers in the national forest. My biggest fear is that the chickens will attract snakes. I know they do; I just wonder if there is something that I can do to prevent this. Thanks, NOT A SNAKE LOVER.
 

Settin'_Pretty

Songster
11 Years
Feb 10, 2008
207
1
119
North Georgia
Chickens will kill/eat small snakes.
If you see snakes after you have gotten your chickens, it's only because they are there already.
Build in such a way as to keep snakes from being able to get to the nest where the chicken eggs are laid, and you'll have little trouble.
 

Wolf-Kim

Songster
11 Years
12 Years
Jan 25, 2008
3,832
28
221
Put the smaller chicken wire around the bottom of the fence you use on your coop. Anything small enough to go through the "smaller" chicken wire will probably be eaten by your chickens, or run off to avoid the latter. If your still worried about it, I've seen people run an electric wire around the bottom outside of the coop for any snakes trying to go up and over your chicken wire.

Also, because you like my mother(LOL-- NO SNAKES!), sulfur would be your best friend. I wouldn't put it where your chickens could get it, but around your coop would keep snakes out of your coop. Also keep all your feed securely locked up to avoid rodents, rodents are much more likely to attract the snakes then the actual chickens!

LOL- You know when my mother has seen a snake on her 10 acres, because you'll show up and there will be sulfur EVERYWHERE, like it snowed!! Around the house, deck, both barns, her garden, her backyard.. It reminds me of people using salt to deter witches..LOL

-Kim
 

1dude

In the Brooder
12 Years
Dec 27, 2007
88
0
29
Pace, Florida
I live in the panhandle of Florida and the snakes here are good climbers. I have seen one on top of our chain link fence and 4 others in trees. So the smaller the wire the better. I have seen chickens eat a small snake too. Yuk! Home depot sells some kind of snake away stuff, smells like mothballs. kind of expensive.
 

gila_dog

Songster
12 Years
Aug 15, 2007
146
1
146
New Mexico
You don't say where you live, but it sounds like maybe in the western US someplace (national forest, coyotes, etc). If that's true the only dangerous snakes around are rattlesnakes. And they are certainly something to be worried about around the homestead. I don't think the chickens will attract snakes but mice will. So you need to be very careful not to do anything that will attract mice. The main thing is to not leave feed, like chicken scratch, open where they can get into it. Keep it in a good metal trashcan with a well fitting lid. And if any mice do show up, set traps and get rid of them. Also, don't let junk pile up. That provides hiding places for snakes, mice, skunks, and other vermin.

I know you have a snake phobia, and it probably doesn't do any good to tell you that most snakes are actually beneficial. The bull snake (AKA gopher snake) is especially good to have around because they eat mice and supposedly discourage rattlesnakes. Some people think they kill rattlesnakes. I think they probably out hunt them, and the rattlers can't compete.

Snakes and other varmints are a fact of life out in the country. Even if you don't have chickens, you may have snakes come around. If you do find a rattler around the place the best thing to do is to load a bird shot cartridge in your .22 rifle and shoot him right in the face, with the muzzle of the rifle a foot or so away from his head. This is very effective, and much safer than shooting a bullet at him, which can ricochet off and hit something else.
 

Wolf-Kim

Songster
11 Years
12 Years
Jan 25, 2008
3,832
28
221
Quote:Doesn't work with me...I love salt.


You can buy a thing called Snakeaway.

http://doyourownpestcontrol.com/snakeaway.htm

It's the same stuff as mothballs...blech...now THAT would keep me away...

When my mom uses Sulpher all I can think about is that movie "Hocus Pocus"(the one with the three witches..I think I have the right title).. Haven't caught my mom saying any chants to keep the snakes away(yet..lol)

Mothballs are used the same way as Sulphur! I've seen "professional" exterminators go around with a box of mothballs chucking them under people's porches. Had it been my porch and I was paying for their "service", I would have been POed. LOL

-Kim
 

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