Snakes - Waaaaaay Too Many Snakes

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Louieandthecrew, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. Louieandthecrew

    Louieandthecrew I am actually a female!

    I've had chickens since 2009 and have loved them so far. Until this year I'd only seen one or two snakes in the coop, but in this month alone (June, 2011) we've opened the coop door several times and, in all, seen four snakes. This month we're going to start putting golf balls in all of the laying boxes for two reasons:
    1. The snakes will eat them thinking they're eggs and choke to death.
    2. My four Buff Orpington hens will be five months old and soon beginning to lay.
    The second reason is just so that the hens will know where to lay, though my Red Sex Link hen should show a good example. As for the first, I've always thought it was a good idea to just choke the snakes, as evil as that sounds, because it's not dangerous for us, but it still can be a scary sight to walk into your coop and see a dead snake lying there and not even knowing how long it's been there. But, it's even worse when you walk into your coop, thinking there are no snakes and step in to find that there WAS one there, coiled twice around the chickens water container with it's head less than four inches from your foot. This happened to me and was my most recent encounter with a snake in the coop and I really don't want it to happen again. One of my close relatives that lives nearby is very willing and will come kill them whenever I ask, but that very snake, as he was trying to kill it quickly, ended up charging at him three times and came close to biting him. I hate putting my family in danger like that and I also really miss getting eggs from my pretty little RSL hen every single day because of these snakes.
    If you read all of that, thank you very much. If you didn't but you just got the meaning of it, that's fine too, but I'd love some feedback. *Below, if you'd at least try to give me three ways to easily and quickly get rid of snakes, even if you think someone has already said that reason, that would be great. I'm willing to try almost anything.
    Thank you very much,
  2. ScaredOfShadows

    ScaredOfShadows Chillin' With My Peeps

    As a reptile enthusiast and snake owner, snakes are not going to eat golf balls....Snakes hunt and decide what to eat by smell, not sight. A golfball while it looks like an egg to a hen, doesn't smell like an egg to a snake or other predator.

    best course of action is to fix you some burlap pouches with mothballs and make little hardware cloth boxes (cut 6 square pieces of hardware the same size, say a few inches each 3" X 3" and zip tie together to make you a box, put you some mothballs in in a burlap pouch, this way the chickens can't get to them but the smell of them snakes hate and will keep them away. put some on the outside of the coop, tie them to a stake or nail on the bottom of the coop, and put one on 2 sides of your coop to keep snakes from coming into the rafters or top area.

    are you feeding your chickens inside the coop? If so - stop. I'd also take the waterer out, if you want water inside, fix you a nipple waterer inside. The feed and water attract mice, and water attracts the snakes as well as the mice are attracting the snakes.

    Are any hens laying? If so, have you noticed a reduction in eggs? If you haven't noticed any lost or unaccounted eggs, or don't see any egg lumps in he snakes, that means they aren't attracted by the eggs, but probably by mice even if you see no evidence of them. I found a black snake in my coop years ago, it was because I was feeding inside the coop and not strictly in the run...was told to take out all feed and water - clean the coop well, seal the cracks and leave only the people door and chicken door...I did this and what do you know no more food for mice and no more food for the snakes, and the snakes stayed on the other side of the property with the garage and shed where there was a bunch of mice.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2011
  3. Peeps38655

    Peeps38655 Out Of The Brooder

    May 25, 2011
    Oxford, MS
    We use "Snake Away" that we purchase from the True Value Hardware store here in town. I would imagine lots of other places carry it too.
  4. emvickrey

    emvickrey ChowDown Silkie Farm

    Mar 5, 2009
    Hornbeak, Tennessee
    I was filling the ducks water bucket and looked down and saw a copperhead by my foot. It saw me before I saw it because it was staring at me with it's head up ready to strike. I keep shovels around close by the pens. Needless to say, no more snake. My grandsons walk around barefoot and in shorts and they don't bother to watch where they're going. I can't have snakes in the yard.

    Won't moth balls soften up when they get wet in the rain? Thats the only reason I haven't put out moth balls yet. I bought some but they're still in the box. I read somewhere to put one in a coda bottle and poke holes in the bottle so the smell gets out and lay them around where snakes aren't wanted. Which would be my entire property.
  5. zazouse

    zazouse Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 7, 2009
    Southeast texas
    snake away is just ground up moth balls that have been packaged for a higher price
  6. zazouse

    zazouse Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 7, 2009
    Southeast texas
    Quote:They don't sofen up but do sorta melt kinda like when ya lick a sucker
  7. ScaredOfShadows

    ScaredOfShadows Chillin' With My Peeps

    emvickrey, I agree the soda bottle with holes would work well too - that would be a better solution for in an area where it would be in direct contact with rain/water. Even the bottle would get water into it and the mothballs deteriorate/evaporate over time. and have to replaced.

    Snakes avoid the "snake away" which contains mostly sulfur, pure sulfur, and moth balls. all of which is the same thing, like Zazouse pointed out - its all sulfur.

    Snakes hate sulfur - this is why it hurts their sensitive taste buds and lungs when they breath and taste it.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2011
  8. PartridgeRooster

    PartridgeRooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 11, 2010
    First of all are these poisonous snakes? Second making the coop more snake proof would be wise, ie, plug any holes, have a secure floor and walls. My coops are like little forts with long runs attached, I haven't had a snake get in mine yet but I have seen them on the property but we don't get poisoness ones up here.
  9. zazouse

    zazouse Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 7, 2009
    Southeast texas
    Quote:Great advice [​IMG]
  10. ScaredOfShadows

    ScaredOfShadows Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks Zazouse.

    Also, are you finding the snakes in the AM right after you unlock the coops? Are your hens put up and locked in at night? If so, this means your coop is not secure enough, you are getting mice, snakes, and possibly rats inside, if they can get in, (i don't know where you live so you might not have to worry about them) Weasels can get in too.

    Clean your coop out well, all gaps and cracks in the floor and wall, fill in with a gap filler of some kind - you can use the cheap "Great Stuff" you get at Lowes or Wal-mart after it dries cut it even and tack/glue some cardboard over it if your worried about chickens getting to it. or just stick hardware cloth over gaps. ventilation, tack hardware cloth over any ventilation areas. Lock your pens at night. Take out all food and water, never feed inside your coop(s). if you want water inside again - fix a nipple system or buy the large guinea pig/rabbit waterers, or soda bottles with the auto cups bottoms they make for small animals. cheap, clean, easy - also pest deterrants as if they can't reach it, they have no reason to want to hang around.

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