Snapping turtle wants to eat my chickens?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Blondie, Apr 27, 2007.

  1. Blondie

    Blondie Songster

    I went out to the barn this morning to feed and let out my chickens and goats. There was this huge snapping turtle facing the chicken house. I didn't notice him/her right away, but as my group of chickens were making their way around the area, the turtle kept turning in their direction.

    I tried to throw my sweatshirt over it to pick it up and put it in our creek in the back, but it kept hissing and snapping. It had to be 20 pounds! I tried to pick it up with a shovel, but it was too heavy.

    Do you think it wants to eat the chickens? I can see it getting one because it stays really still, then all of a sudden - SNAP!

    This picture shows Ginger Goat checking it out. I put my cell phone on it's back to get a reference of the size.


    It finally went back to the creek by itself, but I wonder if it will be back.


  2. boilerjoe_96

    boilerjoe_96 Songster

    Apr 4, 2007
    West Lafayette, IN
    I know snapping turtles really cut into the goose and duck population in farm ponds. So turtles do like poultry. They usually com eup from underneath the chicks and grab them. Not sure they could catch them on land though... but maybe...
  3. MTchick

    MTchick Songster

    Feb 2, 2007
    Western Montana
    It does not want your chickens. It wants your chicks and eggs! Snapping turtles love duck eggs and ducklings, and your little guys are the same thing to it. It also could remove one of your chickens legs if they got too close- which would be dreadful. The turtle isnt a huge threat, but I would try to keep it away from the flock if possible. It is a slow, but real, threat to smaller animals. A small barricade (like a short fence of chicken wire) near the exit and entrance point to the stream might suffice to keep it off your chickens turf.

    Lastly- be careful moving it. They can snap past their own back legs- the only safe places to touch are the rear-middle of the back (like your cell phone) and the shell just above the tail. Everywhere else is snapp-able and thus your fingers are not safe.

  4. boilerjoe_96

    boilerjoe_96 Songster

    Apr 4, 2007
    West Lafayette, IN
    Oh, almost forgot... Snapping turtle is very tasty.

    Fry the neck and legs just like chicken(nice and slow). use the tail for soup. Very good eating.....
  5. bayouchica

    bayouchica Songster

    Jan 23, 2007
    N.E. Louisiana
    My goodness, that's a big one there... [​IMG] I guess they would be looking for eggs to eat.They are some mean turtles.
    It looks like that one is related to this one, came up in my garden to lay eggs last spring...We had to put it in a trash can to bring it back to the bayou.
    I'm glad your critters are okay. [​IMG]
  6. Picco

    Picco Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    It was not trying to eat your chicks. Snapping turtles are entirely aquatic and only the females leave the water to lay their eggs. The turtle that you saw was a female looking for a nice place to lay her eggs. Aquatic turtles cannot eat out of water so it wouldn't have been looking for food. They are however dangerous because they have a powerful bite!
  7. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Songster

    Apr 18, 2007
    Entertaining comments in this thread.

    Having had pet snapping turtles, trapped snapping turtles, and lost livestock to snapping turtles, I feel a little confident in some things I've learned about them.

    Snappers can, and will, bite and eat on dry land.

    Males and females travel overland for whatever reasons motivate them.

    Snappers can, and will, bite anything within jaw reach. If they tear a mouthfull of flesh off of whatever they bit, they will swallow it.

    I have never lost an egg to a snapping turtle, that I am aware of. I have lost fowl on the nest to them.

    And lastly, if you don't understand how to handle them, don't! I'm glad you failed and gave up, as you were well on the path to being seriously hurt.
  8. Oaknim

    Oaknim In the Brooder

    Apr 25, 2007
    Sylvia, KS
    I saw a snapping turtle a little bigger than that size in the middle of the road on our way to town. Dumb me, I didn't know it was a snapper at the time (I shouted, "Wow, look at that big turtle!") and I routinely move turtles out of the road when driving, so DH and I stopped and I got out of the car, walked over to it, ran back to the car and said, "I like my hands, let's just watch it to make sure it makes it across okay." And the big guy did, very very slowly. He sank into the culvert and went about his business. Scared the crap out of me, it did. ~ Oaknim
  9. moeyo83

    moeyo83 Hatching

    Jun 2, 2010
    Holy crap that is one technologically advanced turtle, did you see that ipod, who says apple isn't a superior product? ha
  10. cobrien

    cobrien Songster

    Mar 16, 2009
    Oakland, CA
    i will never swim in fresh water again....

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