texas rat snake invasion...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by cameroneil, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. cameroneil

    cameroneil Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 19, 2011
    hello people of the chickens!

    okay, so the other day i go outside and find an ENORMOUS rat snake relaxing in our coop after having stolen an egg. we saw him off and he slithered away post haste, but we did see him again that evening! i wrote all about it in my blog, if you're interested: http://totallyurbanfarmer.blogspot.com

    anyway, this morning there was no snake to be found, and our two silkies don't seem to be traumatized. and i love snakes, and i don't want to be in conflict with our local friendly rodent-killers and rattlesnake thwarters. but i also don't want him stealin' our eggs and rufflin' feathers! and this was definitely the same snake both times (and possibly the same one that terrorized our neighbor before we got chickens last year, even).

    so has anyone had the experience that a particular snake will get the picture and not come back after having been chased off a couple times? or should one attempt to catch the creature and relocate it some distance away from the yard? or is it that once a snake figures out that the gettin' is good, it will come back as often as possible? i would rather not use chemicals/violent methods to prevent the snake from getting in, but i am definitely open to any wisdom you folk could impart to me.

    thanks so much, and happy weekend! --cameroneil
     
  2. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

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    You can go get a bag of sulphur...a powder and run a line of it around the coop....you will have to do it every few days and after it rains...but a snake will not cross it because it burns their underside. Keep the chickens away from it, but you can teach the snake to go elsewhere by using it.
     
  3. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    This goes against my belief that a good snake is a belt and boots [​IMG] but you could live trap them with a minnow trap and a egg for bait then relocate them into the neighbor's yard
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2011
  4. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Quote:Nope, if anything, it's more likely to come back daily! :lol That was a big one. Here in coastal SC, they run about 6 feet or better for the females. I'm not as comfortable with them as you are, but my husband and I are a pretty good team. He raised snakes as a kid. We like them, haven't seen a rat or mouse in 10 years. We do relocate the greedy ones.

    We have several snake sticks he made, basically a broom handle with a wide hook. He pins it down and grabs it right behind the head, I am right there with the bucket and a lid. We have 2 buckets, both 5 gallon, with a lot of small holes drilled in the sides and lids.

    We then transport to a huge wilderness area about 5-6 miles away, release and head back home. Usually, by the time we get home another yellow rat snake has moved in! [​IMG]

    I do NOT like them around the new chicks- so I keep the chicks protected in a cage with hardware cloth all over it. Once the chicks are fully feathered they seem to leave them alone. I have yet to find a way to truly snakeproof my runs.

    This is my avatar, Goldie Hen, before I cropped the pic. She is a tiny bantam Cochin. The rat snakes only bother her when she has to step over the., [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. mulewagon

    mulewagon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm trying out some snake repellant from Tractor Supply. It's a powder with a mix of aromatic oils that's supposed to confuse the snake's sense of smell. I don't know if it works yet, though the smell of Christmas potpourri on top of chicken poop ought to discourage anybody, I'd think!

    I also put minnow traps out. Haven't caught anything, but they're probably still digesting my last batch of chicks [​IMG]
     
  6. cameroneil

    cameroneil Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 19, 2011
    hello again!

    wow, such timely and helpful responses. ranchhand, it is AWESOME that your avatar picture has that massive and lovely snake in the background! she is a lovely chicken. it is comforting to know that snakes and chickens can co-exist without too much drama, other than a few eggs lost. but the relocation is interesting, and sounds like it might be worth trying if this one comes back. (bryan, i love the neighbor-terrorizing idea more than you could know. however, i don't want to contribute to any torch-and-pitchfork fodder, dig? [​IMG])

    we are thinking of getting some chicks here soon, maybe a little older than super baby, but i will wait until they are at least silkie-size before putting them out there! unless we come up with some killer awesome snake proofing technique. suuuuuure.

    thanks for all the help and support! --cameroneil
     
  7. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    When I was in Austin we used to take them to Lost Pines State Park in Bastrop. Probably not a good idea any more, but it's an idea. [​IMG]
     
  8. Kudzu

    Kudzu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I caught a chicken snake (Grey Rat Snake) in our nest box the other day and I took him across the road about five acres away and let him go. I did not take him far away because I was curious if he could find his way back. So far no more missing eggs.
     

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