This snake is DOOMED! Update - got one!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by mulewagon, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. mulewagon

    mulewagon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My little brood of eleven chicks is down to four today. No blood, no signs, the adult birds are fine - they just vanished overnight from the pen. SNAKES! And a big one, too, to eat seven chicks at a sitting.

    So I headed out to WalMart to get minnow traps (kicking myself because I should have done that as soon as I heard of them!)

    Got back and was setting them up in the pen, and looked up to see the puppy out behind the pen with little yellow feet sticking out of his mouth. The snake must have regurgitated one on his way back to the woods. And in so doing, gave the puppy a lovely chicken snack, and showed him they were every bit as delicious as he thought they were. [​IMG]

    You are so dead, Mr. Snake. So dead!
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2011
  2. lovin my birds

    lovin my birds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OH NO!!!! Poor babies! [​IMG] Snakes are such a pain sometimes. I love them because they are beautiful animals, but it is sad when they see your pets as food. Then they have to go. Dont give up hope on the puppy, we had a puppy that was a huge chicken killer and we got her broken of it. Now she lets the chickens run all over her. Sorry your babies where killed, RIP fluffy butts. [​IMG]
     
  3. redstarray

    redstarray Out Of The Brooder

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    im so sorry for your loss that really stinks!!! r u sure it was a snake and not the puppy all along??? i saw the post with the lady who uses the minno traps soooo amazing im going to buy some as well!!! we get rattlers and the last one is in the frezzer for my next hat band but the one b4 cost us a prtty vet bill after the dog kept it from getting to the coop
     
  4. mulewagon

    mulewagon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, guys!

    @redstarray No, it wasn't the puppy - he's 60 lbs, the fence would have been down! And dogs get excited when they start killing, there would have been a massacre. Nope, it was something that sneaked seven chicks out from under their mammas last night, and didn't leave a trace [​IMG]

    @lovin my birds Yeah, I love snakes...just not when they're eating the chicks my poor hens worked so hard for! And of course there's the setback in the puppy's education - I was ready to start bringing him back into the pen on a lead, to meet the chicks. Better put that off a few days now! [​IMG] I wish I could sue the snake. That'd serve him right.
     
  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    On the MN prairie.
    Maybe since the pup didn't acutally kill the chick, it won't get the idea that playing with them is fun. Maybe it was bringing the chick back to you? (Nice thought, anyway) I was just thinking that it would be different if the pup had killed the chick itself and discovered the thrill of the chase, etc.
     
  6. mulewagon

    mulewagon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This morning, the four remaining chicks were gone. No blood, the adults are fine. Something got over a six-foot fence in the night, took all the chicks, and left without a trace. One of the snake traps was moved.

    What could it be but a snake? But would a snake come back so soon, after eating half a dozen? We've had eggs disappear from under hens before, but never has anything just kept coming back until they were all gone.

    We're going to put a live trap in the pen tonight, in case it's something else. And I'm going to get hardware cloth and make a snake trap with a bigger opening. And clear all the weeds between the bottom of the pen and the woods. And go down to the pen several times tonight to see if I can catch it returning...

    Any ideas?
     
  7. equinelyn

    equinelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm so sorry [​IMG]

    How old were they?

    Could it have been an owl?
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2011
  8. mulewagon

    mulewagon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They were about a week and a half old...

    We certainly have a lot of owls, but the chicks slept under the hens. And if they were awake, they would scatter - it's a rough pen with bushes, logs, etc. The puppy chased off a feral cat a couple of days ago, but same objection applies - if the chicks were asleep, the hens would be taken first.

    Maybe we lucked onto more than one snake? A giant escaped python? The spring rains were good for once, and we have much more underbrush and more critters than we have had in years.
     
  9. mulewagon

    mulewagon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hah hah! One giant snake has met his doom!

    I was just leaving the big pen the morning when I glimpsed a six-foot ratsnake stretched along the log in the broody pen. I reacted instantly - ran screaming up the hill for my husband and the Shovel of Doom. It must have been taking a nap after breakfast [​IMG] Looks like 3 eggs are missing. Autopsy results are due soon...

    It didn't get the four surviving chicks, they're roosting with mama now (though it got their seven siblings three weeks ago!)

    No wonder we haven't caught anything in the minnow traps - this thing would never have fit in the opening. I'm going to try deer netting outside the woods end of the pen this afternoon.
     
  10. mysweetgypsy

    mysweetgypsy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hopefully that's the end of your troubles! But just in case the snake had help keep an eye out for something else. I used to own a couple small snakes, corn snakes. I had one "regurgitate" its meal and die a day later. When I ask the breeder he said snakes can't regurgitate their food. So if there was a chick spit back up, in theory the snake was on his way out. Or he had an accomplice. I could be totally wrong, as I am no snake expert, it was just a weird thing I always remembered about snakes. Good luck, glad you got him!!
     

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