Time to give up?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Swampgal, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. Swampgal

    Swampgal In the Brooder

    Sep 29, 2010
    This is our first summer with eggs and we are doing miserably. in the last 2 weeks, black snakes have killed two setting hens and eaten their eggs. Two layers and one mama that successfully hatched out one chick 4 days ago remain. Just now I found another 6 footer in the laying box and thankfully a neighbor was able to help. Next steps to try sulfur and an apron outside the run. But honestly, I am so freaked out by these snakes that I am not sure i can raise chickens if I have to deal with the snakes without help. Is there any hope?
  2. ChickenAndMore

    ChickenAndMore Songster

    Jul 2, 2012
    I use sulfur and it works really good.I hope it works for you.If not you might want to put wood/glass eggs in the nest.
  3. HeatherEmme

    HeatherEmme Chirping

    Apr 4, 2013
    Sounds like you'll need to snake proof. 1/4" or 1/2" hardware cloth should keep out problematic snakes. Seal off any holes etc in your coop.
  4. Righteous Rstr

    Righteous Rstr In the Brooder

    Jul 9, 2013
    Osteen Florida
    Swamp gal, if you can get some Guinea hens they will run every snake off, in the
    mean time I've had luck with hanging nesting boxes and perching poles under a
    smooth surface like heavy roof tin or painted plywood anything they cant crawl
    upside down on .Also depending on how your coop is you can run a $20 fence
    charger grounded to the outer wire and put the hot wire OUTSIDE with 6 inch
    insulators so the snake will have to crawl over it 4"x4" s work great ! See my
    post; Grannies Old school remedy's and the twenty or so replies, Sparrow's is the
    best one if you can overcome your phobia. I live in FL and we have a dozen
    different species, take heart though after you eliminate the first wave it gets so
    much better ! Another option is hanging your stuff with good strong baling wire
    and use eye hooks to electrically isolate the wire be sure you plan out the way
    the snake will come from and GROUND there. It will deter anything and it's fairly
    safe for your birds too. The thing is they are patient buggers and will keep at it
    til they score a chicken or eggs I recommend totally de-snaking your coop then
    integrate prevention methods. It is so bad here I incubate on my front deck and
    brood on my back porch, knock on wood they generally leave the adults alone.
    Even there open it up as much as you can so they cant hide anywhere safety is
    priority one. Hang in there it gets so much better after awhile. RR
  5. Swampgal

    Swampgal In the Brooder

    Sep 29, 2010
    Wow, thank you. Some good and new ideas here. I do hate to give in. I do have another question though. When the first setters were killed on the nests, it was night and the big roo right on the roost. He was very aggressive with me, and I had seen him fight off a hawk. Did the snakes get by him because it was night? Conversely, could it be he was keeping them away during the day and now that he is gone ( due to aggression with me), could that be why we had our first daytime snake? Thoughts?
  6. janes flock

    janes flock In the Brooder

    Jun 22, 2013
    callisburg tx
    Yes it could be he kept them at bay during the day. I have heard of mixing garlic powder and water and spraying the perimeter to deter snakes as well as sulfur
  7. Esmerelda

    Esmerelda In the Brooder

    May 10, 2009
    Don't know what your setup is like, but my folks had a terrible time with snakes going up the big corner posts for their garden and eating the baby birds out of the birdhouses. I got a package of carpet tack strips for a few dollars from Lowes and put them every few inches around the posts.
    No more snakes on the posts.
  8. HeatherEmme

    HeatherEmme Chirping

    Apr 4, 2013
    I find that my chickens get almost trance like when they sleep. When they were younger and I had to move them after they'd roost for the night (outside the coop) they barely moved at all while I was moving them. When they were awake they'd run all over from me. So, maybe the rooster did not notice the snake when sleeping. Many people rely on roosters to protect the flock, but at the end of the day a rooster is still a meal to predators as well. It's really worth the expense to properly predator proof as best you can. I'd much rather spend 50 bucks on hardware cloth with itty bitty holes, than to have to deal with losing a favored chicken to a snake! [​IMG]

    Oh, you can also put some golf balls in your nest to trick the snake. You =1, snake =0
  9. I have never tried it but you could get one of those plastic eggs and fill it with something that kills snakes like the sulfer or rock salt
  10. so that once the snake eats it the pressure applied by its jaws opens the egg and releases the toxins

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