First One….

I have one little girl.  Down the road there are four.  And Sunday they all came over to play, I sent them to check the eggs and let the chickens out for their evening stroll.  Almost immediately there were shrieks of terror and thundering footsteps.  I knew before I heard a word the first snake of the year had made his appearance.  Of course my husband is hundreds of miles away and I can not recall which gun to use nor the proper bullets.  All I know is my 30-06 rifle and I figured I’d like my coop intact at the end of the day.

So I asked the oldest girl present to call her Dad.  He came but it took a few minutes.  I kept him in sight with a shovel until back-up arrived.

snakeI have been getting about 15 eggs per day.  There were only 3 left in the coop.  Mr. Snake had been busy.

snakeHe was HUGE.  Check out the length.  Lesser snakes don’t get under my skin so bad but this fellow had me all shook up!

snakeWicked Egg Snatcher.

Fortunately Eric arrived with a long-handled shovel and some rat shot, then the girls got to pose for a picture.  Since they were the ones who discovered him after all!

snakeHe was a brute.

addie snakeWithout a doubt the worst part of chicken keeping in my humble opinion.

I don’t even really want to kill the snakes, but I know if I don’t they will keep coming back, easy pickings you know?

Life in the country……..

17 thoughts on “First One….

  1. Ahhh.. the adventures of a Texas chicken keeper! My dear friend has lost chicks and eggs both to the beasties. We have no huge snakes over here – just little grass snakes, so far as I know. And even then, I have yet to see one here on our little patch of ground. Rats we do have, however. And magpies, which are basically pretty rats with wings. I reckon it was a magpie who took out the nest of 6 freshly hatched robins in our hedge. I could have cried. And as for the rat in my seed tray every morning, barely 3 feet from my kitchen window? I need an air rifle, I think. That would do me just fine. Beats poison, and is quicker.

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    • Nasty magpies! Glad we don’t have those, though hawks give me a fit from time to time! And we have no rats. Rats are so nasty. If I had one at my kitchen window each day I would have an air rifle for sure! Quick is best!

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  2. We some big snakes in this neck of the woods, but my chickens nemesis is the raccoon. I think we’ve shot 6 in the last year, all of whom directly threatened the coop or killed chickens. We don’t want to kill them either (I actually like raccoons) but they just keep coming back.

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    • Coons are the devil incarnate. The last 2 years they have murdered my darlings in horrific, unforgivable ways. My coop is really ugly but finally safe. Don’t feel bad about shooting the little masked bastards! (excuse my French!)

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      • They’re only doing what is natural. I have known a few hand raised, orphan coons. They were delightful animals. But that doesn’t mean they get to kill my chick-chicks

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      • Well, I admit I did see one in a parade wearing a cowboy hat in Cody, Wyoming on the 4th of July and I wanted to take him home. I just wish they would stay in the woods catching wild things. Le sigh. Its always something!

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  3. Bleh. I wouldn’t be able to set foot in the coop again if I ran into that guy. I’m with almostfarmgirl – our biggest problem child are the racoons. That and the opossum and fox. They kill in cycles.

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    • Yes, they do! The coons and hawks have been wearing me (and my flock) out the past few years. I finally have everything predator proof (knock on wood!) but the snakes, I don’t think there is any way to keep them out. Nasty buggers!

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      • We are knocking on wood about our enclosure hardening too! I read somewhere that moth balls mess up the receptors of snakes, and act as a repellent. Wouldn’t be good around the chickens, I assume though. Don’t they make a pet – friendly liquid repellent? That was a big boy…. ugh, I may very well have nightmares about that one! Good luck!

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      • Thanks! Most the the repellents only work on certain types of snakes and sadly, these aren’t one of them. We finally got a welded wire pen that is overlaid with small-net chicken wire with welded pipe doors and a solid tin roof and back. While not pretty (at all!) it keeps the coon and foxes out!

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