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!%$# Snakes...

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!%$# Snakes...

Old 07-21-2013, 07:24 PM
  #1  
LBR
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Had a hen hatch off 10 of the 12 eggs she was sitting on a few weeks ago. One chick disappeared immediately--figure the cat got it. We rounded them up and put them in the coop, along with "momma".

Things went great the first couple of weeks--9 little chicks were growing like crazy. Then one morning, there was 8. No sign of a struggle, no torn wire on the coop--I made it varmit-proof against everything but...crud......

I checked all over, but there's just too much ground to cover and too many hiding places. As expected, another chick disappeared a few days after the first. Large grey rat snakes, aka "chicken snakes" in these parts, normally stay in pairs.

Today the mother hen was pitching a fit in the coop. I inspected, found nothing but suspected I'd just missed the "visitor". We lost another chick yesterday--down to 6 now. Not 5 minutes later my wife called--she was at the coop and found a snake.

It wasn't the main problem--only about 4.5 feet long, no tell-tale lump (the chicks are pretty big now), and when I caught it the thing regurgitated some egg yolk (found out where our missing eggs have gone).

Put it in a garbage can and my son re-located it a couple miles from here. Hope that was far enough.

I hate to have to dispose of a rat snake, especially with all the fields and farms around here...but I don't plan to keep feeding them chicken dinners either. We've found some huge ones around here pushing 6' or so. They can eat a pretty big chick. Wish they would stick to rats...
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Old 07-23-2013, 09:01 AM
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Chicks must be easier to catch,I used to raise rat snakes and they are very tough.
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Old 07-23-2013, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by LBR View Post
I checked all over, but there's just too much ground to cover ...
I guess your lawn mower just don't cut it, huh? Dprsdhunter has one you can borrow...
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:01 PM
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Down to 5 chicks now...or rather 1/2 grown chickens. Found the mate to the first one today, with a big lump in it. Holy crow, I'd forgotten what a huge meal a relatively small snake can swallow! I thought the chicks were big enough to be safe now...no such luck. This one was so full it couldn't even try to escape--it was hiding under the nesting bin. Gathered it up, was trying to decide what to do with it and a neighbor kid came by on his 4-wheeler. He volunteered to take it away and let it go. Sucker shouldn't want another meal for a long time. It was maybe 2" in diameter in it's middle, except where the chick it swallowed sat. Hopefully we are done with them for now. Think I'll wait for cooler weather and just order some chicks...by the time the snakes thaw they'll be too big to swallow.
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Old 08-07-2013, 04:44 PM
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Man I have only had 2 rattlers and a ribbon snake at my place this year. Daughters wanted to keep the ribbon snake a pet.
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:59 AM
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Good plan LBR they do hibernate.
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Old 08-08-2013, 08:20 AM
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Yep, even here we have several months of hibernation time. I can put out a heat lamp and they will be fine. Have to make the cage "varmit proof" against dogs, cats, possums, coons, hawks, owls, etc. but that's easier than making it snake-proof.
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Old 08-08-2013, 10:18 AM
  #8  
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On a side note, over memorial weekend I hosted about 30 people at my house. I put in an awesome fire pit the year before and so every night we burned a lot of wood. So I was in the shed mid morning getting more wood. It's very dark. The entire time I knew I was going to run into a snake since it was nice a cool. Well as I grabbed a log off the top of the stack, a sleeping snake slid off the log and right up on my forearms to about my elbow before I was able to react and flick it off to the side.

I laughed my butt off so much. I knew it was going to happen. It was just too nice in the shed that morning.
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Old 08-09-2013, 02:32 PM
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they taste just like chicken
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Old 08-09-2013, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by m.t.hands View Post
they taste just like chicken
rattlesnake does...lol I hate venomous snakes...
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