Shooters Forum banner
1 - 20 of 38 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,570 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have the ideal conditions for snakes around my place. Lots of cover...plenty of small critters...etc!!

I've been losing half my eggs for the last couple of weeks. I've caught the culprit twice, but as I have tried to get him into a bucket...he gets away. My bad both times. I'm not as agile as I used to be!! He sneaks in so quickly and grabs an egg, it is frustrating. Luckily, the last few days two of my hens have decided to lay outside the coop. Utility trailer and back of my truck. lol I should have known something was up when I lost all 7 of my fake eggs over about athree week period. I not found any of those eggs yet. Whatever got them had to regurgitate them somewhere.

That cannot keep happening though. They need to lay in the nesting boxes. I don't want to kill him but will if I have to. He IS FAST!!

Here is when I caught him last week. By the time I got my grabber and back to the coop, he was GONE. I tried a gloved hand catch a week earlier, but he IS slippery!! I almost had him in a bucket twice...but once he hits the concrete or starts making it up the chain link, he is gone.

Wood Fluid Reptile Water Gas


Here is one I had last year when I had a couple of girls that were laying inside my well pump house. I got him to spit this out and he moved into a high area of grass around a Sycamore tree. I had some stuff stacked ournd it and the grass had gotten tall. It has since been cleaned and mowed regularly and not seen him since.

Eye Art Wood Scaled reptile Reptile


I hope to catch the new guy soon if I can.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,523 Posts
We have plenty of those here. I've caught several and none have tried to bite. You may be able to lay some cardboard on the ground as a hide and catch it by flipping the cardboard or board, tin or such
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,322 Posts
A fence charger is your friend. String two wires, one hot and one ground in places he has to travel.

HERE is an outfit that can answer questions and undoubtedly have experience in exactly what you have. A matt or screen or fabric might be the best bet.

North of me 15 miles is a 'factory farm' that looks like the ever present spud cellars and big tractor sheds. It's a metal building 50 x 200 feet with no doors or windows visible and one employee car in the lot. They produce 6,000 chickens a week on two floors. Last year, a weasel got in. It took weeks to find the hole.
 

·
The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
Joined
·
38,352 Posts
More fake eggs.... I don't think the snakes survive those. Caught one leaving the coop with two 'lumps' in it a while back. There was the yolk from a real egg in between.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,570 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
A fence charger is your friend. String two wires, one hot and one ground in places he has to travel.

HERE is an outfit that can answer questions and undoubtedly have experience in exactly what you have. A matt or screen or fabric might be the best bet.

North of me 15 miles is a 'factory farm' that looks like the ever present spud cellars and big tractor sheds. It's a metal building 50 x 200 feet with no doors or windows visible and one employee car in the lot. They produce 6,000 chickens a week on two floors. Last year, a weasel got in. It took weeks to find the hole.
Right now I cannot spend any extra money on the coop. It is already quite nice and mostly predator proof, but snakes can get in through the chain link that runs on top and some other areas. It is buried in the ground about two inches right against the concrete slab. It is about 8' X 50' and quite nice. Someone on Backyard chickens called it the "Taj Mahal" of chicken coops. :D My hens are pretty regular in their laying, but I cannot run out every 30 minutes to check eggs. I did get all eggs today, but was one short yesterday and have been losing 1-2 every day for a couple of weeks. I think this snake also knows their schedule. :D

More fake eggs.... I don't think the snakes survive those. Caught one leaving the coop with two 'lumps' in it a while back. There was the yolk from a real egg in between.
I've heard they can regurgitate them. I really don't know. I do know I lost 7 of them over about a month period startin around the first of May. They are pretty cheap thogh. Will look into getting more.
 
  • Like
Reactions: joe45c

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,322 Posts
Fake eggs used to be ceramic. I found three in one place deep in the woods one time. My grandmother claimed them and blamed snakes for taking them. She told of a time a snake swallowed a fake egg then went through the handle of her grain and grit scoop then swallowed another egg. My grandad found the snake and scoop in the garage a hundred feet away.
 

·
The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
Joined
·
38,352 Posts
Yes, they do swallow ceramic eggs. These washed and put back in service in the coop!
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,322 Posts
In this part of the world, somebody that kills a rat snake is a pariah. Our particular brand of rat snake, the Great Basin Gopher snake, hunts kills and eats rattlers. NO body kills a 'Bullsnake' for that reason.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,322 Posts
You're correct. Same in Fla. Rat snakes eat rats, eggs and other (small)snakes and the Kings eat nothing but snakes. (I learned that as a kid. I had five....then one.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,793 Posts
Am much more live and let live with snakes than is use to be...more so with non dangerous to humans snakes, but even the “bad” ones when they are out in the wild are ignored. Nature has a role for them too

Know various garden snakes/king snakes live in my yard...am good with that, don’t have eggs to protect. Occasionally, something quick and unidentified passes though.

But all my good will ends at my feet. Slither over my boots, and you get reflex shot. Will figure out WHAT you were after the fact.

Would have to remove them in your case….rather the eggs than the snakes. Out in the wild, they have a place...but not in your coop (I use to keep Quail).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,570 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Why catch him? just buy some snake shot and end it for him.;)
I have plenty of 22 LR and 22 MAG rat shot and believe me the thought has crossed my mind but Rat Snakes provide a service too. Just not an egg a day service. :D I will admit to carrying one of my 22 Pistols with me with a few rounds of Rat Shot in the top of the magazine just in case.

I would rather catch it and move it if I can. He is pretty elusive though. As others have noted, there are quite a few beneficial snakes around here. We have Speckled King Snakes, Prairie King Snakes and some other Milk Snakes plus the various water snakes. I haven't killed a snake in better than 25 years and don't plan on it unless threatened (or my egg count goes south from here). lol

It is DRY here lately. I left early this morning and caught an Armadillo splashing itself out of my outside chicken watering trough. Things are tough all over.
 
  • Like
Reactions: joe45c and Pudfark

·
The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
Joined
·
38,352 Posts
You'll have to move it miles away, FYI, if you can catch it. I'd rather not kill them either but once they get in the coop and find eggs, they'll be back.

The one that ate the ceramic eggs, the woman saw it leaving the coop when she was mowing. I had caught the previous egg thief and relocated it 12-15 miles away, but she is terrified of any kind of snake, and ran over it with the riding mower several times. That apparently wasn't 'dead enough' for her, so she got the hoe and attempted to kill it some more... but adrenaline being bad for fine motor control, it looked like someone plowed up a fair amount of ground around the carcass! Anyway figured might as well get the eggs back, don't think the snake would have survived them anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,793 Posts
Better control that I....when one unexpected goes over my boot, automatic refelx kicks in. South of I-10 Lousiana, we got a lot of snakes, lucky only the really stupid ones mistake boot for a tree stump.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,175 Posts
Very dry here as well and yesterday was the hottest day in a decade here with 101* in Nashville. A few days ago as my wife was watching one of the new fawns behind our house she also noticed a big box turtle that had gotten stuck in the fence that keeps neighboring cows out of the yard.

I went right out and got him out of the fence, but he sure looked dry so I got 2 buckets of water and dumped them on him to cool his body temp. I haven't checked yet to see if he finally wandered off back towards the pond.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,322 Posts
Box turtles are dry-land animals that seldom drink. You did good by getting him out of the fence. Once programmed they strike out in pretty much a straight line. I've found them butted up to a fence and four holes dug by their feet still trying to go. They don't normally back up, no matter the obstacle.
The sand hills of Florida has the Gopher Tortoise which is a big land turtle that dig sloping holes as dens. Those 'gopher holes' become the winter den for Rattlesnakes which makes them 'easy' to catch in the big Rattlesnake Round-ups. I took third place with 107 lbs of rattlesnakes from one gopher hole at Whigham, GA one year.

Box Tortoises usually have yellow in their shells. Gophers are flat medium gray.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
My simple solution would be high velociy lead poisoning, but a do understand why you don't want that approach to the problem. I'm fine with that, and in reality if I could keep beneficial snake around I would so long as they didn't cause other problems. Anyway to may the hens laying area not accessible to the rat snake? High enough off the ground and with some sort of aluminum or other metal that would not allow the snake to access the nest? Do know that snake proofing a hen house is not a easy chore. Snakes can get to places human think they never could or would.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,480 Posts
Don't know about rat snakes but no nest is high enough to keep bullsnakes out, last spring I pulled one out of a nest robins built overhead on a second floor deck. The walkout basement had 12' ceilings so it was at least 20' in the air. It had already eaten all the eggs and was resting in the nest, didn't measure it but it wasn't extraordinarily large, maybe 5'. I relocate them to a state park with deep canyons 10mi away.
 
1 - 20 of 38 Posts
Top