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Jul 13

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As The Chicken Coop Turns…

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My son with the 5ft or 6ft rat snake coiled in the nesting boxes

My fellow backyard chicken enthusiast friends will appreciate this story.  Because of our busy schedules my husband and I check on our chickens/chicks in the morning and in the evening especially when we are working.  So last night I thought I would go feel around for an errant late in the day egg and luckily my intuition kicked in and I looked down.  When what to my wondering eyes should I see but most likely a 5 foot or 6 foot snake(to give you a frame of reference my son is 6’3″ or 6’4″…..most likely it was a rat snake and had the snake not been coiled poised to strike one of my chickens it may have lived to see another day but there was one more problem.  I had been missing an egg a day for about 7 to 10 days.  This snake actually confirmed my suspicion that something was “afoul” yes pun definitely intended.    Now back to my story……So new rule for me “always look in the nesting boxes” before I proceed or the coop for that matter.  I quickly got my husband involved not sure what words I uttered to capture his attention….probably not just an “ugh”…maybe more a “Help!”…anyways he came over quite quickly.  As I ran into the house to grab flashlights so we could see what we were dealing with my son came out to help.  I was glad not to have to be the one to hold the snake down this time.  Honestly a rat snake is not the worst snake but when its on your homestead no matter how small or large and its damaging your productivity well then its time to take matters into your own hands.  I am of the belief as mentioned in this article here that you don’t kill a rat or a corn snake unless its necessary in this case we have chicks and they do eat chicks and eggs so it had to go.  Well please don’t let this story deter you from keeping chickens to have wonderful fresh eggs in your own yard.  This is just to help inform those who are new to keeping eggs that not only do you have to protect your chickens from hawks, racoons, possums, dogs, foxes, wolves, and other critters you have to protect them from snakes as well and they can slither in right through the chicken wire.  Stop in and see me again soon……..Enjoy your summer!  Do you have a chicken story you would like to share here?  Please do I would love to hear it!

2 comments

  1. Lisa

    I use to gather eggs from our chickens as a child until my dad stopped me. A 5 ft chicken snake was coiled up in the nest waiting for me and/or the chickens. He killed it but decided against me sticking my hands in the nest boxes. Snakes are always in my yard especially copperheads and rattle snakes. This is the one drawback I have about getting my own chickens. As Indiana Jones would say…”I hate snakes!”

    1. Lil' Suburban Homestead

      Lisa I forgot that you are a veteran on dealing with snakes…..I agree with you “I hate snakes too!” I have to remember to always be aware of my surroundings!

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