First snake of the season

Discussion in 'Poultry, Domestic Livestock, Pets, & Bees' started by Mark, Sep 6, 2013.

  1. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    This is the first snake I have seen since winter is over and the warmer weather has arrived. This fella was down at my chicken pen and I must have flushed him out as I was chainsawing some logs up from a fallen tree. It was about 1.5 metres long - a fair size.

    I just chased it off into the scrub rather than kill it and as concerning as snakes are I kind of like them because they keep the rats and mice populations down. However, the possibility of accidentally stepping on a snake or encountering one whilst moving debris is something a person must be keenly aware of in snake areas.

    first snake of the season.jpg
     
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  2. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member

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    That's a decent size snake mate and a good shot of it too.
    I'm not much of a snake guy, what type is it?
     
  3. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member

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    I'm no snake expert, but at a guess, small head, brown snake. Definatley not a python (carpet/jungle/blackhead).
     
  4. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member

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    I like snakes too, i used to have a Black Headed Python, it was around 20 years old when i got it. I knew some people that were involved with snakes with their work so was exposed a bit to them. I used to hate people that killed snakes as i heard stories about dumb people running over snakes if they saw one, usually a harmless carpet.

    Then i became friends with some people that lived on a farm, they had some brown snakes and i found one when i was there. They kind of have to get rid of them if the snakes hang around the house as they have small kids. It's a bit of a shame, but these things sometimes have to be done. They can't call a snake catcher, not like in the city or suburbs. They are pretty carefull though, as besides being unable to call a snake catcher, you can't call an ambulance eithier, (it would take a couple of hours to arrive), so first they might try t oencourage it to leave, but sometimes they get out the shot gun. I was there when they shot a brown snake with the shotgun and it was a fairly intense moment. You don't realise how different things matter until you're out there on the spot.
     
  5. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Your story brings back memories of my Grandparents (dairy farmers) who always gave the advice of a snake is fine in the paddock but kill it if it's near the house. Same ethos most farmers have and I can totally understand it because snakes are territorial and once in an area will want to stay so more encounters are inevitable and if you have children...

    You can't really tell from the photo but it had a touch of olive drab colour through it. My guess is the same as Stevo and I'd say a "common eastern brown" (only the second deadliest land snake in the world :rolleyes:) It could also be a smaller king brown but I'm no snake expert either and it can be quite hard to tell. Boy they are fast! When it got going it went like a rocket! I just happened to have my chicken catching net nearby so I kept hold of it in case the snake got angry. I've had snakes rear up at me before and it's not a pleasant experience. :)
     
  6. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member

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    yeah they are fast! You might have t keep an eye on that area incase it comes back. Wear boots and jeans?

    The one i found at the farm was curled up under the chicken house, i just saw a bit of it's tail sticking out, so anyone collecting the eggs would have been at risk. When they chased it out it was flying and there was people running everywhere, besides being dangerous it would have looked pretty funny i guess.
     
  7. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    I've warned the family and if I do see it start to hang around the pen I'll have to get rid of it - unfortunately. Often, I'll see a snake in the yard and it never comes back so hopefully the same will happen.

    Here's a few pics I took in Dec last year of a python swallowing a rat he caught in our chicken pen:

    Python in chicken pen swallowing a rat half way.jpg

    python swallowing a rat tail out chicken pen.jpg
     
  8. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member

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    That's a big rat!
     
  9. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Latest snake... :rolleyes: Bagged and released down the local river.

    python top of door chicken house.jpg

    python snake chicken coop.jpg

    bagged python snake chicken pen.jpg
     
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  10. Scott Mac

    Scott Mac Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    that's a good size, are you used to handling snakes. My heart goes at a hundred miles an hour just shooing off a python. black snakes just move with out any effort but those pythons have stood up to me in defiance. would they take a chook or just eggs? no snakes hassling the birds yet for us. I know pythons can climb, what about keeping black snakes out? You've got some fine wire full height of the roosting box. Are they known to dig under?
     
  11. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    The chook shed is 3 m across so yeah it was a long fella but not too fat. I'm not trained in handling snakes so I really shouldn't but I am pretty used to them. I usually shoo off the black and browns (and tigers) and tend not to see them again or at least for awhile.

    Pythons are different and they don't seem to be bothered by me much - they'd just live in the pen and ignore me if I left them there. The big fat pythons could kill and eat a chicken my Aunt in Toowoomba had several pythons in her pen over the years and often the snake would kill more than just one chook through the night but only eat one... I've never had a python attack my birds and the chooks don't seem to be too alarmed when they see one.

    My roosting box set up is designed to prevent goannas from getting to the eggs. The boxes are fixed to the shed wall (which can't be climbed) and supported by a beam on top of besser bricks. The boxes overhang the bricks so even if the lizard tries to climb the bricks it can't get up. I haven't had a snake up there yet either.

    Our quail pen is made from snake proof mesh otherwise they would be toast quick smart! I've had pythons curled up at the end of the pen drooling through the mesh before :D

    Here's a blog post I wrote about nesting boxes it shows my goanna proof setup http://www.selfsufficientme.com/blog/view/479/best_nesting_or_laying_boxes_for_chickens
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013
  12. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member

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    If and when I move to some land dealing with snakes will be one of my greatest challenges I think. :(
    And one I'm not looking forward to.
    Might need to give my snake-wrangling mate Mark a call to sort it out for me, with refreshments as payment!
     
  13. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    No probs mate! I'm always happy to work for refreshments :D
     
  14. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member

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    carpet snakes are usually pretty cruisy if they don't feel threatened, you can stand still right infront of them and just just poke around checking you out, the ones i've seen anyway.

    Good that you let it go Mark and didn't kill it :cheers:
     
  15. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Yeah they're amazing creatures. I have a feeling this summer will be big for snakes - seeing quite a few around and the evenings are still pretty cool yet.
     
  16. Letsgokate

    Letsgokate Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    My snake pics, we had only been at our new place for 2 weeks when we had encountered 2 snakes. The yard and garden had been left unmaintained by the previous owners for a while, so there is a lot of leaf litter built up around the place which we are cleaning up. We have done a lot already with so many trailer loads of green waste to the tip we have lost count.

    Our first encounter was in the chook pen. There was an old garden bed that we had removed the plants, garden edging etc. we decided to leave the leaf litter etc for the chooks thinking they would like to scratch through it which they did. We did not know that down below was a hole that was a nest for the Carpet Python. After a few days it decided to come out and it killed 2 of my young hens (approx 12 weeks) ate one.

    Bad-Carpet-Snake.jpg

    Yep the bump is my chook :(

    Few days later I was checking the mail, reached in and put my hand on a Green Tree Snake, gave me a bit of a start and got the heart racing. That arvo I cleaned up the area around the mailbox and got a new mailbox where I can lift the lid to look in before I put my hand in there.

    Snake.jpg

    We have seen a few snakes skins but so far no more snakes but we are being very cautious near garden beds. Found out on the weekend the next door neighbour had a Carpet Python in their chook pen on Sunday. We are in the process of making the chookpen more snake and critter proof.
     
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  17. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Those are GREAT images! Geez, I'll be checking my own mailbox before putting my hand in after seeing that LOL

    I have a big python in my pen ATM he has eaten about 6 rats by the look of it. I poked him out of the coop this morning to get him moving so I'll go down now and check he has gone. I left him in the pen last night because I could see he was targeting the rodents but it's risky I know...
     
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  18. Letsgokate

    Letsgokate Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Yikes. I'd rather not have the python after loosing some chickens. I'm putting 1200mm snake wire around my pen and then small bird aviary wire over the top and down the sides at the top so it should be snake proof from any big fellows and rats and then along the bottom small snake and mice proof. And stop the wild birds coming in and stealing the food and magies hassling my chooks. When it's all done I'll do a new post and show some photos. :)
     
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  19. Letsgokate

    Letsgokate Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Both photos were taken with a mobile phone, they don't do a bad job these days.
     
  20. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    I have to do the same and snake proof my chicken pen too (I keep saying that) it's going to mean a ton of work in my case.
     
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