We usually kill at least one rat snake (called chicken snakes around these parts) a year around the chicken house, but this year we’ve been snake-free, so far. It’s getting late into the season; they better hurry.
Roger on the relocating, I hate to kill them (outstanding rat- and mousers), but a big one can swallow a settin of eggs a meal. If I see them out away from the place, I just observe. They are a fascinating creation.
To kill snakes Old Timers would put glass eggs in hens’ nests. Cold? Yes, but they were more dependent on eggs for a meal than we are.
Snakes are certainly something to think about. Right now, I'm dealing with a possum. Some things were happening around my house concerning human beings, so I have been playing around with some security cameras with night vision. Saw this possum in the backyard. He's been around a few nights that I've seen. Suspect he comes here for water and to eat the bugs in the yard. That is great he is eating those bugs, I hate those things, however, he could be a threat to my chickens if I forget or am unable to lock them up for some reason at night.
As it is, he isn't really hurting anything. Still, I don't know. I've heard they can kill chickens. I've had several disappear around here.
I'm sitting here looking at the monitor waiting for him to come out again. It is fun watching him.
No telling how long he's been living here. Wonder where he sleeps. I took a picture of one in my dog house three years ago. He was having some dog food. Could even be the same one.
So far, I've never had a chicken with only his head taken off.
I took a picture of the monitor with my tablet when I saw him eating the bugs. Wanted to show my grandson. Am trying to upload it to youtube now. Really taking a long time.
I so enjoy these cameras, esp since I am allergic to the sun and can't go outside in the day. I can sit here and see what my chickens are doing and when the mailman comes. :D I don't have them in place yet, on the house. Not sure I'll like the view from up there either. I like the ground view. If I actually saw anybody in my yard at night though, I'd probably have a little heart attack. Oops, guess I shouldn't say that. Okay, I'd jump out of my skin? That is not nice to say either. hmm
Well, I'll tell you the brief story of why I now have security cameras. About three weeks ago somebody came up very close to my house and fired off two shotgun rounds. VERY VERY LOUD. I have no idea who or why someone would do that. I know the girl across the street is a teen and has been running around at night doing things she shouldn't be doing. Could be something to do with her. Not sure. Could be someone wanted to scare me. I don't know. Not a good feeling though to think some crazy person has a shotgun and comes around your house at night.
So I bought these cameras. All I've discovered so far is a possum and three cats.
Night before last something killed two of my chickens. An older white silkie and my best rooster, a partridge silkie. He was probably my favorite bird. I'm really upset about it.
Not sure exactly what happened. I may have failed to shut the coop door. :( We were getting cold warnings and I was busy trying to make sure my baby chicks were safe and warm, and to put up the Araucanas, I may have just failed to go back and shut their door. :(
The white was not really damaged that I could see, but the rooster had his backside eaten out. From what I'm reading online, that is the mark of the possum. Cats around here are still suspect as well. His feathers were all over too.
I will be trapping anything I can from now on that gets in my yard.
Light_for_Jesus, I'm sorry for your losses. I know I really hate losing a chicken that way, but sometimes those darned critters just outsmart us, drat it all!
I gave my DH a game cam for Christmas last year. He hadn't asked for one and I could tell he couldn't figure out why I gave him one. Then he put it up my his hog trap. He was using beer soaked corn as a lure for the hogs. The corn kept disappearing but no hogs were getting trapped. Turns out it was a family of raccoons. The videos were so funny as the raccoons seemed to be getting drunk off the beer-corn. So DH kept setting up the game cam again and again just to watch the videos of the drunken raccoons staggering around the hog trap. Now he's hooked. They are addictive, aren't they?
I also know how you feel about some unknown person shooting off shotguns near the house. We actually had some young people setting off hand grenades (yes, that's right--hand grenades) as well as the usual shot gun/large caliber gun just after New Year's Day on the property behind ours. We knew the explosions were LOUD, but didn't imagine some one could get ahold of hand grenades. We didn't know what to do, but the Brookshire's bag boy told me to call the game warden when I told him about these loud explosions at night near out house. Now, I didn't ask how he knew to call the game warden, but he seemed pretty adamant that I call right away. Yup, the game warden caught them. Hand grenades--geesh!
Anyhoo, you might check with the game warden. Maybe he can do some night time drive by's. That's what ours did and he caught them.
Yeah, the game warden did report back. He said they (the young people) were all grandsons, nephews and nieces, etc. of the owner and out from Dallas for the week. They claimed they were hunting hogs. With hand grenades. I said I didn't think hand grenades were even legal and the game warden said there would be charges at the most and they would all lose their hunting licenses at the least. I never did hear anything else about it, but the "explosions" stopped. We're not from around here so we try to keep out of the local stuff--but this was a bit much LOL (now)! I was out checking on the goats at dusk when one of the grenades went off. The goat sheds are on a concrete slab and I was inside one. It actually felt like whole slab lifted off the ground when that grenade went off!
Wow. Sounds sort of like when the chemical plant here exploded. Not sure what the rest of the house did, but our back room came up off the ground, like it bounced. Incredible considering we are about ten miles away from it.
I trapped the yellow and white cat. He is a big and strong tom cat and could have been the one. I took him about twenty blocks away, but guess what, he is back. I saw him next door crossing the street. When he saw me he looked over like he was mad at me. Maybe he will stay away. I hope so. They probably aren't as easy to catch the second time.
I caught the possum and wanted to keep him, he was so cute. I left a message with Animal control asking if it was legal to keep a possum in town, and if not to come and get him. They came and got him right away. I assume they relocated him somewhere. Hope they gave him a good home.
I enjoy reading about your experiences with the critters.
You be careful. If you get careless and get possum bit, the bit part is liable to rot off. They love to be around–but prefer to be inside of– alongtimedead things–lots of bacteria.
Nah, you probably won’t catch that tomcat again. I’ve never caught the same cat twice, tom or pussy.
Twenty blocks, that’s just a baby's step. I have a friend who lives over in the Ouachita River bottoms. It’s miles to his nearest neighbor. When I rib him about the remoteness, his favorite comeback is: Yeah, we live so far apart over here everyone needs his own tomcat.
Red Rat snakes are very common in Fl., this one tried to swallow a 2 week old baby pigeon & had to spit it out when it got too big to swallow but suffocated the baby. I have lost as many as 20 eggs or babies in one year, we don't turn these guys loose in Fl., they come back, they can squeeze thru 1/2x1/2 inch wire.