14 July 2015

Snake in the chicken pen

This summer has been a busy one.  First we had a nice long spring, and then poof! Hot days of summer!  Garden time, working on camper time, and why isn't mama hen wanting to set?  We have this one white hen, faithful as ever on setting, but this year she did not want to set until June which is really late for her since by June she could be on her second batch of chicks.
Early on we had what they call "rat" snake in the chicken pen.  Hubby found it when he was reaching in to get the eggs it had one in its mouth already!  So, he caught that one and took it on down the road a few miles and turned it loose.  Mama hen then decided to hatch some little ones.  She hatched seven, and then there were four.  Hmmm. 
That morning I looked around everywhere, and hubby looked too.  Till I looked up.
There it was, nice and full.  I am not a big fan of snakes, but don't get me wrong.  Rat snakes eat copperheads, rats, mice, etc.., and they are good to have just not in my chicken pen.  We did not realize how big it was till we put it in the trash can we had.
It was over 5feet in length!  This had to be a pretty old snake to be that big.  This time hubby took it down the road, across two rivers, and the interstate till he dropped it off on the other side.  We did not want that one back!
Poor mama hen.  So, I have been wanting some Araucana chickens again for the longest time so I can have some pretty colored eggs!  I found some baby chicks, and went to pick them up.  Now to see if mama would take to them.  We slipped them under her late at night.
They were all happy campers.  We have not seen another snake since then, however, we did lose another big one and two little ones.  Never found the snake though.  So, we built a box with a super fine mesh that we put on the "nursery" side that has its own entrance.
So every night when they all go to bed they get their door closed up and then re-opened bright and early, and I do mean early.  For those of you who have chickens you know how early that can be!  So for now they are all happy and getting really big by wandering all over the property.  Pretty soon they will all go over the the big side, and mama will be glad.  She has always been our best one.  I did notice that one of the bigger chicks was calling to the little ones when it found something so maybe we will have another good mama hen to carry on.
As for the snakes, well, we have a lot of woods around us so they can stay there. The neighbor has had a big one at their place, and I have seen a couple of  real little ones which is ok....for now.  Just stay out of the chicken pen or your home will be miles down the road!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...