If you have chickens, you need to know how to keep the snakes away from the chickens. Snakes are a common side effect of chicken farming. And even if it doesn’t look like it at first sight, snakes are not always unwelcome guests. The presence of snakes often means that mice and rats also visit your henhouse, and the snake has followed them in search of light food. If snakes just cling to your unwanted parasites, they may be welcome next to your henhouse.
Unfortunately, snakes are often dangerous not only to mice and rats, but also to eggs, chicks and even chickens. And poisonous snakes can be dangerous to the health of human family members and pets. In the interest of everyone’s health and safety, it is best to avoid hoses in the barn.
How do I know if you have hoses in your poultry house?
If you see a snake, of course you know you have a problem. But even if you can’t see the snake, there are certain signals:
Reduced egg yield
If the hens tend to slow down egg production in autumn and winter, or in case of stress, overheating or moulting, it is also possible that the snake has some eggs for you.
Snakes digest everything except mussels, and then smother empty mussels that are pressed into cigars. When you see these shells, it’s a good sign that you have a snake.
Wet Chicken or Chicken with Wet Head
Believe it or not, this may be a sign that the snake was trying to make food with your chicken or chicken, but it gave up before it succeeded.
Snakes are not only a sure sign of fire, but they also tend to drop snakes only where they feel safe and comfortable. When you see the skin of the snake, you can be sure that your snake is at home in your chicken coop.
Which hoses need to be cared for?
Any snake that threatens your chickens, chicks or eggs should be a cause for concern. In the US these are generally the king snakes, milk snakes, rat snakes, black snakes and (of course) chicken snakes. They are all North American soul mates, and none of these snakes are poisonous, but some species of rat snake are known to be aggressive.
It is never good to be bitten by a snake, because even non-toxic snake bites can be painful and possibly cause an infection. It can be reassuring to know that members of the human family are not at risk of being attacked by the snakes that live in your poultry house.
What do you do when you have snakes in your henhouse?
If you have snakes in your chicken coop or if you think you have snakes, stay calm. Remember that they are normally not directly attracted by chickens or eggs, but probably by the presence of rodents. If you can protect your chickens, snakes can even be a welcome form of pest control.
Examine the snake species in your area to determine whether there is a risk to humans. It may be useful to call your local animal welfare authority and ask for advice. Don’t forget that many types of American snakes are protected, so don’t rush to buy repellents or toxins. Instead, work to keep the snakes away from your chicken coop.
How to keep snakes away from poultry houses
First you keep your chicken coop. If you have supplied chickens with wire netting, switch to a connection with 1/4 or 1/2 holes. Find any openings or holes where the hoses can get in and seal them. Time eliminates the holes around doors and shutters. Snakes can come in holes of at least half a centimetre, so take a good look at your chicken coop.
Second: Be aware of where mice and rats can be attracted and take measures to reduce their presence. This may mean that you need to clean the chicken coop more often. Seal food and feed containers at night in rodent-proof containers kept away from the hen house. Consider reducing the amount of feed you give your chickens. This reduces spillage and prevents the spread of excess food to areas where it can attract rodents.
Thirdly, the area should be cleared to reduce the number of snakes and rodents to be covered. Removing dry leaves, old hay, shrubs and debris around the barn reduces the number of hiding places and the number of places where spilt feed can accumulate. Cut off the bushes and hedges.
Finally, think of other measures to make your poultry house less attractive to snakes. Adopting a cat can help reduce the number of rodents that attract snakes. Many chicken owners also find it useful to adopt a few seabirds and add them to their flock. These fascinating birds get along well with chickens and make an unusual ringing sound when they encounter rats or snakes. Guinea Pigs are territorial and are even known to attack and kill small parasites and predators.
What do you do when you see a snake in the henhouse?.
If you see a snake in the chicken coop, stay calm and call your local animal protection organisation or the animal welfare department. You should never try to catch or handle a snake without preparation. If possible, remove the chickens from the hose and wait for the rescue.
Your local animal welfare authority can also advise you to use humane snake traps. It is difficult to find snake traps, poisons or repellents, which do not pose a potential threat to chickens, and many species of snake are also protected here. Many popular remedies, such as golf balls, mothballs or snake sprays are either ineffective or harmful to chickens and friendly species. If you have a serious problem and cannot solve it by reducing the rodent population, the trap is the best solution.
As for the snakes in the henhouse, remember that snakes do not always have to be unwanted and that they play an important role in the natural ecosystem. Take measures to secure the chicken coop and protect the chickens, and make the coop less attractive to rodents. Your snake problem could soon be a thing of the past.
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