Well, it finally happened, y'all. We lost our first (and hopefully last) chick to a big Texas Rat Snake last night, and more than likely, it could have possibly been prevented. Usually, we try and close our birds up for the evening right around dark, but for some reason it just didn't get done then. Our oldest, Kyler, eventually made his way out to tuck everyone in for the night, and it wasn't long before he ran back to the house, warning us that Satan's second cousin was in one of our coops, eating our chicks. We hurried outside to find one of our poor six week old Australorp cockerels on his way to being swallowed whole by a 5.5 foot Nope Rope. There were lots of sad-mad emotions floating around as we watched it continue to try and hork the poor thing down, while we considered how we should handle the situation.
At that point, relocation was out of the question. Had our birds been unharmed, and the snake only got some eggs out of the deal, then we could have hauled it off many, many, many, miles away. Unfortunately, that isn't how this story ended up for either of us, and we still have sixteen chicks to keep safe for the unforeseeable future. Plus, it's Texas, and we don't take kindly to trespassers killing our stuff. So, needless to say, we're short one less beak to feed, and Mr. Slither Britches has one less head to go gobbling up any more chicks. Hopefully, being a little more strict in our poultry management from now on, plus investing in some minnow traps, will help eliminate any possible future attacks from happening. What are some of the ways you use to help keep snakes away, or reduce the risk of losing eggs or chickens to them? Leave us a comment - we'd love to hear from you!