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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2007
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    NW Louisiana
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    Default Large-ish rat snake in my barn, under 1000lb of hay, HELP!

    OK last night we went out to feed the horses and collect eggs from our chickens. I wasn't wearing my glasses, and when I went to walk over to the nest, saw what looked like a really odd orange stick. Of course as I walked closer I realized it was, in fact, a snake, and it had one of my precious eggs halfway into its mouth. By the time I got my wits about me though, it was back under the pallet.

    I did retrieve the egg, which was unharmed.

    So any suggestions on how to get ride of a snake that's living in a pallet under 1000lb of round bale, which has of course been opened?

    My 5 cats are all WAY too lazy to go into the barn. I've had to resort to poison for the rats.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
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    West Coast of Michigan
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    Default

    Can you remove the source of food (eggs) for a while? He'll move on if there's nothing to eat.

    You could also make it unpleasant for him by puffing some smoke in there or just banging around with a stick for a while. Not to injure or kill it, necessarily, but to make it not seem so safe and quiet under there.

    Rat snakes are pretty non-aggressive. They're only a threat to your eggs.
    Click here before you buy.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
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    TX
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    Throw a handful of mothballs under there, that will keep snakes away.

    Naphta, the chemical in those mothballs, according to studies of the U of Michigan, disrupts the sensory organs of snakes and they get dizzy and go away.
    There is a product that feed stores sell called Snake-Away, that is naphta crumbles.

    In the studies, they didn't say what a dizzy snake looks like.

    Be thankful it was not a rattler, like we have here.
    We don't use pallets for anything, that just gives mice and the rattlers that live off them one more place to hide.



  4. #4
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    Jan. 16, 2002
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    West Coast of Michigan
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    Default

    What a good thing to know! Thanks, Bluey. I would buy a ticket to see a dizzy snake.
    Click here before you buy.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2007
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    NW Louisiana
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    Awesome Bluey! Just the kind of answer I was looking for!

    Unfortunately convincing the chickens to lay elsewhere when they are free-range is pretty difficult. They like to lay in the most inconvenient places possible. One of them consistently lays behind my neighbor's fridge in his workshop

    We have rattlers here too, among a couple other poisonous types, but I've not seen any in my barn. I think I would die if I did. So this guy is pretty harmless, but I rather like my eggs and wish he would go away and not eat them.

    Pallets are a necessity too, because the barn floods in heavy rain. I cannot wait to build something a bit better. That's NOT built into a downhill slope.

    We will pick up some mothballs tonight.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 21, 2006
    Location
    South Carolina
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    Default

    Does anyone know if mothballs are safe to use around birds? They are sensitive to all kinds of crazy things - for instance, the fumes from an overheated teflon pan. Go figure.

    Anyway, I'd check with someone knowledgeable before I used that stuff around the chickenses.

    How do you suppose one would recognize a dizzy snake? I mean, they can't stagger, can they?



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 28, 2004
    Location
    Texas
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    Default

    I would be delighted to have a rat snake in my hay barn. All the benefits of a barn cat, but it does not kill birds. Plus, I think they are supposed to be a deterrant to rattle snakes. Leave him be, I say.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
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    That snake is eating many more mice than he/she is eggs.

    I say leave him/her be.



  9. #9
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    Aug. 5, 2006
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    Default

    Another vote for let him/her be.



  10. #10
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    Mar. 12, 2006
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    Western South Dakota
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    I think moth balls are very poisonous to everything. I say be happy you have a nice snake for rodent control.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep. 17, 2003
    Location
    Fort Myers, Florida
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    If you can part with a few eggs then I second the suggestions to let him be. They are great to have around.
    "My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sunlight and nicker to me in the night"



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
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    TX
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    Mothballs are poisonous if you eat them, but no one could eat them, even by mistake.

    Naptha is a volatile compound and mothballs slowly release their gasses to dissipate harmlessly, in minuscule concentrations, but just enough to keep insects and vermints away from a spot.

    Of course you don't want to dump a whole box anywhere, but a few here or there, especially under a pallet where nothing much should get to them, won't hurt anyone.

    I vote with the others for letting the snake live there and have the occassional egg.

    Just don't get complacent about snakes.
    No snake will keep other snakes away most times.
    I have seen rattlers cohabite in the same hole with bullsnakes, that are not the friendliest sort of snakes.

    Always watch where you step and be sure where you are sticking your hands into.



  13. #13
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    Jul. 13, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hampton Bay View Post
    I realized it was, in fact, a snake, and it had one of my precious eggs halfway into its mouth. By the time I got my wits about me though, it was back under the pallet. I did retrieve the egg, which was unharmed.
    Okay, I realize that you don't eat the shell, but eeeewwww, barring starvation, I couldn't eat an egg that had done a lap in a snake's mouth. Bleeeehhhh....



  14. #14
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    Jan. 4, 2007
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    TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by vacation1 View Post
    Okay, I realize that you don't eat the shell, but eeeewwww, barring starvation, I couldn't eat an egg that had done a lap in a snake's mouth. Bleeeehhhh....
    Only half a lap, for what she described.



  15. #15
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    Feb. 9, 2005
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    Ocala, FL
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    A snake's mouth might be one of the cleaner places an egg visits.......



  16. #16
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    Jul. 21, 2003
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    St Aug, Fla
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    I vote to leave him/her be as well. I know it stinks to have some eggs go to feeding the snake, however, rat snakes can/will eat other snakes, including the moc's that we have here in Florida. They are shy, nonaggressive, and will keep the mouse/rat population down. We have a rather long (4'+) rat snake that lives on my property. Probably why I rarely have any mouse issues. Thankfully it doesnt go into the pigeon coop but I would be more worried about the pigeons than an egg.
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  17. #17
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    Nov. 13, 2007
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    NW Louisiana
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    I have lots of little chicks around too, and I don't want them to go missing. They are caged, but when I clean cages it never fails that once they start flying, one or two get loose.

    I have no issues with snakes on my property. But I don't want them in my barn, eating my eggs and possibly chicks. There is a brushy area about 10 feet from the barn, and he is more than welcome to go make that his home.

    Plus, no more rats. I got rid of them all with rat poison. They kept chewing on saddle pads and other tack, and pooping places I don't want to find poop.

    Don't get me wrong, I love animals. I have little black fuzzy hunting spiders that I let stay in my house. I think they are freakin precious and no one is allowed to kill them, ever. But a snake in my barn that eats eggs, and that is going to get max 4' long (this type of rat snake very very rarely gets more than 4')? I think I will use the rather harmless mothballs as incentive for him to relocate.

    And it's not your generic 4' rat snakes that get rid of the poisonous ones. It's King snakes. They are immune to the venom of several different types of snakes, so they can get bitten and it doesn't affect them. This guy, not so much.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb. 26, 2007
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lorilu View Post
    A snake's mouth might be one of the cleaner places an egg visits.......
    This is too funny! I try to eliminate the thought process at breakfast.



  19. #19
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    Sep. 14, 2004
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    Eastern Kansas
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    I overheard a woman, at a wedding reception a few weeks ago, talking about finding a rat snake trying to swallow one of her grown chickens. Utterly impossible for it to do so, but it was sure trying - all wrapped around the chicken...head in mouth. Didn't want to let it go, either...until she tried putting a big bucket over it. Must not have liked that idea - it let go and slithered for cover before she could catch it.

    It was a fascinating conversation.
    Is it me or do 99.9% of cowboys just look better with their hats on?
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  20. #20
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    Nov. 13, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by lorilu View Post
    A snake's mouth might be one of the cleaner places an egg visits.......
    Quote Originally Posted by daisyduke View Post
    This is too funny! I try to eliminate the thought process at breakfast.
    Yeah, but you don't eat the shell!

    The egg in question was still intact, just a bit of snake spit on it.



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