Farm Fauna: Snake Surprises

Though not often seen, snakes are also (wild) denizens of the farm. Today, we encountered two!

Some people fear snakes, but most of the snakes in our area are non-venomous, and non-aggressive – they just try to get away when we happen upon them. This morning, we found a large Rat Snake in the vicinity of the chicken coop. It was several feet away, and there are no snake-accessible entrances (holes, etc.), so it wasn’t a threat to the adult birds in the coop. We carefully relocated the snake to a greenbelt area, away from the coop. Did you notice the mark on its head? Wonder if it’s run afoul of the guinea fowl, which are rumored to kill snakes…

Shortly thereafter, as we were preparing to move the goslings’ hoop tractor, I reached down to grab the rope used for moving it – and jumped back. A snake was coiled right where the rope had been! Another Rat Snake, perhaps a bit smaller than the first. It disappeared into thick vegetation near a fenceline…just going about its business.

Rat Snakes will eat eggs and chicks, and they climb well, so they are technically a potential predator. We’ll have to be extra watchful of small chicks in outdoor pens to ensure that the snakes don’t sneak in for a snack!

Want to learn more about this kind of snake? Check here: UK: Gray Ratsnake.

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