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Black rat snake

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Nicki
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Black rat snake

Postby Nicki » Sat Oct 25, 2014 11:48 am

I was cutting my mom's grass and this big fellow went slithering into her back field; we used to have a lot of these when I raised chickens - they would make me so mad when they would eat my chicks :cry:

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Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. ~Proverbs 3:5-6~

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millipede
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Re: Black rat snake

Postby millipede » Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:26 pm

I understand that frustration... we lost a fair amount of birds to predators and it was always upsetting. I even got mad enough to kill a snake once. Generally, I love snakes and don't like that but, I lost my cool that day.
What I TRY to do and TRY to share with other people is that prevention is the ONLY real solution. I can remember a certain member of the PYA that was ALWAYS going on about raccoons and how he had to go and kill them all. My point was always that, no matter how many you kill, more will come. You can't eliminate every last predator in your entire area... and even if you could, they'd just come back.
Preventing larger animals is a LOT easier... Raccoons for example can be prevented entirely with little effort.
Snakes are more difficult but not impossible. The best remedy for them should always start with prevention. Snakes need food and shelter. Food is often mice and rats... the mice and rats use the same shelter that you might find snakes in... wood piles, under tin, etc. Move all of that as far from the house as possible... keep the yard maintained, etc etc... and that goes a LONG way in prevention.
Using the 1/2" hardware cloth for pens makes it more expensive but things can be made pretty secure with it. My pens are not COMPLETELY predator proof but I've used a lot of that wire and it has cut WAY down on such attacks. If you can find where animals can get in, you can fix it.
One thing I never tried but imagine would work really well was something I found on a website years ago... It was something of a fence, sort of a perimeter you could put up to prevent snakes... Basically building a wall or fence using a smoother material like metal for roofs.. and leaning it outward and built at least 3 feet high. Snakes would have nothing to grab onto to get over such a wall/fence.

Eh, just some thoughts. It's painful to see your animals killed and while revenge feels good for a moment, it doesn't fix anything.

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Re: Black rat snake

Postby Nicki » Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:55 pm

I've never killed a black snake or a king snake...even though I was VERY tempted when it ate my chicks LOL. But I DO kill poisonous snakes! One of my brothers is a snake fanatic and won't even kill a copperhead but he's nuts! We had a copperhead in our yard a couple of weeks ago and it scared me half to death! I was only a few feet away from it and it lifted its head and looked at me...uugghh! I yelled for my husband and he grabbed a shovel and killed it. I don't think copperheads are afraid of anything...once when I was cutting my mom's grass, I went around a tree and a copperhead struck at the LAWN MOWER! You think it would have been trying to get away from it, not attack it!
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. ~Proverbs 3:5-6~

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millipede
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Re: Black rat snake

Postby millipede » Sat Oct 25, 2014 5:11 pm

I don't see many copperheads... but, snakes can be defensive.
More people are bitten while trying to either handle or kill a snake than just randomly. If you see copperheads around your property, you might want to look around and figure out what they like, and then change it. It may help.
Here in Arkansas it is technically illegal to kill ANY non-game animal unless it poses an immediate threat. So, even though most cops wouldn't enforce(never mind know) such a law... it would technically be illegal for me to go kill a copperhead just because I didn't like it.
It can be dangerous... some people are SO afraid of snakes... my wife used to work with a lady that would purposely drive out of her way to run one over if she saw one. Swerving around on the road is just not a good choice. :/
Yeah, I've only seen a couple of venomous snakes... only one or two were copperheads... the rest were cottonmouths. I take pictures and then make sure they get to safety... :D

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Re: Black rat snake

Postby Nicki » Sun Oct 26, 2014 11:00 am

When I was a kid, my cousin and I were playing in the creek at my aunt's house and before I knew it, a big cottonmouth struck at me. I jumped out of the way in time but it sure did scare us! My aunt killed that one.
I've only seen one copperhead at our house, but my parents' house has quite a few. They have almost 6 acres of land with a big field in the back - I think most of the snakes are in the field looking for mice, etc.
I don't go out of my way to run over a snake in the road, but I did hit one accidentally the other day. I felt bad about it because it was just a little garter snake :(
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. ~Proverbs 3:5-6~

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Re: Black rat snake

Postby millipede » Sat Nov 01, 2014 11:02 am

When I was a kid, my cousin and I were playing in the creek at my aunt's house and before I knew it, a big cottonmouth struck at me.

I'm not going to question your ability to ID a snake back then... but want to mention that cottonmouths don't strike very often. Their initial reaction is to just sit there... or, sometimes, slither away. If they feel threatened enough, they'll sit there with their mouths open trying to scare you.(where they get their name)
I've been VERY close to several cottonmouths and have never seen them strike(not to say they wouldn't)
Watersnakes on the other hand... if they feel even slightly cornered, they'll strike repeatedly.
Sadly, around here, EVERY snake seen at the water is labeled a cottonmouth... and a lot of water snakes get killed.
A few years back I found kids throwing rocks at something in the creek. I convinced them to stop. I went over, some guy was there and swore it was a cottonmouth because he saw a white mouth when it struck at him. Of course, so many of these people TRY to kill the animal which is most often the only time they're in danger... the person that is. When you go out of your way to interact(even to kill), you're putting yourself at risk.
This particular time, I went and captured the snake... it was a harmless water snake but many people there still wouldn't listen. :/

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Re: Black rat snake

Postby Nicki » Sat Nov 01, 2014 11:12 am

The inside of its mouth was white and it had a triangular head - aren't the triangular heads usually on venomous snakes or am I wrong? I did read that cottonmouths don't usually strike unless provoked but my cousin and I were playing in the creek in pretty close proximity to it so it probably did feel threatened with 2 loud crazy kids splashing nearby LOL.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. ~Proverbs 3:5-6~

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millipede
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Re: Black rat snake

Postby millipede » Sat Nov 01, 2014 11:20 am

aren't the triangular heads usually on venomous snakes or am I wrong?

generally speaking, you're right. Some snakes will flatten their heads out though... which I think is neat. I've seen rat snakes vibrate their tails in the grass and leaves trying to sound like a rattle snake... the hognose snake can play dead and flatten it's head WAY out looking more like a cobra or something.

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Nicki
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Re: Black rat snake

Postby Nicki » Tue Nov 04, 2014 7:34 am

We noticed the triangular head after we killed it...I'm guessing their head doesn't flatten out after they are dead lol.

My brother used to have a boa constrictor when I was little. I let it wrap itself around my shoulders - that thing was HEAVY!! I can't remember how big she eventually got, but my brother loved that snake - he named her Sasha.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. ~Proverbs 3:5-6~


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