Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Mama Hen 11; Rat Snake 2

Friday morning Charlie let the "Mama" broody hen and the 13 chicks in her care out of the brooderhouse to enjoy the day, the grass and the bugs.  These babies really know how to forage thanks to this attentive Mama's guidance.  When Jan went by the brooderhouse about an hour later she counted only 11 little yellow fuzz balls.  We searched the outside yard area and could find no signs of chicks so we guessed a snake had gotten them.  What we didn't guess was that the snake was so close by.  When Jan went into the brooderhouse to put down some fresh straw she found an unexpected "sunbather" in a corner.

Notice the lumps in this young (but large) rat snake.  Our 2 missing biddies.

Charlie caught the snake with his trusty snake catcher.  

And away we went.  With Jan driving the cart and Charlie holding the snake (who was a little angry!) we took off for the back woods on the farm and released it.  Rat snakes help to keep the rodent population under control for which we are grateful.  We'd prefer they not eat the chicks or the eggs, but sometimes one seizes the opportunity.  It's been a week of snakes.  This is the 6th one we've seen and the 4th to be caught and "relocated."

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