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Thursday, April 28 2011

  Warning!  Warning! Warning!

If you are squeamish, skip this blog and tune in tomorrow for something warm, and fuzzy, and cute.  The truth of things is that I'd rather skip it too, but in keeping with my moral code, I must share ALL the parts of living in the country, not just the good ones. 

That said, enter this blog at your own risk . . .


Now those of you who are left, everyone hold hands . . .


Okay, here goes . . .


Our neighbor, Kindly Rancher Next Door, is a young man who raises cattle, a few goats, and some chickens.  The chickens and goats are income and education for his young son, Cooper, who is learning early the values of hard work and the ranching way of life.  I am proud to say the I bought Cooper's first crop of baby goats, and Other Half paid WAAY too much for chickens we didn't need one year because he wanted to give this budding rancher some encouragement.  But I digress, back to the story . . .

Spring has sprung and the season of baby chicks is upon us.  Kindly Rancher Next Door shared this little tidbit over the fence this week:

He lost 8 of his first crop of baby chicks to one of our barn cats!  I felt terrible.  He was okay with it. No hard feelings.  Life in the country, and all that.  Anyway, he had moved on, and was looking forward to their next little crop of chicks that had just hatched. 

And now here's the horrifying part . . .

He came in one day last week to find a 6 foot chicken snake had gotten into the pen and eaten ALL of his chicks.  Then the bastard was so fat that he couldn't sneak back out again!

EEEEEKKKKKKK!!!!! (cue "Psycho" soundtrack)

My skin is still crawling! I'm not a snake-hater, but Friends & Neighbors, if a chicken snake just ate all my peeps that would be one dead snake! The severe drought is bringing wildlife closer and closer to the houses and barns.  I'm most grateful that the sheep rotating in and out of the yard keep the grass down low enough to discourage snakes, but we have no sheep at the other house.  (right beside where the 6 foot chicken snake was discovered)

Now some of you may be old enough to remember the comedian Richard Pryor. While much of his comedy was a bit raunchy for me, I do recall a delightful skit he did on snakes where he summed up precisely my feelings regarding them.

"Snakes . . . make you hurt yourself."

Now I see snakes everywhere.  The garden hose is a snake.  The dog toy becomes a snake.  The stick looks like a snake.  Everything long and slender has suddenly mutated to become a snake.  I jump. I run into things. I cuss.

And I keep rotating sheep and goats around the house so every shred of vegetation that the little bastards would use for concealment is GONE!

And Other Half wonders why I refuse to collect eggs in the dark!

I do want to add one note:

Don't you reckon that the Easter Egg Hunt on the ranch next door was modified a bit last Sunday?


(I'm just saying . . . )

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 10:43 am   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
You had me really scared there for a second -- until I read on. Thing is we had something similar happen to us last summer. We had about 3 dozen little chicks and keets that had just graduated from the brooder to a coop and I'll be darned if we get hit twice by rat snakes. I was so angry the first time I saw that bulge that I killed the snake. I felt bad about that and the 2nd time just relocated it. My DW went out one night to collect eggs and saw a big one slithering thru the hens legs! She screamed like a little girl.
Posted by Ken and Mary of FancyFibers Farm on 04/28/2011 - 03:02 PM
Girl, I just last weekend caught 2 5-foot rat snakes in my chicken house. I found a third one on Monday but it was too quick for me. I just ordered a made-for-snakes live trap. I'm a snake-liking person, but I'm tired of sharing all my eggs!
Posted by sharon martin-holm on 04/28/2011 - 07:29 PM

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