Snakes are one of the deadly and ruthless predators of chickens. They can bite, kill and eat live chickens and also eat their eggs. It means that if a snake enters the pen of your chickens, the aftermath would definitely be an economic loss because you will lose a good number of your birds and/or eggs. For example, if a snake enters a layers pen, it will first eat as many eggs as possible and finally bite any layer chickens that serve as a threat.
Snakes can gain entry into a chicken house, coop or pen through holes or cracks in the roof, wall or floor. They are also capable of crawling underneath, over and through any mesh fencing.
Safeguarding your pen from snakes is highly compulsory if you are a serious poultry farmer. To prevent snakes from entering a chicken house, coop or pen, do the following:
1. Block All Openings
All holes, cracks and openings must be covered to prevent snakes from entering into the poultry pen through them. These openings, including holes and cracks, should be covered up by plastering them with cement, hard cloths and mesh.
2. Clear Bushes and Grasses around Pens
Snakes and other predators use bushes and grasses as hideouts. When you keep tall grasses and bushes around the pen of your chickens, you are predisposing them to snake attacks. When you clear grasses and bushes, snakes won’t have a place to hide and they will have no other choice but to leave. Additionally, tree branches should be pruned regularly.
3. Use Snake Repellants
There are varieties of snake repellant in the market. When you apply an effective repellent around your chicken pens, snakes will smell them and crawl away. Limes are good chemicals that repel snakes and other reptiles. You can buy and spread lime powder around the external walls of your pens. However, be careful, because lime is harmful to humans and other animals. So use as directed by the manufacturer. You can also buy and place lime fruits in corners and strategic locations in the pen.
4. Get Rid of Rodents
Rodents also serve as great meals for snakes. So that snake in or around your poultry house may actually be looking for rats or mice to eat. So ensure you prevent or kill rodents on sight. When you do this, you are protecting your birds from a snake attack.
You can also apply the tips above to prevent rodents from gaining an entry into your chicken pens. Remember, when you keep snakes and rodents out of your chicken pen, you are protecting your investment, money, profits and birds.