Last month a neighbor approached us asking if we would be interested in adopting 6 chickens and their coop because they were moving and did not want to ‘stress the chickens out’. We jumped on the offer since we planned to try our hand at raising chickens for eggs sometime in the future.
I quickly developed this daily routine with ‘the girls’:
~ Open the coop door in the morning to let them free range
~ Make sure they ALWAYS have fresh water
~ Put chicken food in their coop feeder each day
~ Peek in their nesting boxes a few times a day and collect eggs
~ Guide them back to the coop in the evening and bid them ‘night-night-sleep-tight’
Well, yesterday morning offered a slight hiccup to our routine. When I lifted the wooden lid to check for any new eggs in the nesting boxes, I was surprised to find a snake curled up in the far right box. Down went the lid! My heart seemingly made its way to my throat and did not stop pounding until I completed a text message to my husband letting him know of my discovery. I closed the coop door so the girls would not go back in until the Mr. got home around 5:00 p.m.
Once home, I grabbed my husband’s arm and lead him to the coop while recapping my snake experience. “Sandra” he began, “I doubt that snake is still there…that was over nine hours ago when you messaged me.” I knew he was right, but boy was I hoping he was wrong. I wanted him to see this snake. I wanted a picture of this snake. (and) I wanted him to rid our homestead and chicken coop of this snake (as if the elimination of ONE snake would free us from future threat).
There I was with my camera in hand, set to auto because I had no time to mess with manual settings. There he was: have BB-Gun will travel! [Yeah, we pack very little heat around here.] He slowly lifted the nesting box lid…no snake. He bent down and unlatched the hatch where we reach in and fill the feeder. Just as he was ready to say “nothing here”, I saw it. There was the snake all curled up in the corner. I could even see the bulge of an egg he clearly had swallowed hours ago! I snapped a few pictures and let the Mr. take the shots needed to keep our chickens safe. Whew! Glad that was over. BTW, the egg resting in the snake was a fake egg. Three fake eggs were given to us when we welcomed the chickens to their new home. The previous owners explained that placing a fake egg in the nesting box might encourage laying. Seems to work!
We figured it was just as easy to retrieve the fake egg from the snake as it would be to buy a new one. Of course, many of you would argue that purchasing eggs from the local grocer would also be easier than the above experience. I could never argue that!