By Lynette Simango
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 a financial loss because you will lose a good number of your birds and/or eggs.
Snakes can gain entry into a chicken pen through holes or cracks in the roof, wall or floor. They are also capable of crawling underneath, over and through mesh fencing.
Here is how you can to keep your chickens safe:
The first thing you need to do is to check if they are no openings around your poultry pen. All holes, cracks and openings must be covered to prevent snakes from entering into the poultry pen through them and you can do this by plastering them with cement, hard cloths and mesh.
You also need to make sure you have cleared all snakes hideouts around your place and these includes bushes and grasses. When you keep tall grasses and bushes around the pen of your chickens, you are predisposing them to snake attacks. Clearance of grasses and bushes leaves snakes without a hideout place thus getting rid of them. Additionally, tree branches should be pruned regularly.
In some situation, there is need to make use of varieties of snake repellants. Upon smelling them, snakes have no choice than to crawl away. You can make use of lime powder. It repels snakes and other reptiles. You spread the 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. Another alternative is to buy and place lime fruits in corners and strategic locations in the pen. You can also plant snake repellent plants like marigold.
One thing that attracts snakes are rodents. As they hunt for these around your fowl run, your chicken will just find itself in their way and you know how this will end so you need to get rid of rodents. Ensure that you prevent or kill rodents on sight. When you do this, you are protecting your birds from a snake attack. Protect those chickens! Protect your investment!