How to KILL snakes???

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Navotifarm, Jul 3, 2010.

  1. Navotifarm

    Navotifarm Well-Known Member

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    On the homestead, every day is school day because unexpected things happen and you have to create as you go.
    When snakes get in your cages and eat your baby rabbits or birds, how do you kill the snakes?? Is there a best poison spray to keep around?
    Yesterday, I had a major disaster with several young birds I have been keeping in cages by my back deck. I thought they were safe from raccoons because I had barricaded them with more cages and left my german shepherd tied out near them all night. But something was mysteriously killing them without leaving a mark on them at the rate of two a night.
    Yesterday morning when I came out, one cage that formerly contained a young rooster and a quail had a dead rooster and a black snake with a big bulge in it, the poor quail!

    I never thought about something crawling under my deck! If it was that particular snake, it killed seven birds, three quail, a duck and three chickens. Oh, I was upset!

    What a problem thinking how to kill the snake! First I got my .22 pistol and called my friend who hunts my land but he couldn't come. He warned me about ricochet, especially as I don't know about handling my gun to begin with. I had heard you can spray snakes with a fire extinguisher which will chill them so they are immobile and easy to kill but my extinguisher trigger was broken. Then I pulled a big rubbermaid tub over and dropped the cage in it which stuck up too high to put the cover on. I thought maybe I could drown the snake but that was an impractical option. As an assassin I was feeling a failure but I couldn't let that nasty thing go knowing he'd be back for more.

    I laid out my garden clippers and a fishing net. I looked high and low for oven cleaners, lye, drain cleaners, wasp spray but this is a poison free home.

    As I rushed back and forth, the snake was coiled and watching. It was so shiny and powerful looking. So long and yet so thin. I'm sure it was my imagination but the head definitely looked like a triangular poisonous shape. A small head, though. I couldn't imagine how it could swallow a jumbo quail! I didn't think it could get out through the wires with the quail bulging its sides but it looked smarter than me and was NOT sleeping to digest its ill gotten meal.

    Finally I discovered some charcoal lighter fuel. I squirted the snake's eyes. It shot out of the cage and I clipped it behind the head with my garden clippers which locked. I got my other clippers and crunched its head in half. What a fierce battle. It thrashed the orange-handled clippers back and forth against the sides of the blue rubbermaid tub. It tried to draw its body through the cage wires but couldn't get past the birdy bulge. I didn't know whether to scream or swoon. My dogs thought it was wonderful fun!
    How do YOU kill your killer snakes? (In or out of cages)
     
  2. VegRN

    VegRN Well-Known Member

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    I have to say your story hit so close to home! My DH is a city boy, and although I grew up having horses in the country my dad was the designated snake killer. When we found our first copperhead in the pasture we also had no idea how to kill it. We ended up throwing a cinder block at it, LOL! I wish someone had got the two of us on video dancing around squealing trying to kill that snake! Eventually something snapped into my head and I remembered the shovel. We grabbed the shovel and mercifully choppped the injured snake in half.

    Now I use a flat shovel (easier to aim than a shovel with the pointed end), and I have one that is designated for snake killing so it stays sharp. We have been having a real problem with copperheads, though (I have a thread about it on here), so I am thinking about a gun with snakeshot or something.

    Next time it will go more smoothly, although I hope there will not be a next time for you!
     

  3. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm This Space For Rent Supporter

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  4. Wolf mom

    Wolf mom Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to hear abut your babies. The best thing to do is snake proof your cages. Keep the area around your house and cages clean & free from debris. Snakes eat mice and other things you probably have around your cages. I'd rather spend a little more time fixing the bottom-line problem than be overrun with mice.

    Never kill snakes unless they're poisonous. Before I learned, I killed rattlers with a shovel.
     
  5. HillRunner

    HillRunner Well-Known Member

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    Good advice Wolf Mom
     
  6. We use to pick them up by the tail and pop them like a bullwhip. Now I just throw them down through the woods though, no real reason to kill them. Its in their nature to eat eggs, rabbits, chicks, etc. If you're real icky about touching them, maybe one of those extension fruit picker type things. I'm not so sure about firing a gun in an enclosed or tight space. I was in a car with a guy who shot a large caliber revolver and my ears rang for days.
     
  7. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    I use the .22. Don't try to hit the head. Do a gut shot and blow a hole in the thing. They don't live long after that. If it is coiled, even better cause you can make several holes with one shot.

    If you are absolutely sure it is non-poisonous, long handled limb loppers can be used to take the head off. You really do need to get used to your gun and do some target practice.

    The copperhead that got into my bedroom a couple years ago succumbed to the .22, BTW.
     
  8. SFM in KY

    SFM in KY Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Most of my snake experience has been in Montana with rattlesnakes, we didn't have any other poisonous snakes and we never killed anything except them. I've killed snakes with a hoe and I used to carry a .38 revolver with shot shells with me riding. Both work well ... I've used rocks if I didn't have a gun but you don't always find enough of them.
     
  9. just_sawing

    just_sawing Haney Family Sawmill

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    NO NO NO I have lived and dealing with snakes and a pistol or rifle unless it is in your hands when you see the snake you are going to make a mistake.
    If you see a snake keep your eyes on the snake then what you need is something like a fishing pole. By keeping the snake in view you are keeping your self safe when you as you are monitoring the snake you get a switch or something limber now you have your weapon. Whip it behind the head and if you hit it right it will straighten out like it was stretched. If not whip it again.
    Bullets bounce and a switch doesn't.
     
  10. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We always used the knotted end of a lariat.
     
  11. chewie

    chewie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    i am happy i'm not the only one who will leave a non poison snake alone. i see many in our area, don't matter what kind, they kill it, then whine about mice!! i've had many rattler encounters, and often use a 9mmauto with birdshot type bullets. i've also used rocks and sticks. a hoe is good too.

    sfm's post coulda been from me!
     
  12. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member

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    I haven't seen a snake in 2 years. That is a pleasant side benefit of adopting a little terrier.
     
  13. praieri winds

    praieri winds Well-Known Member

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    use raid wasp and hornet and spray it on the head and in the eyes I have been told that will kill them
     
  14. dixieland

    dixieland Well-Known Member

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    I would have loved to see this on a T.V> It is almost funny, but not funny. I hate snakes of all kind. My son use to try to run me around the house with a green snake. It worked! I ran.
     
  15. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm This Space For Rent Supporter

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    That's why you use shotshells instead of solid projectiles
     
  16. Ernie

    Ernie Well-Known Member

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    Use a stick or a garden hoe.
     
  17. arabian knight

    arabian knight Miniature Horse lover Supporter

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    I remember a number of years ago while living in AZ. I was working on a Andalusian horse farm at the time.
    The owner was trying to shoot a 5 foot diamondback with her pistol, but she kept missing.
    I went out, grabbed the only gun I had with me which was my deer hunting 30/30.
    I steeped outside told her to get in the barn and call her dog in there with her.
    I squatted down used to open sites and squeezed off a shot and nearly blew the bugger in half~! I still have the rattles to this day~!
     
  18. SFM in KY

    SFM in KY Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Fishing poles are a little difficult to carry horseback. Riding, moving cattle or checking cattle/fences/water is when I carried the .38 revolver, loaded with shot shells.
     
  19. SFM in KY

    SFM in KY Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I never, ever carried a lariat. I am an absolute danger to myself with a rope, have no idea why, but I cannot take one down without it acting like a coil of wire and getting myself entangled with it.

    The absolute last time I ever tried to practice/use a lariat, I was about 14 years old and "getting my horse used to a rope". In the corral, on the mare, with the saddle, practicing "roping" one of the fence posts.

    After at least a dozen misses (with the rope pretty thoroughly tangled) I threw the loop in disgust for the last time ... managed to CATCH the darned fence post as I flipped the slack ... which popped the mare on the rump.

    She promptly left the scene, which wouldn't have been a disaster except I'd also managed to get a half-hitch around the saddlehorn in all this scramble. Got to the end of the rope. Mare keeps going. Rope and fence post hold. Cinch does not.

    Roping session ends with mare at the far end of the corral facing me with a thoroughly puzzled expression ... as I am sitting, still in the saddle ... with the solidly caught fence post still half-hitched to the saddlehorn ... in the middle of the corral. :censored:

    I never carried a lariat horseback again.
     
  20. motdaugrnds

    motdaugrnds II Corinthians 5:7

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    I, too, am one who prefer to leave non-poisonous snakes alone. We do snake proof our brooder pen (utility wire, closed rafter ends & wire top) as we do not want the black snakes we have taking what we want to put in our freezer.

    We have had 2 encounters with copperheads. The one coming down our graveled drive got its head chopped off with a hoe. The 2 grown (looked like a pair) found during cold weather under the chicken house door trying to get in with the baby chicks who were under a heat lamp got pulled out one by one by the tail and their heads cut off with a shovel (shovel better than spade for this if your aim is as bad as mine). David killed all 3 of those and we have not seen any since. We do have many black snakes.

    Black snakes can get thru rabbit wire and chicken wire, eat eggs or kill in there and then not be able to get out because of the bulge. That says if the cage had smaller holes they would not get in to begin with. Not knowing how your cages for quail, etc. are, I would suggest you make sure all wire is "utility" wire with those tiny holes. It is really better to stop the black snakes from taking what you want to keep rather than kill them.