Friday, August 2, 2013

# 461 - Cottonmouth in the Coop

This morning, Sgt. Dave went to open the door to the chicken coop and saw all six chickens running around in the chicken run instead of hovering at the back door of the coop, as is their usual routine.

As he approached, one chicken began screeching a distress call, so he knew something was wrong.

He opened the back door of the chicken coop and found a large snake tightly coiled in the middle of the coop.

As you can imagine, he was not happy. I was still half-way asleep, half-way awake and could hear his noises that meant there was something he'd come across that was giving him the weebie-jeebies.

Here is an extremely short video of the snake in coop with chickens trapped.

He had his 9mm on his hip and I'm surprised he didn't use it, but he instead ran back into the RV and grabbed the .22 we keep at the ready, then he went back to the coop and found the snake was raising its head at him while standing its ground. Cottonmouths do that.

Not only will a Cottonmouth stand its ground, it will pursue you. This one won't be harassing us or the chickens any longer.

Fortunately, the .22 took care of the chickens' reason for distress. And knowing this snake was lurking so close to the RV makes me shudder. EEEEWWWW!!

But, this is part of living in the country, in the woods.

We measured the snake and it is 63 inches long, my height. In fact it was five foot, three inches and a quarter long. So, that means the snake is one-quarter longer than ME!

Unlike a rat snake that has a row of teeth that leave a horseshoe imprint/bite and constricts its prey for consumption, the snake that slithered into the coop with the chickens has fangs. Look closely at the photo below and you will see the fangs.

Good thing is...I've been practicing target shooting, every day. I'll have to eventually post a video because I need to toot my horn a bit, I am a good shot. Really good. My husband, the one who earned recognition in the military as an "expert marksman" said, "You're a natural."

I think he's a bit more scared of me now.

Anyway, my husband chastised me because I put on a kitchen glove, then grabbed the snake by the tail to lay it on the ground for photos. I held on tight, but that snake was still fighting and able to writhe around with its powerful muscles. The below link is a video of the snake after I laid it out on the ground.

Of course, the wildlife that stays away from the home-site are free to enjoy our stance of live and let live. However, once a critter or reptile enters our home-zone or begins to approach the animals we are supposed to protect, it's ON.

I must say, living in the country provides a life that is never boring. I can see why it is great for kids to grow up in the country because there is so much to keep them busy --- much more than a trip to the neighborhood park.

And tomorrow, I get to spend my first day here with my six year old niece, Shaye.

You regular readers already know what a huge part we play in Shaye's life and she in ours. She's staying with us for about a week. She's NEVER been to our property, so she's about to have a week of real country living, which is a much different kind of life than what she experiences in her neighborhood that is mostly a NASA community. Her dad is a NASA man.

My sister Robin is completely nervous about Shaye coming out here. Today, she told me that this visit is going to be harder on her than on her daughter with any separation hardships, but it's because Robin keeps picturing the worst part of country life impacting her daughter. She keeps asking me to make sure I keep Shaye away from snakes...and then this snake is found in the chicken coop today.

My sister and brother-in-law.

Oh well. We will teach Shaye about the woods being different than her suburbia back yard. She LOVES animals and being in nature, so I imagine this will be a perfect environment for her to adore. And yes, we will teach her about snakes, scorpions, boars, black bears, and panthers. Me oh my.

The visit starts tomorrow, so we shall see how it goes. Thankfully, this Cottonmouth is no longer roaming around the RV and chicken coop, but I am sure there are numerous other snakes taking its place as I type.


LindaG said...

That would have totally creeped me out. I would have called the hubby.

I expect your husband got the 22 because it makes a smaller hole?

You should use the dead snake to teach your dogs. I bet they would be good snake hunters!

Enjoy your week with Shaye!
God bless. ♥

Carolyn said...

Wow, that looks just like the black snakes I've been catching in the chicken house. Hope I haven't been inadvertently picking up cottonmouths! I've had some that are docile enough for me to just grab behind the head with my hand while others will rear up and actually shake their tail at me like a rattlesnake. Another easy to tell a cottonmouth (other than the shape of the head & scales on the head) is the shape of the pupil. If the pupil is long & vertical, it's a cottonmouth, if the pupil is a circle, it's a black snake (or kingsnake). Although I wouldn't suggest getting that close unless the bugger was already dead! :)

Hope you don't have anymore visitors to the chicken coop!

Jo's World said...

Woo, girl, scary business! Its interesting to know the dogs and the chickens both knew this was a bad hombre'.

Thanks for the tips on dog diets. I had a little schnauzer with a skin condition I cooked for and she recovered Fast! So I should start for Stella. Just getting lazy in my old age!

Cheers and hugs,

Jo and Stella