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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
IMG_1456.jpg IMG_1318.jpg

This big fella has been around here for years. This year we've seen a few smaller versions.
We believe he/she ate a chicken egg. The chicken was in her usual spot in the hay bales and when she came out singing the "egg song" there was no egg but the snake was there.
 

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Beautiful rat snake. The egg was a small price to pay for all the good he/she does around the barn. Thanks for taking care of him/her.
 

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What a beauty...

My Grandfather (mother's side) was a chicken-s#*t... He used to kill snakes on sight.

Then he'd turn around and complain about the numbers of mice, chipmunks and rats all the time.
(Uhhhmmm... DUH, Grandpa!!!)

I'll take snakes over rodent damage any day, EVERY DAY!!!

(BTW: Based on the shape of the tail in the second pic, it is most likely a large male.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So you can tell the gender by the tail?

I found one almost as big in my back woods apiary but it's tail came to a point.

This fellas' tail is blunt on the end kinda like an opossum tail.

I like them in the barn. They cull the swallow population and keep the rodents in check.

Two days ago I found one a little smaller (4-5 ft) and put him/her in my brush pile to feast on some ground hog pups.
 

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In ratsnakes (and many other snakes), the area just past the vent is different in males and females.

In females, the tail immediately tapers thinner past the vent while in males, it stay relatively robust for a length, then tapers further back. This area is where the hemipenes (male sexual organs) are held, inverted along both sides of the tail (yes, snakes have two!)

The bluntness of the tip of the tail just indicates he had a near miss with a raccoon, hawk or some other type of predator.
 

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I have a large black snake some where in the back yard, saw it the other day and my wife did too and she wanted me to get rid of it . I said which would you rather have rats or the snake, the snake stays, I'm glad it has been around for a few years and she just saw it the other day.

kebee
 

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I have a black indigo that hangs around my place. 6-1/2 feet long.
My wife wanted me to get rid of it years ago and I refused. Not only do they keep the rats away, but they will keep other snakes out of the yard.
Robert
 

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My problem with snakes is telling the poisonous ones from the non-poisonous. Usually the ones that appear around my yard and in my shed are the poisonous kind (Vipera palaestinae). :eek:
 

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I saw a 4-foot black snake in the yard the other day. I was glad to see it. However, it's not getting all the rats and mice (I wish I knew how to motivate a snake). They're chewing on my tomatoes.

Around here, rattle snakes and copperheads are the only poisonous snakes. So unless it's got a rattle or it's red, I don't worry about it. Really, the only snake that bothers me is the unexpected snake that startles me. If I see it, I can deal with it.

A couple of years ago I was telling my barber about a big rattlesnake that had been run over on the road down the street from here. He asked me how big around it was. I said, "Ummm, it was flat!" Everybody in the barber shop got a good heehaw from that one. :D
 

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:lol::rolling:
 

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My husband found a big rat snake lounging on the concrete behind the barn. Apparently had just eaten a chipmunk, judging from the bulge in the middle and the lack of motivation to move. Sat there for hours while my husbanded worked around him.

Need to figure out how to get him into the garden. I've got mouse or chipmunk holes inside the fence, right next to the peas and squash, dang it.
 

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Nice part about Rhode Island. No poisonous snakes. We had a milk snake population a few years ago. Haven't seen one the last two years though.

Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk 2
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well, a smaller version of this snake (only 5 ft) was relaxing in the upper reaches of my chicken coop. Mama hen was sitting on 7 eggs when I looked in on her last night and this morning she was sitting on none :(

Could he have eaten all 7 eggs?

He now resides 3-4 miles away near a nice park with a lake. The wife wanted him to reside somewhere else lol but he just did what he was designed to do.

Now I have a chicken that is sitting on an empty nest. Hopefully this phase will pass and she'll get back into production.
 
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