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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Something I'm not proud of....

One of those unpleasant decisions you have to make while living in the country.
I came across this fellow while working in the garden. Normally I would leave him alone, bullsnakes will supposedly keep rattlers out of the area.

Unfortunately... he was hanging out under the cucumber vines in my garden, right next to the chicken coop. Nothing wakes you up faster than reaching under a setting hen and finding a large egg eating snake coiled up in the nest. :(



I normally do not wear my ipod around the farm but have been lax lately in the garden... listening to music while weeding, harvesting and watering. I'm back to being on guard... I'm glad it wasn't a rattlesnake...



I didn't cry over the snake like I did when I had to put the bobcat down a year or so ago... but it still bothers me to shoot any animal. :(

32 comments:

bushidoka said...

Are those things edible? Maybe if you ate it at least it would not be a total waste.

cowgirl said...

The only snakes I've tried are rattlers. I've not heard of anyone eating bullsnakes. I bet they are edible if you're hungry though.

George said...

I generally leave snakes alone except for copperheads and chicken snakes. I don't gross out easily but finding a chicken snake (or two) in a nesting box does the trick. When I find those I grab my old single shot 22, some snake shot and dispatch them.

Mrs. JP said...

Cowgirl, you know that I'm a tender heart big time but I have a real phobic/hate for snakes. I have always been fearful of them--I know it's not rational but that's just me. So, I say, good riddance. Don't feel bad, think of it as making Mrs. JP feel better!

cowgirl said...

George, I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one. Glad there are no copperheads close by here too.
The only other snake I'll get rid of is a rattler.. if it's in my yard or my pasture. I don't like them close to the house or animals.
Thanks George!

cowgirl said...

:) Thank you Mrs JP! That does make me feel a bit better. :)

Pete said...

Good job , you should never have to tolerate a snake of any kind in your garden or near your chicken coop. As a rule for me all poisonous snakes are killed on my property. I killed a 68 inch timber rattler with 14 rattles back in 02. I did think it was a shame but had to be done. All other snakes are captured and taken down the road to a wooded area for release. I've seen first hand what a bite from a cottonmouth and a copperhead will do. My uncle lost two fingers and almost died from the bite of a cottonmouth . He was in the hospital for 2 weeks. I also know of a little girl being bitten by a copperhead back several years ago. She also spent time in the hospital and suffered greatly. Thats the reason why I will not tolerate a poisonous snake on my property.You did the right thing because if you get used to letting snakes crawl around in your garden , sooner or later it will be a bad one that could kill.

cowgirl said...

Pete...Thank you! Your post makes me feel better about my decision.
So sorry to hear about your Uncle! That must have been a painful ordeal for him to go through...
Also the little girl.. She is lucky to be alive.

A 68" rattler would have given me the willies for a week at least.. That is huge!
Almost lost a friend of mine when he was bitten in the chest by a big rattler while he was laying underneath his tractor (working on it).

If this one wasn't so close to the chicken coop I probably would have left him alone. I was able to get him out of the garden on the end of a rake but when I tried to catch him again, it was hopeless... and boy was he mad at me. :(

Life in the country isn't always fun...

Thanks again Pete.. I appreciate your post..

Chez said...

I don't like spiders and snakes...

cowgirl said...

:) Chez.....now I can't get that song out of my head.
Thanks.. :)

kirby said...

Jeez, and I jump when I find a little lizard in the yard.

Rocco said...

hey i say kill or be killed, life in the country
good job jeanie!

The Apple Pie Gal said...

You are more disciplined than I would have been! A rake? Nope, there'd be holes in my chicken coop those things freak me out so bad! Kidding... But no second thoughts needed!

Ralphy said...

I think it was your choice and I certainly wouldn't think bad about it. Generally, Bull snakes are our friends *but* they can be tough on chickens. If you had a pair of snake tongs and a burlap bag you might have been able to save its life and carry it out and down the road "way it out there". But I don't really recommend you try to pick up them with your hands because sometimes they bite. Snakes are like any other animals: some are more calm than others.

Old Smoke said...

Jeanie
Ya did good!!! Several years ago I was helping a friend putting out salt blocks late in the afternoon. We killed 9 (yep nine) rattlers in less than an hour. I finally said "Hey Joe" lets quit before one of us gets bit. We can finish up in the morning while they are still in bed :) I don't like to kill harmless snakes BUT they need to stay out in the fields and eat mice etc. not my eggs.....

Aaaaaaaaah! life in the country is not always fun, but that is but a small price we pay for the life we live.

Rick

Capt. Ron said...

Don't feel bad...ya done good!;)

cowgirl said...

Kirby, I don't see many lizards. I suppose the chickens keep them thinned down. :)
I'd sure rather see them than snakes though.
Thanks Kirby!

cowgirl said...

Thanks Rocco. I agree with you..things are a bit different in the country.. It's not always easy.

cowgirl said...

lol Thanks Apple Pie Gal. I've learned to just use my .22 to avoid shotgun holes in the coop. One well placed shot works and I don't "pepper" the building with pellet holes.

Thanks!

cowgirl said...

Ralphy, Thanks! A neighbor stopped by tonight and reminded me that out of the hundreds of snakes that I have moved or herded elsewhere... I was bound to come across one or two that didn't want to cooperate.
I do wish I had some snake handling equipment though. It's tricky throwing a mad snake into the bed of the pickup using a rake or hoe handle. I've even used branding irons to pick them up.
The really tricky part is getting them back out of the pickup bed when you reach their new destination.
Thanks Ralphy!

cowgirl said...

Rick, Thank you buddy. :) I know you know what it's like to work around them.. you can't let your guard down.
You're right too.. it's a small price to pay for living out here.
Thanks Rick!

cowgirl said...

Capt. Ron, Thank you, I appreciate that...

Anonymous said...

Yes, that is one of the prices for living in the country. I had two bull snakes take up living in my garage wall. All was going well when I turned them out into the yard. One slithered away and the other one attacked me! Well, he didn't slither any more after that. In the spring, after the snow melt,one favorite place to find garden snakes is on top of my wireless router in the workshop. Nice and warm there. Those little guys get the leather glove treatment and are gently released at the end of the driveway. Lucky me,snow in the winter means no rattlers this far north!

I too wonder what they'd taste like smoked. Maybe next time one attacks me I'll give that a try. Why should the turkey vultures get all the rewards.

cowgirl said...

Anonymous, Thank you! I can't imagine what would be more nerve wracking, having two snakes living in the wall or finding snakes on top of the wireless router. :)
You must have nerves of steel!

Let me know if you smoke one! I've had rattlers fried but not smoked.
Thanks Anonymous. :)

Robin in Montana said...

Boy, I like to think of myself as fairly unflappable, but snakes are my undoing! I keep meaning to comment, but never have before - I love your blog!

cowgirl said...

Robin Thanks for stopping by, it's nice to meet you! :)
I can deal with snakes as long as I know they are there. The ones that startle me (under a hen)... I can't handle. lol
I treat every snake I see as a rattler until I am able to identify it.
Thanks again Robin!

mountain plant man said...

Your wild grape jelly sounds great. I made a batch of apricot jam last week and it didn't set so I found a fix on line. Added sugar pectin and lemon juce. Failed again. It is thicker though. I also made some spicey dill pickels the other day. Added some pickiling spice, black peper, garlic. dill seeds and a couple of dried hot red peppers.I should know in about 8 weeks how they turned out. Marty

cowgirl said...

Marty, Thank you... Sounds like you are keeping busy! I bet your apricot jelly would be tasty anyway!!

Chris said...

Wow, that is a chunky fella. It is unfortunate that he had to be dispatched but you have to look out for your other animals too.

cowgirl said...

Chris, he was a good sized one....and really mad at me. :(
Sometimes decisions aren't easy to make around here.
Thanks Chris...

Frugal Canadian Hermit said...

Ya gotta do what ya gotta do sometimes Jeanie. I've seen a weasel on my property, and right now he is no problem to me and probably helping out with the mouse situation, so I let him be. But if I had chickens, and he was interrupting the egg and chicken production, or even hanging out near there, it would be a different story and he would probably have to go. Thats just how things go I guess. I'm glad we don't have snakes other than the common garter snake around here. I don't see them very often, but I have seen them. They ar'nt much of a problem that I know of. I think you done the right thing with the bullsnake though. Kinda gives me the hebee jebes just thinking about it actually. We know THAT one wont show up in your house like the other one that once did anyway.

cowgirl said...

Mark thanks for understanding. You're a good friend...
I still shuddder when I remember the snake in the house. Seems like I remember it the most when I have to get up in the middle of the night to check on a noise. lol

Thanks Mark... :)