We got our chickens two years ago this month. Once they started laying eggs, they haven’t slowed down – not even over the winter with nothing added to the coop such as lights, etc.
But, last year I noticed my egg production slacking off and couldn’t figure out what it was? Me, being such a novice, never considered a snake might be in the hen house. So, I decided to put ONE golf ball in each nesting box. We only have four boxes so I gathered up some of my husbands old golf balls and stuck one in each nest.
The next day – one of the golf balls was gone! Hmmm…. over the next two days I noticed an uptick in my egg production again! Hmmmm…..
So, since that day, I have religiously kept one golf ball in each nest and the past two days I’ve been noticing a little down tick in egg production again. I had to wonder if the hens were laying outside somewhere (they are free-ranged during the day) or…..
And today as I was gathering eggs – that’s right – nest #4 the golf ball is GONE!
Here’s the theory behind this technique…. snakes love eggs. I’ve never lost a chicken to a snake, but I’ve lost many eggs. So, the snake doesn’t know the different in the golf ball vs. an egg – they eat it – can’t digest it – and die.
I know snakes serve their purpose, but the only snake I like – is a dead one! At least I know they are out and about and I need to look carefully when entering the chicken house!