10 December 2012

That's one way to deal with the rats

Shaun went down to close up the chooks a couple of nights ago and it was unusually quiet - no rats scuttling around, no chooks shifting and complaining about who got the best spot on the roost.  Silence.   What could silence chickens and chase away rats?  Only a python.  So Shaun started looking around and finally found the sneaking thing tucked up under the lid of the roosting boxes.  But when you lifted it up, you could see him but you could feel his weight in the lid itself, as he'd slithered in between the wooden frame and the metal lid.  Tricky fellow

Shaun thinks he'd probably eaten a rat and was now resting up under the lid.  Whilst he was snapping these shots, he heard some rustling and thought 'more snake food' as some dumb rat must be making its way toward the chook food.  After a bit he turned to look in the direction of the noise and saw this

And this one was about 40 cm from his elbow as he was happily taking photos of its mate!  I would have run screaming back to the house, but Shaun like snakes more than I do, so he just turned and took these great shots.

They've stayed around all weekend and it seems that the one in the lid is about two metres and quite likes this as new home.  Shaun has seen him dangle his head down towards the ground at night (where the rats stroll past) and then later he's tucked back up in the lid.  His mate is about 1.5 metres and seems happier up in the passionfruit vine and so we're seeing less of her, but she's still around.  Needless to say I'm very happy about this arrangement of resident rat catchers but I haven't been spending too much time at the chook coop.  And the girls have been laying in the small coop that we brought from Sydney that we've left in their run.  Nothing to block you up like a 2 metre python above your head when you're trying to lay an egg.....


  1. Shudder!

    I, too, want chickens, but RMan is worried about the cobra's and puff adders. Maybe he's right... :)

  2. Dani, we have lots of other snakes around (super deadly ones too) but strangely, they never ever show up near the chickens. We have only seen pythons in there and they are good to have around, unless you have chicks at the time. So perhaps a habitat thing for other snakes, but they prefer other parts of the property. Funny thing is, you don't see them that often and you only ever see the back end of them as they slide away from you as fast as they can. Maybe RMan might reconsider....