A snake can swallow a duck egg whole, resulting in a loss of your cash crop. So-called "chicken snakes" enjoy eggs and fowl, and may reach up to 7 feet in length. If you see snakes in your yard, take action to drive them elsewhere without running afoul of state law.
Clean your yard to remove potential snake habitats. Snakes enjoy slithering through tall grass, so mow your entire lawn and keep it clipped. Clear away any rock piles, wood piles or other yard debris to eliminate snake hiding spots. By making your yard a less snake-friendly habitat, you encourage the critters to go elsewhere.
Inspect the base of your duck house or coop for cracks, tears or other small holes that could fit a snake. Patch any holes or cracks using hardware cloth, sheet metal or mortar. Chicken wire is not effective at keeping snakes away from duck eggs.
Watch for snakes and rodents. If you see snakes, try to catch them and throw them as far as you can. Avoid killing them, since snakes also eat rodents, another egg pest. If you notice a high rodent population, use traps to catch them. This helps keep duck eggs safe and encourages snakes to go elsewhere by reducing the snake's readily available food source.
Scatter mothballs around the duck house, since snakes hate their scent.
Erect a snake-proof fence as a last resort. These fences are quite expensive, so they are generally not practical unless you only need to protect a very small area.
Items you will need
- Sheet metal (optional)
- Hardware cloth (optional)
- Mortar (optional)
- Rodent trap (optional)
- Check with your state's wildlife control for state law regarding snakes before you kill any yard snakes. The State of Virginia allows homeowners to kill snakes that threaten livestock, such as ducks. The State of Indiana allows homeowners to kill up to four snakes of a given species, so long as they are not endangered.
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