Monday, December 3, 2018

Abandoned nests

I have a confession to make. We haven't had chickens for the past few months. The youngest, of the old crew were approaching 4 years. The seven chickens we were feeding every day, were lucky to give 2 eggs, every alternate day. Not enough to keep us stocked in eggs. I would have  kept them as compost disposers only, if I wasn't planning to renovate Hilltop chicken coop soon.

So with our newly abandoned chicken nests, guess who has moved into the old chicken coop? Mice, or native bush rats. I've seen both around. Eeek, right!

Well where there are mice, there's also something else lurking...




Luckily this is just a common carpet snake, or Coastal Carpet Python. I've seen much larger ones up in the rafters, digesting chicken eggs before. This wee one, is just a juvenile though. Perhaps too long for the kookaburras to catch now, but given they're not venomous, we actually like them.

The carpet snake is a lot more common around here, than the browns. So that's a good thing. As is their appetite for rodents!




Someone had a hearty breakfast in the chicken coop, by the looks of that protruding bump! I wonder if it was an adult mouse, or baby rat? The critters that get around our place, are often spoiled for choice! Eat up my reptilian friend, as I do not want any rodents taking me by surprise, when I start renovating.

I expect nothing major (construction wise) is going to happen until after summer. Making it much easier to be outside, working on the chicken coop. But we'll have to see. Life often has a way of changing plans on me!



6 comments:

  1. We saw two carpet pythons in one day in our area recently. One all coiled up and snoozing near a rock retaining wall and the other trying to cross a busy-ish road. I put my hazard lights on while a much braver driver got out of his ute, picked the python up by the tail, and took him to the safety of the bush on the other side of the road. I'm like you in that I don't mind them, they play a really useful role in the environment and their patterns are just amazing. Meg:)

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    1. What an exciting event to be part of, Meg, rescuing the python. My husband helped rescue an echidna off the road recently too. It's nice when people attempt to intervene, although I totally understand (in the case of a snake) if people don't handle the animals. Brave person to help the python out. I'd be shaking like a jellyfish, lol.

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  2. Oh I am not so fond of snakes! It is going to take me a while to get used to pythons and the like when we move. Every snake here will kill you pretty fast, so I avoid them as much as possible. I will have to learn their markings!

    xx

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    1. Markings can be challenging at this age Emma, when juvenile snakes haven't quite developed them fully. A better indicator is the shape of the head. At first glance, I thought this could be an Eastern Brown. But I know pythons have a teardrop shaped head, with a very skinny neck. They also have light coloured eyes, compared to the dark eyes of the brown.

      Where there tends to be water and good tree cover (like on your property) you'll find the pythons, are more prevalent than the browns. For some reason, the more poisonous snakes prefer grassy, drier areas.

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  3. We have lots of mice and often rats here, Chris as my hubby has lots of bird feed around and the rats love the macadamia nuts the cockatoos knock of the trees. I am sure there are snakes around so am always watching the ground for them when walking down the back.

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    1. Good idea to watch your feet. When we first moved here, I walked out to the back verandah and nearly stood on 2 brown snakes, getting their romance on. That could have been a bad encounter for all of us. So from that moment on, I always look at my feed, before stepping out the door. So simple, to avoid a bad accident, if you think of it.

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