I was flat out like a lizard runnin, yesterday putting the finishing touches on the greenhouse,(that’ll be next blog, maybe?) when I heard a strange sound coming from the terminator Princesses pen. I waited a little & then the kafuffle got a little desperate & odd sounding, even the dog went to check on them. I put tools down & wondered over to find one of the black chicks completely fluffed up & literally growling at something tucked just under a small gap below the chook house frame, while the others were running around wings flapping beaks open screaming like a pack of girls that they are.
I’m thinking a spider or a big worm or huge fly or something along those lines. I thought whatever it is it must seem huge to the youngins. Next thing “wack” the little black hen has it & she’s running & slapping & clawing & pulling at this thing. I had a hard time trying to focus, as I was having to watch where I was stepping as the girls had gone completely nuts. Now some of them were still running around with their wings in the air screaming, whilst others had decided they wanted in the action.
This poor little creature was getting stomped, clawed pulled & stretched in at least 5 different directions. All the while I’m still trying to work out what is flamin well goin on, finally the first black chick had it all to herself, & I was able to corner her & pick her up, only to find this poor pretty little chick beak, shocked absolutely gorgeous baby snake.
Yes that’s right, a baby snake, we haven’t had them around for some time & to the girls it must have looked like a full blown 20ft boa constrictor or somethin. The poor little thing.
We have some pretty venomous snakes here in Aus & even the tiniest ones can pack a punch, so until I could identify it I wasn’t going to touch it.
So I’ve got this fluffed up freaked out psychotic crazy eyed chicken in my hand, with a baby traumatised snake in its beak & to tell you the truth at this point the chicken was scaring me a little more than the snake.
I grabbed a bucket (you can never have too many buckets on the farm) & thought!?.I will tip the chic up & she’ll release the snake into the bucket & all good. Ok? mm, she wasn’t letting go & still freakishly fluffy & growling, the growl was hilarious. I’m thinking, ok I cant pull it from her beak, 1) I don’t want to hurt it anymore than it was already hurting, 2) I still haven’t identified it & I aint gettin bit, at this point by either the snake or the chic. Now I’m shaking the chic, tipping it up so its face in the bucket, trying to get it to let go, nope. Meanwhile all the other chooks are still running around the pen flapping & squawking. The poor dog didn’t know whether he was coming or going either.
I didn’t want to hurt the chicken by shaking it to much or cause the snake to flick up & strike either one of us. I’m trying to keep the dog away in case the snake drops out of the chicks mouth or the bucket. The only thing left to do was wipe the chicks beak on the edge of the bucket like a knife on the edge of a jam jar, praying that we wont get bit, other than that I was gonna have to fill the bucket with water & stick the chicks head in the bucket to release,(a trick I learnt volunteering at the reptile park when a non venomous python latched onto a girls arm & wouldn’t release). Thankfully the wiping motion worked & with one last screaming squawky growl the chic released the poor little thing.
Now, to put the psychotic fluff ball of a chick back in her pen, I put in a bit of extra feed for them to help calm their nerves, waited & had a calming chat with them about the importance of not panicking, as it only confuses everyone & puts everyone in danger. Once they settled, I headed up into the house with the bucket that had one very relieved traumatised beautiful coloured reptile inside.
Straight onto the computer to identify whether it was as dangerous as the chicks made out, I couldn’t find a pic of it, I waited a bit to give it time to recover & see if its injuries would cause it any suffering, as I would rather put it out of its misery & wipe away the memory of its traumatic ordeal than release it & have it die a long suffering chick nightmare of a death. It seemed fine was slithering in the bucket well so I took it out the front & released it. “You What”?, yes well out front is away from the house, we have lots of predator birds around, plus a stomp from the horses would terminate it quickly & I was sure it wasn’t going to high tale it back to terminator Chick terrain any time soon.
This morning before telling you all this story I looked up again & found it, I identified the darling little thing, it was a ‘yellow faced whip snake’ & as the chicks found it, that was it fully grown. Only slightly poisonous to children & people prone to anaphylactic shock. Not hugely deadly though. I’m so glad I was able to release it & I hope its able to find a good therapist to aid in its recovery.
As for the chicks its back to happy clucks & all that was needed for the dog was a couple of tosses of his favourite ball & all is well & calm on the farm once more.
The moral of the story is don’t believe everything your chooks tell you & you can never have too many buckets.