Feeding chickens dead snake?

henhilton(8)August 11, 2008

We killed a coral snake on our porch yesterday morning. After hubby had already disposed of it, then it occurred to me to wonder if we could have fed it to the chickens (without the head of course!). How about rattlesnakes? Is it okay to for the birds to eat these kind of venomous vermin? I saw a flock of chickens having a ball with a grass snake one time - of course that poor creature started out alive! Come to think of it, I'm not sure the chickens even ate it after they finished playing Chicken Football.

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Dibbit(z7b SC)

For all intents and purposes, chickens are omnivores - a friend's will kill and eat mice she scares up in her barn. I agree that the head of a venomous snake shouldn't be fed, but the body should be fine. And I suppose that if the hens do their own killing, then you may not be able to get rid of the head before they eat it - unless they have a cut or scrape in their mouth or in the crop, I wouldn't think eating the venom would actually hurt - I don't THINK skin contact is dangerous.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 2:50PM
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Thanks for the response, dibbit! That was my feeling, too, that feeding just the body should be okay. But I figured I would see if anybody here knew different, just to be safe. And now that I think of it, plenty of folks eat rattlesnake, so I guess it should be okay for chickens.

Last year my place was over-run with toads, and I believe that eating those was making them sick! But snakes don't have the same defenses toads do.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 9:43PM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

The venom, sack sits just behind the head in most species, so no neck either.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 7:43PM
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people eat rattlesnakes???

well it has been almost 2 weeks since you posted your question. have you found any more snakes so you can feed them to the chickens and we can find out what happened?

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 4:02PM
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msjay2u. Yep. People eat rattlesnake. If you ever go to a Chili Cookoff in Texas, you had best ASK what's in that bowl before sampling! My poor tummy revolted upon finding out after the fact . . . I HATE snakes; sure didn't want one IN me!

Nope. No more snakes lately. We don't see that many, since we don't go looking for them. I tend to studiously avoid areas (like our old rock walls that criss-cross the property) where I know they are likely to be.

brendan, just how long is a snake's neck??? ;->

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 10:11PM
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isnt the coral snake really poisonious? red touch yeller kill a feller kinda thing ????
i got bit by a rat snake that crawled into a bag of laying pellets last week, he didnt get me good. thank heavens
but i am cautious now on out. they have a rattle snake round up in west Texas every year my nephew goes to. i dont care to go, im more afraid of tarantulas than snakes.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 5:06PM
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roostersgirl, I think you are talking about the old rhyme to differentiate the coral snake from another, nonvenomous snake, that looks similar. "red on yella, kill a fella" refers to the red and yellow stripes being side by side. I forget what the other snake is, but it's red and yellow stripes are separated by the black stripes, I think. It continues with something like, "red on black, friend of Jack."

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 1:02PM
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tejas_pacas(z8 SC TX)

Sure we eat rattlesnake! It's good. A bit like chicken, though rattlesnake sausage is too greasy for my taste. Also eat alligator, now that's good fried up. I tried armadillo, but it was so covered in BBQ sauce, never really got a good taste of the meat itself. Some folks in deep East Texas also eat raccoon and opposum, but I'm not going that far.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2008 at 11:49AM
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gcmastiffs(z10 Florida)

My flock will certainly eat snakes, if the Jack Russell Terrier leaves them around after she kills them. They also enjoy frogs/toads/lizards/worms/squirrels/rabbits, anything they can get.

My flock free-ranges on 1 1/4 fenced acres with over 400 fruit trees. They eat very well. I buy grain and pellets only once a month, since they find so much food on their own.

They are horrible with small prey. One hen will have a lizard/frog/toad in her beak, running around, as the other birds rip it apart by grabbing legs.. Ugh!

They seem to have no ill effects, ever when eating Bufo Toads.


    Bookmark   September 7, 2008 at 9:01PM
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Lisa, yes, it's pretty disheartening to watch the girls play Chicken Football with a living creature, isn't it? Last year when we had a bumper crop of toads, my chickens did become ill from eating too many of them. (No problem with that this year; man, I wish it would rain.)

    Bookmark   September 12, 2008 at 10:37AM
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goldenpond((Vero.Beach FL 9b))

Coral snake vs King snake.They both have clownlike stripes that kids find irrisitable. The head colors are different also and even though they are not aggresive they will get NASTY if bothered.One boy in my town was playing with one and ended up in the hospital BIG Time
The other saying which I find easier is
-If the head is red go ahead
-if the head is black STAY BACK JACK!

or,,,,,Don't mess with mother nature!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2008 at 11:06AM
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Thanks for clearing that up, goldenpond! Personally, I'm pretty much all for leaving any snake alone! I have an irrational fear of them, but I know that the non-venomous ones are generally pretty helpful to have around. The venomous ones, I would just as soon leave them to keep moving to wherever it is they're going! When a venomous one is on the porch, tho, they're dead meat.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2008 at 10:33PM
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