The frequency at which we spot snakes on the farm has increased these days.People are scared to harvest cocoa or cut CO4 fodder because of snakes.
Did anybody try using Guinea fowls for snake control, were they helpful in fixing the problem?
Any other alternate solutions to keep snakes away?
Planning to buy few Guinea fowls, does any have them for sale around Hyderabad.
I know it is scary to spot snakes at regular intervals. But they are just part of soil. Being alert is a good option. As snakes normally leave the spot if they smell humans. They only bite under threat or when stamped.
Guinea fowls only eat small snakes. They may alert you of bigger snakes. This may not be the best option.
Another good option is to keep a well trained native dog, you have to teach them to guide if any animal is seen near you home. It will guide you well.
You can also try to keep cows tied to space where you normally venture. Snakes cannot tolerate cows urine and the fear of getting stamped under their hooves. (not very clear on this part). But snakes stay away from cows and their shed.
You can pour jeevamrut or pure cows urine.
I have used this during my stay in US. It was quite effective. During Spring/Summer, lots of Garter snake would make their way into the compound (to lie on the concrete platforms to warm themselves). Planting few plants in the pots and keeping them near the periphery of the compound helped though I don’t know what causes the snake to withdraw itself from coming near the compound.
During my childhood I had seen people in my village making asafoetida solution and sprinkling it near the chicken coop when the there was too much menace.
A pair of Guinea birds we had in our farm did some harm (can’t say more harm than good) by pricking the tender shoots emerging from saplings. Mornings they will be wandering near farmshed, but once they got used to the place, they spent night on Trees on the farm boundary, we never came to know whether they laid eggs and where. I learnt that they are more of a wild nature than domestic unlike normal chicken.
I have personally seen a dog killing a snake no idea of the snake but it was definitely poisonous as per local person. He occasionally goes out for hunting(If caught he will be behind bars with no bail), One day he landed on our place after chasing the animal(He has trained his dog to track down monitor lizards, mongoose, porcupine and a few other creatures from more than 1 km away). That is the reason I mentioned native dog. They may not be agile as mongoose. But I saw this dog leap over like a monkey to the opposite site and bite the snakes head and whacked it few times on the ground.
He said you have to select any healthy dog and train him, he never keeps him tied. and lets him go where ever he goes. One boy was torn apart when he tried to touch his daughter some time back. western breeds look healthy and adorable however they are kind of sluggish and not to mention the maintain behind them(not all the breeds). I guess it is more to do with the high caloric feed and a lazy approach.
One of my family member has a native dog, she is very intelligent, she tries her level best to keep off any type of creatures from their land. Even snakes but they get scared she may get bitten one day.
Mongoose is best at it. But it has become a pest on our land. They are every where. During summer months rabies is at its peak(virus gets activated in summer months it seems). Mongoose have bitten some cattle and humans in my locality in past few years of my stay here and there has been a some deaths.
After you mentioned squirrels I searched online I guess it is land squirrels(they are bigger) and not the once that stay on tree.
Few months back a huge rat snake was trying to catch a tree squirrel on our land. but some how she escaped.
read you blog. great to know you have ongole breed. Do you own a bull as well or just 3 cows?
Eager to read about your progress with cows and other farm activity.
We only have cows on the farm. Planning to get Ongole semen from LAM with the help of local veterinary doctor and store it there.
And on the other farm developments ,
-Planted CO4 in 3 acres of coconut in March and it is doing good.
-we tried Jeevarutham with our vegetables in palm oil plantation.They are doing exceptionally with Jeevarutham and are in flowering stage. Last week I could not get pictures, i will post it on the forum next week with pictures.
-We will try Jeevamrutham with our rice seed bed in next few days.
-We are constructing the shed and tank to prepare jeevarutham, once that is completed we will use it for Palm oil,coconut, cocoa and CO4 too.
I don’t have proper training idea. Will check with him in a few days.
But I remember him saying. “You start training a puppy- when they are growing up. Dogs like salted dried fish. You can keep feeding little few days prior(What you do is insert the dried fish into a small burrow, just at the entrance. he should dig and eat it and not directly feed him)”
Will get back with more details.
But not every dog will want to mess with snakes. If you keep a pair of dogs. You will have a army ready in a few years. You will want to give away puppies as they tend to mess around with your veggies and what not.
we had the same problem near our house and we bought few guinea fowls. even then the snakes visited frequently. we were doubtful of the usefulness of the fowls. we wanted to test. so one day when two snakes were beaten we stopped before killing them. the snakes were moving slowly because of the wounds but were hissing. we placed them near the fowls. but there was no response from the fowls even after 15 minutes. immediately we disposed both the fowls and snakes.
then we planted a herb known as siriyanangai in tamil [Andrographis paniculata]. i think it is giving good results. the frequency of snske visits has reduced drastically. the seeds may be available from my plants during jan. if you require pl contact
After searching a lot to buy Guinea hen chicks (Keets) I found someone selling them in our neighborhood.
Our main intention is have them on the farm for snake control but looks like they have many other benefits.
Very low cost maintenance or I would say zero maintenance.
Helps us in pest control ,they eat various insects on the farm and forage other stuff.
They don’t need any separate shelter, they rest on the trees during night.
Disease free, we din’t give any vaccines or medicines.
Best alert system, they are the first once to alert when they see anything new on the farm.
They don’t require any inputs or efforts but they will give us eggs. Recently our hens started laying , eggs are small but taste wise they are not different from chicken eggs. They have been laying continuously for last 1 month with 1-2 day break. Not sure how long they will lay eggs but they will give you good number of eggs.
If anyone is interested to raise them on their farms I can provide you few eggs for free.