Post by genebo on May 28, 2014 2:48:47 GMT
To help me keep my Dexters healthy, I keep guinea fowl to eat the ticks. Predators reduce the guinea population, so I have to hatch and raise replacements.
I had noticed that once I hatched 30 guinea keets, th number didn't seem to increase, even though I added a new keet almost every day. Two keets showed signs of injury and died. Another showed signs of injury, but was surviving.
That's when I noticed a small black snake curled in a corner of the brooder, with a suspicious lump in it's middle. I guessed that the smake had gotten in through the 1/2" holes in the wire walls and floor, then eaten a guinea keet. That made him too big around to get back out.
I scooped the snake up with a shovel and took it to where I could get a good look at it. Sure enough, you could make out the shape of the guinea inside. I dispatched the snake and buried it's head in the garden (recycling). Then I cut it open and removed the guinea keet. It was shocking that a snake so small it could squeeze through a 1/2" hole could swallow a guinea keet that large.
I guessed that the snake had tried to eat some other keets. Probably constricted them enough to break bones, but didn't get to swallow them. Those were the crippled keets that died. The same thing must have happened to the other keet, the one that didn't die. It must have been only slightly injured. Once I removed the snake, that keet resumed normal activity.
Here' for your viewing pleasure, is the snake and the guinea keet that I removed from inside the snake: