It's that time of year again when the warm weather is bringing out the sleepy crawlies.
Today for the first time this season, I saw a red bellied black snake about three meters from me. Quite a fat snake but only about a meter long. He/she sat quietly watching me while I climbed over the gate. Then it very slowly slipped into the undergrowth, very casually indeed. Is it a danger to the goats? While I hear goat keepers blame snakes for the sudden death of a goat in their goat herd, that is not my experience. When I ask the breeder how they know it was a snake they usually reply, oh it was such a sudden death. I can assure you a sudden death should not necessarily be blamed on a snake. Sudden deaths in goats are really more common than lingering deaths, ask an experienced goat breeder if this is the truth. While I have had my suspicions of a snake bite in goats in about three cases in the last 30 years I have never seen the puncture marks or real evidence that such was the case. I am sure there are properties with much more aggressive snakes than here, but it is worth checking out sudden deaths rather than blaming them on the snakes.
How are the snakes going at your place? Do you have problem snakes?