Snakes do not necessarily attack chickens, but they constantly hunt for chicks, rodents, and chicken eggs. Therefore, you may find them in the chicken house unit since it is common for rodents to hide. You must ensure that you keep your flock and their eggs safe.
To keep snakes out of a chicken coop, block any entrance and exit they may use to move in and out. Then cut tall grass and bush around, keep it clean and set snake traps around the coop.
The hissing of the snake alone can make you get goosebumps. However, that’s not always the case with your chickens. They are never frightened by snakes though these reptiles can be dangerous to them. Are you worried about snakes attacking your chickens?
Table of Contents
- 1 Signs of snakes in a chicken coop
- 2 How to keep snakes out of a chicken coop
- 3 6. Remove snakes around the coop
- 4 Do chickens attract snakes?
- 5 Are chickens afraid of snakes?
- 6 Do chickens attack and eat snakes?
Signs of snakes in a chicken coop
To ensure the safety and comfort of your chickens and their eggs, you must be keen and observant of the chicken’s behavior and the surrounding. You can tell if a snake has been in the coop or has eaten the chicken eggs in the following ways:
1. Missing eggs in the nesting box
Though the egg production is mostly reduced during winter and fall, you can always know if some eggs are missing. If the eggs keep disappearing regularly, there is a likelihood that a snake is sneaking in and swallowing them.
2. Disgorged eggshells
After swallowing the nutritional content of chicken eggs, snakes usually vomit the eggshells. The disgorged eggshells are generally compressed and have an irregular shape. If you find such eggshells, and you had previously noted that some eggs are missing, there might be snakes invading the chicken houses.
3. Shaded snakes skins
Seeing their skins is the clearest indication that a snake has been in the chicken coop or the surrounding area. Snakes usually shed off their skins regularly after feeding. If you notice snake skins, it’s time to take action.
4. Noise at night
Chickens will be restless at night when a snake is in the coop. As the snake moves, some will flee while others will try to attack it in defense. Whichever the case, chickens will make a lot of noise as they panic.
How to keep snakes out of a chicken coop
For snakes, preventing them from slithering their way to the chicken coop is the best option. You can keep them away using the following methods:
1. Cleaning the chicken coop and its surrounding
The chicken litter and food leftovers attract rodents which in turn attract snakes. You should ensure that the coop is always clean and rodent-free. Additionally, you must clear the bushes and lawn the grass around the coop to prevent snakes or rodents from hiding there.
Stagnated water sources can also attract water. If you want to let your chickens have some water at night, ensure it is not left in a large bucket on the ground. Snakes can become thirsty, and they may go away on their own if there is no water and food.
2. Securing your chicken coop
Your chicken coop needs to be secure with no gaps exceeding five inches. You can also use chicken wire with the smallest holes to secure it all around. Consequently, you can mount nesting boxes on the walls that snakes can’t access.
You should ensure that you collect the eggs daily and keep chicks in safe brooders that snakes can’t sneak through. Finally, you can replace eggs with mothballs or golf balls, killing snakes if they swallow them.
3. Rearing guinea fowl
With proper introduction, guinea fowls will live with your chicken peacefully. However, they dislike snakes. They will surely attack and scare them away if they spot them.
4. Get a cat
Having a cat on your farm will help you eliminate rodents that attract snakes. More so, cats can kill mice that disturb chickens at night in a coop. However, cats can also rattle chickens as they sleep at night. Therefore, it is a good idea to release the cat into the coop during the day when the chickens are out.
5. Using snake repellents and traps
You can purchase snake repellents or traps and position them around the coop to either keep away or trap the snakes. However, you should seek advice from professionals on the repellents that are harmless to you and your flock.
Besides commercial repellents, you can plant natural herbs such as rosemary, lemongrass, mint, marigolds, etc., which are known to repel snakes away.
6. Remove snakes around the coop
If you find a snake on your farm, you should avoid attacking or killing it since it is illegal to kill protected species. Contact the nearest wildlife office and request them to remove the snake for you.
Trying to trap it yourself can make the snake attack you. Most snake bites are venomous and can kill within hours! The best option is to protect your flock using the methods we’ve discussed and always ask for help if a snake invades your farm.
Do chickens attract snakes?
Chickens do not attract snakes directly since they are not among the best prey for snakes. However, they attract them indirectly since chicken eggs will attract snakes. Chicken coops are commonly infested with rodents that snakes love feeding on.
Rodents such as rats hide near chicken house units to make it easier to feed on leftover chicken feed and keep warm. These rodents are snake’s prey, and they attract snakes. Snakes may also come to chicken coops to hunt chicks.
Are chickens afraid of snakes?
Chickens are susceptible birds and are usually afraid of any threat, including humans. Therefore, they may be frightened of snakes, especially if they threaten their safety. Regardless of the fear, chicken, especially roosters and mothering chickens, can defend themselves and their chicks fearlessly from snakes.
Because chickens flock together, they can attack a snake with their beaks until they kill it or escape. However, even with speed and unity, chickens do not usually kill snakes since they easily give up after a few pecks. Therefore, the best option is to keep snakes away from your chicken since they may injure several birds before escaping.
Do chickens attack and eat snakes?
As mentioned earlier, chickens can attack snakes, and since chickens can also feed on meat, they can eat and swallow the snakes. However, this depends on the size of the snake. A small-sized garden snake like the garter snake will be killed and consumed by a chicken.
Though your chicken can attack and feed on snakes, you still don’t want them near your flock. Snakes will feed on chicks and chicken eggs and may even kill some of your mature chickens. Since some snakes are very venomous, they can bite your chicken, leading to almost instantaneous death.
Snakes hiding inside the coops cause stress and discomfort to your flock, which reduces their egg production. They may also attack you or your loved ones when you feed the chicken or collect eggs.