Our Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes here in AZ eat anything moving they can swallow. They get in the misquite trees and eat the roosting quail and there nests at night. So I would bet they will eat your eggs if they get in there. I would get rid of them quick if I were you. If you want a snake around to keep down the rats then buy some king snakes. King snakes eat rattle snakes and are not poisonious.
Eastern Diamondback Rattler- and you are PLAYING with it and taking pictures instead of killing it?????
And before I get yelled at- yes, i will let a non-poisious (sp) snake live if it is outside, but a rattler or water moccasin is dead when I see it- I have kids/dogs/cat/chickens/goat. No rattlers allowed.
Please be very careful around your coop with venomous snakes nearby. At the worst, you could reach into a nest box to gather eggs and get bitten. They will eat eggs....
As much as I like to let beneficial snakes be around the yard, I would be hesitant to let a rattler stick around the yard. I usually relocate them as a rule, a loooonnng way from here (saint augustine, FL).
I've had two yellow rat snakes this year so far, one with an egg in it's belly and one simply coiled up on top of five eggs in one nesting box. I removed them and released them elsewhere.
If you are not comfortable handling a venomous snakes, you should get a hoe and chop the head off, do not handle the head, it can still bite at you when severed.
Kill it or No you live in there territory. Chances are there are or will be more. If it were my place I would let the unofending animals stay. As long as he/she sticks to rats. If it becomes an issue like other snakes can I would relocate it. watch where you step!
I didn't kill the snake. After I took the pictures with a ZOOM lens, I went to get the long handled hoe but when I got back to where I saw the snake it was gone. We do have several Gopher Tortoise dens on our property and a friend had a dog that went into a Gopher Tortoise den and was bitten. The dog did die. A friend told us a few months ago he saw a rather large Rattler near our brush pile. I guess he did.