I'm a newbie backyard chickener and have just killed a large rat snake in my coop who consumed two of my three-week old chicks. I have a good idea how this one got inside the coop and am taking extra precautions to make sure it doesn't happen again. What I would like some advice on is how to keep snakes out of the area. I have been told that moth balls placed around the perimeter of the coop and yard should keep them out. Does anyone know if this will work...will they be harmful to other pets (cats, dogs) or the chickens? Once my chickens are old enough to go outside, I'm afraid the snakes will enter the coop through the chickens' door and get eggs. I can't stand guard with my shotgun and shovel 24/7, so I need a way to keep the snakes out of my yard. Thanks for your help!