Is this a rat snake hanging around my chickens??

Sweetbasil

Chirping
Mar 22, 2020
61
60
53
Milton, FL
Second time I’ve seen a snake similar to this also this one has weird red areas on its body. Will it try to eat my 3 month old free ranging chickens who is guarded by a goose? Obviously no eggs around here yet.
 

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Chicken Heel

Songster
Jun 8, 2019
562
1,644
171
I've always moved rat snakes and the occasional king snake to a location at least a 1/2 mile from wherever I have had coops and that seems to work. But I even hesitate to do that because king snakes in particular seem to keep the poisonous copperhead snakes at bay.
 

Sweetbasil

Chirping
Mar 22, 2020
61
60
53
Milton, FL
What state are you in? You could google a list of snakes in your state or go to your Dept. of Conservation website to see all the pictures.
It is probably there for the rodents attracted to the feed or the chicken eggs.
Northwest Florida in the Panhandle. I’ve tried looking at the lists but so many look the same to me it’s sorta confusing.
 

Mtnboomer

Crowing
Mar 17, 2019
1,170
2,144
252
Southwest Virginia (mountains)
Am I the only one who moves snakes towards my buildings?

I pick them up from the yard often and put them in all my outbuildings (not actually in my coop but in wood shed adjacent to coop). I have virtually no rodent issues. The only concern that I have is for eggs in the coop or chicks in my garage brooder. If an egg is lost, i consider it payment for the rodent control work, but it hasn't happened yet. Chicks are protected by fencing with small enough openings to prevent snakes entering.
 

Sweetbasil

Chirping
Mar 22, 2020
61
60
53
Milton, FL
Am I the only one who moves snakes towards my buildings?

I pick them up from the yard often and put them in all my outbuildings (not actually in my coop but in wood shed adjacent to coop). I have virtually no rodent issues. The only concern that I have is for eggs in the coop or chicks in my garage brooder. If an egg is lost, i consider it payment for the rodent control work, but it hasn't happened yet. Chicks are protected by fencing with small enough openings to prevent snakes entering.
Interesting but is there much concern for them attacking your larger chickens? Mine are three months old and fairly large now and are also guarded by a noisy goose. Both times I’ve left the snake be, just concerned. I have no eggs at this point as they haven’t started to lay.
 

Mtnboomer

Crowing
Mar 17, 2019
1,170
2,144
252
Southwest Virginia (mountains)
Interesting but is there much concern for them attacking your larger chickens? Mine are three months old and fairly large now and are also guarded by a noisy goose. Both times I’ve left the snake be, just concerned. I have no eggs at this point as they haven’t started to lay.
None. I have Brahmas that are large birds and eat small snakes. Even an 8ft rat snake (pretty much max size) is too small to tackle such large prey. Predators won't risk injury to themselves needlessly.

My birds leave the brooder at 8 wks and are already far bigger than these snakes can consume. Smaller breeds may take longer to reach an adequate size.
 

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