Snakes- Predators or just egg eaters?


11 Years
Sep 28, 2008
Alamance, NC
Do I need to worry about snakes getting the chickens or just the eggs. I think I have heard someone say they will get the chicks, but not the hens & roos.

Anyone have experience here? Besides the common snakes around any barnyard, I do have moccasins nearby. Previous owner was actually bitten by one years ago also.

I just can not stand them and believe the only good snake is a dead one. I won't worry bout them if their not going to eat my chickens, but if they are, they are going to be a pair of boots.

Thanks for the help folks!
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I firmly believe that snakes will try to eat a chicken, they may not be successful but the bird will still be dead.

This spring and early summer I had a problem with some rat snakes. During this time I found a chick that was about 6-8 weeks old dead and the head and neck were wet. There were no other signs of trauma. A few weeks later I found a "teenager" dead with the same signs. It is like a snake tried to eat it, started at the head, couldn't get past the neck, and then managed to disengage.
Thanks spotted crow, I appreciate it!

Does anyone know if I need to worry about the poisonous moccasins in the coop? It won't be so bad to find a black snake once in awhile out there, but I just can't deal with the monsters.
Yes the snakes will eat the chicks if they are the right size. I have a pretty big problem with them down here. We have what I call a chicken snake (yellow rat snake)and they can get big. I found one that was around 6 foot in the brooder wraped around one of my silkie chicks and chicks head and neck were in the snake. The snake ended up letting go of the chick and tryed to slither away. It was unable to get out of the chicken wire because it eat a smaller one first and that part of its body was to big to get through the wire. After the snake was removed I went to remove the chick but found it still alive. It was a little slimy but was still fine. I ended up putting a cast net over the brooder to keep snakes out, it has worked so far. Well good luck with your snakes Brad.
I found a rat snake in our nest box today and one of our chickens was in the box next to it sitting. Well, while we were trying to get rid of the snake the hen stood up and laid her egg right in front of us...

The snake had an egg in it's mouth when I found it, needless to say that was it's last meal !!!
Always been told they will come back for more if you don't get rid of them.

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