1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    Not a member yet? join BYC here & then introduce yourself in our community forum here.

Who Wins? the Chickens or the Snake??

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by MamaDragon, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. MamaDragon

    MamaDragon Songster

    Aug 4, 2008
    Camden, AR
    Greetings All!

    Please settle a point of discussion between Hubby and I...... will grown chickens kill a snake, or will the snake kill the chicken? It's not a fight-type of discussion.... just need to know if I need to attempt to snake "deter" the hen-house or not.

    We have rattlers in the area, as well as Copperheads/Water Moccasins, rat-snakes, etc. I've been told about chickens ganging up on a snake and killing it. Hubby was raised that snakes would get in a hen-house and kill any/all the chickens.

    I realize that any snake will take a chance for eggs and baby chicks, but I'm at a loss about grown chickens. Of course, the snake has to live long enough to get past half a dozen cats, and a dog that has the run of the yard first.

  2. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    They will gang up on the snake and eat it.

    I'd still want to deter them from my coop, I don't want to reach into a nest box and pick up anything other than eggs.
  3. MamaDragon

    MamaDragon Songster

    Aug 4, 2008
    Camden, AR
    Neither do I !!!

    What is the best way to snake-proof?

    Our coop is a 10x10 shed, sand floor with a 10x10 chain-link run attached. They usually free-range in the daytime and put themselves to bed at dusk.

    We've got kids ranging from 18months to 10 years old, 3 dogs, plus numerous cats around, so whatever I do can not be toxic or hazardous to the rest of our crowd.

    As for snakes IN the nest boxes, we have two 3-foot long ammo crates lined with hay for them. These sit atop cinder-blocks, which makes them easy to tend, see into, and pickup and move if necessary.

  4. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

    Feb 10, 2008
    Eastern NC
    It's not snake proof but we had an "old timer" tell us years ago to use sulfur. At first I laughed and thought there was no way it would work but it does. We put it around and under our chicken houses and it cuts way way back on the number of snakes in the houses. Also, if the chickens can get to it they seem to like to dust bath in it? We always figured it helped with mites etc. Who knows with chickens. [​IMG]

    We have never seen a chicken kill a snake but have seen guineas and turkeys chase them away. I saw one of our guineas get struck 3 times by a copperhead and lived, I guess the fangs didn't get thru the feathers.

    On a snake good note, we were having a mouse problem in our feed barn, one day I saw just the tail end of a corn snake going inside. I told everybody there was a snake living in the barn keep your eyes open as there was no way I was going to move all the feed to find it. Within a week the mouse problem was gone, I don't know if the snake is still in there or not but as far as we are concerned it earned the right to live in there.

    Steve in NC
  5. scooter147

    scooter147 Songster

    Jul 30, 2008
    Interesting discussion.

    I have seen chickens attack snakes gang style and kill and consume snakes, all types, copperheads, corn snakes and black snakes etc. and I have found black snakes in nest boxes with an belly full of eggs. The black snakes I found in were in broad daylight so I am not sure how they got past the watchful eyes of the chickens. The black snakes were quite large so it may have been that the chickens did not want to tangle with a snake of "significant" size.
  6. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    I'm still waiting for someone to post a shot (video link) of a North American species of nonpoisonous snake kill and consume an adult Standard chicken.

    When ours were still pullets we kept them away from the pond, as the Northern Water Snakes would have scarfed them right up (two shots of small models working over the local fauna):

    It doesn't take much imagination... But Northern Water Snakes are pretty aggressive and have bad attitudes. I was out raking near the pond on a sunny, but cold, day in March, a couple of years back. Out of a hole emerges a big NWS. It coiled up, struck at the rake a couple of times, decided that the air temp. was too bitter to continue?, and slithered back into its hideout.

    However, other than checking your coop in the evenings (rafters/nest boxes/etc.) for itinerant egg eaters, I'd not worry too much. It's the serpents that are under the beak and `talon' (in most situations).

    A link to an earlier thread about this: https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=62567

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: