One of the best ways to keep chicken snakes away from your birds is by making the area surrounding your hen house unattractive to them.
Please bear in mind that these snakes are not out to eat your chickens, but they will make off with as many eggs as they can eat.
It is important to keep the grass mowed and not collect any clutter to avoid chicken snake problems.
Generally, if you take care of your chickens properly then you will minimize the risks associated with these predators.
These snakes will hide under woodpiles, cardboard and sheet metal, in fact anything they can crawl into or under.
If you are reading this article then it is likely that you may have a problem with snakes and if you have a snake problem, there is usually a good food supply, so this may indicate a rodent problem.
Snake Species Commonly Called a Chicken Snake
The Texas Rat Snake is also known as the “chicken snake” because it so enjoys the contents of a chicken coop, but it follows the food supply and rats, chickens, birds nest are all good indicators that this snake has come to know and love.
Virtually any rodent eating snake has become to be known by the term “chicken snake” because of its fondness for eggs and this includes species such as the Great Plains rat snake, King snakes and Corn snakes of all varieties.
They are actually completely harmless and non-venomous; they do good by eating a lot of rodents, but will also eat baby chickens as well as your daily supply of fresh eggs.
The fact that they are great for killing rodents is one thing, but it is a horrible thought that you might be reaching into a bag of feed one day; innocently going about feeding you chickens and you find a six foot snake curled up sleeping in there.
To Kill or Not to Kill Them
My mother always kills them because she says, “now I know where they are” but I have never been able to kill them and always have someone relocate them for me.
Some people sue golf balls to kill them and they will leave this in the chicken nests, a snake cannot digest or pass a golf ball and death comes to them pretty quickly. But if you prefer prevention rather than cure get some moth balls.
This is the same as buying “snake away” only cheaper and it works just as good. Moth balls or crystals can be sprinkled in the area around the coop and it is supposed to keep snakes away as they don’t like the smell.
Short of keeping a secretary bird or mongoose on the property I am not sure that there is much else that can be done to keep your chicken eggs safe. Getting rid of the rat problem will also help.