Smaller snakes are unlikely to visit chicken coops as flocks keep pecking their bodies until they die. But larger snakes are dangerous for chickens. They eat both adult flocks and tiny chicks. However, they mainly visit a chicken coop for eggs or baby chicks.
How can I keep snakes out of my chicken coop? You can keep snakes out of your flock house using snake-repellent products, cleaning wastage and food residues daily, sealing the coop wall properly, elevating the coop position, and using thicker gauge wire.
Why Snakes Visit A Chicken Coop?
There are mainly three reasons snakes visit a flock house.
Reason: 1 – FOOD
The first reason could be eating food. It can be the chicken, their eggs, their baby chicks, or their feeds.
However, snakes do not like eating flocks’ eggs as they also lay eggs.
Reason: 2 – Water
Snakes don’t drink water regularly. They are like warm-blooded animals.
These limbless reptiles can live without water for weeks or even a month.
If snakes are highly thirsty and notice water in your chicken coop, they may visit the house to drink water.
Reason: 3 – Shelter
Snakes prefer warm places as they can’t produce their own body heat. They need a warm place.
A chicken coop can be a perfect dry location for taking shelter. You may sometimes see them living in the corner of any house.
How Snakes Find A Chicken Coop?
Snakes usually move from one place to another through holes or cracks using their ribs and belly scales to glide forward.
Their flexible bodies can fit any holes that are slightly larger than their bodies. The cold-blooded reptiles can enter smoothly into any one-inch hole.
Snakes are fond of whole prey, such as mice and rats, as they are easy to kill and offer great nutrition for these limbless reptiles.
They often follow the footprints of mice and rats to come in a chicken coop. Also, snakes may come to your chicken coop through routes of pests or nuisance animals.
Do Snakes Eat Chickens?
Snakes are mainly fond of full-sized adult chickens. But they will go after small chicks and eggs if they don’t find larger ones.
These limbless reptiles have a pretty reduced metabolism. They don’t need to eat food every day. Consuming foods once or twice per week is enough for them.
But, when they eat, they refill it properly. Snakes usually eat 1–1.5 times more than their size. That’s why they are after grown-up chickens.
Eating one or two whole chickens is a piece of cake for bigger snakes.
Which Snakes Visit Chicken Coops?
If you regularly keep a good number of eggs inside the chicken coop, King, Bull, and Rat snakes are more likely to visit.
But, they will first look for rats and mice. If these limbless reptiles don’t find them, they will start eating eggs.
Corn and milk snakes may also visit a flock’s house for food, shelter, or water.
Rat snakes are one of the most complained animals for chicken coops. If cold-blooded reptiles find a steady food source, they will come regularly.
How To Know If Snakes Visited A Chicken Coop?
You can figure out the presence of snakes in your chicken coop by inspecting the house’s condition.
- One or several eggs, chickens, or baby chicks might be missing.
- Broken eggs or half-eaten eggs on the nesting boxes.
- A small portion or half portion of the dead chicken body is on the bedding surface.
- Older shaded skin of the snakes lying inside the chicken coop.
How Can I Keep Snakes Out Of My Chicken Coop?
Some areas have a vast number of snakes, while others don’t. It can be a natural scenario.
Snakes may come in your chicken coop for various reasons. But you can repel them from visiting your flock house repeatedly.
Solution: 1 – Keep Chicken Coop Free From Mouse
Snakes are fond of rodents and mice. If your flock house has any of these animals, get rid of them quickly.
Otherwise, the limbless reptiles will follow in the mouse’s footsteps and enter the coop.
You can have a few pet cats. They will prevent the presence of a rodent.
Solution: 2 – Regularly Collect Chicken Eggs
Avoid gathering up chickens’ eggs inside the nest boxes unless you want to hatch them.
Collect the eggs every day. If there is a risk of predators, visit the flock house twice daily.
You can keep golf balls in the nesting boxes to fool snakes. When they repeatedly notice the balls, they will be demotivated to visit again.
Solution: 3 – Choose Smallest Gauge Wire
If the hole diameter of the gauge wire is more than a half inch, snakes are likely to enter through them.
Hence, choose a half-inch or smaller gauge wire for your chicken coop.
Make sure all the run area, windows, and vents are covered. Otherwise, predators will enter through them.
Additionally, use electric fencing for the chicken run. Whenever snakes touch them, it will give them profound shocks.
Solution: 4 – No Wood Pieces & Tall Grasses
Avoid keeping any fallen branches or large pieces of trees around the chicken coop.
Snakes may hide inside them by wrapping their body.
In addition, regularly cut grasses from the chicken run area. Don’t let them grow much.
Otherwise, tall grass is ideal for concealing their body and moving around the flock house.
Solution: 5 – Keep An Eye On The Nesting Boxes
Limbless reptiles usually visit chicken coops at night. Give a close look at the nesting boxes before locking the flock house.
Also, carefully check various corners of the chicken coop to see if there are any predators signs.
As a good rule of thumb, be aware of how to quickly identify the footprint of snakes’ movements.
You will get a lot of YouTube videos regarding this topic.
Solution: 6 – Cayenne Pepper & Chili
You can use cayenne pepper and chili to deter snakes from visiting the chicken coop.
Create a mixture of cayenne peppers and chili. Grab a pot and add a small amount of water.
Then, boil the mixed water at medium heat. Pour the boiled solution into a spray bottle.
Carefully spray the solution in all the vulnerable areas. Avoid spraying it on your chickens.
Solution: 7 – Use Scents That Snakes Hate
Like other predators, snakes also dislike some scents.
They can’t withstand them. These limbless reptiles will keep them away wherever they sense these smells.
Eugenol, clove oil, cinnamon, sulfur, guard vines, etc., spread a natural scent that snakes don’t like.
You can use these natural products to repel snakes. But, there is no guarantee about 100% success about them.
Solution: 8 – Keep Cowboy Rope Around The Coop
Snakes take Sisal rope or cowboy rope in the presence of horses.
These ropes have a unique smell that makes these limbless reptiles think horses have a similar scent.
Horses are larger animals. Snakes fear them and keep themselves away from these creatures.
They think horses may harm them by crushing them underfoot.
Solution: 9 – Clean The Chicken Coop Regularly
Make sure to clean the remaining food and waste from the chicken coop daily.
Wipe the spillage from the coop ground. Use a functional feeder machine to feed chickens.
It will prevent unwanted wastage and spilling. Snakes will fail to eat the foods as they are inside the container.
Store chicken feed in a safe place where no predators can steal them. Also, there should not be any food outside the chicken coop at night.
Solution: 10 – Keep The Chicken Coop Raised
Elevated chicken coops are better than ground-based options.
Keep at least 10 to 12 inches distance from the ground. It will prevent snakes from entering the chicken house quickly.
Also, ensure the coop’s legs have an inverted funnel structure. Snakes will face challenges in moving upward through them.
Solution: 11 – Seal The Coop Wall Properly
Do your chicken coop walls have holes or gaps between the wood pieces?
Make sure there are no gaps between the chicken coop walls. Seal all narrow fissures and split appropriately.
You can use spray foam insulation from a can to refill these cracks.
Alternatively, 100% silicone, Pond Shield, Seam Tape, And Poultry Shield come in handy too.
But their effectiveness will vary depending on the coop materials and your living location weather.
Solution: 12 – Get Rid Of Water And Landscaping
Do you have landscaping around your chicken coop? Make sure to remove it.
Otherwise, snakes will make a shelter and start inside it.
In addition, don’t keep any water outside the chicken house at night. Limbless reptiles may visit to drink water.
Are you still wondering about this question: How can I keep snakes out of my chicken coop? We have already outlined the top ways to get off snakes from a flock house.
But the solution will vary depending on the type of coop you have and the surrounding environment. Figure out why these limbless reptiles come repeatedly and implement the solution.
Regularly checks your chicken coop corners and nooks to see whether you see any footprints of snakes. Also, talk to the chicken doctors if snakes bite any of them.