You hear a lot of noise coming from your chicken coop and go to investigate. There just in front of your coop ramp is a… SNAKE!!! The name alone might strike fear into the heart of any caring chicken owner.
Fortunately, snakes are mostly after an easy meal. If you’ve ever seen an angry chook, you will know that they’re not it. Snakes do occasionally eat chickens, but they’re more likely to be after your eggs and the vermin running around the chicken feeders.
Eggs make a very easy meal since they can’t bite, peck, scratch or run away. This might be a small comfort, but likely it is quite easy to deal with these slithering reptiles.
Prevent, Prevent, Prevent!
The best cure for your snake problem is to prevent it before it happens. So, how can you prevent snakes from coming to your coop? There are a few things you can try to keep those pesky snakes away such as:
Some people think that snakes are attracted by the chickens themselves, but while this is true to an extent, snakes are more usually attracted by those pesky rodents running around. This makes the solution simple, right? No rats, no mice, no snakes! Store your chicken feed properly and get rodent-proof chicken feeders, clear any areas where rodents can hide such as long grass around the coop, set rat traps and secure your coop to get your property rodent-free in no time!
Snakes have this uncanny ability to squeeze through the tiniest gaps if given a chance. To prevent them from getting into your coop this way, make sure your coop is properly secured. The mesh on your coop needs to be narrow enough to prevent entry. Make sure to collect eggs regularly to remove the other tasty treat the snakes might be after! If there’s nothing to tempt them in the first place, they won’t bother trying to get in.
It’s a great idea to get yourself some guinea fowl. An aggressive guinea fowl is an absolute terror to snakes. Guinea fowls will become part of your flock in no time if you introduce them properly. They will also help to keep the garden clear of insects and small mice.
Cats may not necessarily help with your snake problem even though they do catch and kill small snakes, but they will most definitely solve your rodent problem. Just make sure your cat is raised with your chickens or alternatively make sure your coop is cat-proof and you shouldn’t have any problems at all!
Your allies don’t necessarily have to be alive to help you out. Golf balls or something similar are excellent stand-ins for eggs. When the snake consumes one fake meal, it will lose interest for good.
If you find a snake in your coop or anywhere on your property, don’t panic. There are agencies and people you can call to safely remove snakes from your property without harming the snake. Try your local wildlife centre, snake handlers in your area or even the police to help you remove the snake.
Keep in mind that most snakes are protected! DO NOT KILL THEM! It is illegal to kill protected species and you might get bitten or worse. Snakes are only trying to survive so there’s no reason to punish them for looking for an easy meal.
The best for any chicken keeper is to make sure the coop is secure from the start. No one wants to play chicken guardian 24/7, we all have a life outside out chickens after all.