Chickens are the source of eggs and meat for us, because of it numerous people raise them at their places. Along with feeding them healthy, their protection is also compulsory. However, predators of chickens include raccoons, foxes, dogs, coyotes, cats, etc. But what about black snakes? Do black snakes eat chickens? Let’s explore this.
Black snakes would like to have a meal on chickens if they are easily available to them. However, for black snakes eating an adult chicken is not possible but they can eat chicks and chicken’s eggs.
Do Black Snakes Eat Chickens?
Black rat snakes or the rat snakes is a non-venomous species of the Colubridae family, commonly found in North America. Moreover, black snakes can live in several habitats like the rocky hillsides, trees, dens, flat farmland, etc.
Black rat snakes are carnivores and can eat a variety of rodents including mice, rats, moles, chipmunks, lizards, frogs, bird’s eggs, etc. As black snakes are not large that’s why they are unable to eat large animals like chickens.
Because they have to swallow their prey and black snakes are not that big to swallow an adult chicken. However, it doesn’t mean that they cannot feed on chicks and chicken eggs. As black snakes can easily swallow a chick and a chicken’s egg.
An interesting fact about black snakes is that they cannot identify among the chicken’s egg and a white ball placed with them. You can easily trick them by placing white balls in place of eggs. However, this can be harmful to them.
Black snakes don’t pose any threat to humans but they can harm chickens and chicks. As we know that black snakes cannot eat an adult chicken but it doesn’t mean that they cannot kill them. Black snakes can kill chickens by coiling themselves around the chickens.
And they would like to eat their eggs and chicks the most as chicks are the easy prey for black snakes. However, black rat snakes prefer to eat rodents that’s why they only hunt chicks when there is nothing to eat.
You May Also Read: Do Raccoons Eat Snakes?
Do Red Belly Black Snakes Eat Chickens?
Red-bellied black snakes are venomous snakes commonly found in Eastern Australia. These snakes are known as red belied snakes because they have red or pinkish crimson on their belly extending to their lower side.
Like the black rat snakes, red belly black snakes would like to eat the rodents including, frogs, rats, mice, etc. Moreover, they are good climbers and swimmers and thus can eat eggs of birds and also hunt inside the water.
As they can eat eggs of birds so eating eggs of chickens is not a big deal for them. Not only eggs but a fully grown red belly black snake can eat chicks as well. However, they are unable to eat a fully grown chicken like the black rat snake.
But as venomous snakes they can harm your chickens, that’s why adapting security measurements necessary in each case.
Do Chickens Coop Attracts Snakes?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is yes. As chickens and their coop can attract snakes due to number of reasons. For example, the leftover food or the presence of eggs and chicks in the coop is a cause of the snake’s attraction towards the coop.
Not only this, in search of shelter and potential warmth, snakes can make a way towards your chicken’s coop.
How To Keep Snakes Away from Chickens, Eggs, And Coops?
In order to start the conversation, I want to remind you that, chickens, chicks, and eggs, are not the primary food of snakes. As they prefer to eat small rodents. But they can eat chicks and eggs whenever they get a chance to do so.
So, for the safety of your chooks, you have to keep these black snakes away from them. And you can do this with the help of following instructions.
Eliminate The Snake Attractions:
As we know that snakes are attracted to the food source in your chicken’s coop, like the presence of eggs. Sometimes, small rodents like rats and mice are also present inside the coop so they also attract snakes.
So to make your chicken coop less attractive you have to make sure that you are removing their eggs regularly. And also make sure that there is no rodent living with your chickens as black rat snakes are attracted towards rodents more than chickens.
Use of Snakes Repellents:
You can repel snakes in several ways, as you can plant such plants whose scents act as snake repellent. For example, the scent of lemongrass, marigold, garlic, onion, rosemary, etc.
Moreover, there are numerous snake repellents commercially available, that you can use to keep away black snakes.
Black snakes don’t harm humans so if you wonder that do black snakes eat chickens? Then the answer is that they can eat chicken’s egg and chicks, but eating an adult chicken is not possible for them. However, they can kill chickens by coiling their body around the chickens.
Chickens are not the preferable food for black snakes but if you want to keep them away from your chicken’s coop then you can use commercially available repellents. You can also keep them away by removing food sources from the chicken’s coop.