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Snakes used to attack the eggs my chickens laid. We've tried to kill or chase away the snake; we finally killed the snake through baiting with a poisoned egg. We sold some chickens to reduce their volume and prevent attracting another snake.

Now we want to buy more chickens. What can we do to prevent a new snake from being attracted to them?

  • This question appears to be too broad Can you please provide some details of how your chicken coop is constructed? How are the snakes gaining access, through wire, under or over fencing or when the door is left open for the chickens to browse? It would help in tailoring answers. There would be many variations of this question. – In loving memory of Dyani Oct 25 '13 at 23:28
  • @Skippy I disagree. I think adding more details about the specific layout would only limit how useful the answers might be to future visitors with similar problems, but different chicken coop layouts. – Beofett Oct 26 '13 at 0:22
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    @Beofett answers can be quite comprehensive if about a particular coop, and I think it would be good rather than a briefer list of options... if that makes sense.. Others can still ask about different situations, it doesn't have to answer every issue about snake proofing. No? – In loving memory of Dyani Oct 26 '13 at 0:47
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Snakes are extremely beneficial to have around, as they are very effective in keeping down vermin populations. However, there are many species that will quite happily eat eggs, hatchling chicks, or even full-grown chickens if the snake is large enough.

I'm not an advocate of killing snakes, even poisonous ones. There are some nonlethal steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of snakes bothering your chickens, though:

  • Don't leave the eggs in the chicken coop. The quicker you are to remove eggs after hens lay them, the less tempting a feeding spot the coop will be to snakes. Try to keep on this daily. Some chickens can become quite clever about hiding their eggs, so be sure to search thoroughly.

  • Eliminate cover snakes may hide in to approach the coop. Keep your grass and vegetation outside the coop well-trimmed. Most snakes don't like to be too exposed in the open, and try to stick to areas where they can be well-concealed, such as tall grass, thick shrubbery, or even areas where lots of dead leaves on the ground can hide them. The less cover they'll have when approaching your coop, the less appealing it will be as a food supply.

  • Eliminate hiding places in the coop itself, and any adjoining buildings. This can be much more difficult than it may sound. Snakes are experts at squeezing into tiny cracks most people never notice. On older buildings, particularly ones made primarily of wood, there can be a multitude of hiding spots snakes can squeeze into. Keeping barns, sheds, outhouses, coops, and other structures in good repair goes a long way towards making them less attractive to snakes. Use materials such as caulk to block up any external openings, and clean up debris or clutter both inside and out that snakes might use to hide in.

  • Keep your property clean of food. Exposed food may attract mice or rats. Mice or rats attract snakes. If you have seen rodents around your house, or signs of rodents, getting rid of them should be your first priority.

  • There are snake repellent products available, although I have never used them, and I honestly don't know how effective, if at all, they may be.

  • You can also set safe, humane traps for snakes, and then relocate the snakes after you catch them.

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    All of the steps I listed should help cut down dramatically on the risk of any of you getting bit by a snake, poisonous or otherwise. Snakes generally try and avoid humans, but sometimes humans inadvertently create such welcoming habitats for the snakes that they just can't resist. Most snake bites against humans occur when the person surprises the snake in a place where the snake can't easily escape. Bullet points 2 and 3 above will help prevent that. – Beofett Oct 25 '13 at 18:27
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here in south west Nigeria I have lost so many turkeys brroding over their eggs as a result of snake attack. What i do now is to clear the surroundings of the nest and use a 6 yard length of mosquito net to make a peg suspended fence around the nest making sure no openings are left. Wt a door to allow the hen food and water i close it up at 6pm. It works

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put a golf ball in each nest. snake eats golf ball and snake can't pass golf ball. bye snake.

  • Now there's a creative idea! – Timtech Aug 31 '16 at 16:59
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    -1 Snakes can vomit, there are are videos of them vomiting up a WHOLE COW. Golf ball don't seem like a solution that would work. – James Jenkins Aug 31 '16 at 17:37

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