Snakes are carnivorous reptiles that are long and legless. Currently, they are fifteen recognized families of snakes, and they consist of 2,900 species. Most of them are small with just 3 to 4 feet in length whereas, the largest species are the reticulated pythons which is 30 feet long and the anaconda which is 25 feet long.
They cannot chew their food, so they resort to swallowing them up. They feed on animals like chickens, lizards, rodents, birds, eggs, etc. for these reasons, farmers should ensure the safety of their birds on the farm as much as possible.
Benefits of snakes in the coop
They are usually an unexpected surprise and some of them are dead because of their poisonous venom. It is, therefore, important that you keep the eggs, chicks, and chickens safe from their attacks.
The presence of snakes around the coop is an indication that there is vermin in the coop and is likely eating up your chicken feed. And snakes can always come to the rescue by eating up those vermin (mice, rats, weasels, etc.).
Therefore, the snake snooping around on those vermin can help you reduce the numbers of pests that are residing in your chicken coop.
4 signs that you have snakes around your coop
If you begin to notice fewer or missing eggs in the coop, it could be a clear indication that you have them around. Although this may not only be the case, do not overlook it.
So, do a thorough checking around the deep litter, rafters, and any other access that may grant snakes entry into your coop.
Regurgitated eggshells in the coop
Snakes breaks eggshells as it passes through its body, and after digesting the content, it regurgitates the empty shell. So if you see these shells around, then know that you have a snake around.
Snakeskin around the coop
A comfortable snake in your coop will shed its skin as usual, and if you find any dry scaly snakeskin in your coop, you should know that it is sneaking around somewhere.
A chicken with a wet head in the farm
A wet head could be a clear sign that it was about to eat it up and then gave up in the process. So look for the snake and kill it before you lose all your chickens and eggs to its stomach.
The kinds of snakes that eat chicken eggs
Generally, the kinds of snakes that are found in chicken coop who eats eggs are king snakes, milk snakes, rat snakes, black snakes, chicken snakes, etc. this article is going to tell you how to handle them.
How to keep snakes out of the coop
In order to balance the benefits of having a snake around for eating up vermin in your chicken coop and the threats that its presence will pose to your birds, you need to know those best practices that can help exclude snakes from your coop.
Let your one-inch chicken wire be replaced with hardware cloth
Chicken wire was meant to keep chicken in, but can serve as an entrance for snakes, so always screen your windows with a quarter-inch hardware cloth to keep out snakes.
Thoroughly check door gaps
Always check for door gaps around the coop and fit them with weather stripping or door molding so that the openings will be not less than a half or quarter inch.
This will keep both larger and small ones out since they can get into any opening larger than the inches mentioned above.
Install coop apron
If your coop does not have solid floors, install a coop apron using hardware cloth on the floor in order to keep it or other burrowing predators out of the coop.
Rodent proofing fittings
When your coop is made less attractive to mice, rats, and other vermin, snakes won’t have any reason to be around the coop since there will be nothing to hunt. So make your coop rodent-free by storing your feeds in rodent-proof containers.
Reduce hiding spots
Try as much as possible to make sure that the coop is free of hiding spots for snakes, by keeping grasses and bushes around it well-trimmed. Also, eradicate dead leaves, brush piles and keep the outdoor area clear.
Snakes and mice love to hide in covers, so do not leave a convenient place near the coop for them. The fewer places or options there is to hide, the better.
To ensure that your chickens are free from these predators and other ones, you have to put in an effort to make them safe by doing the needful. Keep your chickens safe today!