Snakes are the natural enemies of all tiny, innocent creatures such as rats, frogs, and small birds. Snakes in the coops are the most frightening concern of chicken keepers because those sneaky reptiles will take any opportunity to feast on the tiny chicks, eggs, or even the larger ones! Even your protected domestic animals are vulnerable to the greed and hunger of these predators.
So, how can you keep them away? You must protect your livestock and the chickens at all costs, and there are different techniques for doing so. Let’s start from scratch!
Why & How Do They Do It?
First, snakes are natural predators, and they, like all other animals, will feed according to the food chain. So killing them will not be beneficial; rather, it will be an injustice to nature’s plan. But that doesn’t mean you should throw a party for them in your coops!
The two most common reasons for a snake to approach or enter your chicken coop are to feed or to find shelter. Because they are eager and hungry, the simplest way to feed them is to attack your weak, vulnerable chicks, who have nowhere else to go but to be stuck on the four walls waiting to be eaten. Furthermore, extreme heat or cold causes snakes to seek shelter in coops
The question is now, how do the snakes get inside? The answer is simple: if there is a hole, a crack, or even a ventilation port, such as a window, they will fit in and eat. Even if you place the coops above the ground, these greedy climbers will find a way to get to it.
Here’s What You Can Do to Keep the Snakes Away
Whatever the reasons or how nature unfolds, your core focus will always be to protect the chickens. As this is the most common concern of chicken keepers and coop owners, there are numerous solutions to consider. We’ll go through each individually to protect the chicks from becoming poor prey.
Shut the Holes
The first one is self-explanatory: seal all the cracks and close all the holes & gaps. Because this is the only way for them to pass, you must seal all openings and holes where they can easily enter.
Only larger reptiles, such as rat snakes, bull snakes, and large hognose snakes, pose a direct danger to your coops. The feast will be too easy for these snakes if they can fit their heads into the hole. So any holes larger than half an inch must be enclosed.
As a safeguard, you can block the holes with hardware fabrics or pieces of clothing, keeping snakes away and other creatures like rats and raccoons at bay. This may not be the best idea or will work 100% of the time, but it will help stop them. Finally, keep an eye on your coops to see if any new holes or gaps need to be filled.
Shield the floors
Leaving an open hole for the snakes to enter isn’t always necessary. These sneaky creatures are clever enough to dig a hole and squeeze them through while desperately in need to feed. The most effective way to prevent this is to place a hardware piece of board or cloth on the floor at least 1 inch thick.
The best strategy is to cover the entire bottom area with a hardware weave, leaving no room for them to enter. It will also cover the sides of the walls, so there’s the least chance of any unwanted openings.
Netting is another method of protecting the coops from unwelcome encounters or incomings. To snake-proof coop design, use nets with small openings, woven mesh walls, or fences around it.
Some people use electrical bird wires, which would have killed the snake and been unsafe for the livestock and you as the owner.
Clean the Coop
Aside from hunting, snakes enter coops to find comfort and shelter. Messy coops filled with junk such as wool, sticks, or log piles can be the most comfortable place for them to rest for a while. That’s why it is absolutely essential to swipe these off.
Also, food spillage can sometimes attract other species, such as rats, insects, and snakes. Try to clean the coops each time you feed the chickens. Also, don’t keep the water trays inside for too long; there may be thirsty snakes lurking around!
Keep the Rodents Away
Consider the fact that snakes will follow rats wherever they go. Snakes love to feast on rats as much as they love eggs and baby chicks. So, you must take precautions to keep tiny mice, roaches, or rats away from the coops. Because the snakes will follow them and gorge themselves!
Proper Care & Mending
Finally, it’s time to accept responsibility as the chicks’ owner and caregiver. You must make all of the above changes work and maintain them from time to time while also keeping an eye on your livestock at all times.
Remember that the older your coop becomes, the more risks you expose your chickens to. An old coop is prone to breaking, the floors can rot, and there will be more openings and holes. As a result, it is preferable to remain attentive at all times and ensure thorough inspections regularly.
Things You May Wonder
Can you use snake repellents?
Yes, you certainly can, but you will not always succeed. Most snake repellents contain sulfur to scare snakes away, but this does not always work and sometimes does not work. Also, while making the coop snake-proof, ensure it’s not too dangerous for the chicks.
Can you keep snakes away using plants?
There is an old technique to keep snakes away from any area, such as keeping some plants that produce an aroma and a pungent smell that repels snakes, such as rosemary, lemon grass, garlic, and others. This organic tactic has no proven fact, but you can use it. However, other approaches will be more successful.
Snakes! Oh, snakes!
When you keep the chickens in the pet chicken cage, they have no choice but to be killed helplessly if they try to fight off a snake. The only thing they can do is fly away, but the four walls will also prevent them from doing so.
So, it’s better to make the coop snake-proof in any way possible, and you can use the strategies listed above to get the most effective results on how to keep snakes out of a chicken coop!