Country Life: Snake in the Chicken Coop

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snake eggs

The daily collection of eggs from the chicken coop is pretty routine these days. Every afternoon the eggs are collected in a mindless manner. Things changed Saturday when I opened the chicken coop door to find a snake in the nesting box!

Oh. my. goodness.

I quickly shut the door. Then opened it again. Yep, still there.

The boys and hubby where golfing so I was on this mission solo. The snake was in the middle of eating an egg. I thought about just leaving him there. However, I really just wanted him gone. I knew it was not a venomous snake and guessed it was some sort of black snake. Even though it wasn’t venomous, I really had to work up the nerve to remove him.

After texts of encouragement from my brother and a friend, I took a shovel into the coop. My plan was to lift it with the shovel and then fling him in the woods. When I nudged him with the shovel, he decided to crawl up the wall of the chicken coop! Yes, straight up the wall he slithered.

snake hen house

The cool thing was I discovered how he was getting in. The snake had the ability to make itself very thin and squeeze right through the chicken wire window. I have since learned that 1/2″ wire will keep the snakes out.

My adventure continued and it turned into complete chaos for a minute. The snake went out the window and the dogs went wild. As I was calling the dogs off, I forgot to shut the chicken coop door. One hen escaped and the dogs forgot about the snake and went on a chicken chase. So now I am trying to watch were this huge snake is going, call off the dogs and wrangle a chicken while keeping the rest of the chickens in the coop! What a sight it must have been. Thankfully, the hen was herded safely into the coop.

The snake is off in the woods but will probably return for eggs. We are going to look for 1/2″ wire for the windows. Meanwhile, we are very cautious when going to the coop now!

black snake

The day before this fiasco, the dogs found a 6′ long black snake in the front yard. Again, I was home solo. Just call me the snake lady! They were different snakes as the one in the coop had some white markings while the other was pitch black.

We do not kill black snakes because they are good for keeping the rodent population down. I just hope we can control the situation before too many eggs are lost. Have you ever found a snake in the hen house?

More posts on raising chickens.


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Renae is a married working mom of two handsome boys. She works as a registered dental hygienist by day and blogs here at How to Have it All by night. She enjoys cooking from scratch, working in her vegetable garden and functional training.

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  1. Why yes, I have! I have found a snake eating an egg before, but just this week, I found a snake trying to eat my duck! Well, I think he was really after the eggs but the duck was defending them. I opened the coop and found him with the duck’s head in his mouth and his body wrapped around the duck to keep it still. I thought the duck was dead, but then she honked! So there was nothing to do but grab the snake at its jaw and give a squeeze until he backed off. At that point, I was holding a snake, wondering what in the world to do next. I ended up walking to the far end of the property and dropping it over the fence. I checked on the duck, who had a few puncture wounds which I sprayed with Blu-Kote. I was afraid she’d be so traumatized that she’d die, but it’s been 3 days and she’s doing great. Haven’t seen the snake since! Hope he learned his lesson to Never Mess With A Broody Duck!

    • Wow Regina! That would certainly send me into shock to see a snack with a duck head in it’s mouth! You are a good duck mom to grab that snake! I have learned that chickens are tough and can heal very well from traumatic wounds. I assume ducks are about the same. Thanks for sharing!