Uninvited Guest

While I was watching the chickens last week, an uninvited guest arrived to see what was going on.  At first, I saw it out of the corner of my eye, but when it saw me it quickly went under the ramp at the gate to our coop.  Not knowing exactly what it was, I called my neighbor so he could help ID this creature and chase it away if necessary.

He quickly arrived and grabbed the middle end of the ramp and began to lift it when I told him that it just went under that part of the ramp and was probably right by his hand.  He let it drop to the ground without any hesitation.  Then he grabbed a shovel and slowly flipped the ramp over to revealed a chicken killer.

I snapped a picture right before it attempted to escape…into the coop area.  My neighbor chased it as he repeatedly struck the ground right behind it with the shovel.  He was trying to kill it, but it was too fast for him.  It headed for the fence and escaped through one of the holes in the chicken wire.

Here’s the photo I took right after the ramp was flipped over…

I’ve been told that this is a rat snake, which is not venomous.  However, it would love to strangle and eat our smaller chickens.  Please post a comment if you know what it is.

Whatever it is, I just hope my neighbor scared it enough so it won’t want to come back.  But I’m still keeping a shovel by the gate, just in case.


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9 Responses to Uninvited Guest

  1. Judy says:

    Well…I don’t know what it is but I’m glad I wasn’t the one to find it because I certainly wouldn’t have been calm enough to take its picture. Wow – that would have scared me to death. Glad it didn’t get near your chickens.

  2. tbnranch says:

    Don’t know what it is BUT, you are right it is indeed a chicken killer! I had the same problem a few weeks ago, but it strangled itself with my aviary netting. Not to lucky for the snake but surely lucky for me and my chickens. Just so you know, it will come back. AND, it could very well upset your hens enough to stop them from laying. So you have some homework to do on what to do to get rid of it! I’ll see what I can find out too, I like chicken projects!

  3. Yuck! Looks pretty scary to me!

  4. AmySue says:

    I think it looks like a black snake. We had a large one around our coop, it was after the eggs more than the chicken, but will attack a hen to get to eggs. I am sure it will be back. If you could catch and relocate would be best.

  5. Venessa says:

    Does not look like a venomous snake…but definitely scary!!!! Doesn’t look like anything in my area. I’m sure it was looking forward to chicken dinner!

  6. keileigh says:

    We’ve had numerous snakes in our coops over the years (mostly black racers and rat snakes), and we’ve never had one harm a chicken, large or small. They will steal eggs from time to time, but they also have a reputation for keeping rodents and venomous snakes away, so to me, it’s a fair trade. It still startles me when I find one in a nestbox, but they’re usually pretty docile about being removed and escorted back to the woods! 🙂

  7. narf77 says:

    Snakes are pretty clever ad tend to dislike being thwacked so that one will think twice before coming back but it was most probably after rats and mice and not your chooks. I agree with Keileigh… they will pinch the occasional egg but they are pretty good at not biting the hand that feeds them lol especially non venomous ones. You should be happy that this clever snake has seen fit to scope out the area to keep it rat and mouse free and for a chance to teach your kids that we don’t have to run screaming at every snake but keep our distance and learn from them. If it wasn’t for snakes, sharks, crows and fungi we would be up to our armpits in dead things!

  8. Pingback: We have an uninvited guest « bluedeckshoe.com

  9. TikkTok says:

    Rat snake, aka black snake. You actually want to keep these around- they will get rid of venomous snakes. As others have said, they are unlikely to go after chickens unless chicks are eady pickins’ but will get eggs. Relocate but don’t kill- they are good for mice!

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