Do Chickens Attack Snakes

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Keeping backyard chickens safe is an important part of the chicken keeper’s duties. One threat that we commonly find in the chicken coop is snakes, these slithering reptiles always make their way into the coop. The question that we then need to have to look at is “do chickens attach snakes?”.

Chickens have the ability to attack snakes of a certain size. If the snake is small enough a chicken can attack and kill it by making use of its sharp beak and fast reactions. When the snake is too big the chicken will be helpless and it might even fall prey to the snake.

Knowing what size snake a chicken can handle by itself and what size snake becomes a threat to your chickens is important knowledge. This will help you to keep an eye out for the big snakes so that you can step in and protect your chicken flock.

Do Chickens Attack Snakes

Chickens have an interesting relationship with snakes and they are regularly found together. There are often snakes in the chicken coop, but this is not because snakes are attracted by the chickens but rather they are attracted to the rodents that are present because of the chicken feed.


Mice and other rodents love chicken feed so they will naturally be around the coop and the snakes move in to feed on them.

Snakes do however like chicken eggs so this can also lead to chickens attacking snakes so that they can protect their eggs. Chickens are very protective over their young so they will do what they can to ensure their safety.

Chickens have a sharp beak with quick reactions which make them almost perfect for attacking snakes. The sharp and powerful peck of a chicken will break the bones of a snake. A few more pecks and it is all over for the snake.

Why Do Chickens Attack Snakes

Chickens will mostly attack snakes when the snake is seen as a threat to the flock. They will also attack when they are hungry and the snake is a good size to eat. Sometimes the chickens will not attack because the snake does not meet any of those criteria and they will just inspect it a bit and then carry on.

When a snake is in the coop the chickens do sometimes attack, but also not always. Firstly, it will depend on the size of the snake. If the snake is too big then the chickens have no reason to attach because they cannot do any damage to it so they will rather try to run away and not get eaten.

Smaller snakes do get attacked by chickens and the chickens eat them as well. Secondly, it will depend on the intention of the snake. If the snake is a threat to the chicken eggs then they will definitely get attacked.

Do Chickens Keep Snakes Away

There is no real evidence to show that chickens will keep snakes away. There are always snakes to be found in the chicken coop and in the areas where chickens live. There might even be an increase in snakes due to chickens attracting rodents and snakes being attracted by those rodents.

You would think that snakes would stay away from the chicken coop because they can easily get attacked and killed, but this does not seem to be the case. There are so often small or baby snakes in the chicken coop. They make for easy picking when the chickens do decide to attack them.

snake moving

Snakes also love chicken eggs. This will attract even more snakes to your coop. The flock will try their best to protect their eggs but when the snake is too big they cannot do anything except look at their babies getting eaten. A chicken keeper can help by collecting eggs regularly.

Do Chickens Eat Snakes

Chickens are scavengers by nature and they are known to eat almost anything. They will eat small snakes if they are hungry, but many times they don’t. Many times they will give the snake a few pecks and then move on.

It seems to be very dependent on the situation, for example, the breed of chicken, the size and type of the snake, if the flock is free-range or not, etc. The only way to really know is to observe your chicken flock to see if they eat the snakes in the area or not.

Do Snakes Fear Chickens

We know now that chickens can attack and even kill snakes, so does that mean that snakes fear chickens? If snakes fear chickens is also dependent on a few factors. The size and the type of snake are big factors. If the snake is big enough to kill or eat a chicken then it has no reason to fear, rather the chicken has reason to fear the snake.

Small snakes do have reason the fear chickens because they can easily get attacked and killed, but they do not seem to have this fear. There are too many small snakes in the chicken coop to give us reason to think that they are afraid.

Wrap Up

So, do chickens attack snakes? Chickens are able to attack snakes of a certain size, but when the snake is too big the chicken will be helpless and it might even fall prey to the snake. Have you ever seen this happen in your backyard? Let us know in the comments!

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