Do Rat Snakes Eat Chickens? What You Need To Know!

Rat snakes and chickens – two seemingly unrelated animals that may not cross paths often, or so you thought. But, have you ever wondered if a rat snake could eat a chicken? This question may seem strange, but it’s a valid concern for people who have both animals living on their property. In this blog post, we will explore the topic of rat snakes and their diet, particularly if they can eat chickens.

Rat Snakes: Overview and Characteristics:

Before we dive into the main topic, let’s have a brief overview of rat snakes. Rat snakes are a non-venomous species of snakes found in North America, Europe, and Asia. They are typically medium-sized, thin-bodied snakes that can grow up to 6 feet in length. Their body color can vary from brown to gray, and they have a distinct pattern of stripes and spots on their skin.

Rat snakes are adaptable creatures and can be found in a variety of habitats, such as forests, grasslands, and swamps. They are active during the day and night and are known for their excellent climbing abilities. Rat snakes primarily feed on rodents, such as mice and rats, but can also consume other small animals such as frogs, lizards, and birds.

Can Rat Snakes Eat Chickens?

Now, let’s get to the main question. Can rat snakes eat chickens? The answer is yes; rat snakes can and will eat chickens if given the chance. As previously mentioned, rat snakes are opportunistic feeders and will eat any small animal they can catch. Chickens are not immune to the snake’s predatory instincts. In fact, chickens are easy targets for rat snakes because they are often kept in coops or enclosures, making them a captive meal.

However, it’s important to note that rat snakes do not actively seek out chickens as their primary food source. They prefer to feed on rodents and other small animals that are easier to catch. Therefore, if you have a rat snake on your property, it’s unlikely that they will immediately go after your chickens.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Now that we have established that rat snakes can eat chickens let’s dive into some common questions about rat snakes and their diet.

1. How often do rat snakes eat?

Rat snakes can go for weeks without eating, depending on the availability of food. In the wild, they typically feed once or twice a week. If in captivity, they should be fed every 7-10 days.

2. What other animals do they eat besides chickens?

As previously mentioned, rat snakes primarily feed on rodents such as mice and rats. However, they can also eat other small animals such as lizards, frogs, and other birds.

3. How can I keep my chickens safe from rat snakes?

To keep your chickens safe from rat snakes, it’s essential to ensure that their coop or enclosure is secure. You can also use physical barriers such as fencing to keep the snakes out. Additionally, keeping the area clean and free of debris can discourage snakes from living in the area.

Prevention and Control Measures:

Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to pest control. Here are some tips on how to prevent rat snake infestations on your property.

1. Keep your yard clean and free of debris: Rat snakes love to hide in piles of wood, leaves, and other debris. Removing this clutter can help deter snakes from living in your yard or property.

2. Use fencing as a barrier: Installing a physical barrier, such as a fence, around your property can help prevent snakes from entering. Make sure the fence is buried deep enough to prevent snakes from burrowing underneath.


In conclusion, rat snakes can eat chickens, but it’s not their primary food source. If you keep chickens on your property, it’s essential to take measures to prevent and control rat snake infestations. Keeping your yard clean and free of debris, using fencing as a barrier, and securing your chicken coop or enclosure can go a long way in deterring snakes from living on your property. We hope this blog post has been informative and helpful in answering your questions about rat snakes and their diet for other interesting articles read our blog bokanidyer