This Snake Ate My Chicken Alive!

Everybody Loves Chicken

They say everybody loves chicken, and it turns out that holds true for our slithery neighbors as well. Justin Rhodes went out to check on some meat birds he was raising up, and there in his pastured poultry pen he made a disgusting discovery.

A black snake had wiggled its way into the poultry pen, and Justin caught it “red handed” so to speak. When he arrived, the snake was in the middle of swallowing a young bird whole – with about half of the chicken’s body still visible and the other half already down the snake’s throat.

Read more: How I Got Bitten By a Venomous Snake, Treated It at Home, and Lived to Tell the Story

Black Snakes Love Cornish Cross

It’s fun to see Justin’s kids react to the site of the snake swallowing a whole chicken. They were a little bit freaked out, but I think they took it pretty well. Luckily, Justin had his camera handy and he caught the whole thing on video.

The snake is probably 5 or 6 feet long, and he’s right in the middle of eating this chicken. When Justin disturbed the snake, it started to spit the dead chicken out. But he didn’t want to let the bird die for no reason, so he left the snake alone long enough for it to finish swallowing the chicken. There’s some great footage here – and you can watch it all play out as the snake works the chicken all the way down his throat.

Back to the Daily Grind

After the snake fiasco had played out, Justin got back to his daily routine. You can watch him move his pastured poultry pens – it’s cool to see how easy his pens move around. Then Justin spends a little time feeding the remaining young broilers, and he shows you a few different types of feeders that he uses.

The last chore of the day is moving his flock of laying birds. Justin uses chickens to cultivate and fertilize his garden soil – and in this video he’s moving the whole flock to a new plot of land that he plans to plant as a seasonal kitchen garden soon. He uses an electric poultry netting that’s easy to move, and his coops are all on wheels, so the whole process doesn’t take too long and it’s a great example of how to keep your birds moving at pasture. Here’s the video:

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  • I have tried to sign up for your free ebooks but to no avail. I always get set sent back to by email and no book.

  • Madeleine says:

    I am so glad you allowed the snake his meal. We’re not the only ones on the planet that need food.

  • connie says:

    great video. enjoyed it immensely, especially the kids. lovely family. will visit again.

  • Jacqueline says:

    You didn’t kill the snake?
    if not, get ready for this to become a regular occurrence.

  • That’s some CRAZY film footage Justin! Thanks for sharing (I think)…eeewwww

  • I have had a similar thing happen here with young birds I found one that the snake had spit back up because it was too big to swallow. What a waste .

  • Joe Katzman says:

    On the bright side, you can probably chalk this up as payment for a long history of rat-catching services, and general vermin reduction around the house and garden.

    Not that you shouldn’t improve the chicken housing if you can… no sense paying extra, after all.

  • TN Mountain Mama says:

    Last year, I found a 5′ rat snake in my coop, eating an egg. I caught him and drove him up in the woods to release him. A week later I found another one, and did the same thing. This happened 7 times over the course of a few weeks, and I was thinking that a nest of them must have hatched somewhere nearby, to be having this big of a snake problem. By then I was driving them about a mile and a half down my road to release them because, really, how many rat snakes does one property need? On the 7th occurrence, I had a “light bulb moment” and painted a silver stripe down his back as he crawled out of the bucket I had transported him in. The next day, Old Silverback was back in the coop again. Turns out you have to relocate a snake by at least 5 miles for their internal GPS to scramble.

  • Richard says:

    Sprinkling Alum balls or chips around the pen should keep the snakes away !!!

  • Margaret G. says:

    Should the missus be using a broadfork while wearing sandals? Not safe.

  • Dawn Treader says:

    Glad the chicken wasn’t “wasted”. Quite possibly by the time the snake is hungry again, the broilers will have grown too much to be swallowed.

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