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Using Essential Oils To Keep Snakes Out Of The Chicken House

There's a snake in the henhouse

If anyone had told me that I would ever use  essential oils in my chicken coop, I would have told them never… were they nuts?  But, never say never!

We’ve had chickens for several years and thoroughly enjoy watching them.  We even named some of them… Lola, Sadie, Cora, Sister, Goldie.

During the day, the chickens free range in the pasture and around the yard, but when nightime comes, you’ll find them roosting in the chicken house.   

We started with 24, but culled the roosters, leaving us with 19 hens.  Sadly, over the last couple of years… and in broad daylight, we’ve lost all but 5 to the foxes and wolves.

Most days we get plenty of eggs.  Check out my post on how to Freeze Eggs But, a few weeks ago, there started to be days in a row, where there were no eggs at all.  And even the fake ceramic eggs in the nesting boxes started to disappear.

We had a problem…

We definitely had a problem… a varmint problem.  Hubby set up his deer cam in the coop, and sure enough, the cam caught a possum stealing an egg!  We set a live trap, caught him and turned him loose in the woods behind the house.  We found the hole he had used and made sure it was plugged really well.


Well, problem solved…

Not exactly! A few days later,  we found this fellow in one of the nesting boxes.

He was “permanently” re-located!  And, I do look, very carefully, before I reach in the nest to get the eggs…lol

I’m scared to death of snakes… doesn’t matter what kind of snake it is, to me the only “good” snake is a dead one!   If I ever got bit by one, it wouldn’t have to be poisonous… I’d probably die of a heart attack!

I’ve always heard that where there’s ONE snake… there’s another one close by. Even though we had found the first one, I didn’t want to take any chances of another one getting into the chicken coop, so when I got this email from a friend who was having the same problem, it got my attention.

There truly is an essential oil for that!  We’ve had a problem with chicken snakes getting our eggs everyday.  We got one of the snakes, but the eggs continued to disappear, a second snake!

After about 2 – 2 1/2 week’s of almost all the eggs disappearing, I had had it!

I went online to look for something and found several products online that contain SOME natural products (oils).  I checked to see what the oils were, and it turned out they were talking about essential oils… cinnamon, clove, peppermint, and geraniol (a blend of rose, palmarosa, and citronella oils).

Our chickens are free range and I wondered what else was in the online products and if it would harm the chickens if they ate the granules, so I decided to try and using my essential oils, make my own version.

I had cinnamon, clove, peppermint, and citronella oils on hand.  I put the oils in a 2 oz. spray bottle and topped it off with a carrier oil so it would stay on the nesting boxes better and not evaporate as fast.

I just sprayed it on the outside edges of the nesting boxes.

I read that it’s the smell that repels the snakes, but doesn’t bother the chickens at all.  Plus, since I know exactly what’s in it, I don’t worry.

It’s been 3 weeks and no disappearing eggs.   I re-sprayed the edges every 2-3 days.  If  when I went in the chicken coop, I didn’t smell the spray… I re-sprayed.

Thank You Essential Oils!

Using essential oils to keep snakes away

“Snake Oil”… Keeping The Chicken Eggs Safe

  • 10 drops Cinnamon Bark Oil
  • 10 drops Clove bud oil
  • 10 drops Peppermint Oil
  • 10 drops Citronella Oil
  • 10 drops Rose oil
  • Olive oil (or any carrier oil) to fill a 2 oz. spray bottle.

Shake well and spray the edges of your nesting boxes to keep snakes away from eating your chicken eggs. Spray as often as needed… when you can’t smell the spray when on the nesting boxes… re-spray.

Do you have trouble with varmints getting your chicken eggs?  What ways have you used to deter them?   Was it successful?


This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. I laughed when I realized that you had posted the “snake” article in “EMERGENCIES” on your site – you are so correct, though, ANY snake is an emergency! Thanks for the article!

  2. I’m petrified of snakes. I don’t think I would ever go get the eggs again. You have more nerve than me.

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