Black Rat Snake vs Black Racer???

Are they the same snake? Lived peacefully with black snakes for 14 years, they stole eggs and occasionally, a chick but they helped control the rodents. Last year, the black snakes started killing my banties. Too large for the snake to consume, I find the birds with broken necks, wet heads and necks. Seven last summer, 4 thus far this summer. Both snakes are constrictors, the racer being more aggressive than the rat snake if they are truly different varieties from what I've read. I've also been told that they are breeding with copperhead and that is why they've become more aggressive. Anybody know snakes well???


  • jjocean
    jjocean Posts: 31 ✭✭✭

    Two completely different snakes. Neither breeds with the copperhead. The black snake is known as a rat snake - one of their favorite treats. Both snakes have similar diets and both are good climbers. The black racer has a white spot under the chin and has a thinner and much more elongated body. They will both kill and eat chicks but it is very unusual to attempt a chicken (even a banty). A predator has limited energy to expend and their instincts usually don't allow for wasting effort on impossible tasks. I wonder if a different predator is killing them. Are the banties in a coop when they die or out. Dogs will sometime kill them for some kind of sick fun and then not take a bite. I'm sure I don't know what is killing your banties. If it is a snake it is one that is likely returning rather than a random snake. Might need to find and relocate the bugger.

  • merlin44
    merlin44 Posts: 426 ✭✭✭✭

    @jjocean The information is much appreciated. I will be able to positively identify what type snake if the need arises. Once last year I caught the snake wrapped around a full grown Silkie, was too late that time. The next one I caught was constricting a full grown banty, saved the bird that time. It wasn't the same snake as I did relocate them both, to the great beyond. The Bantys lost were in their coops, most at night, though I lost one Banty rooster this year during the day. All had damp/wet heads and necks and their necks broken.