Western (Black) Rat Snake
Pantherophis obsoletus

Size:  4 - 6 ft
With a statewide distribution, the black rat snake is our most common constrictor.  One of our most fascinating and adaptable snakes, it is also misunderstood and hated by poultry farmers.  Its nickname "chicken snake" comes from the fact that the rat snake is an opportunistic predator that will sneak into a chicken coop in search of an easy meal.  When startled, the rat snake can, and usually will, become extremely defensive and can inflict painful bites.  Rat snakes are non-venomous, but bites have been known to become infected, usually a result of bacteria.