Watch a Brave Mother Chicken Fearlessly Protect Her Babies From King Cobra

Written by Sharon Parry
Updated: March 8, 2023
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Key Points
  • King cobras usually eat other snakes but if food is scarce they would certainly resort to eating chicks.
  • Making loud warning clucks, the mother hen paces around, herding her chicks into a corner.
  • The snake shows no signs of giving up.

Released in 2021 and watched millions of times, this short video gives us a fascinating insight into the lengths that Mom animals will go to to protect their babies. The maternal instinct is clearly powerful for this mother hen as she chooses to take on a King cobra!

Chicken babies on a log
Chicks usually stay with their mothers until 6 to 8 weeks of age.


Mom Chicken To The Rescue

This starts off as what looks like footage of a chicken with her chicks in an alley. She appears to be backed into the top corner with all of her chicks, and it shows that she might have some ducklings with her too! Out of the bottom of the alley emerges a snake. You may not have noticed it but the mom chicken sure does!

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When a hen is being protective, she will fluff her wings out to make herself appear as big as she can.

©Racheal Carpenter/

She races towards the snake to confirm that her suspicions are correct and then goes back to her chicks. Making loud warning clucks, she paces around, herding her chicks into a corner. Then, she goes back to the snake which has made its way across the alley and is getting closer to her and her family.

The cobra is startled by the chicken and raises its head in an attacking posture and this triggers a similar confrontation from the hen. She spreads out her wings to make herself look larger, clucks loudly, and leaps about. Meanwhile, the chicks cower in a corner of the alley.

Large cobra with expanded ribs
Cobras eat other snakes but will eat birds

©Roberto 33/

Snake Drama In An Alley

King cobras usually eat other snakes but if food is scarce they would certainly resort to eating chicks. The snake lowers its head again and remains still whilst the hen herds her chicks together again. However, it is not long before the cobra is on the move again. As it gets closer to the chicks it triggers another frantic response by the chicken – one little chick nearly gets trampled by its own mother!

With the mother distracting and attacking the snake, the chicks move in small groups out of the corner of the alley. It seems to be a hopeless situation because the chickens are trapped in the alley and the snake is showing no signs of giving up. However, right at the end of the video, the snake appears to stay in one place as the mother saves the last of her brood. Perhaps it decided that this meal was simply not worth the hassle!

Chicken Vs. King Cobra

ChickenKing Cobra
Lifespan3 to 10 yearsAbout 20 years in the wild
Height/Length27.6 inches (average)10 to 12 feet in length
Weight5.7 pounds (average)Around 13 pounds
DietOmnivoreConsists of mainly cold-blooded animals but will eat mice, rats, and squirrels
TemperamentEach chicken has a distinct personality. They can be shy, aggressive, fearless, enjoy company or be standoffishA more cautious snake, generally peaceful; only strike when cornered
DefensesStrong, flexible toes with sharp clawsStriking, spitting venom, hissing, and feigning death

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Cobra with raised heads
Cobra with a raised head
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About the Author

Sharon has a Ph.D. in Public Health but has spent the last decade researching and writing about all things connected with animal health and well being. As a life-long animal lover, she now shares her family home with three rabbits, a Syrian hamster, and a very energetic Cocker Spaniel but in the past she has also been a Mom to Guinea Pigs and several cats!She has a passion for researching accurate and credible information about pets and reviewing products that make pet owners' lives a bit easier. When she isn't checking out new pet products she's trekking around the Welsh mountains and beaches with her dog - although she lets her husband and her three grown up daughters tag along sometimes if they are lucky!

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