My 2 year old and I went out to collect eggs this afternoon. The coop is a raised A frame with hinged flaps. I lifted the flap, grabbed 3 eggs, turned to put the flap down when SWEET JESUS! THERE'S A SNAKE! It was right there on the 'soffit' of the coop. It could have nailed my arm pit while I was getting the eggs. I almost had a heart attack, and my little girl was saying 'Wow Mommy! There's a snake! It's really cool.' It was brown with black stripes and odviously not poisonous, thank goodness. It just sat there and watched us while I gave my little girl a snake safety lesson. It turned out to be a yellow rat snake, which the BYC search turned up as bad to have around chickens. So, armed with rake and machete, I reluctantly went to kill it. (The spawn, much to her dismay, had to stay in the house.) The snake was still in the exact same place when I returned. I lined it up for a killing blow, apologized for having to kill it, then whack! ... Whack!.... Whackwhackwhack!... Did I tell you I have the worst machete skills in the world? If I had backed up 100 yards and used a rifle, I could have hit it. But 3 feet of machete blade away? Totally missed. It sort of crawled up the coop, seemingly not to worried. I ran around the coop to the door of the run and knocked it off the front of the coop onto the wire. Then ran back out or the run, around the coop, and whack! whack!...whackwhack! I did manage to flip in onto the wire on top of the run. So, I ran back around the coop and whacked at it a couple more times, and flipped it back to the other side. Then I ran back around the coop. It was hanging in the wire, looking at me. It still didn't act afraid. I lined it up (again) for the killing blow... This time I managed to flip it onto the chickens' ladder into the coop. So, I ran back around the coop, to the door of the run, into the run and pinned the nigh-invulnerable pest to the board. (oh, did I mention I was dragging a rake around with me this whole time?) This time I managed to chop it's head of with a single blow of my mighty (dull) machete. TASTE DEFEAT, REPTILE! I still felt bad for having to kill it.