So..went out to feed the chickens this morning at about 11ish. I have them in various locations based on age. Anyway..I have 19 (well HAD 19) about 3 week old mixed chicks in a 3x4 rabbit hutch. My brother built it and it's HEAVY and sturdy. The whole top opens as the door and it's up on legs. The top shuts securely, so I figured they'd be relatively safe in there. The big mistake was using chicken wire for the wire part. I walk around to the front and there was a freaking snake inside in the process of eating one of my chicks. OMG I freaked out, screamed and ran around front yelling to my Mom that there was a snake eating my chicken. I screamed so loud that a truck that was passing by stopped and sat for a second..I guess trying to make sure I was ok. I told my brother to get it out of there. He tried to scoop it up with a shovel, but the odd angle made that impossible so he just grabbed it by the tail and chucked it into the wooded lot next door. It was a pretty small snake. I'm not even sure that it could have ate the chick. It wasn't even in it's mouth tightly. The snake dropped it when my brother picked it up. I'm pretty sure it was a rat snake..from what I remember it was greyish with black stripes running from head to tail. Luckily I picked up a couple scraps of hardware cloth from a guy when I was getting some scrap lumber from him and my brother put it over the chicken wire, so they should be safe now. The other chicks were crammed on the other side of the cage terrified. Poor things. So yea...the moral of the story...chicken wire is useless..if you are currently constructing a coop don't even try to use it.