I got too proud. My seasoned father & uncles & many others said, "You'll get snakes" when I told them of my dream to have chickens. I've had chickens since August and just thought to myself last week, "You'll get snakes. I haven't had any stinking snakes!" Well - this afternoon I decided to check on my hens & their two goups of biddies and SOMETHING caught my eye under a low shelf in the barn. IT WAS THE TAIL OF A BEEFY SNAKE!! Thankfully, I have a neighbor who is a grown Huckleberry Finn & he pulled it out. I live in Desoto County, FL and he said it was a rat snake. Not so much long as beefy. It was trying to swallow an egg. Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeee. It was very slim, so it wasn't successful. Sadly, something else got one of my 6 week old chicks today. There were 12 belonging to the tribe of "Peaches" at 10am today and only 11 at 2pm today. I am guessing a hawk. ( And so it starts.