I was sitting outside watching the chickens pecking in the grass and all of a sudden they started cackling and I looked up and saw a deadly-looking brownish snake with diamond shaped markings slithering toward them. It was at the corner of the pen about 2 feet from me. I jumped up and whirled around looking for the rake to get the chickens in the pen. Where was the rake?! I ran to the shed for the rake then back to the coop, I shooed the chickens in the coop. Then ran back for a shovel. I ran back to the coop. Where's the snake?!! There it was, slithering INTO THE PEN!! I ran into the pen hollering get away from my chickens!! and brandishing the shovel. I had to shoo the chickens out of the way, they wanted to see the snake. I tried to hit it with the shovel but it slithered back out of the pen. I ran out of the pen and around the corner, hopped over the woodpile, around the boats, and found it in the woods at the edge of the pen. I hit it with the edge of the shovel and pinned it down, cutting it almost in half. Just then my husband came outside and said, Yep you killed it. He hit it a few more times to make sure it was dead, then threw it across the road. Of course he had to tell me a copperhead won't kill a chicken. I told him I'm not taking any chances! Besides, I don't want it to bite me on the ankle while I'm sitting here with my chickens. Anyway that's the first time I ever killed a poisonous snake by myself. I normally leave a snake alone and just get out of its way. I'd never kill a cornsnake, for example. But this snake was almost under my feet and looked scary! Anyway my chickens are safe!