Yesterday (Monday) Lying in bed thoroughly enjoying sleeping without an alarm ( the normal ding -a-ling kind) going off in my ear after having gotten up way too early on Sunday after being up much too late on Saturday, I keep hearing dogs barking and barking and barking relentlessly, Roomie heard it too but he was the one roused enough to actually get outta bed at 4:30 and investigate the problem Well honestly, yes, I heard the dogs and was bothered but not enough that I couldn't roll over and tune them out! un Well, here along comes roomie about 40 minutes later standing by my bed saying "I just killed a rattler, about 4-4.5' long It didn't bite any of the dogs or puppies but not because it wasn't trying too! Needless to say I was no longer interested in rolling back over and tuning out anything anymore. So out of bed am I and we are out in the yard at the fire pit having a cremation ceremony for a "lovely" demon in disguise. Second aggressive rattler this year! Both found right beside the front sidewalk near the porch. Also Sunday morn roomie found one of the new Dominiques dead in the brooder, figure it was the heat as it has been oppressive here... So this morning after returning home from work after working the graveyard shift I check the doms and alas... another dead chickie. Okay it has been really really hot and humid the past few days, Taking notice, playing gumshoe, of details I didn't realize sunk in until we returned home from town tonight And roomie goes into store room to start a load of laundry, happens to be where brooder box is also kept With now 8 out of 10 doms left living, we thought, well they were all alive when we left for town. So he glances over into the brooder box, lets out a mild expletive and I ask "what?" He informs me that there was a snake in the brooder box with a chick half way down it's gullet!! Now to let you all know we were aware of the rat snake that had gotten into the house about a week ago, Good! perhaps it will catch some of the mice that have decided to join our humble home (happens when you sleep with doors and windows propped open to get some air flow so you can be comfy enough to sleep!) Let sleeping snakes lie... As long as they don't join me in my bed, or come after me thinking I'm a large mouse, I'm cool with sharing a little space, perhaps even providing some fresh water on occasion. So what do I do but move in a box full of free food, in the form of 10,1 week old Dominique chicks, not even thinking about our newly arrived resident, dubbed Mr. Sneaky as he was very elusive with only two sightings in a week . Well we went to town today only to come home to the feast in progress. My brain begins to spin and spit out recalled details of finding dead Dom this morning, head and neck wet the rest from shoulders down dry. Brain din't piece these details together until after roomie has firm grasp on Mr. Sneaky and headed outside with him as he calmly and begrudgingly regurgitates half eaten Dom chickie. With a sickening thud chickie lands with a wet splat on the kitchen linoleum only then do I see the similarities of wet head and neck, dry from shoulders down but absolutely lifeless... Brain immediately says AHA! It wasn't the oppressive heat that killed babies it was inept chicken farmer thinking house with so many opened windows and doors=safer than run with holes in fence So, well, mystery solved and predator removed Olympics of Farm Life score card: Humans 2 medals Predators -2 medals Chickies -2 medals by default but 8 players still in the game. I hope I didn't offend the snake lovers. I tried to play fair, so did the snakes but I don't have venom in my fangs I may have a few venomous words/thoughts now and then but these only sting for a short time they do not kill. Still have 8 doms and confirmed today that order from Ideal will ship out in the morning so Mr. Sneaky removed in time for 40 chickies to arrive! Gads you guys are enablers!!!!! You EVIL EVIL PEOPLE! but I love ya anyway! Your a great group of buddies!