I saw my first rat last night about 8:30 when I went in to shut the chicken door. When I flashed him w/ my flashlight, he ran under some stacked hay bales. He wasn't huge but not a little mouse either. I was worried about my chickens but didn't know what to do at the moment so I'm pondering over traps or poison ??? (to decide which would be safer for my chickens.) But then today when I decided to see if the rat was homesteading in the hay bales, I moved the bales away from the wall and just about had a heart attack! There was a HUGE snake coiled up but it didn't move so I rolled the bale of hay back over it. It could have been digesting the rat! I had a friend come over and he said it was a King snake. It's about 5 feet long. The heads about as big as a quarter. He got it on a stick and it was twisting around on it and this nut even let it crawl up on his arm a little bit but we put it in a trash bag and knotted it and now I'm just wondering WHAT TO DO????? Should I keep the snake to get the rats? I don't care if it eats some eggs, but I don't want it to kill my last 5 growers? Would the snake be a good rat deterent and leave the adult chickens alone? It seemed kinda' nice? I have 11 full grown, 12 born 6/1 so they are fairly big but I have 2 born 7/22 and 3 on 8/10. The mother hens get up in their boxes about 3 ft. off the ground at night with the little ones. But in the day-time, I have a little guy get out sometimes so I'm afraid he would get in a trap and same thing for the poison. My friend said that chickens will sometimes attack a snake? I haven't had any deaths in my flock for a year and I would like to keep in that way! Please help....which is a worse threat?