Copperhead! We were out putting the chickens and ducks up last night and I was inside messing around with them. I thought my husband had gone back to the house and when I came out of the building he was sitting on a nearby bench with his flashlight pointed up under his face. He startled me but not because of the light, which is what he thinks but because I didn't know he was there. We started to go to the house and I saw movement right in front of my feet. He was moving the flashlight across the ground back and forth and he moved the light close enough for me to see the movement was slithering. I could not dance backwards fast enough. I really need to lose some weight so I am lighter on my feet again. At the same time I am screaming, 'SNAKE! SNAKE! SNAKE!' and pulling on my husband's arm. He's flashing the light around and kept missing the snake and finally found it headed for the coop. Aaaaaaaaaah! My chickens, chicks, ducks and duck eggs! He grabbed a 2x4 and slammed the end down on the snake's body so it couldn't get away but it still almost got under the coop. I grabbed a rock rake and tried to pin it's head down. That rake is curved and it was hard to pin the snake's head down with it. Finally got him pinned and told my husband to release it and try to smash the head with the end of the 2x4. There wasn't enough neck sticking out from under the rake to kill it so he went to smashing the body. After that, I had him pin the body down and I beat the **** out of the head. If there are bones or cartilage in a snakes head, there wasn't by the time I got done with him. My husband kept saying, "It's dead. It's dead now, you can stop." I didn't stop until you couldn't recognize what I was beating on. Now, I'm just afraid that it might have had a mate and maybe even babies around somewhere. My son came in and when we told him what happened he said we should have left the snake for the chickens to eat. We really didn't think of that but it was like 4 ft long. I don't know how they would have eaten it. I'm glad I saw it and not them because it was so big it might have been too big for them to handle.