So this morning Farmer Boy comes to me and says, "I think the snake is back in the brooder because the chicks are making strange noises." No surprise; I put on my boots and head out.
After checking to make sure there was not a snake right where I was going to lift the lid, I opened the top, and sure enough, there was a snake in the house. But it wasn't the same snake! It was considerably smaller, 3 feet I'd guess. And it had a suspicious lump in its middle.
I lifted it out of the brooder with the shovel, thinking I'd just take it to the barn and put it inside to have its fill of rats. But it slid off the shovel part way there, into some very tall grass. I had called the dogs, and Molly (about whom I had spoken so disdainfully yesterday) was on high alert and barking and snapping at the snake. I encouraged her with all my heart, but it became clear she was not going to succeed.
Farmer Boy offered to try using a rock again as he had seen his dad do this. I took him up on it. The grass was too long for there to be any decent impact. In the end, I got it back on the shovel, moved it to a patch of dirt and between a brick I threw, a rock Farmer Boy threw and Molly, we killed it. Molly has redeemed herself.
If you are interested in grossness and gory detail, view the photos below. If not, please abstain.
The dogs got the snake open at the bulge... definitely a chick:
Here is Zeke, pulling out a tasty treat (ick ick ick again!). For those who can't figure out what they are seeing (ahem, Stephen) this is a dog pulling a dead chick (head in his mouth) out of the middle of a snake:
Final note; I'd read that rat snakes stink. Instead our dogs stink. Their breath smells DISGUSTING. I mean even more than usual. Ick.