Young chicken who was killed by a blacksnake. The wet head and neck indicate that the snake tried to swallow its prey, but had to give up when its extraordinarily wide-opened jaws reached the shoulders. Blacksnakes are constrictors—note that the neck was broken by the pressure. A blacksnake who takes up residence in the henhouse can over time eat a lot of chicks (or ducklings or other hatchlings—or eggs), so do all you can to avoid an infestation of mice, who serve as a magnet for snakes. If you’re brooding chicks where blacksnakes may be a problem, you might need to surround the entire brooder—top, bottom, sides—with half-inch hardware cloth.