Before I get started, let me make it very clear that I do not really dislike snakes (at least in their own habitat). I would also like to say that I am not an advocate for killing any creature (and yes that includes snakes, bugs and poison ivy) without a really good reason. Considerations of scary or annoying or even dangerous don't qualify in my mind as good reasons. For me personally, and each of us has the right and obligation to make such decisions for themselves, what qualifies as good reasons are few. They include the need for food, an immediate threat to oneself or others, with others including not only other humans but any creature one is responsible for the survival of, such as domestic animals and pets that we have agreed to care for. Sorry, that wasn't supposed to be a full essay, so now to what I was really saying.
As I have already stated, there has to be a good reason for me to kill anything, and to kill one of these non-poisonous snakes is a particularly shameful loss around the farm. Normally, their main food source is rats and mice, which everyone wants to keep under control for obvious reasons. However, once they get started eating eggs, they don't stop. And why should they? Snakes aren't stupid and an egg is a wonderful source of protein, with the added benefit that it does not try to run away or put up a fight. This is where the reason for killing the snake comes in. Eggs are the reason for having the chickens in the first place and a threat to someone's food is a potential threat to that person because it takes away that nutrition. As an added factor, if there are chicks present, they are just another snack to the hungry snake, and a large one like this particular individual of about five feet long can kill a full grown hen.
Yes, the good reason was really there, but such a total waste of a misguided predator. Or was it a total waste? I remember quite well how much my grandmother loved her chickens and how much she hated anything that was a threat to them. She hated snakes in particular and would kill everyone she saw, no matter what kind. She also believed it was a terrible sin to waste anything, even a dead snake. To keep this sinful waste from happening, she would bury any snake she killed (or anything else that invaded her chicken house for that matter) in the garden. Partly as a result of this practice, her garden soil was very rich and productive. With that in mind, the snake in question is now in the compost pile under manure and bedding from the goat stall, where it will enrich the soil for next year's garden. And egg production should be a bit more stable, at least until that blasted squirrel finds a way to get in the chicken pen, but that is another story.