What kind of snake is this?
Thank you for your question. The snake in your photograph is an eastern milksnake, scientific name (Lampropeltis triangulum triangulum). It is a non-venomous species. Juveniles have much brighter colors than the adults. As the snake gets older the bright red blotches of the juvenile often darken to a more brownish-red, similar to the snake in your photograph. Typical length of adults is a little over 2 feet, and maximum length can be slightly over 4 feet.
Milksnakes feed on a variety of prey, including small rodents, small birds, amphibians, several species of lizards and several species of snakes, including venomous snakes. They also feed on invertebrates like slugs, roaches and beetles. It is possible they could eat a chick, but they do not pose a threat to adult chickens.
Here's a link to the Massachusetts Audubon Society's website where you can learn more about this species and its distribution:
I hope this answers your question, and thank you for contacting Ask an Expert.