Friday evening my hubby and I were getting ready to go out on a date. I decided I'd better check eggs before we left with a reminder for the kids to be sure to close the chicken coop at dusk. Our birds free range during the day, so the coop door is open from sunup to sundown. On the outside of the coop, I have a door that can be raised to look into the nest boxes to gather eggs without having to enter the building. So I opened it up, started gathering eggs, and noticed something strange in the nest box. I thought, "That's weird, I don't have a black and white chicken." It took several seconds for it to register that it was a skunk laying there, sleeping! I carefully closed the nest box door, called my husband to come out and help, and he brought two of our sons with him. So it's almost time for the girls to go in to bed. We had to think quickly to get that stupid skunk out. Baiting it with dog food didn't work, and banging on the walls didn't work. My husband went and got the .22, and shot the skunk a couple of times from outside the hen yard. You can see through the chicken wire, through the bird's door into their yard, and into the dark nest boxes. But the skunk didn't die, and got down into the wall by the nest boxes. I hadn't ever thought of bad things being able to get into that hole in the wall. Finally we got the bleeding skunk scared back out of the wall, and into the nest box again. My hubby opened the nest box door, grabbed the skunk by the tail , and flung it out of the hen house where he was able to finish it off quickly. We had the problem solved by dark, and the chickens were sure desperate to get into their house by the time it was all over with! We ended up not going on our date on Friday night, because we weren't sure how much skunk smell was clinging to us. But we were sure glad we got the skunk, anyway! We'd lost two welsummers to a skunk in the previous few days because we'd gotten home late one evening and didn't get the coop closed before dark. I hoped that killing that skunk would solve the problem, for a while at least, of skunks in the hen house. I hoped it had only been one skunk who had discovered the easy prey. But the next morning, there were two places by the coop door where something had tried to dig in. Glad our coop doesn't have digging access! Anyway... one skunk down. Our dog killed another one two nights ago. A friend suggested putting coyote urine around the hen house, because it keeps skunks and raccoons away. It sounded like a good idea, until I remembered that my dad used that same stuff to bait traps to catch coyotes when I was a kid. It seems like that's going to lure the coyotes to the hen house, and I'd be trading one problem for another. Any thoughts on that subject?