So... I know an additional gun will be in order for me to keep the tasty treats (aka chickens) safe. I sold my .223 mini-14, it was really hard to sight in b/c the barrel gets hot. I am trying to decide if it would be better to buy a shotgun or a pellet gun w/ the proceeds. We have a .17 and a .357 mag. I would like a gun with deterrent ability, as in when the neighbor's dog is looking around the chicken run. I am going to electric fence it and try to make it very safe for the chickens, I have no doubt their dog will be over at least once, they are 'artists' and don't believe in fencing their dog in . Based on my chicken-raising neighbor's experience, I expect to have some problems with skunks. It would be nice if I could dispatch them with the .17 from far away. Is that reasonable? We have a huge Nikon scope on the .17, and use it for prairie dog control on our ranch. So PLMK what gun a girl like me needs in order to protect my flock. I would like to have the option of lethal or non-lethal shooting. I thought about a Mossberg 500 with the light and laser sight, as it sounds like a good solution for Things That Come In The Night To Eat Chickens. Or would pellet shot in my .357 be sufficient? If so, I'd give more thought to a pellet gun. Thanks, Michelle Disclaimer: I have been shooting guns since I was old enough to hold one, and am very familiar with gun safety, etc. Grandpa, however, has discharged a gun in the house - twice. AND he shot a skunk in the cellar once. UFFFFFFF.