We have a bunch of chickens, and love the fresh eggs. They have to be the dumbest animals on the farm, but they are alot of fun to watch.
Problem is, raccoons and skunks love them even more than we do!
One of our best investments on the farm is a large live-trap. We keep it out by the chicken coop to guard the hens. It is great, because when we've caught the neighbor's cat, we easily released them with no hard feelings... and the cats never returned!
Last year we lost 3 chickens and a duck in 4 nights - until we put out the trap. Since then, many 'coons, skunks, a opossum, and dozens of field rats have been relocated away from the hens.
Here's a 'double' we got one night. Cute little guys!
Trapping is illegal in Oregon on public land, and foothold traps are even frowned on in private land, so definitely check out the local laws.
The feed store wanted $140 for a large trap, but craigslist got us one for $30.