For the past several nights, we have been treated to a lot of noise in the woods right next to our animal pens and barn. I have 2 kittens in a rabbit cage all night, that is in a very large completely enclosed (with chicken wire) pen that they play in all day...except when we take them out to play with them in the yard or house. The reason they are in there is they were only 4 weeks old when we got them...I am waiting for them to get a bit older, wiser and stronger before they have free run of the place. Right next to that is our chicken coop---again the pens that lead to both chicken doors are completely enclosed in wire---although a determined predator could probabaly dig under the buried ends of the chicken wire... And then there is the little dwarf bunny in her cage/hutch. Fairly secure...but who knows? And the goats...all locked up for the night in their barns...but with open windows... So we hear this weird, nonstop chittering screechy sound of something fighting, under the loud chittering fighting sound you can hear a growling going on simultaneously. Everytime it happens we turn on the outside lights and go out and shoot a gun into the dirt. Last night, one of the kids left a garbage bag in front of the door. A skunk was at it, so again they were out shooting and yelling and etc. Moved the garbage. Later that night, we heard a very weird sound by the chicken coop/kitten pen area. Did the lights and gun routine...next morning, we found the viscera of a very small critter, probably a mouse, right in front of the kitten pen! The day before there was the scat of a small carnivorous or omnivorous mammal in front of the chicken pen! But if a skunk was chittering and fighting in the woods, wouldn't it have sprayed? Do skunks spray when fighting other skunks? Or are we possibly dealing with more than one type of nocturnal visitor? I am thinking whatever ate the mouse is attracted to the pens because of the mice...but might possibly grab a chicken or a kitten if it was able to...perhaps the skunks only bother the garbage?