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How do skunks attack chickens ?? - Page 2

post #11 of 19

How's your buff orpington Fluffy? 

 

 

@George

And since when can a skunk be compared to the havoc that a mink/weasel can inflict?


Edited by hayley3 - 1/22/16 at 11:57am

Just because you caught it in a trap, doesn't make it the killer of your chickens.

 

Poo chart:  https://uconnladybug.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/scatlayout_bottom-worthadam.jpg

Foxes climb:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6YQdi5gbFg and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lt8FG9Fblis

Possums eat ticks  http://www.caryinstitute.org/newsroom/opossums-killers-ticks

A Chicken's Life:  https:/...

Reply

Just because you caught it in a trap, doesn't make it the killer of your chickens.

 

Poo chart:  https://uconnladybug.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/scatlayout_bottom-worthadam.jpg

Foxes climb:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6YQdi5gbFg and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lt8FG9Fblis

Possums eat ticks  http://www.caryinstitute.org/newsroom/opossums-killers-ticks

A Chicken's Life:  https:/...

Reply
post #12 of 19

Maybe skunk behavior differs depending on the region.  Also my birds roost at night when they would be vulnerable to skunks. It probably depends on what they were taught was food.

  I've had a pet skunk that lived in the room with my brooder and never bothered the chicks even if they escaped and  were loose in the room with him.

post #13 of 19

this reminds me of the very worst of the worst cops, like that ramsay thing, where they just sit down and think " the net person who walks through the door is the one I'll pin it on " sort of thing. LOTS of critters will walk about and if you want to know what attacked your chickens get a camera. Dashcams cost nothing and record for hours.

 

you have to SEE it to know what it was. unless there is a handwritten note saying ' I O U a chicken, your neighbor, G.M.I.Hungry '

post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by amazondoc View Post
 

Skunks are mostly scavengers, and predators on things like worms and slugs. They have small mouths, clumsy feet, and poor eyesight. IMHO they get blamed for a lot of things they don't do!

OTOH, I'm sure any self-respecting skunk would be happy to help you clean up any eggs that you leave lying around. They could also kill baby chicks. But if you're losing adult birds, I'd suspect a raccoon a LOOOOONG time before a skunk.

 

Skunk do indeed hunt. I can tell you first hand that a large silver backed skunk almost took out my cock bird. The girls were screaming that a cat was in the breeding pen attacking the chickens. I ran out to see a skunk facing off with the cock and red all over the front of bird from neck down. I said to bring my pellet gun and for some reason it couldn't be found by teenager (always stored in same place). So I went to shed and grabbed a hatchet. Got into pen and raised said weapon intending to cut the spine in twain when an epiphany came to light that this is probably too close proximity of weapon for skunk dispatch. The entire time the silver back and cock were faced off with skunk crouched low patiently awaiting openings to strike at the cocks throat. Now we are talking about an 11 lbs cock. Weighed, not a poof of feather bird and wild guess rather a pure muscle andalusion- cornish x-plymouth rock hybrid prime specimen. He no doubt was fighting the good fight to protect the hens but ultimately was going to lose. I turned the hatchet sideways and pushed the predator out of run. 

 

Skunks are not scavengers they are opportunistic omnivores. They can and do hunt to kill. Birds were in a penned situation which presented an opportunity to dig under and grab a meal as birds could not get away.


Edited by Egghead_Jr - 1/22/16 at 7:08am

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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post #15 of 19

Yes but my point is, if that had been a mink/weasel..they'd all have been dead including the rooster.  

Just because you caught it in a trap, doesn't make it the killer of your chickens.

 

Poo chart:  https://uconnladybug.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/scatlayout_bottom-worthadam.jpg

Foxes climb:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6YQdi5gbFg and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lt8FG9Fblis

Possums eat ticks  http://www.caryinstitute.org/newsroom/opossums-killers-ticks

A Chicken's Life:  https:/...

Reply

Just because you caught it in a trap, doesn't make it the killer of your chickens.

 

Poo chart:  https://uconnladybug.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/scatlayout_bottom-worthadam.jpg

Foxes climb:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6YQdi5gbFg and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lt8FG9Fblis

Possums eat ticks  http://www.caryinstitute.org/newsroom/opossums-killers-ticks

A Chicken's Life:  https:/...

Reply
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trefoil View Post
 

Maybe skunk behavior differs depending on the region.  Also my birds roost at night when they would be vulnerable to skunks. It probably depends on what they were taught was food.

  I've had a pet skunk that lived in the room with my brooder and never bothered the chicks even if they escaped and  were loose in the room with him.

You can't compare a  pet to wild animal. A poorly trained cat will eat brooding chicks, an animal that respects you and can tell what is yours will not eat it but will kill all the mice they find. There is no respecting of what is yours with wild animals.

 

Skunk like many predators, bear for one, are opportunistic omnivores. Their diet changes by region only due to what food source is available. If your chickens are available then they are on the menu. 

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

Reply

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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post #17 of 19
First here are a couple of quotes from some predator identification articles. A link to the article follows the quote.

Skunks
•Skunks kill few adult birds, When skunks kill poultry, they generally kill only one or two birds and maul them considerably. Crabb (1941) observed that spotted skunks help control rats and mice in grain storage buildings. They kill these rodents by biting and chewing the head and foreparts; the carcasses are not eaten.
•Skunks are serious nest robbers. Eggs are usually opened at one end; the edges are crushed as the skunk punches its nose into the hole to lick out the contents. The eggs may appear to have been hatched, except for the edges. When in a more advanced stage of incubation, eggs are likely to be chewed in small pieces. Eggs may be removed from the nest, but rarely more than 3 feet (1 m) away.
•Most rabbit, chicken, and pheasant carcasses found at skunk dens are carrion that have been dragged to the den sites.

Weasels
•Weasels and mink have similar feeding behaviors, killing prey by biting through the skull, upper neck, or jugular vein.
•In poultry houses, they often kill many birds, eating only the heads of the victims. Predation by rats usually differs in that portions of the body are eaten and carcasses are dragged into holes or concealed places. One farmer suggested that weasels and mink attack hens underneath the wing.
•While eating large muskrats, make an opening at the back or side of the neck. As the mink eats away flesh and pieces of the adjacent hide, the ribs, head, and hindquarters are pulled out through the same hole and the animal is skinned. Similar feeding behavior by weasels occurs when they eat small rodents.
•Weasels eat eggs by breaking in at the ends. (openings 1/2 to 3/4 inch (1.5 to 2.0 cm) in diameter). Close inspection of shell remains frequently will disclose finely chewed edges and tiny tooth marks.

http://icwdm.org/inspection/livestock.asp

Skunks

Skunks do not kill many adult birds. In general, when a skunk attacks a flock, it kills only one or two birds and mauls others considerably. Also, skunks love eggs. Usually, a skunk opens an egg at one end and punches its nose into the hole to lick out the contents. Eggs that have been eaten by a skunk may appear to have been hatched, except that the edges of their openings are crushed. A skunk may remove eggs from a nest but rarely carries them more than 1 meter (3 feet) away.

Weasels
The least weasel has been referred to as the smallest living predator. It is long and slender, with a long neck, a narrow head, and short limbs. Least weasels weigh only about 30 to 55 grams (1 to 2 ounces) and are usually 165 to 205 millimeters (6-1/2 to 8 inches) long, with much of that length being tail. They are seldom seen and rarely trapped. They are active day and night and in winter and summer, and they do not hibernate. When a least weasel kills, it wraps its body and limbs around its prey and kills with a bite to the base of the skull. Least weasels can squeeze through holes as small as 1/4-inch in diameter. Consequently, they typically can get through chicken wire. Because a weasel must eat food equal to four times its body weight each day, weasels are voracious eaters.


http://articles.extension.org/pages/71204/predator-management-for-small-and-backyard-poultry-flocks#.VDQPcxEtCUk

Hayley, if you read it, they do not say weasels always without a doubt 100% of the time kill every chicken anywhere around. They often kill many, not always kill them all. While certain species of predators often follow similar behavior, not every predator of that species always acts the same way. Or sometimes they hear you or another threat approaching and don’t finish what they start. Treat these things as clues to what it might be, not as absolute proof of what it was.

Skunks are mostly scavengers but most scavengers will kill when they have a good opportunity. These critters are living animals. Words like often and mostly need to be noticed when thinking about them. FluffyChickens6 saw the skunk. How much proof do you need that the problem there was a skunk?

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply
post #18 of 19

The second sentence was not intended for her but george who was saying skunks are the same as mink/weasels.    Please show me where did I say anything about it not being a skunk?


Edited by hayley3 - 1/22/16 at 11:52am

Just because you caught it in a trap, doesn't make it the killer of your chickens.

 

Poo chart:  https://uconnladybug.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/scatlayout_bottom-worthadam.jpg

Foxes climb:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6YQdi5gbFg and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lt8FG9Fblis

Possums eat ticks  http://www.caryinstitute.org/newsroom/opossums-killers-ticks

A Chicken's Life:  https:/...

Reply

Just because you caught it in a trap, doesn't make it the killer of your chickens.

 

Poo chart:  https://uconnladybug.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/scatlayout_bottom-worthadam.jpg

Foxes climb:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6YQdi5gbFg and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lt8FG9Fblis

Possums eat ticks  http://www.caryinstitute.org/newsroom/opossums-killers-ticks

A Chicken's Life:  https:/...

Reply
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fluffychickens6 View Post

A skunk just attacked my chickens one of my chickens escaped and is safe but one is laying down and screaming when we opened the coop the skunk ran out and now it left. What do I do?!?! Please answer fast!!!! My buff Orpington is just laying down screaming


Thanks for everyone's help! They're both fine, no wounds, but the coop is covered in feathers. But they do not have any patches. I now know for sure its not a skunk, my dad saw it when he opened up the coop and I showed him pictures of possible animals, he says it really really looks like a opposum. I only own two chickens and I live in more of town area, rarely have I ever seen a skunk or raccoon here. But I have seen opposums. The chickens are not hurt, nothing visible, but they do seem very very terrified.
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