2 days and counting and how to get rid of skunks

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by epona4, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. epona4

    epona4 Songster

    Oct 14, 2008
    Central Indiana
    I have 2 days to finish my coop and portable run. DS and I had planned to finish up the run last night but had an unscheduled visitor.

    DS was stapling hardware cloth to the frame (we'll reinforce with nails) and I was sitting on the gravel cutting the other end. I heard some rustling next to the barn and thought it was our cat. Looked up and noticed that gee, our black cat now has a fluffy tail with a white stripe! (it was less than 10 feet from me!)

    Thankfully, my son took me at my word when I yelled "Run Son, Run!" He was in the house before I was even off my backside. Thankfully the skunk didn't get scared, but he did go into the barn so we felt it was a good idea to stop working for the night. [​IMG]

    DS wanted to run and get the rifle and shoot it. I didn't think that was such a good idea as I didn't want my barn smelling like skunk!

    This leads to my question...How do you get rid of a skunk? We've tried catching him in a live trap, but we've just gotten several coons and a couple possums. (and our barn cat twice. Seems she likes the tuna as well) If you shoot them, do they automatically spray?
  2. We have many skunks on our property, but not in the barn. Our coop is built into the barn and the run was an add-on (see link below). Do you have an earthen floor? If so the skunks may be denning underground there, they can dig to 4'. They don't like naphthalene (mothballs) but I would think that if they are denning you may need professional help to move them.

    If they are not denning, buring hardware cloth under the edge of the run will help and you may want to go quite deep. Most of all, be sure to get your birds indoors to a secure coop before sundown and keep them inside until after dawn.[​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2008
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    There's always going to be the odd skunk passing thruogh, I would not personally worry about it unless it seems to be taking up residence in your barn. They like hanging out under piles of Stuff stacked in corners, or very dense piles of brush or haphazardly dumped cordwood outdoors. IME if there is one actually living in your barn you will know by the lingering smell.

    You would want to remove a resident skunk, either by disassembling whatever it's living under and gently shooing it out (then either removing its home, or if you have a good barn then just keeping the doors shut so it can't reenter) or by livetrapping.

    Just wanderin' through type skunks, which is the majority of them, are not really an issue though (assuming you have a respectably safe coop and run) and there's not a whole lot you can do about them anyhow IMO.

    Good luck,

  4. epona4

    epona4 Songster

    Oct 14, 2008
    Central Indiana
    Unfortunately, I think he's living UNDER the barn. We have a concrete floor, so that won't be a problem, but it's an old barn and the doors don't shut very tightly. Lots of broken boards that I'm working on patching up.

    The coop itself will be pretty darn secure.

    We tried the mothball thing last year and it seemed to work, but I'm wondering if he/they came back. Or maybe a new guy.

    Would the mothball smell bother the chickens?
  5. cbrookkelly

    cbrookkelly In the Brooder

    Oct 22, 2008
    Cranbrook BC Canada
    If you put the mothballs into a jar with a metal lid in which you can poke holes into, then the mothballs are contained from your chickens, pets, or kids, and they still "smell" which should be enough to deter a skunk from taking up residence and will send an existing one out.

    I use cheez whiz jars and put them wherever a skunk has dug to get under my coops. I also put several under the coops and then block them in. So far, it has been a couple of months and I can still smell the mothballs on occasion....

    Soaking an old rag with ammonia and stick it under your coop will work too.

    We have sooo many skunks here and the occasional on will still get into the main fencing, but I haven't had any dig under the coops for some time now........ [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2008
  6. Clay In Iowa

    Clay In Iowa Songster

    Oct 9, 2008
    Near Wilton Iowa
    Deterring skunks with a strong odor... that's .... Funny [​IMG]
  7. ltlchicken

    ltlchicken Songster

    Oct 8, 2008
    Quote:i wonder if that would work with rats....
  8. Mothballs eventually evaporate so any you used before are probably gone. Good idea about the jar. If you find the den you might be able to get a wildlife officer to look inside with one of those tube lights/cameras. You can tell if a den is new by the evidence of digging. Skunks spray when they are facing you and the spray comes up from under the tail and over their backs. But you don't have to be sprayed to get stinky, it is absorbed from the air into clothing and hair.
    Whatever you decide, invest in some skunk odor cleaners, fast. Tomato juice works in a limited sort of way, same with Irish Spring soap, but there are commercial so;utions available at tack shops, hardware stores, hunting supply stores, etc.

    Mothballs don't work with rats. Does *anything* work with rats?
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2008
  9. epona4

    epona4 Songster

    Oct 14, 2008
    Central Indiana
    Quote:I have a couple bottles of the skunk solution. After the 2nd time one of my dogs got sprayed, I decided I was going to need some. [​IMG] We've lived here 5 years now and have had a dog skunked 4 times. You'd think they'd learn.

    As for rats, Jack Russells? I've heard they're really good rat dogs.
  10. rufus

    rufus Crowing

    May 17, 2007
    I had a problem with skunks living under my summer house up on the rim. They didn't bother me, but my wife was really concerned. For what it is worth, skunks will eliminate mice and rats.

    Anyway, I found out that skunks really like dog food. So I started feeding them. Every day I would move the food a little farther away. Now they are living under a house about eight houses away.


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