A word about skunks

Hucklekree

Songster
8 Years
Aug 4, 2011
148
316
164
SW WA State
I've found a few threads about skunks as predators on here and read the thread on skunks at the learning center. I will say however, that with reading what I could find I came to the conclusion that my recent predator problems could not be a skunk. The MO was the same as this member of the weasel family (missing head and innards missing from the body) but none of the posts or articles made it seem like the skunk was really the culprit in the end. So my husband I set out to catch ourselves a coon. Checked the camera, snares and live trap this morning and who is the shocking culprit: a skunk!!! I'm here to say with photographic proof (will be uploaded if I can find the time today) a skunk has been responsible for the death of four of my young chickens. All of them beheaded and their innards eaten. He dug underneath our gate-the one weak point and went into the coop. He left no smell to indicate that he had been there only the beheaded remnents. I don't know how many of you have similar experiences but don't write off the skunk as a predator.
 
Last edited:

mtngrl812

Songster
8 Years
Feb 9, 2011
228
1
131
Farmington, New Mexico
Thanks for the info on skunk killing behavior, and that they do kill so gruesomely. I have a few skunks that come around and one or two occasional coons. I know the coons are really bad news, and thought maybe skunks were just stinky news, but now I know better. I shall start trapping the skunks that trespass and remove them before colder seasons come and they start hunting bigger meals.
 

EricH

Chirping
9 Years
Jul 25, 2010
224
4
99
Valley Springs, ca
just because you caught a skunk in your live trap, doesnt mean it couldnt have been a racoon killing your birds... thats like saying that just because I ate your sandwich lying on the counter this afternoon, that means it was me that ate your hamburger yesterday... *shrug* if you really want to deter them put in a tomato garden.... perferably with the largest assortment of expensive heirloom tomatoes you can find.... that deters all the varmints from eating raw chicken... R.I.P. beautiful tomatoes

anyways, just saying... what did you put in the trap for bait? was it a live bird? was it inside your chicken coop? if the answer is "a peanut butter and jelly sandwich" (which is a racoon favorite i might add, from personal experience), and "the trap was away from the chicken run" you cant say it was the same thing....


.....so dont let your guard down!!
 

juliawitt

Songster
10 Years
Aug 9, 2009
368
11
121
Skunks are very active right now. We put out our live trap every weekend. Only if we have bad weather do we skip this step in predator protection. We are in the middle of nowhere, so we try to be very proactive in predator removal. Usually we only catch oppossums and racoons, but the past two weekends, we have caught skunks. So far, our trapping method of predator protection has worked. We have not had a loss due to coons or 'possums. Hopefully, we will continue to catch them before they discover a chicken buffet. Unfortunately, once they find your girls, they will definately be back. We use a live trap. 'Possums always get the gun, nice raccoons get to go to a conservation center miles away and mean raccoons get the gun. Poor skunks, they also get the gun. The skunks we have caught have been very timid and have only used the stinker post mortem. I would rehome them to the conservation center if I could figure out how to transport without getting the stink.......In my limited experience, skunks would much rather have your eggs than your hens, so I would guess you have a bigger problem such as a raccoon than a skunk. Raccoons do not always kill your whole flock. They are very smart and realize that one chicken each day is better than killing everyone and not having an easy dinner for days on end. The only predator that I know of that will kill for the joy of killing are dogs and people. So sorry about your hen........Good luck!
 

aprophet

Songster
10 Years
Jan 12, 2010
3,798
36
239
chesapeake Va.
Quote:you must have folks "educating " your raccoons our fox coon skunk and possums here are stupid they are easy to trap and after they are dispatched they do not seem to bother my birds when I dispatch a skunk and the killing spree stops it may only be anecdotal evidence but that is good enough for me. after people ascribe human characteristics to critters those people have a much harder time trapping said critters
 

M.sue

Songster
8 Years
May 29, 2011
2,204
7
189
Michigan
Never thought about a skunk as a predator. We definitely have them from time to time and was woken this morning by it's fragrant aroma drifting through my open window. I guess I'll add them my list.
 

kitkatnoah

Chirping
9 Years
Sep 26, 2010
140
0
99
Houston, Texas
I am so sorry about your hens
We live in a residential neighborhood where most people leave cat food & water out for their cats, which I have often seen skunks, possums and raccoons eating on the front porch of my many neighbors. I have been surprised finding these same animals in my garage and backyard because they no longer emit an odor. I guess it's because they are eating all that cat food! In a way, I'm thankful because they haven't tried to break into my coop.
 

mhn1957

In the Brooder
9 Years
Jul 21, 2010
19
2
24
McDermott, Ohio
Quote:Plant tomatoes to save the chickens.
Plant corn to save the tomatoes.
Plant cucumbers around the corn because the coons don't like to walk on the cucumber leaf spines.
That doesn't stop them from eating my corn, then on to the tomatoes! And for dessert.....?
 

Ridgerunner

Free Ranging
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
25,272
14,634
727
Southeast Louisiana
Skunks and possums generally prefer eggs if they can get them, but they can and will kill chickens too. To me, they are not as dangerous as raccoons, but they are still chicken predators.

Not all predators were awake when they taught the manual of how they are supposed to act. Just because a possum will usually start at the rear when eating a chicken does not mean that a specific one won't start at the head end. Or just because a fox will normally carry a chicken away to eat it does not mean that one specific fox won't eat the chicken where it caught it if it feels safe. Often you can guess what the predator is by the evidence, but sometimes you get some pretty big surprises.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom