Hen House Daymare!!!

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by Stoneheartfarm, Nov 3, 2008.

  1. Stoneheartfarm

    Stoneheartfarm Out Of The Brooder

    45
    0
    22
    May 14, 2007
    Michigan
    Hi everyone,

    (I don’t post on forums too much, but just had to share this time.)

    I just thought I would give everyone a chuckle, and tell you about our day here last Monday. It has taken me a week just to recover.
    In the morning I always go out to feed the critters and always in this order. Feed the chickens and let them out to free range for the day. Then its off to the goat barn to feed and water etc. Well yesterday morning I meander out to the hen house and open the pen, as usual the 1 duck I have who thinks she is the head chicken comes out first, scolding me for taking so long to open the pen door. She is mentally bent, wont even swim and goes to roost with the hens. Of course she roosts on the floor in a corner nest, but she is the boss and this morning is in a very bad mood.
    Anyhow, I get the water bucket filled and grab the layer crumbles and head into the hen house. I fill the hopper and am talking to the young ones that keep grouping around my feet, and continue my job in that area. Generally the young ones scatter when you open the pen and head out to the yard to bug hunt right away. But this morning they are sticking like glue.
    I turn around and put the water in its usual spot and look up to see a HUGE SKUNK! in the ducks nest just peering back at me.
    I of course freak out and yell like a crazy woman “akkk! Get outta my hen house!!!”
    He just looked at me as if to say, “Chill lady I am trying to nap here.” He then turned around in a circle like a cat and lay down on the nest.
    Needless to say I just couldn’t wait to get out of there realizing I was already lucky he had not sprayed when I freaked out like that. So out I go and scream hysterically for a bit, then grab the cell and call into the house.
    Steve answers and I ask, “Honey, how many fuzzy buts did you count before you locked the hen house up last night? ”He said, “ 1 duck and 9 hens, I am sure none were missing why?” So I tell him “ No they are all still here, but it is a wonder, we have company this morning, there is a HUGE SKUNK! in the hen house and he doesn’t look like he is leaving any time soon!” we exchange a lot of conversation about my wanting it out or dead, and him not wanting to shoot it in there, but to let him out, to go far far away .
    So I go over to the goat barn to feed while Steve is getting dressed to come deal with it. I keep watching the hen house hoping to see it going out, but no luck. So I go back in very carefully and there he is just looking at me. Real comfy he was, and even had the nerve to snuggle down in. .I am talking to him and he is just Mr. Comfy Cozy!
    So again out I go, and here comes Steve with shot gun in hand. We discuss how to get him out so he can just go away and be done with this scream dream. Eventually I grab the pitch fork and head around the outside of the building to the corner where he is on the inside, and bang on the wall trying to roust him out... but no go. We peek in and all he did was turn around. At this point I am getting anxious knowing he won't likely move till evening, and by then the hens will need to be locked back in. Now he didn’t eat anything the first night but they have been known to bite the heads off the chickens and poop in the coop and love it. Heck, why should he leave? He has food water and warm bedding. So I am by now telling Steve just to shoot it! Of course this means having to try and get in there enough to shoot him and not get the spray. This coop is only 8x8. Not likely your going to do that without a lovely parting gift to the shooter.
    Steve of course is not thrilled, but I am insistent.. So he leans in as far as he can without being in full body and, BLAM! Shot him in the head. His hind end may have been pointed to the wall because Steve swears that at this time the smell was not too bad then. But I of course say one more to make sure he is dead, and that one REALLY got the smell going as you can imagine.
    OK, that is done, now to deal with the mess. I come in and get on the net to search my chicken forum for the recipe for the stuff that works on the skunk smell. Got it, and it was off to the store to buy all of the ingredients, spray bottles etc. Come home, find throw away jeans shirt jacket etc. make up my solution, and fill two bottles plus two bottles of white vinegar (this helps to neutralize that stench in the wood, which I am sure we will be smelling for a week or two yet.) So for the rest of the day we spend filling the bucket of the tractor with all the old straw and hay from the hen house to be carted to the back of the property. And dress with new clean straw. Then it was off to the shower to clean up. The Anise soap I made last month worked wonders!
    On the upside, the hen house is cleaned out for winter a little early this year. Last night when I went to put the girls away for the night, I had to go find them, they were trying to roost in with the goats. They were not real happy about going back into the hen house for the night to say the least. Can’t say as I blame them.

    So if you had a crappy day recently, reading about ours might make yours seam a little better.
    Have a good day today, I am hiding inside. ha ha.

    Pam.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2008
  2. Stoneheartfarm

    Stoneheartfarm Out Of The Brooder

    45
    0
    22
    May 14, 2007
    Michigan
    P>S> I wrote this the day after this happened, so if I sound a little frazzeled yet that is why. lol
     
  3. ams3651

    ams3651 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2008
    NE PA
    [​IMG] well, at least you learned something [​IMG]
     
  4. cluckychick

    cluckychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2008
    South of KCMO
    [​IMG]

    <----knocks on wood. We have had no visits from critters and hope we never see a skunk. Did you make a skunk skin hat?

    Glad to hear none of your pets were injured [​IMG]
     
  5. whitecra

    whitecra Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2008
    Oklahoma
    Boy you make my opossum in my hen house seem like a walk in the park. I am glad that he hadn't killed any of your chicks.
    Chris
     
  6. Stoneheartfarm

    Stoneheartfarm Out Of The Brooder

    45
    0
    22
    May 14, 2007
    Michigan
    No skunk skin for me thank you.[​IMG]
    and yes I was very lucky. I have read they will chew the head right off and poop in your coop to boot!
     
  7. andehens

    andehens Chillin' With My Peeps

    699
    1
    131
    Aug 25, 2008
    Scenic Sierra Nevadas
    No way to start the day for you! LOL, I really enjoyed your story! The skunks around here party and spray all night, pew!
     
  8. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    Wisconsin
    Yikes! Glad no one was injured!

    I have a BIL that takes a long stick and starts petting the skunks with that (like you would a cat only with a stick) and then he leads them out away from the buildings to do the job. Not sure I'd be brave enough to try this method but, thought I would let others know of it.
     
  9. Stoneheartfarm

    Stoneheartfarm Out Of The Brooder

    45
    0
    22
    May 14, 2007
    Michigan
    I don't think a stick would have worked on this guy, he wouldn't budge. [​IMG]

    I have been trying to figure out if he was getting ready to hybernate or something, he was not very concerned that we were in and out of there. Do they hybernate? One of my friends said it was odd that he just ignored us like that.
     
  10. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    Wisconsin
    Could be hybernating time or just used to being around people or sick. Hard to say.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by