Nuisance Skunk

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by mangled, Apr 8, 2011.

  1. mangled

    mangled Songster

    After finally starting to get eggs again, they suddenly stopped, then I found half-eaten shells in the coop. Fearing egg eating had once again reared it's ugly head, I started making almost hourly trips out to the coop to check for eggs.

    Imagine my surprise when I opened the door around 2 pm in the afternoon and came face to face with a skunk. I closed the door quickly and ran like heck outta there. My husband set a couple traps, only to realize that a live skunk in a trap introduces a whole new set of problems.

    We ended up releasing it, because shooting a skunk at the coops, and having that smell over there, isn't good for the animals or us.

    Isn't it unusual to have a skunk out during the day like this? It has to be making multiple trips, because there are never any eggs and my girls lay at all times through the day.

    My main worry is my kids running into the skunk in the middle of the day and getting sprayed.

    The game commission said to shoot it, so no help there.

    Any good skunk deterrents out there? The neighbor suggested mothballs around the coop, but I'm not keen on that idea.

    We're getting ready to leave for a Disney trip here on Sunday and my animal sitter is concerned and about to pull out of the deal due to the skunk.

    Any ideas? We usually dispatch predators this brazen with a single round from the 30.06. I imagine with a skunk, the smell would be horrifying.

  2. FmrsDgtr08

    FmrsDgtr08 In the Brooder

    Apr 6, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2011
  3. nivtup

    nivtup Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
    Shelton Washington
    You can trap it without any major mess. It will not survive the experience.

    Take a garbage can

    Fill half - two thirds full of water.

    Tape / secure a sheet of newspaper over the top.

    Fill bowl with something like canned cat food, crab legs or some other attractive stinky bait, add water to bowl.

    Make a ramp to top of trap for easy access.

    Skunk smells something good

    Climbs ramp to investigate.

    UMMMMMM, cat food

    Reaches in bowl for favorite morsels, gets hands wet. Drips water on paper, repeat a few times.

    Wet paper tears.

    Skunk falls into can full of water.

    Swims for a while, but alas, looses energy and drowns.

    Dead skunk.

    NO smell.

    I wonder why I know this...... it must be from the experience of skunk terrors.
  4. Meara

    Meara Songster

    Jan 23, 2011
    Skunks don't spray as easily as people think. They try to reserve their supply of spray for life and death situations with predators because once they use it up they are vulnerable for a couple days until they have made more and renewed their supply. At this time of year many animals are out and about during the day that we usually only see at night because they are either pregnant or have young already. Also, the end of winter/beginning of spring is a hard time for many animals because their food supply hasn't kicked in yet. Skunks eat a lot of grubs and insects as well as small animals like mice and rats, but it's just a little early yet and still cold for all the insects to come out.
    The best thing to do would be to skunk proof your coop. Do you know how the skunk got in? Leaving out food, like a couple eggs, that have been coated with hot sauce or hot pepper may discourage it from further egg raids. Another deterrent is a spray that smells like fox, or better yet coyote, urine. You can buy stuff like that in stores that sell hunting supplies. If you can deter the skunk for just a few more weeks spring is almost here and it will happily move on to its normal food sources which it finds even yummier than your eggs.
    I'm not sure why so many people still promote drowning animals. It has been ruled inhumane by the American Veterinary Medical Society and the Humane Society of the United States and well, pretty much every organization that promotes humane treatment of animals. Drowning animals is illegal in some states. If you must dispatch an animal than go for something as quick and painless as possible. The AVMA has a publication about humane ways to euthanize an animal and you can find it at this link if you are interested:
    I forgot to add that I assume it was a striped skunk? There are also spotted skunks and in your part of the country those are a protected species, but they are small and...spotted.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2011
  5. ChickenAlgebra

    ChickenAlgebra Songster

    Mar 14, 2011
    Around here, ANY skunk seen is killed. They are major carriers of rabies in our area. We see them, they are a little too friendly, they get dispatched and sent for testing.

    Coyote urine is often female in heat urine. Which means you have now attracted male coyotes.

    I'll take egg eating skunks over chicken massacring coyotes.
  6. DebbieF

    DebbieF Chirping

    Mar 2, 2011
    New Richmond, WI
    I've live trapped skunks by putting the live trap away from the coop. I put several eggs into the trap and the skunk went in to eat them. That way you can shoot the skunk in the trap and it's away from the coop. One thing to remember is you don't want to be downwind when you shoot.
  7. mtngrl812

    mtngrl812 Songster

    I had to deal with skunk problems and found drowning to be the quickest, lest stinky and safest (for me). Around here skunks are one of the biggest carriers of Rabies and there are a lot of skunks! I found the best thing to do was set a trap with raw eggs next to the large irrigation ditch. Have one rope tied to the cage and secured on the opposite side of the ditch and one rope tied to the cage on the closer side of the ditch. Once the skunk was in the trap, go to the other side of the ditch and pull the trap in. After about an hour I would go back, pull the trap out and bury the skunk. After sitting in the water for some time the skunk has very little if any smell. Shooting a skunk with any real type of gun is illegal in the city limits, using a pellet gun to kill with the first shot was nearly impossible, the skunk ended up wounded and suffered until you could get close enough to get another shot or two in. Poisoning.... well that makes for a long painful death too. Drowning takes 3 minutes in very cold water, make sure the trap is completely submerged and I believe the cold water dulls the senses just a quickly as the lack of oxygen.

    Skunks can be quite aggressive, they can spray an average of 12 times before they "run out", and they wont hesitate to spray at the slightest startle. I know from years of experience. Also the best thing to use for sprayed animals and people is straight distilled vinegar. Put the vinegar on first, no water, no soap, nothing but vinegar! Let it set and neutralize for at least 10 minutes. I have a dog that was always finding skunks and would go rounds with them. He got quick enough to get sprayed on the side and not in the face, but the spray didn't bother him, if anything it made him angrier. He would get sprayed 3 times in one night if I didn't find him before he found the skunk. I started keeping vinegar in a spray bottle on the porch. If I sprayed him and let it set for a while then washed him with baby shampoo he could sleep in the house that night. Just had to be very careful NOT to get it in his eyes or up his nose. It burned some and he didn't like the smell and would root around in the grass and dirt trying to rub it off. But I just left him to wait it out, then would wash him. I had tried tomato juice, women's douche, the "Skunk Off" type stuff from stores, baking soda and vinegar, detergent, .... everything I was told about and thought of and after a chemistry class and looking at the ingredients in the products that kind of worked, I realized vinegar was an acid neutralizer and that is what worked best. I got to the point I realized that since a skunk only sprays his acidic smell on I only needed to spray the vinegar on, not rub it in to the skin.

    I have liked skunks since I was a little girl, I always thought they were cute. But after finding one behaving very strangely inside a stall next to the horse's feeding area I realized the threat of rabies is very real here. The risk of a pet being exposed to it, then a child is too high. I won't risk it. Skunks and the diseases they carry here are too high and too risky. It may be a different story in your area and the smell may be the biggest risk, which really isn't that bad. You need to check into it and see if you have more to worry about than just a stinky visitor.
  8. mangled

    mangled Songster

    Thanks for all the replies.

    This was a very mellow skunk. We released it from one trap, only to have it waddle over and trap itself in the other trap. Not real bright. I was able to release it by hand, without it showing the least bit of agitation.

    We've decided to retrap it and take it up to the back property line, about 1/8 mile away, and use the 30.06.

    I was ready to do it last night, but was talked out of it by my husband and his buddy. Lol

    Thanks again-
  9. The Tinman

    The Tinman Songster

    Jun 10, 2010
    Fairfield County CT
    You could live trap it, put a tarp over it and run a hose from your tail pipe to the tarp. The shunk will go to sleep forever.
  10. FarmGirl01

    FarmGirl01 Songster

    Feb 5, 2008
    Quote:This is what I do also. Trap away from the houses. Some we relocated with out the smell, others were killed than buried.

    If you approach the shunk, always do with the solid door between you and the skunk. Have a rope attached before hand and just drag slowly.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2011

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