skunk a problem?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by klf73, Mar 14, 2009.

  1. klf73

    klf73 Mad Scientist

    Jun 1, 2008
    Maine
    I noticed something eating my chicken food a few weeks ago, I keep some out for the ones that free range, and up until now, no one even touched it. *Something* had come while it was snowing and left footprints. Nothing is going to the coop or bothering the chickens. I went out tonight to put the last of my chickens away and heard something. I stood still and saw the skunk waddling into the woods. It seems to come around the same time at night, when the chickens(free range) are already put away. The others are in a pen(until they are locked up) but it hasn't gone even close to that one yet. Is this something to worry about? I don't want to shoot it and don't mind it eating the food......don't want it eating my chickens though [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2009
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    30,361
    159
    446
    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Skunks will eat eggs and baby chicks. They raid nests at night.

    Don't encourage it.
     
  3. lalaland

    lalaland Overrun With Chickens

    3,628
    473
    281
    Sep 26, 2008
    Pine County MN
    yes, skunks are definitely something to be very very worried about - they will kill chickens. Search "skunks" and you will be able to read the experiences of other bycers who have lost chickens.

    If you leave your chicken feed out at night, put it in. Skunks are attracted to feed and this skunk will return now that it has found food at your place. - they can dig incredibly well, and slip through small openings. I've read that your fence should be buried 1 and 1/2 feet deep to protect against skunks digging under.

    If you are late locking up your chickens.....expect a slaughter with the skunk. Maybe it is content with your chicken feed right now, but spring and babies are coming.
     
  4. animals1981

    animals1981 Chillin' With My Peeps

    594
    21
    176
    Jul 19, 2008
    Toronto
    no they are nothing to worry about i have lots of experience with skunks

    people just blame chicken deaths on them when it was killed by another predator

    They will eat eggs and chicks thats it
     
  5. jhm47

    jhm47 Chillin' With My Peeps

    575
    6
    141
    Sep 7, 2008
    Skunks have killed many of my full-grown chickens, and even a few ducks. It's possible that the skunks here in SD are bigger and meaner than those in other places, but I doubt it. They also are notorious carriers of rabies. Those that carry rabies show little or no signs of it for up to 3 years. They will eventually die of the disease, but in the meantime, they will infect other skunks, and whatever animal that they happen to bite. They should be killed (NOT relocated), whenever possible.
     
  6. chellebyerly

    chellebyerly Chillin' With My Peeps

    179
    0
    119
    Feb 21, 2009
    Jasper Texas
    Yes, KILL the skunk. you are inviting trouble.

    They do carry rabies.
    They WILL kill.
    THEY will spray and if you have never been sprayed, or had something sprayed you dont realize just how bad it is.

    Where I lived before (in the country too) we were a few miles from chicken houses. The houses had been defunct for quite a few years. But the skunks were still abundant.

    In front of my house, there were over 30 killed in less than a year on the road.

    They started coming UP to my house, my front door. where I fed my cats. They would stay there. they were NOT scared. THey would NOT let me outside. (yes its possible to shoot one and it not spray. a .22 bullet strait to the head will do it)

    They started fighting my cats. Kittens were killed. At the time I was just getting chickens. I did have quite a few deaths. (grown chickens). I lost LOTS of eggs.

    My dogs were constantly getting sprayed, and we were always scared of rabies.

    I would NOT let any preditor stay around. PERIOD.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by