skunk problem

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by reptilepat, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. reptilepat

    reptilepat Out Of The Brooder

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    Last night I had an encounter with a skunk stalking my coop. It looked like it was trying to find a way in, but then my Rat Terrier noticed it and tried to attack it but ended up getting sprayed (3rd time she's been sprayed in 2 years) and then the skunk ran off as i was dying from that putrid smell. So my question is: Is there any way to keep skunks out of my yard or away from my coop? i havent looked up anything yet online for it, I'm just wondering if any of you have any ideas. My last option will be to get the pellet gun out and dispatch anything stalking my coop.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2011
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    You could put out a live trap, baited with some grape jelly, which they LOVE. Catch it, and you shield yourself with a tarp or something when you walk up to the cage, and cover the cage. Then either shoot it or relocate it.

    I personally would shoot it. Skunks are nasty predators.
     
  3. Lurkeygirl2011

    Lurkeygirl2011 Out Of The Brooder

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    I too think I have a skunk stalking my coop. I think you should break out the gun and dispatch it. Or, trap it and then dispatch it. I have done some reading, and it seems like it is rare for a skunk to kill a full grown chicken, they would rather have the eggs and baby chicks. This spring I had a hen sitting on five eggs up in the big barn, the eggs disappeared shortly before they were supposed to hatch, but the chicken is still around. Just last week I had a broody hen sitting on 16, yes 16! eggs in the house. I was really really excited because I thought she was safe in the house. We came back from vacation, and all the eggs are gone! I don't know for sure, but I am thinking skunk. The chicken sitter knew not to mess with that chicken and those eggs, so I know she didn't take them. Did the house get closed everyday exactly at dusk right after the last chicken went in, I don't think so [​IMG] But because of the sitter I can not say exactly what happened, just that the eggs are gone, no chickens injured (thankfully) and I have a pretty good idea it is a skunk. The dog has been sprayed 3x so far this summer. If you have the means, I would get rid of it. I am trying to convince my DH to shoot it, or trap it, or teach me how to use the gun so I can shoot it. But, he doesn't see the urgency since it is not killing adult birds, and he says I don't know for sure. I am curious too what other people have done about skunks. I am thinking about taking an electric wire and running it around the coop about 6 in off the ground, this is what I did around the turkey house because something reached in and pulled out a turkey head and munched, but the turkeys I keep inside a fence, the chickens I free range, I am hesitant because I don't want them to get shocked coming and going from the coop. The electricity doesn't seem to bother them when they go in and out of the pig pen, but the wires are higher, they only touch their feathers, not their feet.
     
  4. reptilepat

    reptilepat Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm thinking I'm gonna dispatch it if I ever see it again, which I mostly likely will since I'm usually up late and there has been multiple times I've seen or smelled skunks in the yard. So i might as well give it a head shot before it does damage to my coop or girls or sprays the dog again. This is really the only predator problem I've had since I moved the girls outside, besides seeing a woodchuck by the coop once which i shot with my Red Ryder and haven't seen it in the yard since. I don't wanna deal with the smell again, so I'm not gonna trap it since the smell is awful and i actually inhaled it last night when I picked up my sprayed dog, and let me tell you, nothing tastes as bad and took multiple mouth washings of Listerine and tooth paste to get rid of it.
     
  5. ctbagley

    ctbagley Out Of The Brooder

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    We have had multiple skunks in the last two years and we have found that even though they rarely kill the ckickens, they will eat all the eggs and if the hen fights them...they can kill it as they did with my small serama hen. They can get under a door with less than two inches of space too. The skunk had made tunnels in and out of my barn within the stalls. We now have the chickens in an outdoor pen/coop. The precautions we are taking now seem to be working so far. We ran two strands of electric around the bird pen. One strand is about 8 inches off ground, the other is about 12 inches. Just make sure to keep the weeds cut so it does not short out the wires. The other thing we have done that is working for more than just skunks is using bird netting (the kind to keep them off berry bushes). We bought a 100 ft roll and stretched and twisted it using zip-ties to cinch it every 6 ft or so. We wrapped the bottom of the outside of the pen with this (inside the electric wires). This netting is incredibly good at tangling any predator up and getting them hung in it. We caught a 6 ft black snake in it two weeks ago. If you do have the chance, I say dispatch the skunk when you see it. They tend to bring their entire family with them on their prowls. My DH bought a shotgun since he is not experienced and it has worked well. We are out in a very rural area on 22 acres though...check your local rules on shooting. (non gun way of killing a trapped skunk, I have heard of people putting the trap down inside a fifty foot drum and filling it with water...just remembered that from another poster).
     
  6. aprophet

    aprophet Chillin' With My Peeps

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