SKUNK sprayed inside my coop & I'm stressing now


11 Years
May 4, 2008
A skunk got into the chicken coop this afternoon & the chickens all came out. I had to get my son in law to come out & he ended up having to shoot it inside the chicken coop. I know my yard smells horrible now, & the chicken coop has got to be horrendous now. DH put the chickens back in the coop for the night & shut the door. I'm worried maybe the smell might kill the chickens. I'm stressing now, bigtime.
not sure what to do at this point. The skunk is dead, & SIL tossed it outback as far as he could, but the smell he left behind is beyond horrendous!
Over the years I've had to shoot several in one or another of the coops....the latest a little more than a week ago. The smell won't kill them....and believe it or not the smell fades fairly quickly. You can still smell it some in my coop, but not very much.
Katy, thank you so much for reassuring me, I will be able to sleep tonight (somewhat).

I still am not looking forward to actually having to go inside the coop tomorrow though.
I hope it will air out fast! Here in ND the chickens have been penned up alot & so I thought since it was to be in the 20's I'd let them out, especially since they kinda pushed past me & I decided fine you can spend some time out. They ended up spending most the entire day out, because of the skunk.
Most birds actually have a very poor sense of smell, so what is horrendous to you may not be all that bad to the chickens. They don't have the sense of smell a turkey vulture has, who relies on that sense to find carrion!
I have heard that, if you shoot a skunk in the heart, it won't spray. Not sure if I believe it or not. I just shoot one last week that I caught in a live trap in my DIL's coop. I covered the trap and carried it well back to the back part of the bank behind her house, set it down and gently pulled the covering away as I got well back out of range. The cage is made out of 1x1 hardware cloth. I got my .22 rifle w/scope and waited until I got a clear shot, through one of the holes, at its heart area, to squeeze off the shot. The skunk twitched some before it quit moving and NEVER sprayed. I did this shooting with my off side shoulder as my right shoulder is recovering from surgery. DW said I must be a really good shot as she watched, also from a safe distance. I told her it was the rifle not the shooter.
A couple years back my pup got sprayed by a skunk on my front steps. Then to add insult to injury the skunk sprayed my chicken coop, which was situated about 15 feet away. My dog, the entire house and the chicken coop reeked for days. The dog was highly disturbed by the incident, but the chickens appeared not to notice at all. Unfortunately, my dryer vent was also situated right outside the chicken coop and the smell traveled into the dryer and ruined the load of clean laundry I had in it. A nuisance? Definitely! Deadly to anyone? Nope. I'm not sure the chickens even realized it had happened.

Sorry for your upcoming week of stink. At least the problem has been permanently resolved.
Good news/Bad news. The good news is that it will not bother your chickens one way or another. The bad news is that everything else will pick up the smell that comes anywhere near it, including the chickens. How long this will last depends on the weather and air currents--my DD had one spray under their barn/office over a month ago and she still has problems with the smell. BTW, supposedly if you trap them in a live trap that is too low they will not spray, according to the trapper that took care of DD's, they have to be able to raise up on their front legs to spray, something a low trap will not allow them to do. I'm not about to test this theory.

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