Skunk took out a third of my flock this week

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Khavilah, Aug 9, 2014.

  1. Khavilah

    Khavilah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2014
    Southern Utah
    I am so sad.
    I went to do evening chores on Wednesday evening and I thought there weren't as many baby chicks coming to eat as there usually were, but sometimes they hide out in the bushes and come around later when they're hungry.

    Then I leave Thursday morning for a necessary trip out of town.

    Friday evening I come back (my neighbor did chores for me while I was gone) and, you know, hang out around the chickens and goats and just say hi, but I'm tired from driving so I go inside the house and go to bed.

    I wake up this morning and go to collect the eggs. There are bloody buff orpington feathers all over the inside of the chicken section of the shed (where they lay and sleep sometimes). I freak out and start crying and count the chicks.

    I'm missing ten chicks. Ten baby chicks. And the buffs were the kids' favorites. There are three, possibly four left. Beyoncegg is still alive.

    I watched the security cam that was aimed at the gate and this is what I saw:

    [​IMG]

    Skunk. I'm sure this is the beast that took all my broody Chickie's eggs right out from under her and who has been killing my chicks. Tonight the neighbor is going to set live traps near my chicken coop and I'm going to sleep in my truck with my rifle in case this sucker skips the traps.

    I am crushed and ashamed I didn't take more notice of the chicks missing before I left (not that I could have stayed those days) and I am so, so sad that the kids are going to find out their chick friends are missing. I am very thankful that there are a few buffs left because those are the ones that sit on their shoulders. Still so sad. :(
     
  2. fleedo

    fleedo Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 23, 2012
    very sad good luck to you. still you need a better house if that can happen then you need to build them a run so skunks can't get to them killing this one might help but there are many more skunks around
     
  3. GreenDragon

    GreenDragon Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 9, 2014
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    If you take pic's of your coop i know people will see somethings and give you advice on what to do or ideas to make things safer and easier for you.
     
  4. DianaMallory

    DianaMallory Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 20, 2012
    Lancaster Ohio
    Sounds like you free range your girls. and this is one of the big down falls to free ranging. I have been through 2 massacre in the past, no more free ranging here without supervision! I lock them up tight as a drum at night. I am trying to do over kill on the predator proofing. So sorry for you loss. Lock them up!
     
  5. Khavilah

    Khavilah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2014
    Southern Utah
    Yep, that's what I'm going to start doing every night now.

    Last night, I shot one skunk and one of the traps got a second one; they're both younger and smaller than the one in my picture. The boys are going to set the traps again tonight all along the fence and we will see what the result is tomorrow. We think they're living in the wood pile in the lot behind my neighbor's place.

    Not hearing the rooster at 2am because he was inside was a nice break this morning.
     
  6. Khavilah

    Khavilah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2014
    Southern Utah
    Chickens: IN
    Traps: SET
    Cameras: RECORDING
    I Am: NERVOUS
    Rifle: LOADED
    Sleep: ELUDING ME

    Well, there's one trap set tonight - the one that caught the skunk last night, in the same place - and I'm sure there'll be skunks coming by again tonight. I re-secured the chickens with better gap-filling and things shoved over doorways, etc, after seeing how small the space was that one skunk crawled through.

    The neighbor kid just went to check the trap because he thinks there's one in it already. (This neighbor kid is amazing with his traps, I tell ya. Very knowledgeable.)
     
  7. Khavilah

    Khavilah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2014
    Southern Utah
    Oh! Bonus news! Instead of missing ten chicks, I'm only missing seven. Three extras came home to eat dinner last night. I am so thankful.

    Edited because "home for dinner" and "home to eat dinner" can be two entirely different things in this situation.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  8. sheri101

    sheri101 New Egg

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    Jun 14, 2014
    I am going to get a security cam that is a great idea I've had something getting in my pens and it strip the skin off my geese's necks and leaves the rest any ideas. I live in southern Arkansas
     
  9. Khavilah

    Khavilah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2014
    Southern Utah
    I use the Guardian wireless system for mine - no wires going back to the house, and you can watch on the screen from anywhere within 500 feet. And they're weather-proof, so chicken poop just wipes right off. :p And they're not super expensive. Not cheap, but not overly expensive.
     
  10. Khavilah

    Khavilah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2014
    Southern Utah
    So far we are down three skunks with no more lost chickens.

    Traps are going out until we catch the big one.
     

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