Skunks killing chickens

Motherofbirds

In the Brooder
Jul 27, 2021
19
38
44
Hello,
We live in a rural area. I know there’s skunks around, we accidentally caught one and released it because it was so cute and we thought they were just a mild inconvenience, just digging some of my plants out and sometimes will steal an egg but… I did not know they will KILL a chicken???
Found a dead chicken a couple days ago, honestly thought it was just old, but yesterday we found another dead chicken and this time it was obviously attacked. So we set up a bunch of traps and another camera and… its 2 skunks!!
We didn’t manage to trap them and would appreciate any tips. My husband put peanut butter in some traps and tuna in others.
The entire run has wire and cement a foot underground, but the f***ers dug a hole under the barn’s wall!
 
Nov 11, 2020
1,592
2,720
286
West Virginia
It might help to put an electric fen around the barn to stop any diggers otherwise you're going to have to build a skirt around the barn.I'd also do a search on chicken predators because its a pretty long list.It'll help to protect your chickens knowing that to look for. Snakes and squirrels also eat baby birds and chicks not just eggs.
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
14 Years
Nov 18, 2007
29,992
31,866
951
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
We are rural on a dead end road. A few years ago we had an overload of skunks. Someone was catching them and releasing them here. In a couple of weeks I caught a skunk every night in the trap. I used sardines. One night I caught 2 skunks in one trap. I dug a very big deep hole on the back side of our property and did eliminate the skunks. First I consulted a wildlife officer and it said they were no endangered.Each time I eliminated one it went into a very deep hole with some dirt over it. One skunk was digging under the gate to my chick/grow-out coop pen. I had forgot to shut the pop door and it was closed just enough that some of the chicks couldn't get inside and when I realized it I went out and there was a skunk attempting to dig under the gate to their pen. I stomped my feet at the skunk and it turned towards me and stomped it's feet at me. I went into the house and got my gun and went back out and attempted to scare the skunk off and again it stomped it's feet at me, it seemed persistent. I shot it and put a bucket over it until I could deal with it in the morning. I was able to let the chicks in their coop. Good luck...
 

Cooptown Lady

Chirping
May 27, 2021
40
161
69
Southeast Arizona
I appreciate all the comments on this thread. My main concern here in AZ has been hawks which is why I'm always close to my hens when they're out in their yard.

I smelled skunk around our backyard and when walking my dogs in the neighborhood. I had no idea they were such persistent predators! Now I know what made the scratch marks around our raised coop. Very glad I buried a skirt of hardware cloth at the perimeter.

I admit I've become lax about locking the hens in their coop for the night since their run has hardware cloth "walls" and a skirt, too.

I'd better go back to locking them up every night. Thanks for the skunk info and I'm sorry for anyone who suffered losses!
 

Motherofbirds

In the Brooder
Jul 27, 2021
19
38
44
Update:
We have caught 6 SKUNKS so far! Wet dog food did the trick. Didn’t kill them, my husband released them in the mountain a couple miles away, hope they don’t make their way back… we keep covering the edge of the barn with rocks and they keep digging a new hole. We will need to either try the electric fence or the cement and wire protection this weekend. Thank you for your replies 🙏
 
Nov 11, 2020
1,592
2,720
286
West Virginia
I appreciate all the comments on this thread. My main concern here in AZ has been hawks which is why I'm always close to my hens when they're out in their yard.

I smelled skunk around our backyard and when walking my dogs in the neighborhood. I had no idea they were such persistent predators! Now I know what made the scratch marks around our raised coop. Very glad I buried a skirt of hardware cloth at the perimeter.

I admit I've become lax about locking the hens in their coop for the night since their run has hardware cloth "walls" and a skirt, too.

I'd better go back to locking them up every night. Thanks for the skunk info and I'm sorry for anyone who suffered losses!
Fox have a similar scent as a skunk. much fainter.I smelled one in my yard a couple weeks ago. Haven't smelled it since.I have hardware cloth on my top and sides and also have a skirt.I laid netting over top of my run too, predators hate walking on it when its loose
 

Cooptown Lady

Chirping
May 27, 2021
40
161
69
Southeast Arizona
Fox have a similar scent as a skunk. much fainter.I smelled one in my yard a couple weeks ago. Haven't smelled it since.I have hardware cloth on my top and sides and also have a skirt.I laid netting over top of my run too, predators hate walking on it when its loose
Interesting point about fox smelling like skunk. I have seen one fox in this neighborhood during the 3 yrs. I've lived here.

My run is all hardware cloth except the roof is poly panels (for shade against AZ sunshine and protection from monsoon rains).
 
Nov 11, 2020
1,592
2,720
286
West Virginia
Update:
We have caught 6 SKUNKS so far! Wet dog food did the trick. Didn’t kill them, my husband released them in the mountain a couple miles away, hope they don’t make their way back… we keep covering the edge of the barn with rocks and they keep digging a new hole. We will need to either try the electric fence or the cement and wire protection this weekend. Thank you for your replies 🙏
Electric fence is best. It doesn't pay to use things that might not work to keep it out. Chances are it won't work when you need it most.
 
Nov 11, 2020
1,592
2,720
286
West Virginia
I appreciate all the comments on this thread. My main concern here in AZ has been hawks which is why I'm always close to my hens when they're out in their yard.

I smelled skunk around our backyard and when walking my dogs in the neighborhood. I had no idea they were such persistent predators! Now I know what made the scratch marks around our raised coop. Very glad I buried a skirt of hardware cloth at the perimeter.

I admit I've become lax about locking the hens in their coop for the night since their run has hardware cloth "walls" and a skirt, too.

I'd better go back to locking them up every night. Thanks for the skunk info and I'm sorry for anyone who suffered losses!
If you hit an eye and hook latch just right it will pop loose causing your door to fly open.If a kid can open your coop door so can predators like a coon or a fox
 

Cooptown Lady

Chirping
May 27, 2021
40
161
69
Southeast Arizona
If you hit an eye and hook latch just right it will pop loose causing your door to fly open.If a kid can open your coop door so can predators like a coon or a fox
You're right about hook and eye latches.

With my hens in their coop for the night, door locked with hook and eye latch, it's very unlikely anything will open that door. For one thing, the hook is difficult to put into or take out of the eye. Also the coop is elevated 18 inches off the ground. In addition, the coop is entirely within the run which has hardware cloth on walls and skirting.

The door to the run is also hook and eye (high up the door) which means a predator has to manipulate TWO hook and eye doors to get at the hens.

The door to the run needs improvement. At present I'm adding a concrete block at the base of the door to discourage prying it open. I need to add something like a bolt latch.

This whole set-up is within a backyard surrounded by 6 ft. high privacy fence in the middle of a neighborhood where I think every residence includes as least one dog. haha.

In 3 yrs. I've lived here, never seen or heard of raccoons in the area (desert). Saw one fox in the outskirts. I built the coop/run with foxes, coyotes, snakes, hawks, etc. in mind.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom