Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by andythescot, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. andythescot

    andythescot Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 29, 2009
    Central Mass
    So I've been away on vacation this past week, and I'll be on vacation this next week too, but this morning I got an email from My petsitters, saying that there was a skunk underneath the coop! Our coop is built like a sedentary chicken tractor, so there is an area underneath, and just before we left I built an enclosed run going off the side of the coop. The run is kind of ramshackle, I built it in the two days before we left (I'm 15 years old.) The run, like the coop is triangular, the top half of the triangle is old chicken wire, and the bottom is hardware cloth, and since the ground is so uneven there is plywood along the bottom of the run.

    But when the skunk was in, all the chickens were smart enough to go up into the coop. *PHEW* and none were killed. But how much damage can skunks actually do? If they kill, is it messy? Could it have dug in?
  2. BeccaB00

    BeccaB00 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 16, 2010
    I have never heard of skunks killing chickens [​IMG]
    I know they would. but
    if they wanted the chicken than I'm sure they could and would dig under the coop.
    I have only had problems with possums, snakes, (and possibly coons) so I really don't know that much about skunks [​IMG]
  3. jhm47

    jhm47 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2008
    Yes, skunks will kill. Some will kill a lot, some will only kill and eat a few. They do dig under fences, and they stink!
  4. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Skunks are opportunists. They will eat whatever is available, whether that be eggs or a lone unattended chick/small chicken. Fortunately, they are not highly motivated predators, so they are pretty easy to deal with. I have been living in close proximity to skunks for years and have never had a major problem with them, barring a sprayed puppy and the attempt by them to move in under my deck last year. You do need to remove him from living under your coop, though, because that is just tempting fate too much.

    Call your local Animal Control/Fish and Game office. Find out their policies on dealing with nuisance animals. They may loan you a trap and deal with the animal once it is captured. If not, buy/borrow a live trap and trap it yourself. Bait the trap and place the whole thing under some sort of tarp/covering. Once you have the skunk trapped then you will need to dispose of it. Relocation is illegal in most areas, so when you contact AC/F&G find out their laws regarding relocation. If you need to dispose of the animal yourself then I'd look at either poisoning it with carbon monoxide from your car's exhaust, shooting it in situ, or drowning it in a water body while still in the trap. Keep the trap covered at all times. Skunks will not (usually) spray in an enclosed container. Before you kill the animal I'd have a deep hole already dug to put the carcass in. It will most likely spray at the time of death, but you can minimize the stench radius by keeping the cage covered at all times.

    If you choose not to trap the animal and decide to try to move it from under the coop. I'd recommend the use of a high intensity, motion activated, spot light trained on the den's entrance. I used one of those to move the skunks from under my deck last year. Skunks only come out at night (usually) so a spot light trained on their den is a great deterrent. They get blinded each time they come out and quickly move along.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do. Skunks are a pain, but it could be worse.

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