skunks

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Steve n Blaze, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. Steve n Blaze

    Steve n Blaze New Egg

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    May 13, 2014
    I have not had many eggs this past summer. Spring started off nicely with my 5 hens and about June it started dropping off. One morning about 2 am I was battling insomnia and heard a ruckus in my coop. I go out thinking that it was the opossum that I had to deal with in march... Nope I shined my flashlight in the Out House/Coop and there was a skunk... I decided to let him have the eggs. I keep filling in the holes it has dug to get in. But they are great diggers and just come in at a different spot just veer around any obstruction i put in its way. I know I am going to have to rethink the out house as a coop in the future.

    Is there anything I can put around the perimeter that would act as a deterrent to keep the skunk out that won't hurt or freak out the chickens too?
     
  2. N F C

    N F C got coffee? Premium Member Project Manager

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    There's some good information on a Learning Center article that may be helpful. Here's the link to the entire article:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/chicken-predators-pests-how-to-protect-treat-your-flock

    Below is a quote from the article regarding skunk-proofing your coop:

    "To protect your flock from skunks ensure they are kept in secure coops and runs with proper fencing. Small chicks should be kept in a secure brooder. Skunks are normally not inclined to break through fences, but will try to gain access through any weak spots and loose places in fences and buildings. Skunks are excellent diggers and may try to gain entry by digging under fences. Skunks are attracted by food, water and shelter, so don't leave any pet food, windfalls under trees or any other feeds outside overnight that may attract them. Place paving slabs around the perimeter of the coop and run or bury a few inches of hardware cloth or welded wire along the bottom of fences to stop them digging their way in. If you have an existing skunk problem or suspect you may have one visiting you can set a baited live trap."

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Steve n Blaze

    Steve n Blaze New Egg

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    May 13, 2014
    Does anything repel them?... the last thing I want to deal with is an angry skunk in a live trap.
     
  4. N F C

    N F C got coffee? Premium Member Project Manager

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    I just did a quick Bing search for skunk repellents and found a few ideas:

    1. Flood the area with light (skunks are nocturnal and prefer the dark)
    2. Use a motion sensor that shoots water when triggered (example: The Scarecrow)
    3. Pepper sprays
    4. Commercial repellents (like what is used for cats & dogs)

    I can't speak from experience about the effectiveness of any of these, just sharing what I found from my quick search.

    Good luck, hope you find something that helps!
     
  5. kittydoc

    kittydoc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you can bury about a foot of hardware cloth around the whole perimeter of the coop, that's your permanent fix. You can do it either inside or outside the coop, as long as it's close to the existing surface. Hubby rents a trencher to do this. Totally worth the piece of mind to know your birds are secure. We have never had a predator inside the coop....only once in the yard, where there is no buried hardware cloth.

    Skunks are easy to trap with canned cat food. What to do with it afterward is the problem. You could shoot it. You could transport it far away, but risk ruining a car. Could wash it off a truck bed. Wear leather gloves to release it and get away while it ambles off.
     

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