So how would you manage a problem skunk?

Two Creeks Farm

Songster
8 Years
Apr 23, 2011
879
29
123
Hedgesville, WV
Skunks WILL kill ....they tend to go after the neck area and love to drink as much blood as they can.


If you use the right size trap, spraying isnt an issue. Alot of folks just dont realize how pungent they can be without spraying and mistake it for a full on let'er rip LOL!
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
Feb 2, 2009
25,890
16,178
797
Southeast Louisiana
I found this at the site below. I don't know how reliable this particular site is, but it matched enough other sites that I believe it's pretty accurate.


Skunks kill few adult birds, When skunks kill poultry, they generally kill only one or two birds and maul them considerably. Crabb (1941) observed that spotted skunks help control rats and mice in grain storage buildings. They kill these rodents by biting and chewing the head and foreparts; the carcasses are not eaten.

Skunks are serious nest robbers. Eggs are usually opened at one end; the edges are crushed as the skunk punches its nose into the hole to lick out the contents. The eggs may appear to have been hatched, except for the edges. When in a more advanced stage of incubation, eggs are likely to be chewed in small pieces. Eggs may be removed from the nest, but rarely more than 3 feet (1 m) away.

Most rabbit, chicken, and pheasant carcasses found at skunk dens are carrion that have been dragged to the den sites.


http://icwdm.org/inspection/livestock.asp#Skunks_

I'll include what they said about Possums and Racoons too.


Opossums

Omnivorous eating fish, crustaceans, insects, mushrooms, fruits, vegetables, eggs, and carrion. They will raid poultry houses, usually killing one chicken at a time, often mauling the victim.

Eggs will be mashed and messy, the shells often chewed into small pieces and left in the nest. Opossums usually begin feeding on poultry at the cloacal opening. Young poultry or game birds are consumed entirely and only a few wet feathers left.


Raccoons

Eat mice, small birds, snakes, frogs, insects, crawfish, grass, berries, acorns, corn, melons — the list is almost endless. Garbage cans and dumps can be a major source of food in urban areas. Field crops or gardens near wooded areas may suffer severe damage from raccoons. Ripening corn is frequently eaten and much is wasted. They raid nesting cavities of birds. They will on occasion kill small lambs, usually by chewing the nose.

Raccoons enter poultry houses and take several birds in one night. The breast and crop can be torn and chewed, and the entrails sometimes are eaten. There may be bits of flesh near water.

Eggs may be removed from poultry or game bird nests and eaten away from the nest, usually within 28 feet (9 m) of the nest.

A distinctive five-toed track that resembles a small human hand print. Tracks are usually paired, the left hind foot beside the right forefoot. Raccoon and opossum tracks can be difficult to distinguish in soft sand where toes do not show.
 

Katy

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Jun 29, 2007
16,317
81
331
Kansas~50+ yrs of chickens
Quote:My husband would disagree that they can't do a full on spray even when they can't raise their tail even a little.......and I can attest that it was not just the skunks body order that he let rip!
Like I said previously not raising their tail keeps them from aiming, but they can still spray.
 

Two Creeks Farm

Songster
8 Years
Apr 23, 2011
879
29
123
Hedgesville, WV
Quote:My husband would disagree that they can't do a full on spray even when they can't raise their tail even a little.......and I can attest that it was not just the skunks body order that he let rip!
Like I said previously not raising their tail keeps them from aiming, but they can still spray.

I stated that spraying isnt an issue with the right sized trap, not that they cant spray. If you are getting sprayed or the skunk is spraying in a proper sized trap, my geuss is you are not approaching nor handling the skunk correctly. Ive relocated or released hundreds without ever being sprayed or had them try to spray. They are a very docile animal, it just takes some understanding and education on how to handle them
 

Katy

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Jun 29, 2007
16,317
81
331
Kansas~50+ yrs of chickens
Quote:My husband would disagree that they can't do a full on spray even when they can't raise their tail even a little.......and I can attest that it was not just the skunks body order that he let rip!
Like I said previously not raising their tail keeps them from aiming, but they can still spray.

I stated that spraying isnt an issue with the right sized trap, not that they cant spray. If you are getting sprayed or the skunk is spraying in a proper sized trap, my geuss is you are not approaching nor handling the skunk correctly. Ive relocated or released hundreds without ever being sprayed or had them try to spray. They are a very docile animal, it just takes some understanding and education on how to handle them

I'm not going to argue with you. We've also caught and either released or shot many skunks over the years. We are using the correct size trap and do know what we're doing as far as handling them....they can and will spray....even in the correct size trap. My husband felt the same as you....until it happened to him. I've got a good de-skunker recipe I'll be happy to share with you when it happens to you.
 

woodmort

RIP 1938-2020
9 Years
Jul 6, 2010
3,524
959
301
In truth there are some people that can handle certain types of animals and others that can't. I believe the animals can sense that and either attack or remain quiet. Then again even the best handler will run into an exception...
 

Keeter

In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 22, 2011
31
1
23
Skunks are a problem that must be controlled, not because of their habit, but because of their disease potential. Their very existence living near you exposes you and your family to a risk of rabies too high to permit, in my opinion. They will live under your barns with your cats. Horses, dogs, cats, can all catch the rabies, and then pass it to you before you even know it's present on the place. If it were not for that, they're not bad critters. They are about the tamest of any of them; they'll wander right up under your crossed legs at a campfire. Very friendly cat-like animals. So sad we have to aggressively separate ourselves from them.

Here's what I've found about trapping them. Chicken eggs, lightly cracked, are perfect bait. Attracts skunks or opossums or raccoons, without attracting your barn cats. A sliced apple is another good choice.

Once in the trap, approach quietly, with a soft sing-song voice. Talk to it nicely. This makes you less threatening than silence. Gently lay a blanket over the entire cage. This puts the animal back into the dark, which calms it. And, the blanket will take the spray if it occurs, rather than it hitting you. Now, leave the area for a while, and let the animal settle. When you come back, you might find some of the blanket has been pulled in, but it will have finally settled.

Now, while again talking and/or singing to it, pick up the cage softly and set it in the back of your truck. I've never had one spray during this process; again, they're very amicable creatures if they don't feel threatened.

Next, drive to a distant point where you can set the cage on the ground and pull the blanket back from the door side of the cage. At this point you have a choice, to kill or not to kill. I prefer kill, because relocation of an animal into others' territories is an urban legend of nicety. The fact is, the others in the territory will probably kill it, and you have unknowingly tortured the animal you sought to protect. So, when I open the cage and it exits, I stand at ready with a shotgun and get it on its exit, being sure that I'm on the upwind side. Even if it releases its musk, it will not have attached to you, and you can quietly drive away without incident.

On a side note, how to drive a skunk out of a garage without it spraying? I use a propane bottle with a weedburner attachment, and release propane into the corner where it's hiding. Of course, I have to be very attentive to not permitting any high concentration buildup, and any ignition exposures. But when the propane removes the skunk's ability to breathe comfortably, it will begin to migrate to cleaner air. There are safer non-flammable options, but those are usually not readily available to the average farm owner.
 

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