WHAT THE ?!?!?!?!?! Suggestions PLEASE!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by half-acre-homestead, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. half-acre-homestead

    half-acre-homestead New Egg

    Sep 13, 2008
    I have been using the deep litter method using straw. Today I went out to do a complete clean out to prepare for fall. I moved the nest boxes out and forked some hay and then I found it...a den of SKUNKS!!!!! Living in my chicken coop!!!!!!!.

    I have 14 chickens and 3 chicks (2wks old). No missing or injured birds. They seem to be friends! Of course I bolted out of the coop. But the hens just kept going in and out like they were used to the skunks. Lately I have been wondering why my egg production was down.

    They have been there for about six weeks I figure because that is how long I have been smelling a faint skunk smell out by the coop. We used to have skunks under the shed near the coop so I thought they were back there. I thought if there were any skunks getting into the coop the chickens would be dead.

    I can't figure out a few things: how they got into the chicken yard in the first place. Why they are not eating the chickens. Why I did not get sprayed when I disturbed their nest (or den or whatever). Most importantly... What do I do now???????

    Any and all suggestions please????

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Some expert trappers may come on here and give you some advice on how to handle this problem yourself.

    Do you live where you can call animal control and talk to them? If not, I'd suggest your county extension office. They may have some good ideas and will probably know if any help is available. Another possibility is a professional trapper. They may not be cheap.
  3. chickensioux

    chickensioux Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    I have heard of local humane societies loaning out Hav-a-heart traps. You might want to check there. You can purchase them as well and relocate the skunks if you didn't want them destroyed. That would be what I would do. They probably left everyone alone because they were getting their share of eggs.
    Good luck with whatever you decide and be careful!
  4. karl lutz

    karl lutz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2009
    I Am Not Saying Poison Them Or Anything.
  5. Blackbird

    Blackbird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 31, 2009
    Skunks don't start fully spraying until they are several (maybe 3, not sure) months old as far as I know.

    I would just put on some nice heavy leather gloves, make sure their mother isn't around, go out at night, grab the whole nest clump of babies, put it in a bucket with lid, then throw them out, far far away. As long as you have some thick gloves you should be fine.

    Then maybe lock the hens in for a couple days and pour some ammonia at the openings of your coop.
  6. Suellyn

    Suellyn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2008
    SouthWestern PA
    Quote:If you trap Momma, she's gonna SPRAY, especially when you pick up the trap to transport [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] !!!!

    Goodness... what a dilemma!!! Any options for putting the chickens elsewhere, then getting rid of all food/water/attractions in the coop so they leave?? Maybe bait/put food elsewhere, but they probably won't go anywhere until night time, and only after babies are old enough to follow Momma out to forage. Leave door WIDE OPEN to allow them easy access OUT!!!!!

    Once you manage to lure them out, I would double check coop & make it into Fort Knox so they don't return!!!! Momma has *GOT* to be going in and out unless she is existing purely on eggs & chicken feed!!

    Only other option I can think of is to call a Pro.. Animal Control? & let them deal with the stink... Don't know if they would do it, though, and you would still need to get the chickens out of the way!!

    ROOSTER_ROO Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 21, 2009
    Ok this is going to seem crazy but I've seen it work ! Get just a normal live trap set, and when you get one in the trap, simply cover the trap with a dense blanket. They honestly won't spray. and you can transport them anywhere like that. As far as the babies go, i personally wouldn't trust them not to spray unless they were quite young. [​IMG] good luck with that problem !
  8. ksct

    ksct Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 23, 2009
    upstate, NY
    please call animal control etc. that is the best way. It may cost, maybe not. We had a 'nest' under a house i lived in when i was in middle school. We had to have someone come get them. and when that happens, make sure you put more fencing or boards etc around so they can't get in because if they can get in, so can other things..... even more skunks.
    And yes I believe the blanket over the trap 'trick' does work (i'm sure there are times when it doesn't) because as with most animals, they can't see to panic. Good luck.
  9. Julie08

    Julie08 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    the adults have to be able to lift their tail and their back legs off the groud to spray as long as the trap is low enough to prevent this they cant spray.
  10. ~*Sweet Cheeks*~

    ~*Sweet Cheeks*~ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2009
    Medford, Oregon
    Holly crap -

    I would have been just as surprised. They must have thought they were at the Hilton or something. Fresh food, water, all the eggs they could eat and nice and cozy bed.

    I agree with the above - take away the food source and hope they leave - PEACEFULLY.

    Good luck to you. Keep us updated.

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