Next up in our series on backyard chicken predators is the noxious skunk. While they might not be the first predatory threat to your flock that comes to mind, nevertheless, if given the chance, a skunk will eat eggs, kill chicks and even occasionally attack full grown poultry.
Obviously, the easiest way to tell if a skunk is around your coop is to follow your nose. If you notice persistent skunk essence over an extended period of time, chances are you have a skunk in residence. But, if you are still not sure, you can also look for tracks. The tracks can be difficult to distinguish from those of a raccoon but if you are a gifted tracker, you can easily spot the difference. If you really want to be thorough, an examination of skunk scat will usually reveal lots of insect parts. If your coop has been subject to attack by a skunk, you would expect to find eggs opened up on one end and the contents consumed or if an actual bird were attacked the neck would be opened up and perhaps the head eaten.
Once you have definitely identified the threat, it is time to take action. Skunks will not usually break through coop confines like some other aggressive predators, but if given an opening, they will take it. So, it is essential to make sure fencing and coop confines are intact and also that any areas where skunks could dig underneath are properly sealed. Once the coop is secure, then it is time to employ a deterrent. Enter fox urine. What? Fox Urine? How? It might not be the first thing you think of but, a fox is one of the most common skunk predators. Skunks fear foxes, they sense a fox is present because of the urine, and they leave your chickens, chicks and eggs alone – it is as simple as that.
Identify, shore up fencing and walls, set up a pee-rimeter with 100% fox urine, and rest easy.
Until I find more words. . .The PeeMan
Hello from the Maine woods! The temperatures has soared today well into the 60’s, and after I finish this post, I may have to hit the back roads on my motorcycle. I may or may not wear my helmet – just don’t tell my daughters.
Well, according to my reading, the black and white fluffy creature that lurks near trash cans and under porches in the wee hours of the morning can also be a vicious threat to poultry. The Mephitis mephitis or common striped skunk will devour eggs and occasionally kill young poultry, and its relative the spotted skunk can be even more of a threat due to its ability to climb. I don’t know about you, but each and every egg Brown Betty lays is precious to me, so the thought of some egg-sucking predator getting to them makes me mad.
Lucky for Betty, and for you, the skunk relies heavily on its sense of smell because it has poor eyesight. This makes it an ideal pest to control by use of the predator-prey instinct that 100%PredatorPee takes advantage of. FoxPee is what we recommend for use against those monochromatic weasels of the night. But, you know, as I always say, don’t take my word for it . . .
“I live in San Diego, Cal. and we have so many skunks this year. I’ve called all over town asking how to get rid of them. Everyone said to get a trap and take them to the country to release them. I’m in my 70’s and am not about to trap a skunk! My son in Seattle, Wash. sent me some Fox urine. He said everyone up there uses it but down here they laughed at me. However, it has worked for 3 weeks, but now they’re back. Help! How can I order more ?”
San Diego, California
Hope the sun is shining where you are, and prayers for those in and around Boston. The PeeMan