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caryledee
Mar. 2, 2010, 01:32 PM
We've been having a critter problem in the barn lately, so we set a humane trap and caught a skunk! The trap is under an old horse blanket and the skunk has not sprayed so far. But now no one wants to release it for fear of getting sprayed.

Anyone have experience releasing skunks from humane traps?

sar2008
Mar. 2, 2010, 01:49 PM
Personally, I have no experience....but I did find this on a website that may be helpful to you!!!

Cage traps come in two different versions, gravity doors and spring-loaded doors, and they require different techniques to open.

Gravity Door Traps. Gravity closing doors, like the name suggests, rely on the pull of gravity to close the trap door when the trap is sprung. Once the door has reached its final destination, a locking mechanism engages to prevent the animal from pushing his way out of the trap. These traps are rather popular as they are generally less expensive than their spring-loaded door counterparts. To release a skunk from this type of trap, simply take a long extended painters pole (18 feet), fully extend it and then from that distance, gently push the trap onto its roof. Once the trap is flipped over, the gravity door should open allowing the

Don’t be surprised if the skunk doesn’t leave right away. The presence of people, dogs, and general fear may cause the skunk to remain in the trap. Keep people and pets away from the area and the skunk should leave on its own when things quiet down. If the weather is warm and you are in a hurry, you can use a garden hose to make it rain on the skunk to help encourage it to move on. The key isn’t to hurt the skunk with the force of water. You just want to make it get wet so it runs out to dry cover. A word of warning here, make sure the doors to area structures are closed or you may find that the skunk runs to hide in your garage.

Spring-loaded Door Traps. Spring-loaded traps are more difficult as the door must be manually manipulated to be reopened. In light of that, you should always place a cloth cover over half the length of the trap (at the end opposite the door) whenever you set it. The cloth allows you a way to approach the skunk without being seen. The cloth should be durable, like a towel, canvas or denim, as well as disposable. Secure the cloth on the trap so it won’t blow away. Make sure you are comfortable with opening the trap door BEFORE setting it. If you catch a skunk, you will need to be able to open the door quickly to reduce the risk of being sprayed.

Once you discover a skunk, you will need another cloth, large enough to completely cover the trap, and a brick or object that is tall and wide enough to keep the trap door open at least 5 inches but one that won’t block the skunk’s escape. With this equipment in hand, quietly approach the trap from the cloth side (so the skunk can’t see you), holding the large cloth in front of you. Gently drape the cloth completely over the cage. Get the object that you will use to keep the door open. (Some spring-loaded traps actually have a device to do this.) When you are ready, take a quick peek to make sure the skunk is at the opposite end of the trap. Chances are he will be facing you as the noise will peak his interest. Quickly open the door prop it open. As you walk away, take the large blanket with you. Keep the blanket open between you and the trap as you quietly and methodically back away. While it is possible for the skunk to bolt out of the cage, it rarely happens. Usually, the skunk remains in the covered portion of the trap until he feels safe enough to walk out. Don’t be surprised if he remains in the trap until nightfall.

Keep in the mind:

Always wear quality leather or canvass gloves when handling traps. They will protect you from various scratches and reduce your exposure to feces and urine.
Skunks will pound their front feet (thump, thump) when agitated. If you hear this sound, it means the skunk is warning you that he is likely to spray. It means you have been too noisy or have come too close for his comfort.
If the skunk sees you, don’t loom large. Crouch down so you appear less threatening. Sometimes quietly talking to the skunk can have a calming influence.
Rural skunks tend to be more fearful of people than urban and suburban skunks.
Skunks are less likely to spray what they can’t see. But if you handle a caged skunk in a rough manner, such as shaking, banging etc., they will spray.


GOOD LUCK!

NEWT
Mar. 2, 2010, 02:32 PM
Yup, keep it covered until you get it to its drop off place. And...make sure that place is 20 miles away or it will come back.

I remember reading a letter to the editor for some magazine like Hobby Farm and a gentleman said he was inundated with skunks. He had caught almost 50 in two months in his live animal trap and release them a mile away. LOL, he was catching the same critter over and over!

Good luck and just in case you do get sprayed there is a great product by Nature's Miracle called Skunk Odor Remover. I purchased it at one of the large pet stores.

Bluey
Mar. 2, 2010, 02:58 PM
I don't know where you are, but here, skunks are our main rabies reservoir, many every year come up positive when tested after biting some cat, dog or horse.

When we have some move around houses or barns, we shoot them outright or trap and shoot them in the trap, then carefully dispose of them.

If you use a 22 to shoot them and someone that is a good shot, the skunk will just drop dead, won't spray, or we never had one spray, yet.

Around here the ones out in the pastures, we leave alone, but those that get used to living around homes and barns, they won't stay away and need shooting.

May be different where you are.

EquineJunky
Mar. 2, 2010, 03:13 PM
I caught a skunk in my Haveaheart cage around this time last year...in the barn. Not quite the 'kitty' I was after. LOL I called Animal Control to see if they had any suggestions on releasing it or would they come do it. They said they would come shoot it (in the cage), but that was all they would do and I had to get it to a 'remote' location for them to do so. Long story short, it wasn't acting sick in any way but AC did come shoot it and was sent off for testing since my dogs had encountered it the night before. It was confirmed rabid.

Not posting this to scare the crap out of you...just be careful if you decide to try letting it go.

Phaxxton
Mar. 2, 2010, 03:13 PM
I don't know where you are, but here, skunks are our main rabies reservoir, many every year come up positive when tested after biting some cat, dog or horse.

When we have some move around houses or barns, we shoot them outright or trap and shoot them in the trap, then carefully dispose of them.

If you use a 22 to shoot them and someone that is a good shot, the skunk will just drop dead, won't spray, or we never had one spray, yet.

Around here the ones out in the pastures, we leave alone, but those that get used to living around homes and barns, they won't stay away and need shooting.

May be different where you are.

Not to mention, in many states it is illegal to relocate skunks to any area other than than one on the property on which it was caught...

brightskyfarm
Mar. 2, 2010, 03:14 PM
You can always call your local animal control and ask their assistance

wendy
Mar. 2, 2010, 03:18 PM
shoot it. Re-locating wildlife by non-experts usually ends badly for the animal, much more humane to quickly end it. It may be illegal to live-trap and relocate skunks (and any other wildlife) where you are, you might want to check before re-setting your live trap.

wildlifer
Mar. 2, 2010, 05:38 PM
I've handled a fair few skunks at work, they are actually quite loathe to spray. Keep the trap covered, prop it open, and it will usually wander out on its own. Skunks are resourceful enough that they generally do fine with relocation. Of course, removing an animal from its territory simply opens up a niche for another one to move in, so I generally leave them be and we figure out how to work around each other. The devil you know and all that...

caryledee
Mar. 2, 2010, 09:46 PM
Thanks for the advice, everyone! Animal control around here is pretty worthless when it comes to wildlife, so we were on our own. We did manage to release it with no issues at all. I've already seen another one, so I'm sure this is going to go on for a while. I actually wouldn't have a problem with them on the farm if they just feared us a little more, but the rabies issues and the potential for my dogs to get sprayed is just too great. I don't own a gun but I do agree that shooting them would probably be the best solution.

bludejavu
Mar. 3, 2010, 01:17 PM
I've had a lot of trouble with skunks getting under our barn office porch and have had a few even come in the barn. We also trapped them at first and released them in a county park a few miles away. I eventually found out this is illegal in my state. After making a lot of useless calls, I finally talked to a local wildlife refuge and was advised to come and pick up some natural skunk predator fecal material and spread it around the barn. I've been doing this for the past two years and have had no more problems with skunks since then.

AnotherRound
Mar. 3, 2010, 01:39 PM
Yeah, I just learned about that trick, and was told to stop by a hunting store and pick up musk of something which is badder than the soon-to-be evictee. Specifically, to get something like wolverine or wolf musk to evict a fisher cat, which is a predator. A skunk is not a predator, but they are a vector for rabies. Spreading around the musk of something which would clear out skunks (by preying on them) if it was around would probably work. Weasle musk - fisher cat, badger - I imagine coyote scent, would do it, and get it down to where they have their den, so they move out. I would personally spread the contamination, so to speak, wide, so they don't just move to the next out building.

I don't know it this would work, but I believe the audobon society would know, and very probably the folks at the hunter store.

That's what I would try.

Relocating these things yourself is very hard on the animal. Biggest chance is you will relocate it into another animal's territory, and it will have to fight and have no where to go, and it will be quite miserable, probably die. Not a pretty way to go. That's why wildlife people will put a critter down, but not relocate it, especially, I hear any of the rabies vectors (which are usually non-predators). Just aren't going to spend the money on testing it for rabies, transporting it, and really doing something miserable to it like put it in a new territory.

This is not cut in stone, but all this is an extrapolation of information which Mistyblue gave me, as a wildlife rehab person, so it is the way I might look at what to try for skunks in the barn.

Also, I would absolutely clean things up - no piles of bags around, critter proof all the grain, no crumbs around, always swept up, all the shavings and hay clean, swept, locked up. No piles of dirty leg wraps in the tack room, that sort of thing.

Good luck.

bit-o-honey
Mar. 3, 2010, 01:45 PM
Ugh, skunks! Last year a skunk was trying to move right in with the horses in the barn and became so bold as to walk right in while I was in the barn with the horses. Only one entrance/exit into the barn, and he was sniffing around for something yummy right there. Finally got the horses back out without incident, but he managed to spray one of my mares in the field (she chases anything in her field) in her brand new blanket. Nature's Miracle Skunk Odor Remover works very well. Quite by accident, I discovered Mr. Pepe LaPew did not like the smell of PineSol. Try spraying some around where you see the skunks (little cone-shaped holes in the ground are where they are digging for grubs - you know they have been there). Kind of a shame they are so stinky and diseased - they are actually very cute and not too afraid of anything.:eek:

ladyfarrier
Mar. 3, 2010, 02:06 PM
Every spring when the raccoons, oppossums and yes, skunks start visiting the farm, killing the chickens and destroying things in the barn, the "war" starts. I've found half a dozen raccons at a time "partying" around the barns, oppossums in the chicken yard and skunks everywhere. I have no sympathy for any of them.

I use a humane trap. I have a 100 gallon water tank (filled) next to it.

When I catch a skunk, I walk up with a tarp held in front of me and cover the trap....having read somewhere where they are unlikely to spray you if you do this, and so far it's worked.

Then I pick up the trap, still covered, and drop the works into the water and walk way. Yes, I still have to dispose of the body, but I take them to the far reaches of the farm and the turkey buzzards handle the rest.

I live next to a Forest Preserve..."relocating" doesn't work, and I don't see any reason to dump my problems on someone else. There is a never-ending "supply" of them.These critters have no natural predators in my area....well, except me.

Ben and Me
Mar. 3, 2010, 02:39 PM
Animal control around here is pretty worthless when it comes to wildlife, so we were on our own.

I'd have to say that if there is one instance where AC should absolutely, in no uncertain terms step up to the plate is when rabies is a concern. If they're unwilling to help you out in a potential rabies situation, you need to get in touch with someone higher up and let them know. Their number one goal should be public safety - why are they getting your tax dollars if they aren't willing to help out with this? Did you even try, or just assume that they'd be worthless?

wildlifer
Mar. 3, 2010, 05:30 PM
Drowning them? Wow, could you think of a more inhumane way to treat a trapped animal? Why not set them on fire? Please, people, if you are going to kill an animal do so quickly and humanely, with a firearm.

equusus
Mar. 3, 2010, 05:32 PM
The best advice for dispatching of skunks that I can give is to dig your burial hole FIRST, then shoot, dump and cover as quickly as possible.
Keeps the stink to a minimum.....

Huntertwo
Mar. 3, 2010, 06:17 PM
Every spring when the raccoons, oppossums and yes, skunks start visiting the farm, killing the chickens and destroying things in the barn, the "war" starts. I've found half a dozen raccons at a time "partying" around the barns, oppossums in the chicken yard and skunks everywhere. I have no sympathy for any of them.

I use a humane trap. I have a 100 gallon water tank (filled) next to it.

When I catch a skunk, I walk up with a tarp held in front of me and cover the trap....having read somewhere where they are unlikely to spray you if you do this, and so far it's worked.



F'ing pathetic and disgusting...:mad:

You can't find more of a humane way, like shooting, instead of a terrifying death like drowning? Unreal..

Huntertwo
Mar. 3, 2010, 06:19 PM
Drowning them? Wow, could you think of a more inhumane way to treat a trapped animal? Why not set them on fire? Please, people, if you are going to kill an animal do so quickly and humanely, with a firearm.

Don't give her anymore ideas. She just might give it a try.

Guin
Mar. 3, 2010, 08:08 PM
Jesus. You are a miserable excuse for a human being. Trapping a living animal in a cage and then drowning it while it's still conscious? If I knew who you are, I'd report you to the authorities.

Threebars
Mar. 3, 2010, 08:28 PM
F'ing pathetic and disgusting...:mad:

You can't find more of a humane way, like shooting, instead of a terrifying death like drowning? Unreal..


I agree - how revolting. :no:

Jingo-ace
Mar. 3, 2010, 08:36 PM
ummmm.... sorry guys, not to start a flame war here, but I agree with ladyfarrier. Drowning them solves the problem. I too have drowned 50+ skunks in the last year... animal control is too slow, and guns aren't feasable in this area. They do not serve any good purpose in my yard. imho

BLBGP
Mar. 3, 2010, 09:00 PM
ummmm.... sorry guys, not to start a flame war here, but I agree with ladyfarrier. Drowning them solves the problem. I too have drowned 50+ skunks in the last year... animal control is too slow, and guns aren't feasable in this area. They do not serve any good purpose in my yard. imho\


Call me crazy, but perhaps you should address what is drawing all these animals to your farm instead of happily trapping and torturing all these animals?

ThatScaryChick
Mar. 3, 2010, 11:33 PM
\


Call me crazy, but perhaps you should address what is drawing all these animals to your farm instead of happily trapping and torturing all these animals?

I agree. What would draw 50 + skunks in a year to someones place? Also, drowning is just a slow and horrible way to die. :(

bludejavu
Mar. 3, 2010, 11:53 PM
I don't know where some of you live, but here in my neck of the woods in Georgia, there are hundreds and hundreds of skunks around here. They get hit on the roads, I see them just about everytime I go out on our very large farm and I see them at neighboring farms. It's not a case of them being drawn to our barn, farm, etc., but instead it's just that there are that many of them habitating in any given rural area. AC's view of them in my county is to call them only if one is acting suspiciously but otherwise, handle it yourself.

MaybeMorgan
Mar. 4, 2010, 01:25 AM
I use a humane trap. .
nice word

[/QUOTE]Then I pick up the trap, still covered, and drop the works into the water and walk way. [/QUOTE]

Why don't you at least stand there and watch it swim for hours until it's exhausted? And then drown? You know they can swim, right? That wouldn't be a problem for you to watch that, would it? Because if you think it's OK to do that, why don't you stay and watch?

Huntertwo
Mar. 4, 2010, 07:38 AM
nice word

Then I pick up the trap, still covered, and drop the works into the water and walk way. [/quote]

Why don't you at least stand there and watch it swim for hours until it's exhausted? And then drown? You know they can swim, right? That wouldn't be a problem for you to watch that, would it? Because if you think it's OK to do that, why don't you stay and watch?[/quote]
------------------------------------------------------------------
No, it's easier to put a tarp over it and not watch the poor animal struggle and gasp while it is drowning.

Is it any wonder I like animals more than humans sometimes... Wait "Human"??? No, I meant vile monsters...

kookicat
Mar. 4, 2010, 08:07 AM
Every spring when the raccoons, oppossums and yes, skunks start visiting the farm, killing the chickens and destroying things in the barn, the "war" starts. I've found half a dozen raccons at a time "partying" around the barns, oppossums in the chicken yard and skunks everywhere. I have no sympathy for any of them.

I use a humane trap. I have a 100 gallon water tank (filled) next to it.

When I catch a skunk, I walk up with a tarp held in front of me and cover the trap....having read somewhere where they are unlikely to spray you if you do this, and so far it's worked.

Then I pick up the trap, still covered, and drop the works into the water and walk way. Yes, I still have to dispose of the body, but I take them to the far reaches of the farm and the turkey buzzards handle the rest.

I live next to a Forest Preserve..."relocating" doesn't work, and I don't see any reason to dump my problems on someone else. There is a never-ending "supply" of them.These critters have no natural predators in my area....well, except me.

That is awful. Drowning is not a nice way to go. :mad::no:

ladyfarrier
Mar. 4, 2010, 01:36 PM
OK. Before you all show up to lynch me, work with me a bit.

I'm not saying that drowning these creatures sits easily with me. I'm not going to be hypocritical and say otherwise.

Other options would include:

Poison. Yes, a favorite trick in my neck of the woods is to set out Golden Malrin (fly poison) mixed with coca cola.....especially in sweet corn patches, that raccoons love to decimate. The people that do this brag that the critters don't make it 50 feet from the bait before they die....no doubt in incredible agony. I passed on this alternative.....

Shooting them. Yes, I have a 22 rifle. I used to shoot *at* them....but to be honest, I'm not very good with my bifocals and all...most of the time I would wound them.....I'm sure they died later...and that probably wasn't an easy death either.

Shoot them in the cage: Sure. After about a dozen or so of these, the cage is so shot up it won't work any more. And shooting skunks isn't really a great idea.'

I suppose I could get a couple of big mean dogs and let them catch the critters and tear them limb from limb. Is that more "natural"? Or kind?

And along those lines, how about some sort of spring/leg trap? Quick and painless--(Not).

As for their being "concious"....maybe I should club them first? Or try to sedate them? Maybe I could gas them?

As for "drawing them to my farm"....let's see. My horse barn is immaculate. All feeds/supplements in closed containers, INSIDE the feed bin which is animal proof. All chicken feed is in locked containers. So I suppose the main "draw" is the chickens themselves. Sure, I could get rid of the chickens so that I won't be enticing these creatures to an awful death on my killing field.....but you know, I kinda like the chickens. Maybe I should quit naming them, then when they get killed it wouldn't be so upsetting.

So you tell me. What's the best solution for my problem? I have dozens of these creatures every night. As I said, I live next to a Forest Preserve....they camp out all day and come to my place all night to party down. I've lost two horses to EPM...now that's not a pretty death either. I vaccinate my horses, dogs and cats for rabies but having all these critters prowling around all night makes me very apprehensive. The raccoons crap all over the hay in the loft, the oppossums likewise, the skunks destroy the garden, and all of them kill the chickens.

Tell me how to deal with them that doesn't involve trapping and "disposing" of them and I'll be happy to try it. I know of no fence that is oppossum/raccoon/skunk proof.

PM me if you want my "information"...go ahead and report me. The game warden is the one who suggested drowning--they don't "swim for hours". We have no Animal Control for this type of problem.


How many of the people I've upset use rat poison? D-con? Do you feel terrible killing the mice and rats by feeding them poisons, which are not a nice way to die either? Mouse traps (death by strangulation), or how about those sticky traps, where the mouse starves to death? How are these different? Because there are more mice and they are smaller, it's not the same thing?

Critters are critters and killing is killing. It's not nice, any way you cut it.

Tell me what I should be doing, but only if you have this problem and have/are dealing with it. Otherwise, your POV isn't really that relevant to my situation.
I'm dealing with them in the quickest, surest way I've found. If you have a better way, tell me.

Huntertwo
Mar. 4, 2010, 01:54 PM
ummmm.... sorry guys, not to start a flame war here, but I agree with ladyfarrier. Drowning them solves the problem. I too have drowned 50+ skunks in the last year... animal control is too slow, and guns aren't feasable in this area. They do not serve any good purpose in my yard. imho


Another despicable sub-humane being.

Setting them on fire, letting them get mauled by dogs, throwing them from a 10 story building, dragging them from a car would also solve the problem. Why don't you try one of those.

Remember Karma - What goes around, comes around.

Huntertwo
Mar. 4, 2010, 02:01 PM
I don't know where some of you live, but here in my neck of the woods in Georgia, there are hundreds and hundreds of skunks around here. They get hit on the roads, I see them just about everytime I go out on our very large farm and I see them at neighboring farms. It's not a case of them being drawn to our barn, farm, etc., but instead it's just that there are that many of them habitating in any given rural area.

Okay, I see it how. Conclusion? How dare other beings share our surroundings....gasp!

Skunks are mostly nonturnal unless they have babies to feed and then you might see them hunting to feed their young.

Why can't you people build a better cage for your chickens, and live and let live....:no:

God, I'm glad I live in New England.

ladyfarrier
Mar. 4, 2010, 02:01 PM
Hunter Two, since you seem to be the one I have disgusted most of all, can I ask you...do you live on a farm? Do you have any wildlife "problems" How do you deal with them?

I didn't say that I liked my solution, but it's the one that works for me. I don't enjoy it, I feel sadness every time I "take" a life of one of these critters. But as I mentioned, I've lost two beloved horses to EPM...oppossums are not my friends. Ditto the rest of the wildlife that can negatively impact my domesticated animals. It comes down to the health and safety of my horses and animals vs the wildlife...I've made my choice and I'm prepared to live with it and accept the karma.

If you have a better solution, PLEASE....help me out. What has worked for you?

Threebars
Mar. 4, 2010, 02:22 PM
If you have a better solution, PLEASE....help me out. What has worked for you?

A quick google on skunks alone: (A very thorough website with a LOT of information about living with wildlife)

http://www.wildlifehotline.org/skunk.html

ladyfarrier
Mar. 4, 2010, 03:01 PM
Three Bars, a very interesting website.. However, it seems to be geared toward the suburban, "oh, I saw a raccoon in the trash the other day" sort of problem. While I agree with their "no trapping" suggestions in principle, when it takes on the magnitude of rural farms, the suggestions are often impractical, if not humorous.

Let's face it....horse barns, particularly older farm barns with their wooden post and beam structures are "attractive". I keep mine closed up, but they still manage to find ways in. The idea of burying wire around every structure is, on the average farm, not possible. (I have 5 equipment buildings here).

Yes, I have reinforced the chicken coop.....what the hardware department sells as "chicken wire", doesn't mean it's for chickens. A full grown raccoon can rip chicken wire off any building or post (ask me how I know). And they will keep returning, looking for any small area of weakness that they can exploit. It's an ongoing struggle.

As for oppossums, their suggestions are pretty much "leave them alone".....doesn't address the EPM link to 'possum poop and one that I'm very adamant about.

It's simply a question of the overwhelming numbers of wildlife in a given area. Horse farms are excellent "habitat" to a wild animal. The fields of crops that surround my barnyard are likewise attractive to them.

I once boarded for the winter in a barn where a large number of raccoons took up residence at the beginning of winter. By spring, they had laid waste to that place (insulation, raccoon poop everywhere, endless destruction of boarders equipment, chewing on wire insulation). The "cute little critters" weren't so cute by the end of winter.

I have no deep hatred of wildlife. But they can be destructive, and dangerous (the rabies thing). I do not choose to live with them. They can live anywhere else they want, but not in my barns/farm.

Yes, Hunter Two, they are "daring to share my surroundings" and I'm fighting back. They've killed my chickens, and coyotes have attacked my Rat Terrier. The deer take down the fences constantly. The raccoons destroy any garden I plant, and the oppossums spread disease. I'm not trying to obliterate the species from the planet, or even from my farm. I just trying to keep the numbers down to a level that limits the wholesale destruction.

For people who live on farms, this is a fact of life. For someone who lives in an apartment and visits their horse at the boarding stable, "wildlife" becomes a relative term. If you don't live with it, you really don't understand the problem.

Again, give me a realistic solution how to solve this problem and I'll listen.

MistyBlue
Mar. 4, 2010, 03:18 PM
A quick painless death for skunks is wringing the neck.

The best way is to discourage them from the property. Like not leaving pt food or horse feed out. Motion detector *bright* lights, moth balls, using musk from predator animals, etc.

I live on a farm and do wildlife rehab. I don't have many issues keeping wildlife out of where I don't want them. And I'm surrounded by state forest. Sure it takes a little work, but worth it. I don't want disease carrying critters in my barn. The only one I haven't gotten rid of is a chipmunk who hides acorns under the corner of one floor mat. We've made a live and let live deal between each other. ;) S/he keeps the acorns *under* the mat so I don't roll on them and break my neck and I don't repel it's fuzzy little arse out of my barn.

Those who do drown skunks...do not do this in natural water nor in a tank/container that will ever hold drinking water for animals. Skunk musk/spray can be toxic if ingested. And musk is released both during stress and at the time of death. You don't have to see the slick or smell it for there to be enough to be toxic. It has been known to kill other animals.

Threebars
Mar. 4, 2010, 03:47 PM
For people who live on farms, this is a fact of life. For someone who lives in an apartment and visits their horse at the boarding stable, "wildlife" becomes a relative term. If you don't live with it, you really don't understand the problem.

Again, give me a realistic solution how to solve this problem and I'll listen.

Oh what a crock of [nonsense].

There are a LOT of realistic suggestions on that website - you asked for some suggestions, and with a 30 second search I found ONE website.

You ASSume that I don't understand 'the problem' just because instead of going into a lengthy post explaining information that's freely available, I just posted a link.


I stand by the assertion that your 'methods' are barbaric, and does absolutely nothing to actually dissuade other wildlife from filling to vacuum left by the one in your killing bottle.

hosspuller
Mar. 4, 2010, 03:48 PM
Ladyfarrier ... Most people are far removed from the realities of life. Meat doesn't come from slaughter houses, it comes from the grocery store in neat bloodless packages for them. Don't let those people get under your skin like chiggers. They'll only irritate you.:mad:

To the OP and others in the same situation. An old blanket dropped over the trap will reassure the skunk and keep you from getting sprayed. Doing everything in slow stages keeps the skunk calm.

I took my little guest to the far corner of my farm adjoining a "evil" neighbor. After setting the trap on the ground, I propped open the spring door with a log. Since the blanket covering the trap was too comfortable... I snatched it away. Last, I saw the little critter, he was headed toward the neighbor's place. LOL ... :winkgrin:

bludejavu
Mar. 4, 2010, 03:57 PM
ladyfarrier - this exact situation came up on another board I was on and it became a huge, pages and pages long thread. The general consensus seemed to be that it was healthiest and most humane to kill a skunk by exposing it to either exhaust fumes (although no one seemed to be able to say exactly how to do this:winkgrin:) or to shoot it. If you're not a crack shot with a rifle, like you mentioned before, it's not the most humane way to kill one.

I wanted to reiterate the success I've had with deterring them with natural predator feces from a nearby wildlife refuge. The wildlife center situated on this refuge is very happy to supply me whenever I contact them. See if you can locate one in your area or contact a wildlife rehabber. I don't think you can live in a rural area and not have some problems, but maybe you could at least gain a little control over them invading your area where your chickens are.

bludejavu
Mar. 4, 2010, 04:03 PM
Skunks are mostly nonturnal unless they have babies to feed and then you might see them hunting to feed their young.

Why can't you people build a better cage for your chickens, and live and let live....:no:

God, I'm glad I live in New England.

Not sure how much of this post was directed at me or not, since you quoted me, but I'm not the one with chickens nor have I ever drowned a skunk. However, skunks are no longer as nocturnal as they once were. I see them all the time in daylight hours and in fact, had one invade our broodmare barn year before last who acted like it wanted to be a pet. It followed me around one morning while I was feeding and scared me to the point where I did call AC. The AC man came out and could not believe how unafraid the skunk was of all of us watching it. It was NOT a pet tho - had full scent glands which stunk up the barn and it proceeded to attack a little stray Beagle that had also taken up residence with us at the same time. The poor little Beagle had to be put down. Skunks are to be taken very seriously. AC tried in vain to trap this particular skunk and finally ended up trying to shoot it but it scampered off and we never saw it again.

ladyfarrier
Mar. 4, 2010, 04:29 PM
Well, I'm glad that I AM getting some suggestions! Thank you to positive responders.

Wringing their neck.....I'm not sure if you're joking with me or not. First, I don't think I could actually do this. I know, it sounds illogical which I am sure will be vehemently pointed out....dropping them into water vs. actually taking their life by wringing their neck....but it's something I'm not sure I could do. And I'm really not sure (if this is an actual suggestion) I'd want to get that close and personal.....if bitten, obviously you'll need to consider the rabies card.

Bluedejavu, thank you for your input. Like you, I'm not sure about the "exhaust fumes" approach, and I'm not sure how much better suffocating is from drowning, but again, I'm sure there are those who will explain it to me.

Like you, I try to make my place unattractive. The barn cat is fed in the morning, and then her pan is put away in the critter-proof feed bin for the night.
The horses don't eat grain, so no spillage/dropping is there for the taking. I do leave a radio on, but not as the offered website suggested, at a "blaring and uncomfortable level" (for the sake of my horses). I keep the farm clean...no piles of junk for them to burrow under....no trash accessible. But still....they come.

But what exactly are the predators for oppossums, raccons, and skunks? a PBS special I just watched said that basically skunks have no predators, as even mountain lions would not attack them (after the first time). I'm not sure what, around here (midwest Illinois), would be a predator for a raccoon and oppossum, other than perhaps a large (mean) dog, which I don't have or intend to get. We have coyotes, but to the best of my knowledge they are not a predator for raccoons and oppossums.

The same Forest Preserve has animals in captivity that were injured, etc. I'll go ask them if I can muck their "stalls" for them and try this. I have no problem with trying this approach and I'm sure my dogs would love something new and disgusting to roll in...can you suggest a species I should focus on?

And Three Bars? Unless your "crock of sh*t" is the above mentioned predator feces, what is YOUR method of handling these unwanted critters? You haven't actually said how you deal with it on your farm....

wendy
Mar. 4, 2010, 04:38 PM
If you're torturing, I mean, drowning, dozens of skunks every single year how can you say that is "taking care of the problem"??
Surely you can work out something more permanent.

ladyfarrier
Mar. 4, 2010, 05:06 PM
Wendy, what would you suggest? I'm serious.

As far as "taking care of the problem", the end result is that if I am agressive one year, the following year I have much less of a problem. The year following that will show an upswing in "visitors", and the cycle will begin again.

Wildlife is governed by rules of Mother Nature. If there is sufficient food and good habitat, they will reproduce and proliferate. The only checks on this systems is predation, loss of habitat, loss of food sources.

If a population becomes too large, Mother Nature steps in....a distemper "epidemic" in the raccoon population, disease in the deer population, etc.

In my situation, the wildlife have a wonderful habitat (the Forest Preserve), good food source (the Park visitors and their picnics, the garbage cans in the park, and, unfortunately due to my close proximity, my chickens. But they have no predators that I'm aware of.

So with abundant habitat, good food souces, and no predation, the wildlife population of these 3 species (skunks, raccoons, and oppossums) is staggering.

I'm not trying to rewrite Mother Nature's rules. I'm just trying to create a "territory" if you will, where these species are not welcomed and to keep the numbers down to a level that I can tolerate.

I appreciate the knowledgeable suggestions I've gotten from those who have effectively dealt with the problem. But disapproval from those who haven't.....(shrug) you're certainly entitled to your opinion. Doesn't bother me. :)

bludejavu
Mar. 4, 2010, 05:46 PM
LOL-now you have me curious because I never really asked when I picked up the feces from the wildlife center - they would collect it for me and hand it to me in a bag. I did a search for natural predators and apparently the Great Horned Owl is the worst predator because they are immune to the spray. But I also read that skunks don't normally go looking for trouble so if they smell feces of a larger animal, they tend to avoid the area rather than challenge a larger animal, even though the skunk might have the advantage. I also read that they make some commercial applications that you can shake from a bottle - might be worth a try.

ladyfarrier
Mar. 4, 2010, 05:58 PM
Good info, Susan. It's obvious that skunks are not intimidated by horse "feces" <g>, but I think I'll go chat with the naturalists up at the Preserve and see what they have on offer . I know they have a couple of owl species up there they've rescued.

Thanks.

bludejavu
Mar. 4, 2010, 06:27 PM
Yeah - as I was reading the info, I was thinking "too bad that horses don't intimidate them". Perhaps there is something in feral animal feces that isn't found in horse manure? Good luck and I hope they can help you.

Huntertwo
Mar. 4, 2010, 09:10 PM
Hunter Two, since you seem to be the one I have disgusted most of all, can I ask you...do you live on a farm? Do you have any wildlife "problems" How do you deal with them?

I didn't say that I liked my solution, but it's the one that works for me. I don't enjoy it, I feel sadness every time I "take" a life of one of these critters. But as I mentioned, I've lost two beloved horses to EPM...oppossums are not my friends. Ditto the rest of the wildlife that can negatively impact my domesticated animals. It comes down to the health and safety of my horses and animals vs the wildlife...I've made my choice and I'm prepared to live with it and accept the karma.

If you have a better solution, PLEASE....help me out. What has worked for you?

No, I don't live on a farm, but have always lived in wooded areas. I have always boarded my horses in areas where there was wildlife.

Right now we have a bunch of Coyotes in our back yard in the woods. Solution? I take my two Chihuahuas on a leash when they need to go outside.

My cats are all house cats.

I used to have chickens when I was younger. Never lost a single one to a predator - Good solid caging solved that.

We have Deer (Lyme Disease), Fisher Cats, Coyotes, in my yard.

I don't have the freak out, "sky is falling mentality". I love seeing wildlife and don't have the slightest problem co-existing with them. They are more afraid of us then we are of them.

I've found raccoons in my garage. Simple - open the big door and they leave. I don't need to catch and drown them.

Sorry, I don't buy that you feel any remorse drowning these animals.

The more you kill, you just leave the door open for more to move in.

EPM can happen anywhere at anytime. Do you not think an opossum is walking across the field where your hay is cut?

It is ridiculous to think that killing every opossum that you catch is going to prevent EPM. :no:

MistyBlue
Mar. 4, 2010, 10:00 PM
Actually that wasn't a joke about wringing the neck...however I do forget that other folks might not have mail lined wildlife handling gloves to prevent bites. :winkgrin: My bad on that one.

Gassing them via vehicle isn't hard. Park the vehicle outside, cover cage on all sides except for one with heavy tarp/heavy plastic sheet/layers of thick blankets you don't intend using...start vehicle, prop cage on muck bucket/whatever to bring it to height of exhaust and place cage on top with open side facing exhaust. Wait.

Ghazzu
Mar. 4, 2010, 10:12 PM
I'd wager that using exhaust fumes is at least as nasty as drowning, because, given the emissions control regulations on virtually all current vehicles, it's not a quick end. Catalytic converters eliminate ~99% of the CO.

ladyfarrier
Mar. 4, 2010, 11:20 PM
Hunter Two, I don't see a lot of parallels in our situations. You board your horses so someone else has to deal with the "wildlife in the barnyard" problem. You have no barn, therefore you don't need a barncat to keep the rodent population down (see previous comment), so you have house cats. Your little dogs live in the house and go out on the leash. My Lab and Rat Terrier consider themselves "farm dogs" even though they technically live in the house. So far, not a lot of common ground.

I'm glad that when raccoons invade your garage, you open the door and wave goodbye to them. Farm equipment buildings aren't quite the same.....less frequently visited by humans and harder to secure, they are attractive places for critters to take up residence. When keeping horses at home (see first statement re: boarding), you have to balance keeping your barn horse healthy vs. critter secure. Again, not something you have to deal with, is it?

I don't think I have a "sky is falling" mentality. But when I open up the chicken coop and see Betty and Wilma laying there, with their bodies ripped up and a stinking raccoon hissing at me, I choose not to live in peaceful cohabitation.

As for the argument "others will just move in", if you cut down on the breeding population it will show up in the number of animals hanging about. It's not rocket science.
I may not be able to eliminate EPM by reducing the number of resident oppossums, but statistically I can reduce the possibility.

You can't possibly know my emotional mindset about how I deal with this problem and that's fine with me. I wish you and your boarded horses and your house cats and little dogs well and hope that you continue to enjoy your "wildlife".

I'm done with this now.

Huntertwo
Mar. 5, 2010, 07:30 AM
My BO doesn't kill animals either and we do have wildlife around.

Whether a farm dog or not, if you're concerned about their safety, leash them up. I'm love to give my dogs full run of my little 1 1/2 acres, but don't. Their safety is more important.

I have moles in my flower garden every year. Yes, I could put a cat out, but again, their safety is more important than a few flowers.

Check your chicken cages, maybe they aren't as secure as you think. As I stated before, I had chickens when I was younger and never lost a single chicken to predators.

Maybe you think your place is clean and tidy, but something is attracting the skunks. Food?

I don't have a problem with people protecting their property, but you can come up with a little more humane method than drowning...sorry, that is just sickening. :no:

Chall
Mar. 5, 2010, 08:06 AM
Suggestions:
Chain link fence the chickens, under over and around, then use chicken coop on top of that.
Bait food with birth control. Killing individuals, if you are in a highly populated area with no natural predators, is not as effective IMO.

wildlifer
Mar. 5, 2010, 11:41 AM
It's basic population biology (which is markedly different than rocket science -- nature is a little more complex than single year cycles) -- when you remove an animal from a territory, another one moves in. When you remove significant numbers of breeding individuals, the reproductive effort of other individuals in the population will increase, especially in mesopredators like skunks, racoons, possums, and coyotes. So congratulations, ladyfarrier, all you are doing is removing population pressures and encouraging animals on the other side of your property line to have more babies than they normally would because resources are now more abundant and niches are continually reopened. Keep up the good work refusing to get your hands dirty in making an effort to humanely kill wildlife.

And yes, I do keep my horse on a rural farm and I am also a wildlife biologist.

bit-o-honey
Mar. 5, 2010, 12:32 PM
PineSol. I wasn't kidding about the Pinesol. Put some in a sprayer and spray the ground around where the skunks are persistently appearing. It's a cheap and easy thing to test around your barns and chicken coop anyway. It worked for me immediately.

Could a voltage-appropriate electric fence be installed around the chicken coop area outside of the chicken's fence so the chickens don't touch it? At least that might save your chickens.

2ndyrgal
Mar. 5, 2010, 10:24 PM
Flame suit zipped. Last night I shot another possum. I don't feed grain, the cat food is up at night, the possums and raccoons seem to like to party and s**t in my barn. Guess what? My barn is immaculate, and rodent free, hell it's damn near bird free. I can't keep my neighbor from putting out bird food and cat food so they eat there and come over to my "luxury hotel" to sleep, breed and sh*T, and I've grown tired of it. There was so much raccoon scat in the attic I thought I'd secured over my tack room it stank to high heaven, the raccoons, bred, slept and apparently crapped in there. The only way we could keep them out of the area was to REMOVE THE ROOF and completely seal it from the inside out. The guy cleaning it out had to use a shovel and there were hundreds of pounds of excrement up over the ceiling. It cost $3,000 to replace the damage and seal it. And the damn things still showed up, big, agressive and in family groups. I'm over it. There are probably 200 acres of fields and woods surrounding our farm. I shoot without question, every raccoon and possum I see in or around my barn. Period. I'm a crack shot, so they're dead before they hit the ground, but frankly, as much damage as they've done and as much money as I've spent repairing and preventing it, I really don't blame anyone for wanting to eliminate them or have a problem with how they chose to do it. Do I say a prayer asking God to keep my hand steady and apologize to Him for taking a life? Yep, but I'm not going to keep my barn cats in and my dog on a leash and continue to throw good hay away and worry about disease any more than I have to. On the 5 mile stretch of road between our farm and the next small town, there's some dead critter on the road daily. I will admit to not slowing down for possums, it doesn't look like anyone else does either. Would I drown one? If I was unable to accurately shoot one, at this point, I might, though I might give him a sporting chance by having someone open the trap and whacking him with a shovel. But in a deep water tank, completely submerged, I wouldn't think it would take more than a breath or two for mr possum to be gone. Not the worst thing I've heard of by a long shot. Re locating a wild animal is probably just as cruel. And honestly, while all God's creatures are wonderful, I absolutely cannot think of one useful purpose for a possum, except as carrion food.

ladyfarrier
Mar. 6, 2010, 10:10 AM
2ndyrgal: May I please borrow your flame suit (in all my years of internetting, I've never had the need...silly me)?

Only someone dealing with the level of your problem (and mine) is going to be sympathetic.

I DON"T like killing things (not that I feel I have to justify myself to anyone enraged by my actions). But you simply have to try and control the destruction.

Now, Wildlifer....I was very interested in your comments about how killing off the varmits that visit my farm was only increasing my problem. How does this correlate with hunting to reduce populations? The Forest Preserve next door does not allow hunting of deer. The herds grew to such a level they made the decision (based on DNR advice) to allow the herds to be "professionally thinned" (read, "shoot in large numbers"). Surely, based on your comments, they were only making their problem worse, or at best, not helping. Surely new deer would move in, and more twins would be born, etc due to the "reduced pressures of population". Is our DNR completely misinformed? An additional deer season was added this year to increase the "reduction".....are they kidding themselves? There is no limit on raccoons, possums, etc hunting in my state. Could it be because they know something I don't?

When I decrease populations on my farm, it shows. By repeating my efforts every other spring, it's manageable. Sorry if that doesn't fit into the population density norms.

I said I was done with this....but 2nd Year Gal I wanted tell you I understand what you are dealing with. I've tried all the benevolent means of discouraging them, and what I've ended up with is what works for me. I will try the suggested Pinesol and the wildlife scat (sorry, had to dismiss the birth control thing). If they work, I'll be happy. If not, I'll keep on killing God's creatures and karma will take care of me in the end.

Huntertwo
Mar. 6, 2010, 12:38 PM
I thought you were done with this thread?

Karma will come around and like my wish on all animal abusers, may you burn... well, you know where, when you're day comes.

Ghazzu
Mar. 6, 2010, 01:25 PM
Damnation and hellfire for dispatching a varmint?
Heaven must be a lonely place in your cosmology, H2.

MistyBlue
Mar. 6, 2010, 02:03 PM
ladyfarrier...predators repopulate areas in a different way that some prey does. At least between skunks, coons, etc and deer.
Deer have one (maybe two) offspring per year. Skunks or coons or possums have litters per year. Baby deer stay with their groups, females usually for good and males up to 18 months-2 years. Deer wander sporadically. Skunks and coons have their babies with them less than a year, they have a lot of them and they have very definite territories. All those babies each year have to go off and find new unoccupied territories for themselves. Most end up hiding/wandering around in and out of nearby territories until the ages of 2-4 years old when they're big enough and smart enough to establish their own spots in the world. When an established territory loses it's resident owner coon or skunk...there are usually quite a few without established territories in that area waiting for that chance to move in and call it their own. Removing one usually can mean in influx of new ones as a few try to establish it for themselves over a few week period of marking and fighting. So it can be a catch 22 for a few years until yoou start to lower the mean population in your area. Then you'll get less new ones for a season or two until edges of nearby territories expand and new gene pools move in.

It can be a real pita...I study territories constantly. It's like watching dynasties rise, expand and fall all the time. Pretty neat but a pita when you're either trying to remove a species, cycle a new one in or replace one. (wildlife rehab, I have to find somewhat safe spots to reintroduce animals)

One thing that usually works...introducing a different predator into your area that doesn't bother you and will keep out the predators you don't want. A prime pest replacement for skunks, coons and possums is usually a fisher or badger. (if you have chickens or slow cats...the fisher can be a problem. Well, badger a bit too but at least they;re slow) When one of those two move in...other competitive predators either move out fast or are killed and eaten.

Huntertwo
Mar. 6, 2010, 02:16 PM
Damnation and hellfire for dispatching a varmint?
Heaven must be a lonely place in your cosmology, H2.

Abuse is abuse Ghazzu.

Whether someone drowns an unwanted litter of kittens, puppies, or a skunk it is still despicable way of what you put mildly "Dispatching".

Call it what it is....a pretty horrible way to kill something when there are other more humane ways to do the deed.

Yes, I have no use for these people and hope what they get is coming to them.

BeeHoney
Mar. 6, 2010, 04:51 PM
We did manage to release it with no issues at all. I've already seen another one, so I'm sure this is going to go on for a while. I actually wouldn't have a problem with them on the farm if they just feared us a little more, but the rabies issues and the potential for my dogs to get sprayed is just too great.


Well how lovely of you to give the problem to someone else. Sorry, I don't mean to be harsh, but your solution is completely unacceptable to me. You didn't want to deal with rabies or your dogs getting sprayed, so you passed the skunk on to someone else? I really, really, don't mean to be harsh, because I've been down the same difficult road--what on earth do you do with the animal in the trap? But I think that if you can't live with the skunk and the risks it brings with it, you should NOT impose that on someone else. Relocating wildlife can also cause the spread of disease among wildlife populations.

Personally, I'm with ladyfarrier and 2ndrygal. There is no easy way to get rid of skunks and opossums, who are irresistibly attracted to horse barns. And, who both carry deadly diseases--rabies and EPM. I'm not willing to sacrifice my horses in order to achieve harmony and coexistence with nature.

Huntertwo
Mar. 6, 2010, 08:32 PM
Well how lovely of you to give the problem to someone else. Sorry, I don't mean to be harsh, but your solution is completely unacceptable to me. You didn't want to deal with rabies or your dogs getting sprayed, so you passed the skunk on to someone else?

Skunks and other wild animals are everywhere. Do you really think that a skunk stays put in one location and doesn't leave the yard? :rolleyes:

I'm happy the OP did the right thing instead of baiting a trap to attract a skunk, then torture it with a miserable death by dropping the cage into a 100 gallon water tank. And doesn't even have the guts to watch the poor terrified animal slowly drown to death, like another poster on here.

For goodness sakes they are nocturnal. While you're sleeping, they are out meandering on your lawn for grubs.

Stop the damn "The sky is falling" scare tactics already...

Or if you must kill it, at least do it humanely, not by drowning the poor animal...

2ndyrgal
Mar. 7, 2010, 09:36 PM
How about you just give us all your address and we'll ship all the little critters to you and you can release them around your boarding stable. Why, as the fairy godmother to all God's creatures nasty and smelly, you'll be the most popular person around in absolutely no time. I'll even pay for the shipping. Then they can "wander around your lawn all night eating grubs". Maybe we can get you a reality show, you know, sort of like that "Hoarders" show, where you populate your immediate area with all the unwanted and unloved possums, skunks and raccoons, and sob when you finally realize they aren't all just fuzzy, cute and harmless. You'll need a psychiatrist, a well-meaning friend (because your relatives will all have stopped coming over) and oh yeah, guys with hazmat suits and a really BIG dumpster. No no, it's not too much trouble, really it's not, you just let us know where you want us to send the little darlings.....

BeeHoney
Mar. 7, 2010, 11:31 PM
Really, H2's reaction is quite typical of a person who doesn't actually own or manage a farm. As the person responsible for the health and wellbeing of over 25 horses I could never say to an owner, "Sorry your horse has EPM/Rabies, I just couldn't bear to harm that nest of opossums/skunks."

If I tried to live in blissful harmony with nature my barn would be overrun with mice, rats, skunks and opossums. Thankfully no one objects to the barn cats who quietly decimate the mouse population, or to the rat poison tucked away safely behind the feed bins. But there is no nice invisible way to get rid of skunks, opossums and raccoons. It makes no difference if there is no food available in the barn, it is a great location for these animals to nest. Even if I were willing to put up with wasted pooped and peed on hay and stinky poop filled nests in my tackroom walls, I could never negotiate on the disease issue. Rabies and EPM are quite serious and not to be trifled with.

Once again, the options: Relocation is illegal and unacceptable. Animal Control does not help with this kind of thing, although I will say that they recommend the drowning of trapped pests. They advise specifically against shooting trapped animals to avoid possible contact with their blood. Skunks are particularly difficult, as they will empty out their spray glands violently as soon as the bullet hits. Personally I worry about a bad shot that wounds but doesn't kill. Exhaust fumes? That doesn't sound any more humane than drowning.

Unfortunately, trapping and killing these pests works. I don't think there is a barn manager out there that enjoys this part of keeping a farm.

jherold
Mar. 8, 2010, 12:20 AM
Relocating wildelife is never a good thing. You've taken the poor animal out of his known territory to somewhere where he doesn't know where food and water are located. You've put him in someone else's territory where he will at best compete for resources. At worst either he will be injured in a fight or another of his species will be injured or killed. A slow death by starvation due to inability to get around or infection isn't exactly humane. You also may have taken an animal that was a carrier of a disease and transported that disease to a population that is not immune, thereby killing many more of the species. There is a reason it is illegal in many states to relocate wildlife. Most likely, he will be hit by a car in an attempt to return to his territory.

Just because you didn't see the skunk die doesn't mean that he lived happily ever after.

yankeeclipper
Mar. 8, 2010, 10:05 AM
If you decide to kill it, please, please do it humanely. I had a roommate in college telling what they thought was a funny story about visiting a mutual friends grandparents only to arrive to find them reeking of skunk. They trapped a skunk and than poured scalding hot water on it to kill it.

To this day I am still waiting for the punch line. Ummm, what is so funny about torturing an animal.

.

LDavis104
Mar. 8, 2010, 10:06 AM
Call the DEP for the skunk. They'll be able to help.

My friend's husband works for the DEP and he just went recently to a barn with a skunk (they'd trapped it). It was obviously sick (rabies?) so they had to kill it :(

Jingo-ace
Mar. 11, 2010, 02:58 AM
IMO, Opossums, large roof rats, skunks, mice are all varmits that are of no use around my house, nor around my barn. Ladyfarrier is correct in this issue!

doublesstable
Mar. 21, 2010, 03:52 PM
Ladyfarrier ... Most people are far removed from the realities of life. Meat doesn't come from slaughter houses, it comes from the grocery store in neat bloodless packages for them.

Thanks for the laugh..... Meat comes from grocery stores..:lol::lol:

I'd bet the minute one of the people that felt is was wrong to kill had a horse (or worse yet a child) come down with some life threatening disease caused by the rabid animal they would want that critter dead....

Some talk of nature... humans are a part of the chain too... NO?

elysian*fields*farm
Mar. 21, 2010, 05:09 PM
Well, I just could not resist adding my two cents to yet another COTH thread where the posters pick and choose which animals to love, and which animals to torture to death (as in drowning them while they are confined to a cage).

Almost every state has a Wildfile and Fisheries Department or a similar department. These are the people you call when you have a trapped skunk or other injured or trapped wildlife. These agencies have trained people to handle your "problem."

BTW, in many states it is illegal for people to "possess" wild animals -- even the cute little orphaned opnes. Before trying to handle an unwanted wild animal "problem" by trapping or other means, I think I would look up the laws and ordinances where I live first.

Or those of you with your fancy barns and mucho money, you can opt to call a licensed "critter catcher" to handle your "problem" in a legal manner. The less monied among you can do that too-- if you can find a way to afford it.

Or call the local animal control-- in come cases they will come out -- even for wild animals-- if there is a possibility that the animal is rabid.

BUT all of you should remember that when you move to the country, YOU and YOUR animals have moved into the wild creatures' territory-- sorry, but they were there first.

Don't blame them for looking for an easy meal if you keep fowl, but don't provide them with a safe and secure coop. Don't blame them for seeking a warm dry place to nest and raise a family -- especially when much of the year, the doors are wide open. Don't blame them for coming around looking for spilled grain, or left over dog and cat food, or garbage, if you leave these things out and easily accessable.

Don't gush and ohh and ahh over your cute horsies, doggies, kitties, rabbits, chickens, etc., and then drown or blast away at some poor skunk, opossum, raccoon or other wildlife that you deem vermin, and expect me to pin a medal on you for "protecting" YOUR animals.

All living creatures have a place in creation. If there are animals inhabiting "your" little slice of it that you don't want there, then call in the proper state agency, or shell out for a professional to come remove them. Or, better yet, fence them out with high quality and expensive fencing-- if you are THAT serious about protecting YOUR animals from OTHER animals (and possible disease they may carry), then you shouldn't mind the expense-- though this is much MORE expensive than drowning trapped animals or blasting away at them.

Don't trap and drown wild animals-- how heartless, cruel and probably illegal --- as in animal abuse.

Don't blast away at them, especially from a distance when all you might do is wound them, and cause a slow, painful and lingering death-- again-- can you say "animal abuse"?

And DON'T get snippy and snarky with your replies to my post -- cause I keep a trap and tank of water for snarky, snippy people-- I consider their attitudes dangerous and infectious-- I need to protect others from this kind of "vermin." :)

elysian*fields*farm
Mar. 21, 2010, 05:27 PM
Oh I fougot-- all you people who are worried about rabies and EPM-- well there is a vaccination against rabies -- didn't you know you could PAY to have your horses vaccinated (cattle, too.)

I don't know why you all keep bringing these two diseases up as justification to declare war on wildlife. And really, unless these diseases are just rampant in other arts of the country, I think these are just "boogy men you see behind every tree" as a rationalization for destroying wildlife.

I have kept horses, dogs and cats and chickens on and off for nearly 40 years, and have friends who have done the same, and none of us has ever had a horse (or any other animal) come down with rabies-- and none of us has ever had an animal with a case of EPM either.

As for EPM-- well keep all your foodstuffs covered and contained. Clean and maintain water tanks, and have them high up enough that oppossums, etc. don't have easy access.

Maintain all your farm buildings, and keep any shrubs, trees and grass near your barn or lot pruned and mown. Don't leave loose hay, stacks of firewood or lumber, or other nest materials lying around. In other words, don't throw out the welcome mat if you don't want wild visitors.

One of the most interesting and rewarding experiences I ever had was watching (from afar) a fox raise her kits in an old buggy shed near one of our barns. No one got rabies, none of our dogs or cats went missing, and she left the well-fortified chicken coop alone. Just Lucky? Well, she returned each year for the five years I was there to raise her kits and left until the next year.

Dad Said Not To
Mar. 21, 2010, 06:30 PM
Oh I fougot-- all you people who are worried about rabies and EPM-- well there is a vaccination against rabies -- didn't you know you could PAY to have your horses vaccinated (cattle, too.)



No vaccine is 100% effective. A vaccinated animal that is bitten by a rabid animal can still contract rabies.

elysian*fields*farm
Mar. 21, 2010, 10:59 PM
No vaccine is 100% effective. A vaccinated animal that is bitten by a rabid animal can still contract rabies.

Do you personally know of any reported and CONFIRMED cases of a vaccinated animal-- whose vaccination was current -- actually getting rabies from an infected wild animal??? :eek: Bet not.

The odds you are talking about are slim to none. The "Oh, but MY animals COULD get rabies" is just an excuse to kill animals that don't make the "cute" or "servant of people" list.

Some of you remind me of the people who kill every snake they see because some snakes are poisonous.

Quit seeing "boogey men behind every tree" or get out of the country and go back to the city.

doublesstable
Mar. 22, 2010, 01:21 AM
Well, I just could not resist adding my two cents to yet another COTH thread where the posters pick and choose which animals to love...

I love chicken and steak. OH I mean cow.... Never had skunk... it might taste like chicken???





Or those of you with your fancy barns and mucho money,

Maybe that's why some cannot afford anymore because they own horses in the first place. Horses are expensive..





BUT all of you should remember that when you move to the country, YOU and YOUR animals have moved into the wild creatures' territory-- sorry, but they were there first.

Well they should move out then.... My neighbor has no horses and likes the oppossums because they eat escargot ... (snail) Oh those poor snails....



All living creatures have a place in creation.

Like chickens and cows and snails... :lol:


If there are animals inhabiting "your" little slice of it that you don't want there, then call in the proper state agency, or shell out for a professional to come remove them.

Agencies will kill the skunks. If the agency ever shows up as the skunk dies waiting....




Or, better yet, fence them out with high quality and expensive fencing--

Just an observation; you seem to be mad at people with money??? Looks like you have some pretty nice carriages.....


And DON'T get snippy and snarky with your replies to my post -- cause I keep a trap and tank of water for snarky, snippy people-- I consider their attitudes dangerous and infectious-- I need to protect others from this kind of "vermin." :)

So then you do agree with others on this thread... :lol:

This is the strangest thread I have ever read.. but I guess it just goes to show how different people are...

Ghazzu
Mar. 22, 2010, 08:45 AM
EFF, a few points--
1)Rabies *is* rampant around here.
2)Animals currently vaccinated do occasionally contract the disease.
3)The state wildlife folks ain't interested in what you may have trapped under your porch.
4) My family has been living in these parts since colonial times. You think they haven't been dealing with (and eating) the local wildlife in that time?
5) You sound more like a city mouse with Bambi syndrome than many of the posters you are frothing about.
6) Don't see anyone declaring war on wildlife. Just managing their own establishment.
7) Just *where* do you think that the animals go when folks take your advice to "shell out for a professional to come remove them"? Why is that preferable to sucking it up and dealing with it ?

KSAQHA
Mar. 22, 2010, 02:58 PM
The big dog just got sprayed last night, for the second time in less than 3 weeks (third time in 6 mos), in the same spot, near our back door.

I'm presently trying to decide which to drown...the skunk or dog.

wendy
Mar. 22, 2010, 03:02 PM
) Just *where* do you think that the animals go when folks take your advice to "shell out for a professional to come remove them"? Why is that preferable to sucking it up and dealing with it ?

I believe they remove them to "skunk heaven", but at least if you go around advising folks to hire professionals you know the poor critters aren't going to go through the horrors of live-trapping and then fumbling horribly slowly killed - they'll be crisply, cleanly, and quickly killed by the pros.
__________________

Of course killing them won't solve the problem- kill one, and another will move in. The only solution is to make the areas you don't want critters in to either be inaccessible to the critters (fences anyone?) or not pleasant for the critters; hiring a pro to advise you about how to make your property less of a critter-magnet may well be worth the money.

sk_pacer
Mar. 22, 2010, 03:50 PM
Do you personally know of any reported and CONFIRMED cases of a vaccinated animal-- whose vaccination was current -- actually getting rabies from an infected wild animal??? :eek: Bet not.

The odds you are talking about are slim to none. The "Oh, but MY animals COULD get rabies" is just an excuse to kill animals that don't make the "cute" or "servant of people" list.

Some of you remind me of the people who kill every snake they see because some snakes are poisonous.

Quit seeing "boogey men behind every tree" or get out of the country and go back to the city.

Actually I DO know of one case - sick horse, vet treated it and contracted rabies, and his clinic had administered the rabies shot earlier that year. And no, I cannot get him to reply to this, sadly he passed away two weeks ago. I dont think there was any correlation between the rabies of 10 years ago and the cancer that took him.

It does sound like you live in a delightful place, rife with animal control agents and wildlife people that will come running to rescue you in an instant. Our 'rat man'...er pest control agent has told me 'Shoot the damned thing, but not in the head, they need that to test'. Therefore, I shoot my own skunks and other varmints and call him for suspect species, the rest get dug into the shit pile.....er manure pile.
My last contact with the wildlife people was less than helpful - told me cougars do not exist in this province and that they are protected, and you can't shoot them even if they are caught in the act of killing stock; and furthermore what I had seen was a coyote. This is the same agency that said there were no deer in the city, until one invaded the Co-op Grocery.

I, for one, do not see bogey men everywhere but I also realise that to keep my buildings intact, things like coons, badgers, skunks, squirrels MUST be removed as all but squirrels will dig under the foundations and squirrels and coons will tear up a roof. I have grain to protect from those things and do not hesitate to give a 22 brainwave to the offender

jherold
Mar. 22, 2010, 04:04 PM
Actually, by killing the ones that become a nuisence, I figure I am selecting for a popluation of wildlife that is more wary of humans and less likely to be attracted to my barn. The "afraid" group will live and reproduce. The "brave" group dies and does not reproduce. I catch much fewer racoons now than in years past and it's not because I've made a dent in the population!

doublesstable
Mar. 22, 2010, 05:49 PM
I
The only solution is to make the areas you don't want critters in to either be inaccessible to the critters (fences anyone?) or not pleasant for the critters; hiring a pro to advise you about how to make your property less of a critter-magnet may well be worth the money.

These type of animals dig and climb.... fences don't keep them out. They not only carry diseases but they are a huge maintenance problem for some of us. They chew wiring; damage property; make holes in the ground where a horse could break a leg.

For hundreds and thousands of years humans have protected their flocks...... herds.... whatever......

Hiring pros.. :lol: I know some pest control people and they do the same stuff... poison, trapping, etc. etc.....

We cannot fire a gun in our area so that's not a possibility....

I was told a few different times by PROS that if I were to catch/trap a skunk when they came out they would kill it. They have no choice because they spray. This was told to me by a few different PROS.........

I think back to the OP; obviously there are many different ways to deal with your skunk issue; and it's up to you how you choose to not only deal with it but what you feel is right....

bludejavu
Mar. 22, 2010, 06:44 PM
I believe they remove them to "skunk heaven", but at least if you go around advising folks to hire professionals you know the poor critters aren't going to go through the horrors of live-trapping and then fumbling horribly slowly killed - they'll be crisply, cleanly, and quickly killed by the pros.
__________________

Of course killing them won't solve the problem- kill one, and another will move in. The only solution is to make the areas you don't want critters in to either be inaccessible to the critters (fences anyone?) or not pleasant for the critters; hiring a pro to advise you about how to make your property less of a critter-magnet may well be worth the money.

What is your description of a crisp, clean, quick kill? I'm not in support of drowning but unless someone is a real crack shot with a rifle, there is no such thing as crisp, clean and quick.

About the fences you mentioned, I hope you meant that as a joke. We have all our barns fenced around with four board fence, pastures fenced with four board fence and I have lost count on how many times we have repaired top boards from deer jumping over and breaking them. Hot wire is no help because they don't know a thing about what hot wire will do to them until they've already tried to go over the fence. Small critters crawl under or thru fences, including the no-climb wire fencing we used to have, so I'm really at a loss to understand your thinking about why fences would make a difference.

As for Elysian Fields Farm posts, after taking a look at their website, all I can say is that I'm not sure what era they are living in. I have to live in the here and now.

MistyBlue
Mar. 22, 2010, 08:08 PM
If you want to fence critters out, you would indeed have to be very very wealthy. Only thing I can think of that would work would be 5' minimum height diamond mesh that's also sunk at least 2-3 feet underground. (not just the posts, the mesh also) and then having the entire thing hot as heck. Which I'm pretty sure isn't possible when it's underground.
I know the type of cages I need to use to keep wild critters *in* and there's no way I could fence a paddock with that.
Critter control is tough...and most of the time it's simply not possible to live trap and relocate. First, many states and areas do not allow for relocating carnivores and omnivores. Second, relocation makes humans feel good and is hellacious on the critters relocated. Most die, rarely an easy death. Not knowing where food, water and shelters are in the new area. Being moved into another competitors' area. Being moved into an area with larger predators. :no:
Relocating animals takes a whole lot of research in the field...walking miles cross walking countless more miles and knowing what to look for and what to avoid and which habitats work and being able to tell what the competitors are and where viable dens/shelters might be and if the food supply is adequate are just some of the things needed to help make a higher chance for a successful relocation. It's close to being a full time job and clomping through woods a few days per week checking out other animals' poop and tracks, etc isn't the glamorous part of relocation. :winkgrin:
Some of the coons, skunks and other unwanted types of critters I've rehabbed were badly (and in my area illegally) relocated by homeowners who didn't know better. And if you've ever seen an animal half torn to shreds and left to die slowly in pain from infection and blood loss and starvation...well, you wouldn't be relocating so quickly. It might be an "out of sight, out of mind" for the human...but it certainly isn't for the animal.
:no:

fanfayre
Mar. 22, 2010, 08:13 PM
Yabbut, Misty
Drowning them? How effing sadistic!!!

MistyBlue
Mar. 22, 2010, 08:16 PM
No, I would not recommend drowning them. I personally would never use that as a method of euthanizing any animal.
I am having a hard time coming up with a safe and simple suggestion for the general public though. Over two decades of handling these types of nuisance critters means I'm used to doing that my way, but I have some experience behind my ways and there's always risk involved. Plus I have mail lined handling gloves and am experienced with firearms too.
And it's still not without risk for me either.
I wouldn't term drowning as sadistic since I don't think anyone who does that is enjoying it. I don't think it's a cruelty-free way to end a life either though. Unfortunately there are very few painless, fear-free ways to end the life of anything. Simply handling them is terrifying for wild animals.

JSwan
Mar. 22, 2010, 08:23 PM
That's what I never understood about those who insist trapping and relocating is "humane".

Wild animals have established territories and areas they have found for dens and escape/hiding.

To dump such an animal into another habitat, into the established territories of others of its species, to let it fend for itself without knowing where to find food, shelter or safety - that is a cruel, cruel thing to do.

As others have noted trying to kill any possible threat only makes the problem worse. It creates vacuums and imbalances in an ecosystem/habitat.

By all means if there is an animal that is posing a threat to pets, livestock or family dispatch it quickly and humanely.

But wiping out entire populations, trapping and releasing, inhumane methods such as drowning.... it's just unconscionable.


If you want to fence critters out, you would indeed have to be very very wealthy.
:no:

doublesstable
Mar. 22, 2010, 09:40 PM
The reality here is it's hard when you are dealing with a skunk. They spray. That's why pest control will kill them. They are not easily moved.

I have to say my situation has been poison in the den and covered with a rock... or having "someone else" use a shovel.

I did see a comercial for a tube that blasts in the holes.. That seems like it would cause some land damage.... but maybe an option for some?

We used to have a big opposom and ground squirrel problem about 10 years ago but it's gotten much better. I guess they don't like the food of choice I have left out for them.

bird4416
Mar. 22, 2010, 11:00 PM
I did see a comercial for a tube that blasts in the holes.. That seems like it would cause some land damage.... but maybe an option for some?



OK, this is giving me a flashback to Caddy Shack and the gopher.:lol:

MistyBlue
Mar. 22, 2010, 11:49 PM
I saw a show on TV before about some guy who drives around the midwest with a truck that has a huge vaccuum hose on it and the truck used to be a small tanker and the interior of the tank is padded. He puts the hose up to prairie dog holes (I think it was prairie dogs, I don;t think it was gophers but I could be remembering wrong) and then sucks the critters out and they fly into the padded container of the truck. There was a camera inside the container part...the little guys would fly in with a big WHOOMP and bounce around a bit and then sit up and looked surprised as hell. It was a long time ago that I saw that but I do remember laughing at their expressions. :lol:

Have no idea what that has to do with this thread, but the tube blasting holes made me remember that show, LOL!

I do know that critter control can be a rough line to walk on a farm...you want a clean, damage and disease free environment but you also don't want to cause needless suffering. Many times management changes can help, but those aren't foolproof. Some things we should learn to live with or around in a way that keeps the natural balance *and* keeps our places as best we can. And for the rest we need to find a way to dispatch problems quickly and efficiently without undue suffering.

But we all have a line to draw somewhere...mine is with moles. ;) I'll admit that I have in the past tried everything...and I mean *everything.* Except for a handy mole killing cat...never did figure out a way to get rid of those freaking things. Poison, snap traps, spike traps, drowning (hose stuck in a mole hole does nothing except for wash away your lawn) and we even got a converter thingy for the exhaust of a car and tried to gas them out. I think those moles had gas masks. But yeah...moles...my kryptonite.
What I need is a trained ferret...

lcw579
Mar. 23, 2010, 12:58 PM
I saw a show on TV before about some guy who drives around the midwest with a truck that has a huge vaccuum hose on it and the truck used to be a small tanker and the interior of the tank is padded. He puts the hose up to prairie dog holes (I think it was prairie dogs, I don;t think it was gophers but I could be remembering wrong) and then sucks the critters out and they fly into the padded container of the truck. There was a camera inside the container part...the little guys would fly in with a big WHOOMP and bounce around a bit and then sit up and looked surprised as hell. It was a long time ago that I saw that but I do remember laughing at their expressions. :lol:

...

Are you serious? I saw something like that but it was in a Wallace & Gromit episode and used for bunnies. :lol::lol:

Here: http://wallaceandgromit.wikia.com/wiki/The_BunVac_6000

wendy
Mar. 23, 2010, 01:30 PM
I know the type of cages I need to use to keep wild critters *in* and there's no way I could fence a paddock with that.


clearly you can't fence everything, but you can use barriers to try to keep them out of the "key" areas like where you store your grain; and you can use other tactics to discourage them from moving in- think about the species and why it might want to move in, and remove/fence in the attractions (food, denning sites, etc.); spread repellents; lights; dogs; bushhog the brush to remove hiding sites; whatever.

and shoot or poison or killer-type-traps for the ones you can't abide, like horse-killing hole makers.

MistyBlue
Mar. 23, 2010, 04:16 PM
lcw...totally serious, it was hilarious! And I just checked youtube hoping they'd have a clip and they did. Yay! Hard to hear, it's a clip from Believe it or Not show:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRsD-jzZT5w&feature=related
Unfortunate name for the man though. :winkgrin:

Wendy...agreed that there's many management practices that can go into place to help reduce the amount of pests folks get. They do usually work...or at least reduce the number.

MaybeMorgan
Mar. 23, 2010, 07:03 PM
See the thread about the need to "trap and relocate a rather aggressive feral cat"

I suggested she drown it once she trapped it.

Actually I was being ironic but really wanted to point out - what's the huge difference here?

Dad Said Not To
Mar. 23, 2010, 11:20 PM
Do you personally know of any reported and CONFIRMED cases of a vaccinated animal-- whose vaccination was current -- actually getting rabies from an infected wild animal??? :eek: Bet not.

The odds you are talking about are slim to none. The "Oh, but MY animals COULD get rabies" is just an excuse to kill animals that don't make the "cute" or "servant of people" list.

Some of you remind me of the people who kill every snake they see because some snakes are poisonous.

Quit seeing "boogey men behind every tree" or get out of the country and go back to the city.

Wow, that's quite a venomous reply to a post that's simply pointing out something that's accepted as fact within the medical and veterinary communities. FWIW, I don't "(see) boogey men behind every tree", nor do I go around wantonly killing animals that I don't consider cute or useful. I do kill wildlife that's acting in a manner that is very unusual for that species, especially if they're behaving aggressively; both to protect my animals and myself, and because I can provide a much faster and more humane death than rabies or distemper.

reybo
May. 25, 2010, 04:12 PM
I wrote a long message and when it was posted for review, the forum software ate it, claiming I was not logged in when I was.

So this is a test to see if the software accepts entries from Mac users.

---------------

Ok, it does.

CatOnLap
May. 25, 2010, 05:23 PM
good grief. resurrect a 3 month old thread to test your posting ability? there is a technical forum for that!


But while I am here, I WISH we had a skunk on our farm. They eat rats and mice. Which my barn cat seems to have retired from. Gosh we had skunks living under our porch and garage at times and aside from a little smell, which was not bad because they don't actually spray in their dens... they were quite tolerable. They never bothered our cats, and except for a few times when I nearly let one in while half asleep, never bothered us. And we never ever had rodents or other vermin like cockroaches and slugs, while there were skunks around. Plus they are so cute and comical as long as you move slowly.

Please do not send your trapped skunks to me, though. We have no skunks on our island and I am sure the local authroties would be right PO'd if I introduced ANOTHER foreign species. The feral lizards, cockatiels, rabbits, grey squirrels and bull frogs already are casuing problems.

Bluey
May. 25, 2010, 05:45 PM
good grief. resurrect a 3 month old thread to test your posting ability? there is a technical forum for that!


But while I am here, I WISH we had a skunk on our farm. They eat rats and mice. Which my barn cat seems to have retired from. Gosh we had skunks living under our porch and garage at times and aside from a little smell, which was not bad because they don't actually spray in their dens... they were quite tolerable. They never bothered our cats, and except for a few times when I nearly let one in while half asleep, never bothered us. And we never ever had rodents or other vermin like cockroaches and slugs, while there were skunks around. Plus they are so cute and comical as long as you move slowly.

Please do not send your trapped skunks to me, though. We have no skunks on our island and I am sure the local authroties would be right PO'd if I introduced ANOTHER foreign species. The feral lizards, cockatiels, rabbits, grey squirrels and bull frogs already are casuing problems.

Skunks are our main rabies reservoir in wildlife, so they are not welcome around habitated areas, at all.:eek:
Practically every sick skunk that has been tested had rabies.:(

Watermark Farm
May. 26, 2010, 02:31 PM
I use a humane trap. I have a 100 gallon water tank (filled) next to it.

Then I pick up the trap, still covered, and drop the works into the water and walk way.

Wow.

Auventera Two
May. 26, 2010, 03:47 PM
Then I pick up the trap, still covered, and drop the works into the water and walk way. Yes, I still have to dispose of the body, but I take them to the far reaches of the farm and the turkey buzzards handle the rest.

Oh my. I would never be able to live with myself if I did something like that. Doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose of a live trap?!

I had quite the skunk problem a few years ago. They were coming right in the barn with the horses, and had even dug a burrow in one of the stalls. The smell was awful and all my tack and horse blankets reeked like skunk. I really tried with a live trap but they never went in it (even with oily tuna in the trap.)

I set up a radio turned on full blast on a rock station, filled old socks with moth balls and set them around everywhere, scattered a box of Bounce dryer sheets around, and set up a flood light shining right into the burrow. After a few days they were gone and have never come back.

Auventera Two
May. 26, 2010, 03:52 PM
Yabbut, Misty
Drowning them? How effing sadistic!!!

No kidding. That is just wretched.

ladyfarrier
May. 26, 2010, 06:40 PM
Hmmmm, let's see..a couple of threads down, the one about "mice overrunning the tackroom...." I read

<snip>: Every hates the glue traps but that does avoid the poison problem. A bucket of water to drown those you find alive solves that suffering problem. Hideous? You bet. But hey, it's your INVESTMENT (caps mine) you are protecting. Game on. <snip>

and a bit later: <snip> And yes, when mice get into my territory- the tackroom or house- it's "game on" to kill them. <snip>

another: <snip> there. I think we knocked off about 40 rats in about two months. <snip>

Now, I am not in any chastising these posters. But I wonder, how are mice less deserving of the right to life than raccoons? Are they not all God's creatures, and we should share our space with them?

Is it okay to use any means necessary (and yes, drowning was specifically mentioned without any aghasted replies? Ones that actually spread disease and kill other creatures, rather than just pooping on your saddle pads?

No, I don't think the Mouse Killers are bloodthirsty murders who will burn in hell for their actions (as it was hoped I will).

What's the saying..."it depends on whose ox is being gored"..... (as opposed to whose ox is being drowned, I guess).

Ladyfarrier