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View Full Version : Spinoff of skunks in your barn thread



RacetrackReject
Jul. 25, 2011, 04:00 PM
I have a mother skunk that has made her borrow under the slab to my barn. Her babies have now twice been found wandering around/in barn in the early mornings. I believe the first time might have been the day they were born, so wandering around is probably not the best description, but they were in the barn. I don't mind them being around and they don't spray on anything, even when my one TB licked one on the head or when I pick them up to move them back to their burrow. They still don't seem to see very well and are still trying to get their coordination worked out.
I am content to let them hang out and grow up, but I have 2 concerns. One is that their burrow is about 15 foot from my chicken roost and I worry about the mom snitching chickens although she has not touched a single one yet. The other is what if they don't leave as they get older?
I know I should add the 3rd concern of illness/rabies, but the few times I have seen the mom, she was out at appropriate hours for her species (sun just coming up) and headed to cover and she wasn't wandering or staggering, and she seemed to be purposefully trying stay on the perimeter of properties, away from homes. I know neither means much really, but I didn't get a sick animal sort of vibe from her. Very scientific!
So, does anyone have experience with baby skunks being raised in/near your barn? How did it work out? Did they just leave on their own?

2DogsFarm
Jul. 25, 2011, 05:49 PM
2 years ago I stored hay on pallets in my indoor arena that shares a wall with the barn over the Winter.

A couple times in the Fall I'd come into the barn in the mornings to a faint whiff of eau de skunk.
And a couple times I'd flip on the lights for bedcheck and surprise a skunk.

Noone got sprayed, the intruder would just wander out the way it came in - under the wall of the barn.
It's a metal pole building, so the gravel under crushed stone base is excavatable by varmints.

Since my stalls are open to the outdoors 24/7, I figured one may have wandered in that way & got startled.
No horse or barncat ever wore the stink.

The following Spring when I was out of hay and went to move the pallets, I disturbed a skunk who must have wintered there. He/she did not spray, just ambled away.
No more storing hay in the indoor!

Last year I had a family - mama & 3 babies - resident in the meadow near my yard.
Again, noone got sprayed and if I surprised them playing or digging for grubs we'd each peacefully go our own way.
They never bothered my chickens or tried to get in the coop as far as I could tell.

So I don't mind having them resident, but I DO vaccinate horses for rabies.
My vet argued with me at first, then the 2nd year agreed he'd seen an article in the JVM that mentioned skunks as a rabies vector in my area.

If you can discourage your skunks from getting into your barn I'd do it.
I don't know that they return to the same den annually.
"My" family seems gone this year.

SLW
Jul. 25, 2011, 11:44 PM
Skunks were the number one carrier of rabies in Texas in 2010, why would you encourage her to stay?? There is no cure for rabies, you know that. ;)


http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/idcu/disease/rabies/cases/statistics/

Bluey
Jul. 26, 2011, 08:31 AM
Skunks around your barns is a bit like mice in your pantry.

You may like mice, may even have some pet mice, but I doubt you will like your pantry supplies being used by mice to live, thrive and raise their young, happily munching on your food.

There is a place for everything and skunks around where humans live isnot really a good place for them, the humans and what animals we care for there.

Disturb those skunks so they move on, they are a real danger to yourself and your animals.

In our area alone, we are already up to 48 confirmed rabies cases, most in skunks, no telling how many we didn't know about.
One was a horse, courtesy of a skunk and 12 people are getting shots now.

Be sensible, keep wild life safe from humans and humans safe from wildlife, don't let them get settled around your barns and houses.

RacetrackReject
Jul. 26, 2011, 04:44 PM
I knew you people were going to be so damned reasonable. So what is the best way to dissuade skunkies without harming them?

Bluey
Jul. 26, 2011, 04:56 PM
I knew you people were going to be so damned reasonable. So what is the best way to dissuade skunkies without harming them?

Flood them out?

We had some skunks living under the cattle scales, in the pit and it got where we could not go into the little scale house, the fleas were thick as a carpet in there.

The game warden told us to put a hose down there and everyone, skunks and fleas, would leave.

We did, they did, thankfully.

Hunter Mom
Jul. 27, 2011, 12:20 AM
We have seen some skunks in our barn (20 stalls attatched to an indoor, but it's all left open in this heat), and called the Critter Control guy. He came out and set traps today, will be checking them early tomorrow am. Hoping he gets them soon!

OverandOnward
Jul. 27, 2011, 12:48 AM
We have seen some skunks in our barn (20 stalls attatched to an indoor, but it's all left open in this heat), and called the Critter Control guy. He came out and set traps today, will be checking them early tomorrow am. Hoping he gets them soon!
I have got to know how this comes out. These are live traps, right? Cuz I mean ... isn't the skunk going to odiferate the place when the trap goes off? I think you'll know by the smell, but who gets to go up to angry live skunk in trap and sort him out?

Photos would be great. :yes::yes::yes:

JSwan
Jul. 27, 2011, 10:03 AM
A humane way to encourage skunks to leave is to soak a rag in ammonia and place it at the entrance to the den. The mama will eventually move the babies. You are not trying to harm them by doing this, only causing a minor irritation that makes that cozy den less hospitable.

The skunks will raid coops, eating eggs and chicks. They may not be doing it now, but it's just a matter of time.

Some people use mothballs instead of ammonia, but mothballs persist in the environment and the rag can be easily moved, so I prefer ammonia.

Hope that helps.

ETA. Those critter control guys usually kill the wildlife they capture, or release wildlife into strange territory, causing extraordinary stress to the animal and reducing its chances of survival. And releasing wildlife in that manner also spreads disease. I'd try a nonlethal approach that allows the animal to seek out a new home on its own.

RacetrackReject
Jul. 27, 2011, 11:45 AM
Thanks guys! I think I will try and ammonia rag first, then the water if that doesn't seem to work.

Trapping is not my favorite option due the issues mentioned above by Overandonward.

Robin@DHH
Jul. 27, 2011, 12:34 PM
We had a skunk that decided to winter under our front
porch. After an argument with one of our barn cats
(with the predictable result), we decided that the skunk
had to relocate. Borrowed a live trap from our township
and set it with catfood. Caught every cat on the place
(once each) and finally had the skunk in the trap one
morning. It did not spray from getting caught in the
trap. The township supervisor kindly agreed to remove
it since my DH was ill at the time. He approached with
a tarp held in front of himself and covered the whole
trap with that tarp. Then put trap tarp and all into the
back of the pickup and drove off. Skunk did not spray
at any time during the process.

SLW
Jul. 27, 2011, 11:15 PM
A humane way to encourage skunks to leave is to soak a rag in ammonia and place it at the entrance to the den. The mama will eventually move the babies. You are not trying to harm them by doing this, only causing a minor irritation that makes that cozy den less hospitable.

The skunks will raid coops, eating eggs and chicks. They may not be doing it now, but it's just a matter of time.

Some people use mothballs instead of ammonia, but mothballs persist in the environment and the rag can be easily moved, so I prefer ammonia.

Hope that helps.

ETA. Those critter control guys usually kill the wildlife they capture, or release wildlife into strange territory, causing extraordinary stress to the animal and reducing its chances of survival. And releasing wildlife in that manner also spreads disease. I'd try a nonlethal approach that allows the animal to seek out a new home on its own.

Great tip and one that I will put to use in the morning. Thank you!