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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 2, 2001
    Location
    VA
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    11,903

    Default The Good news ... and the bad. *sigh* Life on the farm ain't easy.

    The good news: the groundhogs underneath the barn are GONE GONE GONE GONE!!!

    Whooop whooop whoop. I've been trying to get rid of them for YEARS!

    Eh... wait a minute. That whoop whoop was a little too soon.

    Now I've got a family of skunks.

    I'm so discouraged I could just bawl. I came home yesterday, went out to see the two mares that are in during the day ... and there were two baby skunks running around the barn.

    NOW what? Any advise ... ???
    "For God hates utterly
    The bray of bragging tongues."
    Sophocles, Antigone Spoken by the Leader of the Chorus of Theban Elders



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 14, 2004
    Location
    Fleetwood, PA
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    2,550

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldenburg Mom View Post
    The good news: the groundhogs underneath the barn are GONE GONE GONE GONE!!!

    Whooop whooop whoop. I've been trying to get rid of them for YEARS!

    Eh... wait a minute. That whoop whoop was a little too soon.

    Now I've got a family of skunks.

    I'm so discouraged I could just bawl. I came home yesterday, went out to see the two mares that are in during the day ... and there were two baby skunks running around the barn.

    NOW what? Any advise ... ???
    Get a gas mask! Just kidding OMOM. I have no advice for skunks....sorry.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
    Posts
    22,455

    Default

    Ahhhh skunks.

    The stink that's distinct!



    Throw some mothballs into the hole and they'll move.

    To keep them away soak a rag in ammonia and place it at the entrance to the den.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    NorthEast
    Posts
    24,665

    Default

    Sometimes better the enemy you know, huh?

    Did you cover/fill in and pack the groundhog burrows? If not, something else will move right in.

    You could get a fisher to get rid of the skunks...but you probably won't want one of those around either. They don't smell much better and have pretty short tempers.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 26, 2007
    Posts
    454

    Default

    A few years back I went for an evening ride in our pasture. I saw a skunk moseying along and when I finished my ride, reported the sighting to my husband. He said if we've got one, we've got a family. Sure enough, after some searching, we found evidence of skunks in a huge wood pile. Let me tell you, you have never smelt or seen anything that disgusting. We donned rubber gloves and masks and had to remove the whole wood pile (decades of wood chopping). Their feces is like tar and the smell is horrific. It was hands down the most disgusting clean up I have ever had to do. They were living quite comfortably with our barn cats, enjoying the cat food and shelter. Now our main pests are porcupines. Every so often, one wanders into our yard and tangles with the dogs. The dogs have yet to win a battle.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2009
    Posts
    8,873

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    Sorry for the Skunks ~mothballs as suggested will kill cats and other domestic animals so please be careful. Perhaps traps and then destory them as they do carry diseases like rabies,,,,bait traps with cat food skunks love wet cat food !
    Last edited by Zu Zu; Jun. 17, 2010 at 10:25 AM. Reason: addition
    Zu Zu Bailey " IT"S A WONDERFUL LIFE !"



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 27, 2002
    Posts
    4,939

    Default

    i've got porkies and skunks and aside form the intital encounters with them, everyone gets along fine. the porkies and skunks are usually sleeping while the domesticated animals are up and about, and we've had no issues.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2003
    Location
    Windward Farm, Washougal, WA- our work in progress, our money pit, our home!
    Posts
    7,123

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    My first reaction was, "oh, how adorable were the baby skunks!? Did you get pictures?!", but, then, I'm rather fond of wildlife living in close proximity to me, as long as they are not actively killing or eating my pets/livestock.

    Please just gently move them along. I get so sad when I see posters on here asking how to kill something that we've "invited" in by creating a warm, comfortable new environment for.

    Granted, here in the PNW we don't seem to have quite the burrowing animal issues ya'll do over on the other coast. Or the snake issue. Eesh.
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 2, 2001
    Location
    VA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calvincrowe View Post
    "oh, how adorable were the baby skunks!? Did you get pictures?!"
    Yes, actually, they were pretty cute.

    And when I came in the barn, yup, I just said ... "ok guys, c'mon move it along." And move along they did.

    I have to say, at lease now I know why I don't have a rodent problem. Skunks LOVE mice (I think.)

    If I'm not mistaken, I don't think skunks are diggers? Are they? That's why the moved into the GH's den... ? But I didn't know the GH's had left. Would the S's chase the GH's out of their den?
    "For God hates utterly
    The bray of bragging tongues."
    Sophocles, Antigone Spoken by the Leader of the Chorus of Theban Elders



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 2007
    Location
    Beyond the pale.
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    skunks feed on baby groundhogs,baby rabbits, baby rats, mice, baby snakes, slugs, beetles and all manner of pests. They are not aggressive and dig a single burrow usually in a discreet place, so they are much safer to have around than rabbits, rats or groundhogs.

    Thank your skunks for solving your GH problem.

    If you want the rats and groundhogs back, just move the skunks to a different location.
    "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2003
    Location
    Windward Farm, Washougal, WA- our work in progress, our money pit, our home!
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    And, left alone, skunks are pretty safe and won't actually spray. Heck, I saw a special on them on PBS, and they apparently make pretty good pets, once de-skunked, of course. Isn't there a whole town that has skunks roaming around it? I must stop watching so much public TV!
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar. 12, 2006
    Location
    Western South Dakota
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    2,524

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    I don't believe skunks "carry" rabies, you know like in a little knapsack, just waiting to spread it around. Skunks, like all mammals are susceptible to rabies. Chances are, if you have a family, you have healthy skunks.

    They are excellent mousers and won't generally hurt your cats. And cats don't usually get sprayed. They seem to get along well together. I've seen our cats walk past a skunk and neither did a thing. Skunks are placid little creatures and if you don't scare them they don't spray. We had a "wild" skunk in our chicken house for years. He was missing a front leg from a trap and was quite tame. I "accidentally" petted him more than once and he never sprayed. He never ate more than an egg or two and never bothered the birds. He could spray as we found out when the dog tried to chase him!

    I would leave them alone as others have said. They will keep other more destructive critters away. If you catch the babies young and have them desented they really make fun pets.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2005
    Location
    Back to Normal.. or as close as I'll ever get
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    9,712

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldenburg Mom View Post
    If I'm not mistaken, I don't think skunks are diggers? Are they?
    oh they are diggers extraordinaire!
    Not only for their burrows, but who do you think leaves all those neat little holes in your lawn after they remove the grubs?

    Actually my skunks & I coexist quite nicely.

    Like NoDQ, I too have come thisclose to petting one of the B&W "kittycats", mistaking it for my gray & white barncat at night.

    And last Winter was the last time I will store hay in my indoor.
    When I moved the empty pallets this Spring I discovered "something" had burrowed in from outside and then surprised one of the squatters who just ambled sleepily out of the barn.

    I have had a family set up housekeeping nearby and surprised them digging for grubs at night along with finding the babies playing in my barn. Lights go on and they wander out the way they came in.
    I do vaccinate my horses for rabies as they have been identified as a vector in my area.

    But aside from the first time I tried shooing an adult out of the barn with a broom and he/she just gave me a look, then turned around sloooowly...
    we just give each other the time of day and go about our evening business.
    "After you, my dear Alphonse..."
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009
    Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep. 14, 2002
    Location
    Minnesota, U S of A
    Posts
    129

    Default

    We gave up getting rid of the skunks years ago and took the "better the stinky you know than the stinky you don't" philosophy.

    Lately a half-grown one, Pepe Le Pew, has been coming in for the evening cat feeding. The startle factor, on both sides, is what worries me the most. Otherwise Pepe just moseys along. I just talk to him/her and make sure he/she knows where I am. It brushed one of the cat's chin with its tail as it walked around yesterday. The cat just looked disdainful.

    Coons and possums are bigger pains with coyotes ont the top of the "isn't nature wonderful?" list.

    But we do not have rats.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 3, 2007
    Location
    PA
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    5,072

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Calvincrowe View Post
    And, left alone, skunks are pretty safe and won't actually spray. Heck, I saw a special on them on PBS, and they apparently make pretty good pets, once de-skunked, of course. Isn't there a whole town that has skunks roaming around it? I must stop watching so much public TV!
    I saw that show! Yup, there is a whole town that had them everywhere. Not sure I like them that much.

    We had a family that lived around our house for a time. The little ones used to walk by my husband when he was grilling. I'm pretty sure he was filling up the cat dishes for them at night. He loved them til they got a bit bigger and decided to test their toughness by turning their backs and raising their tails. Dumb little guys, that ended the free nightly buffet.

    Count me as another who has spent time talking to the kitty that ain't a kitty. Not sure what would have happened if I'd tried to pet it. We would often find them sitting on the porch with our cats.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2003
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    14,864

    Default

    No experience with skunks here - but if they would get rid of the rats burrowing uner my barn I THINK I would welcome them. My neighbour says they are not as trigger happy as some think - they get used to the comings and goings.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul. 20, 2007
    Posts
    92

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jynx View Post
    Coons and possums are bigger pains with coyotes ont the top of the "isn't nature wonderful?" list.
    Why are possums a pain? We have them around here for years and I've never noticed that they got into anything. Of course, I don't have chickens or any kind of food/feed for animals outside (I don't live on a farm).



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep. 14, 2002
    Location
    Minnesota, U S of A
    Posts
    129

    Default

    Opossums can carry EPM. If your horse ingests something they pooped on, they can get it.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
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    43,047

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    Around here skunks are the main rabies reservoir in our wildlife and any close to any habitation is killed, because the chance of it becoming rabid is great.
    Animal health control tests several a month and most come back positive.
    They truly are a health hazard here.
    Wildlife belongs in the wild, not around human dwellings.
    Try not to make it easy for them to live there and they will go where they belong, in the wild.

    We had a family of skunks living below the cattle scales, that are set on a pit.
    We had been smelling them, but not seeing them and then we went to weight some cattle one day.
    The one that went in the little bitty cattle scales metal tin building came back with fleas like a black wave raising up his pant legs.
    We had a can of OFF and sprayed him to soak and that stopped them, but we didn't weight the cattle that day, we fumigated for several days, before anyone dared go in there again.
    I guess fumigating with those spray bombs took care of the fleas and skunks, because they left too.

    Cute as they may be, I don't think it is sensible to try to live with skunks around houses and barns.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 2007
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    Beyond the pale.
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    Bluey, you are spreading fear and mythconceptions about skunks.

    I had a review article on rabies come across my desk recently.

    Interestingly, of the 30 or so cases of human rabies that have occurred in Canada and the USA in the last 20 years, not one could be attributed to a skunk.

    Not one.

    About half were attributed to bats, but of the 15 or so cases attributed to bats, only one case actually had physical contact with a bat- the rest were presumed bites, although no bite could be demonstrated in any of those cases.

    The remainder of the rabies cases were all because of domestic animal bites ( dogs and cats). Although there are an estimated 6 million pet skuinks in the USA, there has never been a recorded incident of a human catching rabies from a pet skunk.

    The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta states that there is no such thing as a carrier state of rabies in any mammal, including skunks, meaning that the animals cannot have the virus in their saliva and remain free of rabies symptoms. If they have rabies, they are sick with rabies. They die within about 18 days from it. They do not carry it unless they are already sick with it and about to die.

    Skunks are feared and blamed and in texas, apparently KILLED for being a resevoir for rabies, but it is clear they are very little risk to humans.

    You are more likely to be hit by lightening.
    "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF



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