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Baby Skunks! WWYD - Sad Update

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  • Baby Skunks! WWYD - Sad Update

    We have 4 very small juvenile skunks that seem to be very comfortable on our property. There are 3 in the front yard and 1 has managed to find his way into our fenced in back yard. I'm all for live and let live. They're still in their adorable tiny stage and so far haven't tried to spray the cats or dog or humans. But the worry is I have a terrier who goes right for them, and its only a matter of time until they're big/old enough to start spraying as a defense.

    I'm especially concerned about the one one in the back yard. Yard is fenced with no-climb and we have an in-ground pool. Not sure how he got in there, but I'm also worried about how he'll get out, or that he'll end up drowning in the pool.

    So, should I leave them alone and figure as they get a little bigger and older they'll move on an become a little less inclined to hang around where all the action is, or call animal control now to get them relocated?
    Last edited by Trevelyan96; Jun. 22, 2012, 12:48 PM.
    Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
    Witherun Farm
    http://witherun-farm.blogspot.com/

  • #2
    You can't relocate animals like that. they depend on the balance of predators that exist in that area, and they have their own territory they share with raccoons, foxes and weasles. If you put them in a strange area, they will be killed right away by the imbalance in the new area.

    I have found skunks don't spray often. We throw out our chicken bones and watch them at night from the second floor porch with a flood light. So funny, the big mom and the little babies. we get a spray about once or twice a year, usually in the spring only.

    the only time I have heard of people having problems with skunks spraying is when there are dogs in the house or outside. Just keep an eye on them to make sure there are no rabid behaviours (such as being out during the day). If there are, then call animal control.

    Lately we have no skunks or raccoons, because the fishecats have moved in. animal control won't do anything about the fishercats, because the FCs control the rabid species, like skunk and raccoon, so they like it when FCs move in. Meat eaters like FCs don't get rabies the way the racoons and skunks do.
    My warmbloods have actually drunk mulled wine in the past. Not today though. A drunk warmblood is a surly warmblood. - WildandWickedWarmbloods

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      These little guys are definitely out during the day. They're just tooling around, and although the babies haven't sprayed the dog yet, something is definitely spraying. Maybe the mom is nearby?

      They are cute. Pics. If the link isn't public, I'll find another way to post them.

      https://www.facebook.com/arlubinsky#...type=1&theater
      Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
      Witherun Farm
      http://witherun-farm.blogspot.com/

      Comment


      • #4
        take lots of pictures and post them here??

        oh, sorry, i guess that wasn't what you were really looking for.

        my mother's yard always had an assortment of critters: skunks, possums, raccoons. she currently has deer like other people have squirrels. but the skunks were never really a problem--they liked to come out and eat the fallen birdseed under the feeders and check out the garbage cans if the raccoons had knocked them over. i don't recall anyone/thing ever getting sprayed.

        eta: ooh pics!
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        Today I will be happier than a bird with a french fry.

        Comment


        • #5
          I used to keep skunks as pets and OMG SQUEE at the baby!

          I wouldn't mess with them - certainly wouldn't touch them in any way or form, and I would not feed them either.

          Live and let live.
          K-N-S Farm
          Daily Goat Videos & Pictures
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          Comment


          • #6
            We had some baby skunks hanging out in our yard a few years ago. My husband thought they were adorable - until the one night he was out at the grill and one of them turned tail to him and threatened to spray. Luckily it was still too little for any stink. Not too long after that they stopped coming by.

            So, I wouldn't worry too much. I think as they age they will get less trusting and take off. We had dogs and cats at the time and they never did get sprayed.

            Comment


            • #7
              Get them deskunked and keep them instead of cats. My aunt ALWAYS had "pet" skunks in the house. ;-/
              Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.

              Comment


              • #8
                Terrier vs Skunk never ends well for one of the two. Either Terrier gets skunked, or skunk gets dead.
                ~Kryswyn~ Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo
                Check out my Kryswyn JRTs on Facebook

                "Life is merrier with a terrier!"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Few things are cuter than Mama Skunk out for a walk with her little skunklets! I don't know why, but most dogs don't seem to learn that the black kitty cats with the white stripe do NOT like them. When I lived on a farm, we had quite a few skunks, most of whom got along well with our dogs --- they knew the dogs were curious. Still, my old dog Blue got skunked 3 times in two weeks --- a record I hope my dogs NEVER beat!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    BABIES!!! Cutest picture ever. I say let them be. You could always catch the one in the backyard and place him in the front. Just use a large towel. But definitely let them be. Maybe try calling a wildlife rescue to see if this is normal, since you have not seen the mama. Maybe they are orphaned? In that case, they need to get some care.
                    Life is short, ride the best horse first.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I would beg and plead with my friend/Vet to descent them for me and add them to my family. But that probably isn't what most folks would want to do !

                      I would capture the one in your yard (with a thick blanket that you can throw away, far, far away) and put him back with the other two. Then try to leave them alone. But I wonder, because they are alone and out in the daytime, if their Mom is dead. If that is the case I WOULD feed them, but away from your house so they don't associate you with food.

                      But, then again, Skunks do make fun, sweet pets .
                      Patty
                      www.rivervalefarm.com
                      Follow us on facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/River...ref=ts&fref=ts

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                      • #12
                        i helped a vet do a descenting procedure once. it was fast and easy iirc (and illegal i bet).
                        skunks can make really good pets, they are cat like in ways.
                        if they are orphaned i'd be hard pressed not to feed them myself.
                        maybe far from the dog's area for everyone's sake. does your dog know the 'leave-it' command?
                        that would be good!
                        when i had one he liked hardboiled eggs and tuna.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          You probably don't want to know what I would do.

                          But consider: I hope you really do enjoy these things, as they have decided your property is their property, you will have them year-after-year.

                          They not only stink-up everything, but can carry rabies as well.

                          Just an FYI.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Baby skunks will become adult skunks.

                            Not always do they leave the area. Their new area could just be your barn.

                            They will not be so cute and adorable looking in a couple months. They will be fully ready to hold your barn hostage or parts of your property hostage.

                            Cute now, but adults fully armed in the not so distant future.

                            Trap and remove them - pronto.

                            If not - enjoy their presence, and then their offspring also in the very near future. Because they will start looking for new dens of their own. And underneath your hay is a wonderful place. Or - oh oh I know - in your tack room or under your house!

                            Last week end my mare was sprayed on her nose. We have huge protective measures for them not to live in our barn. We have played the unfortunate hosts to skunks in our barn (and other areas of our property), and the barn was completely held under siege until they were ousted. Then we fixed and made our barn so they could never get in again. I hope.

                            Cute now, but they will become adults and then not so cute then. Ever had your very nice tack SPRAYED by a skunk? How about your truck? How about your dogs? How about under your very nice stack of hay? How about your horse?

                            hmm. things to consider.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rmh_rider View Post
                              Baby skunks will become adult skunks.

                              Not always do they leave the area. Their new area could just be your barn.

                              They will not be so cute and adorable looking in a couple months. They will be fully ready to hold your barn hostage or parts of your property hostage.

                              Cute now, but adults fully armed in the not so distant future.

                              Trap and remove them - pronto.

                              If not - enjoy their presence, and then their offspring also in the very near future. Because they will start looking for new dens of their own. And underneath your hay is a wonderful place. Or - oh oh I know - in your tack room or under your house!

                              Last week end my mare was sprayed on her nose. We have huge protective measures for them not to live in our barn. We have played the unfortunate hosts to skunks in our barn (and other areas of our property), and the barn was completely held under siege until they were ousted. Then we fixed and made our barn so they could never get in again. I hope.

                              Cute now, but they will become adults and then not so cute then. Ever had your very nice tack SPRAYED by a skunk? How about your truck? How about your dogs? How about under your very nice stack of hay? How about your horse?

                              hmm. things to consider.
                              ^THIS!^

                              I am definitely one that does NOT find them "cute" at all.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Ambitious Kate View Post
                                You can't relocate animals like that. they depend on the balance of predators that exist in that area, and they have their own territory they share with raccoons, foxes and weasles. If you put them in a strange area, they will be killed right away by the imbalance in the new area.
                                Don't be ridiculous. Do you know anything about skunks? They have only TWO predators - Great Horned Owls & automobiles. Relocating a litter of baby skunks isn't going to affect the Great Horned Owls or the automobiles in the area.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by NoDQhere View Post
                                  I would beg and plead with my friend/Vet to descent them for me and add them to my family. But that probably isn't what most folks would want to do !

                                  I would capture the one in your yard (with a thick blanket that you can throw away, far, far away) and put him back with the other two. Then try to leave them alone. But I wonder, because they are alone and out in the daytime, if their Mom is dead. If that is the case I WOULD feed them, but away from your house so they don't associate you with food.

                                  But, then again, Skunks do make fun, sweet pets .
                                  Originally posted by suz View Post
                                  i helped a vet do a descenting procedure once. it was fast and easy iirc (and illegal i bet).
                                  skunks can make really good pets, they are cat like in ways.
                                  if they are orphaned i'd be hard pressed not to feed them myself.
                                  maybe far from the dog's area for everyone's sake. does your dog know the 'leave-it' command?
                                  that would be good!
                                  when i had one he liked hardboiled eggs and tuna.
                                  Originally posted by RiverBendPol View Post
                                  Get them deskunked and keep them instead of cats. My aunt ALWAYS had "pet" skunks in the house. ;-/
                                  Yes - skunks "can" (& I emphasize the "CAN") make sweet pets. I myself had a descented one back in the early 1970's that I purchased from a vet. Very ferret-like, but MUCH MORE of a handful to train, & needed lots of exercise & supervision.

                                  While they are cute, there are definitely more CONS than pros.

                                  ~ They won't be "babies" for long. Adult skunks can grow larger & heavier than your largest domestic cat.

                                  ~ Even descented, they still maintain a somewhat strong musky smell that some people find unpleasant.

                                  ~ They are ILLEGAL in most states, & for those states that allow them, you need a permit.

                                  ~ As I said before, they can be a REAL handful, & if you decide they're not for you, rehoming isn't as easy as contacting your local shelter or posting on Craigslist.

                                  ~ Many, many vets refuse to treat them - even for regular vaccinations, which they do require. You most likely need to locate a vet specializing in "exotics".

                                  ~ Did I say they're a handful? As in difficult to litter-box train, love to tip over waste & trash baskets, have long fingers & claws that normally would be used to tear open ground nests of Yellow Jacket wasps & dig for grubs but now are used on your carpet, yadayadayadayada.

                                  ~ And no, they can't just be kept in a cage until you "want to play with them". They're not hamsters.

                                  ~ And no - once you're tired of them, or disgusted with them, you can't just "let them go" out in the wild once they're descented & even just semi-domesticated. That's crueler than cruel.

                                  Still want a skunk as a pet? Go out & buy a ferret instead.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    I think its very likely they're orphaned, but they also seem old enough to take care of themselves. At any rate, I haven't seen as much of them this week, and the one in the back yard seems to have found his way out. I'm guessing they've probably matured enough to have become a little more shy of the humans and dog and become more normally nocturnal.

                                    Fortuntately, the terrier pretty much keeps the critters from moving into the barn. He was skunked once last summer, and I'm hoping he learned from that experience.
                                    Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
                                    Witherun Farm
                                    http://witherun-farm.blogspot.com/

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Trevelyan96 View Post
                                      I think its very likely they're orphaned, but they also seem old enough to take care of themselves. At any rate, I haven't seen as much of them this week, and the one in the back yard seems to have found his way out. I'm guessing they've probably matured enough to have become a little more shy of the humans and dog and become more normally nocturnal.

                                      Fortuntately, the terrier pretty much keeps the critters from moving into the barn. He was skunked once last summer, and I'm hoping he learned from that experience.

                                      Most likely not orphaned at all. Skunks leave mom asap. As do young possums, raccoons, & similar critters. Unlike domesticated critters, there isn't the same attachement to mom. In the wild it's important to be on your own asap, & that's how it works. We see young skunk, possums, & raccoons here no larger than a little kitten all the time. And they're perfectly capable of taking care of themselves.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        But consider: I hope you really do enjoy these things, as they have decided your property is their property, you will have them year-after-year.

                                        They not only stink-up everything, but can carry rabies as well.
                                        yes, and whomever posted that they only spray dogs is very wrong. I know quite a few people who have been sprayed in their own yards by skunks with a distinct absence of involved canines. One horrible case most of the spray got under the house into the crawl-space and it took them months to get the smell out of the house.

                                        I believe it's illegal most everywhere to "relocate" skunks due to the carrying rabies issue, plus of course no one wants YOUR stinky problem dumped onto them to take care of. So the only other options are "drive away" or "eradicate".

                                        Some people claim sprinkling bottled fox urine all over will keep skunks away. You should also see if you can spot what they eating in your yard that is keeping them around- cat food? garbage? compost pile? mole infestation?- and try to block their access to it.

                                        He was skunked once last summer, and I'm hoping he learned from that experience.
                                        in my experience, dogs don't learn much from being skunked and will go on to be serial skunked dogs if given the opportunity.

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