September 08, 2006
Chickenland's late night visitor
For a few weeks Fino has been repairing Chickenland (our chicken coop). There's a few places where the wire fencing has started to weaken at the dirt line (it's dug about a foot beneath the dirt) and there is a hole big enough for an animal to get through. Since we've been finding a few cracked eggs and a need to buy more chicken feed than usual, we guessed Chickenland might have a late night guest or two.
We didn't worry too much about it though since all the chickens were accounted for (every one of our 25 chickens has a name and can be identified by the girls). The visitor didn't seem interested in eating any of the chickens, just their feed and eggs.
Last night our suspicions were confirmed. Around 3 a.m. we woke to the sounds of loud chicken noises so Fino jumped out of bed, grabbed a flashlight and my camera and went to go check it out.
I saw him running towards Chickenland from our bedroom window before he came to a quick -- very quick -- stop. Then he did a very slow back-up.
It seems we have a new skunk friend regularly visiting Chickenland -- and he looks well-fed.
Now we have to find a way to encourage our friend to find another late night snack location. Any suggestions?
Check with local animal control officer . They may have a hav-a-hart trap that you can use to trap the critter. If you do trap place a burlap bag over the trap and gently remove. Animal control will have suggestions as where to transport it or they may just relieve you of it. Be very careful skunks have been know to carry rabies and definetly put you and your family at risk.
Posted by Edwin WardSeptember 9, 2006 06:37 AM
Thanks for the suggestions Edwin! My husband is working on fixing the fencing today and we'll see if our visitor comes back once he realizes he can't get in.
Posted by Wendy AlmeidaSeptember 9, 2006 08:23 AM
I have even more chickens that you do, so I have some experience. Do try to trap it, and then get husband or another guy past puberty to pee all around the fence and area. I know it sounds weird, but the smell will deter a normal predator. I have an unfixed dog that does the trick for my hens. Put some logs or felled trees around the edges, keeps digging at bay. I don't have to do too much, thanks to the dogs.
Posted by Sara PearceSeptember 10, 2006 01:12 PM
You know, I caught my husband a year or so ago peeing outside and he told me the same thing you did! He does this regularly and it hasn't work with this one skunk but he fixed the fence yesterday and there was no sign of our stinky friend last night.
Posted by Wendy AlmeidaSeptember 10, 2006 01:14 PM
2 Tablespoons Codliver Oil
1/4 Cup Liquid Ivory Dishsoap
1quart of water
Spray liberally around entry sites.
That should do it -Caveat:
The skunk will probably scent the area in retribution the first time
but will likely visit elsewhere thereafter. Worked in our yard.
ps. Don't be alarmed at the site of a skunk-a simple 'shoo' will send them away-as long as you don't alarm it (except young'uns)
they haven't learned self control yet. Grownups will save that scent for when it is needed.
Posted by TimSeptember 11, 2006 12:43 PM
That should have been Castor oil.
Not Cod Liver
For those who may be wanting to try it.
Posted by TimSeptember 11, 2006 01:54 PM
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