We known there has been a skunk around here most of the summer. Before letting the dogs out in the evening or predawn hours we always check the backyard with a flashlight. So far no one has been sprayed THIS year.
So last evening while I was doing chores, it was about 7pm and still fully light, the bantams go charging out of their house to the other end of their pen and the large chickens are making a huge fuss. The last time they made all this noise it was a fox. So I went around the corner to check - couldn't see anything and they started to quiet down. A few minutes later it started again, so I feel I should investigate further. So running around outside the door and underneath the bantam house is a what?? A SKUNK! It appeared to be frantic, trying to get out of the pen AND it was running with its tail down - no spraying.
So I block Wendy and Mattie in the barn and run for the house to get Vernon. Not really sure what he will do since you could hardly shoot it right there in the chicken yard. Of course he is not back from his walk..... so as I head back to the barn I see the skunk dash underneath the goat barn. Guess we're ok for now. Checked on the bantams, I was particularly worried about the two broody hens sitting on eggs. All were safe. Unfortunately one large hen was dead - she had been for awhile.
I get everyone closed up without incident. We set a trap by the barn - we'll when it gets light, but I haven't smelled anything.
I now think the skunk has also been eating eggs - here I've been accusing the poor hens of not laying well and in reality it was probably the skunk eating 3-4 eggs every day. Thinking that skunks are mostly nocturnal, I didn't really worry about the eggs or chickens during the day.
Well think again.....