Skunks are typically not going to be the first animal you might think of as the culprit if you
find out that a chicken has been killed. People will commonly think the chicken killer was a fox,
a dog, or maybe even a coyote, while Buffalo skunks can stay under their radar. They are fairly small animals
compared to other predators, but you should not underestimate their abilities. Many animals can be
tempted by a chicken coop, and skunks are no exception. If you want to find out more about the dangers
that a New York skunk poses to the chicken population, read on.
When Buffalo skunks get access to a chicken coop, they can feed on the eggs and they may kill or hurt the chickens. A skunk may kill one or even two chickens and they are going to maul them in a considerable way. Skunks are known to be nest robbers. The eggs get opened at one end and the edges are crushed so that the New York skunk can put their nose in the hole in order to lick what is found inside.
To protect the chickens, you have to ensure that they are put in secure coops with good fencing. Small chicks have to be kept in a secure brooder. Skunks do not like to break the fences, but they can get access through weak spots and in loose places near the buildings or the fences. Skunks are good diggers and they may get access to the chickens when they dig under the trees. Use paving slabs near the perimeter of the coop and bury or run a few inches of hardware cloth or welded wire on the bottom of the fence so that they do not dig and enter in the chicken coop.
Although it may not be the first suspect on your list, you should be aware that most skunks are perfectly capable of killing a chicken or taking its eggs. If you have skunks in your area and you own chickens, you have to be sure to take every precaution to keep the Buffalo skunks and other predators out of the coop. Take the information mentioned above into consideration and do not quickly dismiss New York skunks as harmless animals that pose no threat aside from their foul smelling spray. Depending on where you live, they could be the number one threat to chickens in your coop.
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