Skunked

I walked up to our chickens’ house yesterday with their usual daily apple core treat and to check for any eggs. It wasn’t a usual day. There were four hens. There should have been five. They had never before left the confines of their relatively large chicken house. I walked around the chicken house, seeking clues. A mass of feathers ten feet or so to the west lay on the damp ground. My impulse was to put some of my blood in a kettle to boil.

I assumed a neighbor’s dog had killed one of our hens. They bark constantly and enter our property presuming dominion.

My husband knows far more about farming than I do. He grew up on a farm and, like his father, became a lawyer with a heart for farming. He thought a skunk was a more likely candidate for a chicken killer than a dog. I Googled “do skunks kill chickens?” and discovered that skunks are notorious killers of chickens. Good. There are no residences close enough to our chicken hutch to make it illegal to shoot a chicken-menacing skunk.

Thanks go to Ellen Pilch of the https://15andmeowing.com blog for reminding me I hadn’t posted in a month. I appreciate you, Ellen!

7 Comments

Filed under Animals, Nature, Gardens, Chickens, Home Life, Nature, Rural life

7 responses to “Skunked

  1. FeatherToFloat

    Lauren, I keep poultry (20yrs) here in the U.K. I’ve had birds taken by foxes, stoats, mink, rats and birds of prey. It’s never nice when it happens especially when a fox attack happens as they’ll kill all and take just the one. Now my birds are vermin proof in large pens instead of free range.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Welcome aboard, FTF. Our now four hens (we had five before the killing of one) have a large wooden and fence wire hutch. It’s the same as when the 5th hen was there) except my husband noticed some wire at the bottom had detached and gave access to the hens to a large raptor bird or a killer mammal. A Google search cited skunks as the most likely chicken killer suspects! We have seen skunks on our property before, but I was amazed at the taking and slaughter. She’s never shown up except for a bunch of feathers about 10 feet from the hutch. My husband has repaired the exposed area of the hutch and there have been no further escapes or takings.

      Thanks for writing!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ot a Fox? My mum lost the last of her chooks to a Fox. It was a rather large Fox. Thankfully, a farmer lives close who takes care of such issues. Cheers,H

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  3. 15andmeowing

    Nice to see a post from you. I am sad about the chicken though. I would have never guessed a skunk to do it, I always think of fox and weasels as the culprits.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think most people would think a dog or a vicious wild animal, like a racoon or a fox would go after a chicken. So might a raptor bird, like an eagle or a large hawk. But skunks seem to be the choice for wanting to kill and eat chickens. I don’t know why.

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    • We don’t have weasels here. The literature has it that skunks are the most dangerous mammals to chickens.

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