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Raising backyard chickens can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it's important to be aware of the potential threats to your birds, including predators such as skunks. In this article, we'll discuss whether skunks eat chickens or eggs and what you can do to protect your birds.
Do Skunks Eat Chickens or Eggs?
Skunks are opportunistic feeders and will eat a variety of foods including insects, fruits, and small animals. Skunks can and will eat chickens or eggs if they have access to them, as chickens and eggs are a protein source that they are able to consume. Skunks are nocturnal animals, so they are most active at night, which makes them a threat to backyard chickens that are not properly secured.
How to Protect Your Chickens from Skunks
There are several steps you can take to protect your chickens from skunks:
Secure the Coop: Make sure that the coop and the run are securely closed and latched at night. Skunks can squeeze through small openings and gaps, so it's important to make sure that the coop is well-sealed.
Electric Fences: Skunks can dig under fences, so adding an electric fence to your existing barrier can deter them from digging under.
Remove Attractants: Skunks are attracted to food sources, so make sure to remove any potential food sources from your yard, such as fallen fruit, compost piles or garbage cans.
Remove Skunks humanely: If you do find a skunk in your backyard, it's best to remove it humanely. Contact a professional wildlife removal service to safely and humanely remove the skunk from your property.
In conclusion, Skunks can and will eat chickens or eggs if they have access to them. To protect your chickens from skunks, it's important to secure the coop and run, use electric fences, remove attractants and remove skunks humanely. By taking these steps, you can help to protect your chickens from skunks and other predators, and ensure that your birds are safe and healthy.