August 1, 2009 – Skunk in the Brooding House; 35 Lost

Martin came running in the house this morning at chore time, yelling in an excitable voice about a skunk in with the chicks. Even though we have a cat named skunk, the intensity of his voice told us it was not a cat skunk, but a skunk skunk.

We went out to see what was up and sure enough, in the corner of the brooding area was a skunk, with bodies of dead chicks littered about the brooding area.

I couldn’t shoot the skunk in the brooding area because it was on a cement floor and had a small cement wall next to it. So Houston, we have a problem. We need to get the skunk out of the cafeteria. This particular skunk had violated our “tithing to nature” and had decimated over 1/3 of our chickens.

We sat and thought for a while – tried opening the doors and banging on metal to try to make the skunk decide to leave. It’s a delicate matter to try to upset the skunk enough to leave, but not enough to make it spray. This is the question nearly every ruralite has to face sometime – how do I get rid of the skunk?

The obvious answers are to let it leave on its own, or try to catch it in a live trap. Neither of those were acceptable since it was already in the cafeteria, so to speak, and not in any hurry to leave or to walk into a baited trap. Then it dawned on me – water! Rain happens in nature – the skunk should not be too alarmed with rain and it might make the skunk want to leave to seek shelter. So we retrieved a hose out and gently sprinkled the skunk from on high – much like a cat, the skunk did not like the rain, but was familiar enough with it not to be alarmed enough to spray and ran out of the building where he was immediately introduced to Mr. Remington for violating the tithing to nature rule at high hopes.

one year ago…”Envirothon Part 1: The Long Road to Flagstaff”