Monday, July 14, 2008

Secret Sharers

The other night I went to close the the chicken house door , and saw a skunk in there eating sunflower seeds from the feeder.

At first he (or she) didn't pay any attention to me . Skunks don't have to fear much of anything not on wheels, and they can't see beyond a few feet anyway.
When I spoke to him about how he might possibly leave for the night, the skunk only hid behind the feeder, so I went back to the Ark, giving him a chance to disappear.
He didn't go far. He (or she) has been around since early Spring, and has had a few mild encounters with the dogs, so they don't bother him anymore.

The next morning when I was hosing back the roosters so the hens could get out and forage, our skunk walked through the flock like just another fancy-tail chicken. The dogs pretended not to see him.
I guess I can live with him here if the dogs and chickens can.
I wouldn't even know how to kill a skunk. Because If a chicken can run around with his head cut off (and he can because i have seen it) wouldn't a skunk still be able to shoot at me after I shot it?
We can spare the sunflower seeds. I'm not forgetting that skunks are a large member of the generally viscous weasel family, that they do have a taste for small birds, and that occasionally one will kill a larger bird and bite off its head to drink its blood. Those vampire skunks must be the exception. I think mostly skunks eat seeds and grubs, and you can't blame them for being opportunists when it comes to naked little, grub-like baby animals.

That was the day before yesterday.
Yesterday evening I went out a little late to shut the rooster's door, carrying a flash light and walking slowly in case of a skunk.
And a big skunk at the feeder jumped straight up into the air when the light came on him.
I backed off and went to the house to tell Davey I hadn't forgotten to close the door, but was just going to leave it open until the skunk was out of there.

It wasn't my idea for him to go down there with his camera. But he did.
He didn't get sprayed for his intrusion, but he got pictures of, not one big, but two little skunks which pottered about and then went into a hole right there in the rooster room which goes under the main quarters of the hens..
So that answers the question as to wether the big skunk was a male or a female. And she lives with her family, not just near by, but with the chicken's floor being her ceiling.
Davey tells me we might as well keep the skunks on as guard animals.
What can I say to that?
I guess that will have to be alright until a coyote applies for the job.

1 comment:

valray said...

Looks like the family is expanding. Those guys will probably keep other critters away for you.Good Luck-