Skunks enjoy whatever food they can get their paws on. Does this mean that skunks are willing to kill and eat chickens and their eggs? That is what we want to take a look at on this page.
Will Skunks Kill Chickens?
Skunks will kill chickens, but it is incredibly rare.
What you must realize is that skunks are smallish animals. They can grow no larger than that of a cat. This means that they do not enjoy putting up fights that they do not need to put up.
Skunks will kill chickens, but often they are not going to target the chicken. The only time skunks really kill chickens is if the chicken tried to attack them first.
This will often be the result of the skunk being caught stealing their eggs. Of course, if a chicken does attack a skunk, the odds are going to be in the skunk’s favor.
It is almost impossible for a chicken to take down a predator like this.
That being said, this only applies to the adult chickens. Skunks have been known to target chicks, and maybe a few bantam breeds of chicken.
If they are caught attacking the chicks, then it is likely that the chicks were hanging around with eggs. Although, some skunks have been known to be able to snatch chicks through the chicken wire.
However, there will need to be a rather sizeable hole for them to be able to do this. If you have standard chicken wire in place, this probably will not be an issue.
The only time that skunks are really going to target adult chickens is if they are incredibly hungry. However, even then, that is going to be rare.
Unless you have a lot of feed scattered around the chicken coop, the skunk is probably not going to want to be putting in the effort to get into the coop.
There are far, far easier food sources out there for them to go for. Of course, if there is a hole in the fence of the chicken coop, they will be more than happy to jump through it. After all, that makes it an easy food source.
Will Skunks Eat Chickens?
If a skunk kills a chicken, then you can bet your bottom dollar that it is going to eat it. Skunks will only kill for two purposes:
- To eat
- Because they got into a fight with the other animal
It is likely that they will eat the entire chicken. Some skunks will remove the chicken from the coop and take it back to their home to share with other skunks, but this is surprisingly rare.
Will Skunks Eat Chicken Eggs?
Yes, skunks eat chicken eggs, and their eggs are often the main reason why skunks will get into a chicken coop.
They do not care about the chickens as much. The chickens will put up too much of a fight. They just want to get their paws on the sweet chicken eggs.
This means that it is not uncommon for the skunks to only for for the chicken eggs and leave the rest of the chickens alone. They need the protein.
The only way that they are going to go for the chicken eggs is if they are going to be within easy reach too.
If the skunk does not know that there will be chicken eggs in the coop, it is highly unlikely that it is going to bother getting in.
How Do You Know If It Was a Skunk That Attacked Your Chickens?
You don’t. Not unless you catch the skunk killing your chickens in the act, and that is going to be incredibly difficult, because skunks are nocturnal creatures.
They may have left their stench behind, but that is likely only if they felt threatened by the chickens. It is rare that this is going to happen.
If you do notice your chickens or eggs disappearing, then it probably doesn’t matter whether it is a skunk. What matters is that you take steps to ensure that the coop is completely secure.
How To Protect Your Chickens From Skunks?
Skunks are incredibly lazy mammals. They do not want to put that much effort into getting the chickens. This means that you need to put up the minimal amount of protection.
Ensuring that the coop is surrounded in a high-quality chicken wire is probably all that you are going to really need to do here.
You may also want to ensure that there is no way that any animal can dig under the chicken wire. Skunks probably will not bother doing this, but other predators may do that, for example raccoons can kill chickens.
Every so often, you will want to check the chicken wire to ensure that there are no holes in it. If there are holes, then it will need to be replaced. After all, skunks can get through some pretty small holes in chicken wire.
To be honest, one of the best ways to ensure that the chickens are protected from predators is to ensure that there is no chicken feed or old fruits and vegetables scattered around the coop.
This is likely what will attract the skunks into the coop in the first place. Luckily for them, once they are in, they will have the eggs to feast upon too.
Once they realize that the chicken coop is a brilliant food source, they will return time and time again to sink their paws into the eggs.
This means that you will need to put even more effort in to protect your chickens. This is why it is best to learn how to protect your chickens before the skunks even become an issue.
While skunks will eat chickens, they are much more likely to eat their chicken eggs.
This is because it is a lot simpler to reach those. The only time that they are really going to go for a chicken is if they are immensely hungry, or if the chicken is putting up a fight. A lot of chickens will put up a fight to try and protect their eggs.