Skunks can be a real issue on your property if poorly taken care of. There are a number of effective, non-lethal ways of getting rid of skunks. Generally, skunks are mild-mannered creatures. Nevertheless, if they do become a nuisance, they become hard to exterminate. Skunks are omnivores and are willing to go to any length to obtain food. They will destroy lawns and gardens in their search for insects, worms, larvae, fruits, and berries. They will also go after easier meals, which can be a problem if you own chickens. If you have a chicken coop on your property and you notice signs of skunks lurking around it, you should begin to take preventive measures to stop the skunk from breaking into it. In its quest for food, a skunk will injure and even kill chickens in its way. Since they are nocturnal, you may not necessarily see them in the act, but later in the day, you will see signs of their presence. It is important to set up a defense structure for your chicken to avoid checking on them throughout the night.

Signs to Look Out For
There are a couple of telltale signs to look out for if you ever suspect a skunk of bothering your chickens. These sometimes-subtle signs include:
· Few holes dug under your chicken coop.
· A foul stench around your property.
· Skunk tracks imprinted on the ground. Skunk tracks are similar to raccoon tracks, but the heel marks are non-existent. You will likely see their claw mark, which is how you would know it is a skunk.
· Several holes dug in your lawn or garden. These holes are usually 3-4 inches deep.
· Several injured birds, missing chicks, and eggs.

If you notice these signs, there are a few things you can do to avoid skunks killing your chickens and stealing their eggs.
· Collect Eggs Daily
If a skunk is digging up your property, it is safe to say that there is food that it is trying to reach. Apart from the chickens themselves, the chicken eggs might be what is attracting the skunk to your property. To counter this, check and collect every egg daily. This eliminates every form of an easy meal. You can also install wire racks where your chicken can lay their eggs. This prevents the skunk from reaching the eggs.
· Build a Fence Around Your Property
If your area has skunks lurking around, then installing a fence is a good step to take to avoid them entering your property. The best fence option is a metal fence. Skunks can chew through wood with their sharp teeth.
You can also add wire mesh at the base of the fence to stop the skunks from digging under the fence.
· Routine Coop Maintenance
Skunks are attracted to the scent of a dirty coop. It is the equivalent of a buffet invite. You can remove every form of attractant by carrying out routine coop maintenance. Clean up droppings, dispose of leftover chicken food, and disinfect your chicken coop regularly.
· Secure Your Chicken Coop
Always remember to lock your chicken coop at night. Skunks are persistent creatures, and if there is an opening available, they will likely find it.
Search for, and seal every possible entry point in your chicken coop. Repair weak spots that they can exploit to gain access to your coop. You can always bury wire mesh in your coop a few inches into the ground to discourage digging.
· Install Outside Lights Skunks being naturally nocturnal, will not approach a brightly lit area. Install LED lights as a skunk deterrent around your property. Turning on your outside lights will generally scare away skunks roaming around your property.

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