minimum surface should measure at least 65.5 square feet (20
m2) for two skunks. For every additional skunk 16,4 square
feet (5 m2) extra is needed. In areas where Great horned owls
(Eagle owls) occur is a aviary is a safer enclosure. Great
horned owls (Eagle owls) are a natural predator of skunks
and hunt at night when the skunks awake. Most skunk owners
have them running loose trhough the house and/or (in Europe)
in the garden. It does involve some skunk proofing to garantee
the extremely curious, persistent and headstrong skunks safety.
/ skunkproofing the garden
the skunks have the opportunity to walk through the garden
obtain a solid fence (B)
with smooth or vertical planks so they can not hoist themselves
up. Pavement (C) prevents
them digging conversation pits and ponds. Containers and flower
beds (D)must be at least
28 inches (70 cm) high, or else the skunks themselves will
do the gardening. Is there an exit in the back of the garden
a lock gate (A) is recommended.
Skunks can if they want slip very quickly and quietly behind
examples of skunkproof containers and flower beds for a green
touch in the garden.
skunks can open the doors of kitchen cabinets, refrigerators
and cupboards easily. These can be provided (children) locks.
The undersides of chairs and sofas can be protected against
digging and tearing into pieces by stapling a piece of wood
or wire mesh underneath. Loose cables are a nice game for
skunks. These can easily be concealed in ducts. Open stairways
are dangerous to skunks. Skunks don't see depth very well
and are at risk from falling between the steps.
and sleeping dens
outdoor skunkhouse or sleeping den must be waterproof and
draft-free. Protect the entrance on the inside with an extra
panel or bulkhead so the wind doesn't blow in and the skunks
don't have to lay in a draft. Suitable sleeping dens are children's
play houses, dog houses and wooden toy chests. If possible,
a cat flap as a door is recommended. Skunks have been known
to learn quickly how it works. As bedding use a layer of straw
or blankets. The size of the entrance may be about 8 to 8
inches (20 to 20 cm). The entry should be as low as possible.
If no cat flap can be used a wooden threshold can be made
to prevent straw to be walked out. Never place a skunkhouse
in full sun. If possible, place it in a shady spot in the
garden. If the sun is still shining on for a few hours, then
gard the skunkhouse with a large parasol or sunshade. Inside
or next to the skunkhouse a litterbox can be placed. Most
skunks use their litterbox so their sleeping area stays clean.
When several skunks are kept together, it is advisable to
create at least two places to sleep. Should disagreement arise,
there is always the possibility for a skunk to be sleeping
alone when needed.
sleeping places indoors, wooden toy chests are used with an
access door cut out. Also, dogs / cats baskets are used in
a quiet and dark place (eg under or inside a cabinet or table).
are naturally very sanitary and do their needs at a fixed
place. That does not mean they use the place you have choosen
for them... The easiest way is to put down the litterbox
on the spot where the skunkdoes his needs. This is usually
near their sleeping place. Also, skunks do use the box if
they find it dirty themselfes, sometimes one dropping is
enough to do their busyness demonstrative in front of it.
As litter clay litter, newspapers or wood pellets can be
used. It takes some time figuring what the skunk is the
most comfortable with.
skunk kit can be temporarily housed in a large rabbit cage
(do not use cages with floors / levels) or bench with fine
bars. This prevents the little one to crawl away and hides
and you keep looking for hours to find your little precious.
On one side of the cage make it a place to sleep. One could
use a folded fleece blanket, large towel or a small cat basket.
The bottom of the cage can be covered with newspapers. Once
the skunk choses a corner to relieve himself put a small litterbox
in that spot. The little one will soon realize that he must
deposit his feces there.
he learned to use his toilet than he can be offered a slightly
larger space, such as a portion of the kitchen, the bathroom
or a bedroom provided that it is possible to shield it off.
It is wise to put a litterbox in every corner because a skunk
prefers to do his need in a corner. Once he has chosen his
favorite toilet , the other litterboxes can be removed. Has
he become well house-trained you can give him freedom throughout
the house. But it is wise to place some extra litterboxes
in different corners and rooms for the first few months. It
can be somewhat annoying but eventually the skunk will use
only one or two litterboxes. Provide a quiet place to sleep
in the form of a converted toy chest, a place in a desk or
sideboard where you can put in a blanket or cat bed . Sometimes
the skunk choses it sleeping place himself, eg under a chair,
table or cabinet.
Biology of the Striped Skunk B.J.
Management and Biology of Captive Striped Skunks (Mephitis mephitis)
Wade-Smith and M.E. Richmond
Overwinter Care and Reproduction of Captive Striped Skunks (Mephitis
Lariviére, Y.T. Hwang, W.A. Gorsuch and S. A. Medill
value of North American skunks D.E.
Intake, Weight Changes and Activity of Confined Striped Skunks (Mephitis
mephitis) in Winter M. Aleksiuk and A.P. Stewart