This Really Stinks

We’ve got a dead turkey and a dead chicken. The poultry that survived the onslaught have gone into hiding. The pigs aren’t talking.

And the perp? He left behind the kind of evidence that not even a blind CSI could ignore.

The first victim was Gravy, the half wild/half domestic turkey who came to live with us at the Rogue Farms Hopyard over the winter. And then two days later we found a headless chicken lying in the driveway. We’ll spare you further details, except to say that both carcasses had the strong stench of skunk.

Gravy (left) with one of his half siblings.
Gravy (left) with one of his half siblings.

Here’s what probably happened. The skunk comes into the Hopyard looking for eggs. To a skunk, a raw chicken egg is like crack in a shell. Tempt a skunk with an egg and you’ve got a maniacal drug crazed polecat on your hands.

Some farmers think skunks kill poultry for the thrill of it. Maybe Gravy and the chicken were trying to defend the eggs. The shame of it is that the birds were killed, not eaten. As for the headless chicken, we’ve heard that skunks will chew off the heads to drink the blood.

Yep, vampire skunks.

We’re going to put out some live traps and see what shows up. There’s been some talk on how to deal with the critter when we get him. Some favor capital punishment. But it’s more likely he’ll enter a relocation program. Skunks aren’t all bad, they help keep mice and rats under control. And like it or not, it was only doing what came naturally.