Posted by: Realist | December 6, 2008

Skunk Over For Dinner

We have a skunk living on our property, and now he enters the horse paddock at night and eats out of Montana’s dinner bowl. We’ve been trying to fatten up Montana since he loses weight over the winter, so we give him a large bowl of grain each night. It usually takes him a couple hours to finish eating, and often he leaves food in his bowl. Elizabeth had told me about the skunk, but I finally spotted him. He was eating out of the food bowl right next to Montana’s feet. I don’t know if both were eating at the same time, but neither seemed afraid of the other. I can’t believe Montana hasn’t stepped on the skunk, because he always seems to step on my toes when I’m around his feet. If he ever does step on the skunk, I’m sure the skunk will spray him, and that’ll be fun to clean up.

I ran inside to get the camera but the skunk was gone when I came back.

I asked a few friends if skunks carry rabies or anything that might be harmful to the horses. No one really knew, so I’ll let him be. Once we accidentally caught him in a live trap (intended for rats), and I let him go using a 10-foot PVC pipe to open the latch. I can’t imagine trying to capture, relocate, and release a skunk without getting sprayed. Over the years, we’ve relocated a number of animals, including a possum, a ground hog, a wild cat, and rats.



  1. I just read your posts about selling your horse Montana and how badly he behaved in a lesson and then I read your post abut the skunk in which you said you give him a large bowl of grain each night in order to fatten him up!!!! Why do you give grain to fatten up. Please stop the grain with this horse and you may find a horse that is totally different and more easily worked with. If you need to fatten him up give him beet pulp (no molasses) with ground flax seed or flax seed oil and you may find you have a wonderful horse worth keeping. Or look for a feed that has no grain and low sugar/starch content. I use Purina Integri T right now. It has no grain and the lowest sugar/starch content of all the feeds out there. I hope you will try this route before you brand this horse and sell him as it could be something as simple as the feed that is causing the problem as is most of the so called ‘problem horses’.

  2. Anne, thanks for the reply and I agree with you that often feed causes many behavior issues. We did learn this the hard way early on. I don’t think we were feeding him actual grain (need to check with the wife), to be honest, and I probably should not have used that term in my post (I think we were feeding beet pulp). We actually sold the horse for a number of reasons, but in summary we needed a horse that could stand in a field for a month untouched and that we could take out with a beginner right away with no warmup. I realize that’s a tall order for any horse, but that’s what we needed.

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