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Some skunk questions

Hedgehogs, Rabbits, Skunks, Squirrels, Bats, genets, civets etc.

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animalluver
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Some skunk questions

Postby animalluver » Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:53 pm

After much debating and after speaking with some of the lovely people here and elsewhere, my husband and I have decided a skunk will be the best fit for our lifestyle. A fox would have been great, and maybe some day we'll have one in our lives, but right now it just isn't the best situation for one.

Now, onto my skunk questions!

Are they anything like ferrets, in the sense that they'd rather be playing with another skunk/animal than playing with you? All of the ferrets I've had have never had any interest in me and I'd really like something to interact with rather than just watch. Of the skunks I've seen, they seem to be fairly keen on their human family.

I've read some varying things on diet. Like some say no raw meat while others say raw meat is a great source of essential vitamins. What's your recommendations?

Obviously, I need a permit. When they inspect your home, what is it they're looking for to NOT approve you. I'm thinking of taking the dogs out of the home during inspection time, because they'll bark at the inspection person the whole time and I want things to go as smoothly as possible. What are some things I should really make sure of?
Do they inspect once, or a few times before you're approved, or is it a constant thing? What happened during your inspection?

Do you have any breeder recommendations? I know Tiny Tracks is here in Indiana and not that far from us, but I've heard varying things about them. They also say that their skunks are sent out de-sexed already, and I've read from a few sources that that is a red flag. That skunks should be de-sexed later in life, before 9 months of age.

And finally, our vet. She is an exotics vet and is versed in skunks and treats our ferrets. To be sure she's as knowledgeable as I believe she is, what are some KEY points she should know?

Thanks in advance guys! We're very excited to have our first "true" exotic animal.
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the_unstable
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Re: Some skunk questions

Postby the_unstable » Sat Mar 23, 2013 4:41 pm

I have owned ferrets and skunks. I currently own ferrets. While I am not proud of my decision to rehome my skunk in 2011, I did make that choice. He was not fitting along well in our home. He displayed some (what seemed to me) abnormal neurotic behaviors. He went along to a family who had another skunk. I will likely never get another. I know of at least one other person on this forum who had a skunk and rehomed it as well. Perhaps they had similar issues.

That said, they are extremely cute and gentle animals and I did a lot of research before I had acquired mine. skunkhaven.net is an excellent resource.

Are they anything like ferrets, in the sense that they'd rather be playing with another skunk/animal than playing with you?

I didn't have my skunk for very long (a few months or something), but in that short time, he displayed little-to-no interest in interacting with me. We have many other animals in our home and he preferred to spend time with them. Separating your skunk from other animals for most of the time during his/her bonding months may help this issue. Or maybe your skunk wouldn't have this problem in the first place. My skunk followed my dog and raccoon around, particularly the dog. He was constantly obsessed with eating and would yank open the cabinets repeatedly, even though there was no food in them. Instead of spending time with humans, those were his preferred activities.

My ferrets are more of..."normal" mind and behavior. They don't display the neurotic behaviors that my skunk did. They do enjoy interacting with me. One in particular is cuddly and enjoys being held and will allow me to kiss his face and cuddle him. I think ferrets are great pets. I didn't really feel that way about my skunk, though maybe he would have changed if I'd kept him.

I've read some varying things on diet. Like some say no raw meat while others say raw meat is a great source of essential vitamins. What's your recommendations?

I haven't researched skunks in quite some time, so I don't know what the typical recommendation is here. However, I'm a raw feeding advocate. I feed my dogs and raccoons raw (and would feed my ferrets raw if they would eat it). I don't see why skunks would be different than either species. If I had a skunk, I would feed it raw as well. They're wild animals and should have no problem eating it. I would give raw meat, fruit (very little, though), vegetables, and any nuts or grains that they might need. The raw meat portion of the diet should include bones and organs as well. Depending on your location, mypetcarnivore.com may be a good source for you to get raw meat for your pets. They will deliver an entire order to a designated location for $15. I buy from them and love their service and products. Without them, feeding raw would be difficult as far as meeting my pets nutritional needs. Most organ meats are very difficult to obtain locally, so I buy them from MPC.

I apologize but I'm not able to provide information on the permits as they're not required here.

I wouldn't think that getting a skunk that is already spayed/neutered at that very young age would not be good. I know early neutering/spaying in ferrets is said to cause problems, may even attribute to adrenal disease. I personally choose to wait until my animals have matured before I neuter/spay. My raccoons were not neutered until shortly before their first spring. Hillview Exotics and Lost River Game Farm may breed skunks as well.

Not sure about the vet either. However, I know Skunk Haven's site has a listing of vets that are known to treat skunks. If you're not comfortable with your vet, you may find another close by listed on that site.
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Juska
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Re: Some skunk questions

Postby Juska » Sat Mar 23, 2013 5:12 pm

Skunkhaven, as Unstable said, is a very good source. They have a pretty detailed list of what to feed and what to stay away from: http://skunkhaven.net/DietNutrition.htm

They even have a sample recipe to try out and make at home on there.
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TamanduaGirl
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Re: Some skunk questions

Postby TamanduaGirl » Sat Mar 23, 2013 7:27 pm

We did have another member with the same problem with their skunk but like any exotic there is always that chance their wont have a cuddly attitude and they do tend to be extremely food motivated.

As mentioned making sure they bond with you, getting them young, and spending a lot of time with them will help. I would have one if they were legal here.

Here's some skunks from the other side of the coin(bonded)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiM490Q5Yx4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhJ9bhSc ... 41D3D8D73B
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRQma2As ... 41D3D8D73B
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the_unstable
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Re: Some skunk questions

Postby the_unstable » Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:54 pm

I think it's also important to mention that my skunk was not hand or bottle raised and was pulled and sold to me when he was probably 5 or 6 weeks old. He likely lived those weeks in a very small cage. This may have been a major reason why he behaved so neurotically, to the point of what I would consider to be abnormal and unhealthy. He was not from a traditional pet breeder.
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TamanduaGirl
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Re: Some skunk questions

Postby TamanduaGirl » Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:14 pm

oh just noticed... on legalities you need a wild animal possession permit but it looks like your state makes it relatively easy to get just follow the links for more info on what's involved.
viewtopic.php?f=71&t=9111
animalluver
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Re: Some skunk questions

Postby animalluver » Mon Mar 25, 2013 3:38 pm

Thanks for all the info!! I've been frequenting all the skunk care pages like my life depends on it, skunk haven being one. I've also contacted our dnr officer in charge of permits. I was told, since we'd be getting the babe from tiny tracks, that we wouldn't need to apply until up to five days after purchasing the animal. However, on the permit, it asks what method of disposal we would use if the animal were to escape and recapture wasn't possible....what on earth should I put there? I would have to have law enforcement take care of that, so would I just say law enforcement?
They were very helpful and said we shouldn't have a problem getting approved and all that is required is a cage of some sort with the necessities inside for the inspection since we plan to have it as a "free roam house pet." My vet is also quite knowledgeable in their care, which I was pleased to hear. She was aware of all the medicines they could and couldn't have along with dietary needs which we'll work on together.

My husband is wanting to put a deposit on a baby this week sometime. Do you think we should wait for next season, or deposit now? I just don't want to jump into it, even though I think we are prepared.
On another note, we found the perfect couple to adopt Silas!
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TamanduaGirl
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Re: Some skunk questions

Postby TamanduaGirl » Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:24 pm

Yeah that would mean a bullet or poison but you can't guarantee poison gets the right critter so bullet. So law enforcement or if you know a hunter or someone though if your residential then only an officer could fire a gun anyway so you might stick with that. You could explain you would have animal control or a police officer kill it if it can't be caught if there is room to write all that out.

That did happen with some people I know and an exotic deer buck before. They could not capture so had to shoot him but they did it themselves in that case.

I don't know, on when to get one. I know most would say to wait and learn more but some species are easier to learn what you need than others so if you are prepared and will do the right thing by your new family member even if things get bumpy then waiting might be pointless. The main reason to wait would just to be sure you're not rushing into it since you weren't to sure a bit ago what you were wanting yet.
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Lasergrl
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Re: Some skunk questions

Postby Lasergrl » Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:10 pm

I had one. He was not too interested in interacting either. Mostly he lived for food. He didn't care about anything but food. He was a biter too, but ONLY me. He bit my finger down to the joint. It was more of a predatory response. it was very strange. He would actually lift my pant leg to try and bite my actual skin. He was all in all a very poor pet for me. I rehomed him when he was a year and a half old. I always assumed he had problems because he had a rectal prolapse and I am the one who had to treat him, but looking back I think he just saw me as a food source! Literally.
It was a bummer because he was soooo cute as a baby you get attached, even just for the cuteness factor alone. Never again though, he never used a litterbox either. Yuck.
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the_unstable
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Re: Some skunk questions

Postby the_unstable » Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:32 am

I feel less guilty and ashamed now that you've posted, Lasergrl. Seems we had a similar experience. I've had other challenging animals, such as Alex when he was younger and very bitey, but it was just a vastly different and greater issue with the skunk. Like you said, he lived for food. He would come up and bite my toes (not bad enough to break the skin, though it might have if I'd just stood there and let him do it). It may have been in attempt to get food, I can't remember. Mine also would not use the litter box, which was another reason why I did not want to keep him. However, he was young, maybe he would have learned.

Sorry, I'm kind of making it sound like they're not great pets. They are really popular as far as exotics go and I'm sure there are some seriously awesome skunks out there. I may have just been unlucky or did something wrong.

I believe a member here, Trefoil, has one or two skunks.
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TamanduaGirl
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Re: Some skunk questions

Postby TamanduaGirl » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:11 am

I think nipping toes is fairly normal and not normally meant out of malice but could be in some cases.

Well, there is a skunk section on the UK forum you could lurk through and maybe get a better idea bearing in mind they do not bottle feed in the UK. So they need to go through more taming down at first.
http://www.exotickeepersforum.co.uk/php ... f7ea1a978d

Yeah they even have skunk pet shows so they can't all be bad ;) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ACZGCQAeGg

Actually one good reason to wait would be sure you find a great breeder. The keys I think would be buying from a great pet breeder who will give you support, get them young, spend tons of time with them and working with them and of course get it fixed.

Who are you planning to put a deposit with?
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Splashstorm
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Re: Some skunk questions

Postby Splashstorm » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:28 am

Lasergrl wrote:He would actually lift my pant leg to try and bite my actual skin.


:shock: Smart scary skunk!
Past Pets: Sea-monkeys, 7 Cottontail rabbits, a Wakin goldfish, 2 cats & a betta fish.
Wishlist: Malinois, Alaskan wolf, hyena, liger (& other big cats), Arabian horse, dolphin, & much more!

~RIP my Cottontail rabbit Brownie AUG 15 2011~
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animalluver
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Re: Some skunk questions

Postby animalluver » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:47 am

Thanks again!!
We don't have animal control in our county, so the police department would be my only option. We could do it ourselves (we live in an unincorporated township) but there's no way I could take the life of something I'm attached to without it trying to kill me lol

I'd love to deposit now, but I'm not opposed to waiting. I grew up around wildlife, but know that opinions of ideal care has changed since then. Tiny Tracks is only an hour away from us and I've heard great things about their animals, so that would be our first choice.
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kitaluna
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Re: Some skunk questions

Postby kitaluna » Sun Apr 07, 2013 10:36 am

I had two skunks for many years and they were wonderful. The skunksaspets.com website is very good. I
I got my skunks parent raised from Ruby's Fur Farm. They were about 6 weeks old and already descented. They bonded very well.
I didn't ever cage them. They had a room to themselves with a hard floor that was easy to clean. I did their litter training in a hallway that was blocked off at both ends with a closet that I put newspaper in for their litter. The female litter trained very well, the male was..well... a male. He used the litter when it was convenient.
Both skunks bonded more to me than each other. They enjoyed playing with each other and learned many good skunky things from each other but would prefer my company to each other when given the choice.
The thing about skunks is they have seasonal personalities. They are wonderfully snugly during the winter, active and playful in the spring and wanting to eat all the time in the fall.
The negatives about skunks that you should be aware of and be prepared to work around:
They will make secret litter boxes under beds and cupboards. The babies get into everything. They steal and hide things. You will need to adapt around them. They have to have lots of space or they will get stressed and nippy and unhappy. Every skunk is completely different in personality.
I wish you luck with your skunk. If you would like anymore info, please feel free to PM me.
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Re: Some skunk questions

Postby Nicophorus » Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:03 am

I had a skunk as a teenager, and had a similar experience with it as lasergirl and unstable did.

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