Thursday, March 31, 2011

I'm Not A Flower

My dear sweet fireman was early down to the barns this morning, and as he stood greeting the donkeys he saw a large black cat dash by with it's fluffy tail at full mast.

He chided the cats for allowing a Tom cat into the barn. Peering around the hay bale, he tried to catch a glimpse of our visitor.


"Here puss puss! Here puss puss!", he called for the big fat Tom.

Our three barn cats sat lazily watching him searching the hay bales.

He climbed up a stack of square bales, and peered down inside the hidey hole where the barn cats like to sleep.

Peering up at him was a very large skunk.

He slowly backed down the hay bales, and retreated from the barn.

Seems our barn cats have allowed a visitor to share their cozy hay pile. Now the question to get the skunk out of the barn? We can't trap him - imagine how he will spray us! Skunks can spray their musk up to 15 feet. We don't want to poison him. So we are not sure what options are available.

A quick search tells us that:
  1. We may have to remove the self feeder for the cats, and start feeding them twice a day. The skunk thinks this is a buffet and we don't want the whole family moving in.
  2. Place cat food up high. Skunks are terrible climbers and won't be able to climb up to the shelf. Apparently they have no issues climbing hay bales though.
  3. My guess is since it is April, she is looking for a place to have her young. So we need to vacate her before that happens!
  4. A loud radio can deter them, they don't like lights and noise as it doesn't feel safe. (apparently our quiet dark barn was perfect)
  5. Coffee cans with holes poked in the sides full of mothballs. Tight fitting lid will keep cats from eating it.
  6. Human urine. Yup - my better half is going to love that one. Apparently it is a deterrent. I don't blame them. It would deter me too.
  7. Our grain is going to have to find a new home in a sealed bin, as right now it is a tasty skunk treat.
I suppose if we try all of this, we may be successful. The tricky part will be doing so without the dogs getting sprayed! For now, I will continue to open the barn door with caution.

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