Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Little TOO Smart.

Little miss smarty-pants caught in the act.

video

We knew she was getting into the dog food, but this time she did it with witnesses.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What Do Skunks Eat?

In the wild, skunks eat bugs, small rodents, fruits and veggies and whatever else they can scavenge.

As a pet, Stinkerbell is a bit more domestic. The main part of her diet is vegetables and a few fruits. She also gets a little bit of dairy in the form of low-fat cottage cheese or plain yogurt, and some protein in the form of pellets made by Exotic Nutrition and sometimes a few kernels of dog kibble. As a treat, I bring home a few super meal worms which she LOVES.

Most evenings, we microwave some frozen veggies for about a minute and then add the diary ingredient, pellets and some Vita-Skunk.

Once a week or so I give her some fresh fruit in with her dinner - a piece of apple or nectarine cut up.

Most of my research when we first got The Stink said that skunks will eat anything. Stinkerbell apparently didn't read the same research and has turned out to be pretty picky.

She WILL eat:
Fresh mushrooms, sliced (not whole)
Fresh carrots, sliced or baby
Peas
Corn
Cheese
Apples
Nectarines
Jalapenos (her FAVORITE)
Eggs
Cucumbers
Any color bell peppers
Strawberries
Mango
Pineapple

She will NOT eat:
Cauliflower
Lima Beans
Tomatoes
Blueberries
Bananas
Squash
Cooked Carrots
Limes
Watermelon
Papaya

Dog AND Cat food are very intriguing to the skunk and unfortunately are too high in protein to be good for her, so they are off-limits for the most part. A few dog kibbles are ok, but the cat food is far too high in protein to be safe for her to eat on a regular basis.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Poolside


I swear I'm going to charge the battery to my camera so I can video The Stink swimming, but for now these pics will have to do.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Q & A #1

A reader asked:

"... do skunks use a litter box and are they an indoor animal?"

Stinkerbell is very much an inside pet. She only has been outside en route to somewhere or being held by one of us. I have put her down in the back yard once to see what she would do, and she went right up next to the house and ran back to the sliding door.

This last weekend during a party in our back yard, we experimented to see if she can swim. She was lowered slowly into a small wading pool and as soon as her feet hit the water she started doggy-paddling. She swam right across the pool (about three feet) and climbed out.

In the living room Stinkerbell has a cage in the corner that is about 3.5 feet wide by 2.5 feet deep by about 3.5 feet high. There is a drawbridge style door that is open most of the time and she sleeps in a little hut that is on a shelf inside the cage. (I'll try to post a picture soon)

She has the run of the house most of the day and the house has been baby-proofed to an extent, anything that can be gotten into will get investigated and trash cans MUST be heavy enough to not get knocked over.

Skunks are similar to ferrets, other small animals and rodents in that they like to relieve themselves in a corner. Litter training is pretty easy, a plastic corner litter pan is placed in the corner that the animal prefers to use, and the animal will go in the pan.

In some cases, the animal may want to use a different corner than you want them to and it can be difficult to change their mind.

When we moved from the condo, Stinkerbell decided that she didn't want to poop in the pan in her cage anymore and the first two mornings Scott discovered that she was pooping in the shower. I thought it was a pretty good place but Scott was not as pleased, probably because he was IN the shower when he made the discovery.

Recently she started pooping in my closet in our bedroom, and near the front door. When we were cleaning up the house and getting ready for the party, I moved some things around and since the party she has been back to using the litter pan in her cage. Every time I see her go in the pan I praise her highly. I'm very thankful that the front door anointing was shortlived, as most guests probably don't wanted to be greeted by that aroma on their arrival.

Rear View


This is one of my favorite pictures of The Stink.

I took it not long after we got her, and she still likes to investigate the back of the couch - usually for purposes of trying to bite one of the cats.

All the animals get along, but the skunk definitely rules the house. She can bully any other animal out of their food dish and said animal just steps back and looks forlornly at us to do something about it.

Skunks are amazingly flexible for being shaped like a furry barrel with legs. They will look you in the eye and point their dangerous end at you at the same time. Skunks are known to be highly accurate with their spray, but not many people are aware that spraying is actually a skunk's LAST defense.

The first thing a skunk will do when threatened is stamp their front feet. Skunks will also do this in play, but when scared or angry it will often be accompanied by a high-pitched growl that kind of sounds like screaming with it's mouth shut.

The second (and third) line of defense are the teeth and claws. Skunk front claws are quite long, and need to be trimmed about once a week or every two weeks at most. Skunk teeth are very sharp and cause a bad puncture wound, so it is important to teach a skunk at an early age that biting is not acceptable behavior.

Friday, June 6, 2008

A Little Intro...


This is Stinkerbell. She is our pet skunk.

I received "The Stink" as a birthday present from my boss last fall. I manage a pet store and the baby skunks arrived at about 9 weeks old.

The entire story of her arrival in our household can be found on my regular blog Butterneck Toad.

I've decided to start this blog for anyone that has questions about skunks as pets, as most sites I find have been helpful to ME, although sometimes they are hard to navigate and not always user-friendly. From time to time I will post humorous videos of Stinkerbell doing the silly things she does.

Feel free to ask questions about skunks and I will answer them as best I can.

Enjoy!