One important part of owning a rabbit as a pet is making sure that it is kept away from anything that might eat it. Skunks are omnivores and, unfortunately, they do eat rabbits in addition to other creatures like snakes and mice.
Table of contents
- What Is A Skunk’s Normal Diet?
- Are Skunks Aggressive To Other Animals?
- Is It Legal To Own A Skunk As A Pet?
- Do Skunks Hibernate During Winter?
- Will Skunks Invade A Person’s Home?
- How To Keep Skunks Away From The House
What Is A Skunk’s Normal Diet?
As previously stated, skunks are omnivores. One of the primary reasons that skunks can survive in many different environments is this fact. They are capable of adapting their diet to their surroundings as necessary. However, skunks prefer to eat mostly insects and small prey and this is especially true during the spring and summer months. When it comes to answering the question of do skunks eat rabbits, the answer is yes, they do. Despite this answer, it is fair to add that skunks are not animals that primarily feed on rabbits. Young rabbits are most at risk from skunks.
Since they are omnivores, skunks are not too picky about what they eat. Skunks do possess some scavenger tendencies, which is the reason that their diet is so adaptable. A skunk’s diet varies depending on the food that is available and based on the seasons, as well. This adaptability is a crucial part of why skunks can survive in a variety of environments.
Are Skunks Aggressive To Other Animals?
Skunks can certainly eat rabbits, but they are not that aggressive compared to many other animals. The primary factor in this lack of aggressiveness is the fact that skunks lack a proper mechanism for attacking or preying on other animals. It is a well-known fact that skunks can use their spray to defend themselves.
However, this is a defensive mechanism and is not something they can use to kill other animals. Not much is completely understood about skunks’ ability to kill other animals. As a result of this, a skunk will not attack another animal to feed on it unless it is small enough for the skunk to kill relatively easily.
Skunks Have Pretty Simple Diets
Because skunks are not that great at attacking and killing other animals, it means that their diet will naturally be a bit simpler as a result. It also means that skunks are unlikely to attack bigger prey, as well. Since skunks are omnivores, if they cannot track down prey to eat, they will instead forage to feed themselves and their young. Skunks will eat other types of edible food as well as plants if they cannot feed on prey.
One animal that is quite different from the skunk in this regard is the mink. Many people do not know this, but the mink is a fearsome predator in its own right. The mink preys on birds and small mammals, and it also consumes quite a few different kinds of food.
Skunks Can and Do Eat Small Prey
It’s commonplace for people to consider skunks kind of an annoyance because of their awful odor. However, skunks benefit humans in quite a few ways. Skunks prey on insects quite often, meaning they get rid of insects that can harm the gardens that humans make. In fact, on average, insects make up an estimated 70% of a skunk’s diet. This is part of why skunks are more beneficial to humans than one might think.
Skunks Eat Quite A Few Types of Insects and Yard Pests
A few examples of the kinds of insects that skunks eat are cockroaches, beetles, grasshoppers, and crickets. Skunks also eat several different yard pests that one might find near their house. Skunks eat snakes, spiders, mice, fish, water snakes, and small reptiles, too. It is worth noting that skunks will even eat the black widow spider, although it is a more dangerous type of spider.
Is It Legal To Own A Skunk As A Pet?
It is pretty unlikely that a skunk could enter a person’s house undetected, especially considering its awful odor. Because of this fact, it is much more likely that someone might be worried about their rabbit if they also own a skunk as a pet. However, it is illegal to own skunks as pets in some states. Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, and Florida all prohibit people from legally owning skunks as pets. In the state of Indiana, however, one may own a striped skunk as a pet if they have a Class II permit.
For more information about Indiana state laws about owning a skunk as a pet, check out this page. It is also good to read this document, as well. The state of Iowa permits its citizens to own a captive-bred skunk as a pet without even getting a permit. The state of Michigan requires citizens to get a permit before they own a skunk as a pet, too. Wyoming allows its citizens to own a skunk without a permit, too. The laws regarding owning a skunk as a pet vary from state to state, but it is illegal in many states and many others require people to get a permit before they own a skunk as a pet.
Do Skunks Hibernate During Winter?
Quite a few animals hibernate during winter, but skunks don’t completely hibernate during the winter season. A skunk will wake up during winter at times, typically when the temperature reaches at least 30 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Skunks may also leave their den at night so they can forage for food. Skunks will forage for berries, nuts, insects, plant roots, snakes, and even some other kinds of small animals.
Will Skunks Invade A Person’s Home?
If food is not readily available, skunks will invade a person’s property and eat decaying plants as well as eat other sources of food that are close to properties. This is the most common time when skunks become a nuisance for humans. Skunks are more than willing to eat garbage if necessary to survive.
Skunks Will Consume Garbage
It is important to keep in mind that skunks are omnivores, so they will eat garbage if it is necessary to do so. Insects and rodents may also get into unattended garbage, as well. Skunks can eat these insects and rodents, so this is another reason that unattended garbage may attract them. The rotting food and the leftovers in the garbage can be a big meal for a skunk. Skunks have no qualms about raiding the garbage to eat and this can lead to a huge mess near the backyard and entrance of a person’s home.
What If The Skunk Can’t Eat The Garbage?
It is a good idea to make sure not to leave out any unattended garbage so that skunks can’t get into it. However, skunks will look for other sources of food like compost piles, bird feeders, and even barbecue grills if they can’t feed on the garbage. Naturally, this can make skunks quite a nuisance for anyone, especially someone who owns a rabbit, since skunks will eat rabbits if given the opportunity.
How To Keep Skunks Away From The House
Skunks are omnivores, but since rabbits are herbivores, it is unlikely that the food one gives their rabbit will attract a skunk. There are several ways to keep skunks away from the house. The first method that one can use is to make sure that their yard is as well-lit as possible. Skunks prefer to eat in a dark location, so this method is effective.
Use Motion-Activated Sprinklers
Another method that repels skunks from one’s home is motion-activated sprinklers. These sprinklers are both natural and safe, but they are effective in repelling skunks. It is best to put these sprinklers near any area where skunks may want to shelter.