What Do Skunks Eat
Skunks are omnivores, which means they eat both meat and vegetation. Their diet consists of plants, insects, larvae, worms, fruit, eggs, reptiles, small mammals and fish.
And about 60-70% of the skunk’s diet should be protein- eggs, chicken, fish, cheese, raw nuts and feeder insects are healthy options. Vegetables should make up the remaining 30-40% of a skunk’s diet but potatoes should be offered in limited quantities. Fruit is a great treat, especially berries, but because of sugar content they are not ideal for daily feedings.
We sometimes lovingly refer to skunks as nature’s garbage disposal because of their scavenging habits when it comes to food. As omnivores they require a diverse diet and because obesity is common problem with pet skunks, it is important that a healthy diet is offered.
Skunks are also known to raid a food that may have been stored by another rodent like a weasel. Skunks aren’t food storage in and of themselves. They eat everything they find and do not being food back to their dens. Most skunks will be seen foraging for food on their own. It is rare to see multiple skunks in the same location.
Skunks animals are not fearful as some people think and they generally just stroll along looking for food. Though Skunks animals can be destructive to gardens and have been known to damage people’s property at times, they are rather harmless if ignored or left alone. If skunks do become threatened, they will warn their predators with stomping and noises before they emit a powerful and pungent spray. They are not high on the prey list for other animals, so they do not have to fight for food.
What do Skunks Eat in the Wild
Skunks animals in the wild, eat pretty much anything, and their diets even change seasonally. Skunks are omnivores and cannot eat much processed food. A low-fat diet is also important because of the high risk for obesity in skunks. There are a few pre-packaged, formulated diets available for skunks but usually, they are only available online. Exotic Nutrition is one website that offers a poultry-based pellet that is meant to be complemented with fruits and vegetables. Quite the extensive list of zoos and universities use this diet.
Honey bees and their hives are the most common prey of skunks. Both the bees and the honeycomb within will be eaten by skunks.
Skunks mouths are protected against bee stings which is why they can eat a lot of bees easily. As skunks are nocturnal feeders they need to encourage the bees to come out of the hives at night.
The skunk will scratch the surface of the hive to entice the bees to investigate. Once they leave the hive the skunk eats them. They will mostly chew them to extract the bodily fluids and then spit out the solid parts. A skunk will eat a whole hive of bees if they get the chance to.
Striped skunks are common in Vermont and live in fields and open areas, and can even be seen in neighborhoods because of their affinity for eating garbage. They are omnivores, eating plants and animals. Some favorite critters include beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, small mammals, birds and eggs. They will dig for burrowing animals.
Although skunks are mostly at the hive to help the bees, they will occasionally help themselves to the honey.
Are Skunks Nocturnal
Skunks are animals who tend to be nocturnal, but sometimes are out during the day. They are beneficial creatures, and their important ecological role is often overlooked because of their spraying abilities.
Baby skunks, born between the end of April and early June, will sometimes come out during the day. Skunks may also venture out if a food source is more readily available while the sun is up, if they have been scared out of their daytime spot or if there is competition for food at night.
Even though skunks are nocturnal and come out at night, they are also crepuscular, meaning they can be active at twilight and at dawn.This explains why a Free Press reporter saw one around sunset in Williston on Monday.
An alerted skunk responsive and behaving normally during the day is probably fine.Skunks might come out during the day if there is a food source available at a particular time, if they have been frightened out of their daytime sleeping spot, or if there is high competition in the area at night from other nocturnal animals. Baby skunks are also commonly seen outside during the day.