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What do Skunks like to Eat? #LoveForFood

Now that you have decided to opt for the skunks as pets, the next important aspect you would want to give a severe thought would be to find what do the skunks eat. To be frank, skunks tend to be highly opportunistic when it comes to eating and feeding themselves. They would prefer spying and preying on animals that are much smaller than themselves.

If you have a skunk as a pet and looking to find what it would eat, we would definitely help you out with the task. However, before delving deeper into the concept, we will get a snapshot.

What do skunks like to eat?

So, what do skunks like to eat? Skunks are omnivores. They get adapted to any kind of diet. In any case, the favorite food for the skunks remains to be smaller prey and insects. They prefer eating plants when food is not available. In fact, it may try finding food in the garbage and trash if the food is extremely scarce. This can ideally happen in the winters. The summers and spring are the two seasons they prefer preying on normal prey.

That should perhaps answer your query rather to the point. Skunks tend to eat as much as they can in the summers so that they are sustained well enough during these months.

What do Skunks Like to Eat?

Skunks are omnivores, and they do not behave as picky or choosy when it comes to food. The key to their eating habits is mere survival, and they do not hesitate to find food in practically anything – garbage included. Skunks are also known to showcase a scavenger tendency. They would just adapt to any kind of food habit and opt for the food depending upon the season and availability.

The skunks DO NOT like killing animals. More than not liking, they do not have the necessary physical ability to kill animals as such. In fact, they do have self-defense mechanism when they are attacked, but combating or attacking other animals is something they would not be able to handle.

A few foods they would prefer would include:

Small Preys
Skunks love eating insects. However, they may even feast on the other smaller defenseless animals such as mice or chicks. Voles and rabbits are some of the animals they would want to feast on. Birds that would typically nest on the ground are also preyed upon at times by the skunks. They also eat the eggs of smaller animals and birds such as chicken eggs.
While skunks prefer eating animal food, the food may get scarce during the winter months. When the food is not available in plenty of numbers, they tend to eat whichever insects or other smaller prey they can find. If nothing is available, they can adapt to a plant-based diet. Some of the plant-based food that skunks normally consume would include corn, cherries, grapes, and berries. They can even feast on the rotting fruits that might have fallen from the trees.
Like we have been repeatedly stated, skunks are not choosy when it comes to eating food. If they are unable to get any decent food, they would be fine with the garbage left unattended. It can find its food in a dust bin and find some rotting food or other insects that may be found in the garbage dump.

We will cover the concept of skunks and their eating habits in more detail here:

Skunks Prefer to Eat Small Preys

Skunks are not equipped with a capacity to combat and kill. That is precisely why they feed on smaller prey and insects. They would also prefer killing defenseless animals and birds like rabbits, chicks, and ground-nesting birds.

In fact, keeping a skunk as a pet can be a great option to help you take care of the harmful insects that may damage your garden. The estimates suggest that more than 75 percent of the skunk diet consists of harmful insects that tend to damage the gardens.

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The significant diet that skunk feasts on during the summer and spring can include:

  • Small Snakes – skunks love rattlesnakes
  • Cockroaches
  • Crickets
  • Beetles
  • Beetle larvae
  • Black Widow Spider
  • Fish
  • Grasshoppers
  • Scorpions
  • Rabbits
  • Mice
  • Voles
  • Moles
  • Birds that build nests on the ground
  • Small amphibians such as frogs, and toads
  • Water snakes
  • Bees

What do Skunks Eat in Winters?

Unlike most of the other animals, skunks do not hibernate in the winters. Since there is not much food available in the winters, they would prefer eating small insects or even feast on a plant-based diet.

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The primary food items that skunks may eat in winters can include:

  • Insects
  • Frogs and toads
  • Birds
  • Eggs
  • Earthworms
  • Snakes
  • Berries
  • Plant Leaves
  • Nutritious grasses
  • Plant roots
  • Nuts

Skunks Eat Plants as well !!

Skunks are omnivores. They would prefer eating plants when they have no proper food available. Do note that when the carnivorous food is not available, they would decide to opt for plant food for mere survival.

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The typical plant-based food that skunks prefer would include:

  • Corn
  • Grapes
  • Cherries
  • Berries
  • Seeds
  • Nuts
  • Plant parts on the ground
  • Plant roots

The roots have been observed to be their favorite options. The availability at the ground level is what makes them easily accessible.

What Do Baby Skunks Eat?

Until baby skunk is five weeks old or until the teeth are well developed, you should bottle feed your baby skunk. It would be preferable to feed goat milk that is diluted with water. You can add up a little dry baby cereal as well. Make sure that the feedings are spread throughout the day and should be around five times a day.

Once the baby skunk is around 7 weeks old, you can introduce vegetables. You can even feed finely chopped and cooked chicken, dog food, yogurts, cheese, and other grains. Make sure you are feeding balanced food. Feeding vegetables alone can make your skunk develop week bones.

Do note that some of the foods may be dangerous for the baby skunks and can even cause death. Cow milk, human baby formulas, and most of the pet products are observed to be quite dangerous. It is advisable to use esbilac powder which is a puppy milk replacer.

Baby skunks are indeed quite cute and should be one of the great options for keeping as a pet. However, before you can pet a skunk, check out the laws and regulations in your region. Keeping skunks may be illegal in some regions. 

Do Skunks eat Mice?

The field mice are one of the favorites for the skunks. That should ideally make it one of the best options for the gardeners to keep skunks as pets. The mice would be one of the best and most favored diets for the skunks, especially during the fall and winter. However, the skunks may not eat mice during the summers when they have plenty of other food items available.

However, do note the skunks can be dangerous if you have chinchillas or rats that you have kept as pets already. The small animals have always been the hot favorite preys for the skunks and can be easily attacked upon.

Do Skunks eat Cats?

Skunks do not prey on cats. However, kittens can be a risky affair. While the cats and dogs may be safer enough, but the same may not be said about the kittens and puppies. The skunks could attack a small-sized cat or a doggy quickly enough.

So, if you have cats in your home and looking to keep a skunk as a pet, you need not worry about them at all. Cats have always been one of the best favorites for humans, and that should ideally make it great news for you.

Will Skunks eat Chickens?

Skunks have been observed to be fond of chicks and their eggs. If you have chickens that have laid eggs, you will run the risk of the skunks attacking your chicks and eating their eggs.

Yes, that brings us to one of the most favorite food of the skunks – the eggs.  Although, beaks and talons of a cock or hen have been a strong weapon for the birds, and they can very well harm the skunk, but still, yes, skunks can kill the chicken and eat their eggs!

Do Skunks eat Rabbits?

The skunk feast on the smaller prey, and a rabbit is one of them. Skunks prefer defenseless animals, and a rabbit is undoubtedly one of the most vulnerable animals ever. Skunks do attack rabbits and eat them, and if you want to have both, it should be worthwhile to give serious thought to take enough care of your rabbits.

So, if you already have a rabbit as a pet and have chosen to keep a skunk as a pet, you may need to think twice.

Do Skunks eat Ticks?

The ticks are extremely small, which would make them one of the difficult options for the skunks to eat. However, if the skunk is ravenous, it would even prefer to eat ticks.

Do Skunks eat Meat?

Skunks do prefer eating chicken meat and other similar options. If you have kept your skunk as a pet, you can feed the normal meat or even the other options such as dog or cat food, chicken meat, and other options.

The above have been few things which skunks can eat; however, now lets have a look at what skunks actually like to eat the most & what do they eat in the wild.

What do Skunks like to Eat the Most?

Skunks do have a very strong sense of smell. Fish and other similar animals that smell are what would attract a skunk the most. Eggs are one of the most favored food items that skunks crave for. In fact, it has been found that skunks attack your chicken coop from the wild just for the sake of those eggs.

What do Skunks eat in the Wild?

While in the wild, Skunks would prefer fruits and other vegetable products. Some common food items that skunks would prefer can include berries, cherries, blueberries, and roots. Skunks prefer eating thee food that is low in fat content. Following is the list of food items that Skunks eat in the wild:

  • Beetles
  • Grasshoppers
  • Ants
  • Grubs
  • Bees
  • Small snakes and birds
  • Crickets
  • Beetle larvae
  • Small rodents
  • Caterpillars
  • Eggs
  • Moles

As stated before, skunks are omnivores, they are not much picky about what to eat and how to find the right options to eat. They do not move faster, and that would mean they would find it a little difficult to run behind the animals that they want to prey.

That is one of the reasons why skunks kill and eat smaller animals. Since they do not chase their food, they eat whatever is available for them. In fact, skunks eat plants and animals in an equal manner. During the summers and fall seasons, they would prefer eating animal food.

They do not hibernate like other animals and thus in winter, when the food is quite scarce, they rely on food supply from plant sources.

The Concluding Remarks

Well, that should have made you understand clearly every detail of what skunks eat. In essence, skunks have been observed to be quite adaptive when it comes to finding food. The discussion above should ideally let you pick the food items wisely so that you would feed your pet skunks precisely what they want to.

Check out the right tips outlines above and arrive at the right options for your needs.

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