Health

What Do Skunks Eat: Know Their Full Diet

what do skunks eat

You can identify a skunk by its black-and-white striping. However, it is mainly known for its disgusting-smelling spray. If you have smelled a skunk spray, you will not forget it for some time. However, skunks look cute because of their looks. Skunks are famous for scavenging food; you could have seen one around your trash. Some people also take skunks as a pet. If you feed them, they will come back daily. You may also want a skunk as a pet and may think about what these skunks eat. In this article, we will tell you what do skunks eat and other fun facts about them.

What Do Skunks Eat?

Skunks are not very picky in food; they eat various animals and plants. They will consume anything they find, including trash and garbage, if they live close to humans. However, their diet changes throughout the seasons. Most likely, they eat high-fat and calorie-rich edibles. A skunk can eat even after it is full. Now, these are the foods that are part of a skunk’s diet. 

Insects and small prey are the main food items in their diet. When the food is not sufficient, they start to eat plants. They start searching for food in the trash and garbage in winter because of less food available in the cold season. However, they eat a lot of food in summer because of lots of food available to eat. 

They are also scavengers and can eat anything they get; their diet changes as the seasons change. They only attack creatures that are smaller in size. And when they can’t find a small animal, they eat and survive on plants. They eat garbage when they can’t find a small animal or plant. 

Insects and Animals:

We should be thankful for skunks cause their 70% diet consists of harmful insects that are dangerous to humans. They help humans to get rid of harmful insects in the house. Skunk’s diet consists of worms, grasshoppers, moles, tiny frogs, crickets, beetles, scorpions, snakes, mice, spiders, cockroaches, and bees. 

They will even target small birds, fish, and some tiny snakes. Skunks attack some animals to train the young skunk in self-defense. They preferred to target risky animals such as the black widow spider and vipers for self-defense. Luckily, they are immune to snake venom, so they can also kill and eat poisonous snakes. Skunks even kill honeybees. Their thick skin and fur save them from the stings of the bee.

what do skunks eat

Credit: WorldAtlas

Plants:

They like eating animals more than plants. However, not every season is the same, and sometimes they can’t get enough food to eat. At that time, they eat plants cause plants are available to eat most of the time. Mainly in the winter, there are few food sources for skunks, so they eat crops and fruits. 

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Plants material in skunk’s diet is nutritious grasses, grapes, mushrooms, berries, and leaves. They can also eat plant roots, nuts, and seeds. Now let’s know their diet in the winter.

What do skunks eat in winter:

In winter, skunks go into similar conditions as hibernation. Well, it is not fully hibernation and wakes up and goes to eat at night. They eat anything, but only a few options are available in the winter, so they expand their preferences. Skunks living close to humans may eat more significant quantities of garbage or trash. They will hunt little creatures like chipmunks, mice, or moles if they can’t find meat. 

During winter, the central part of the diet is vegetables, seeds, fruits, and nuts. In winter, skunks eat fruit like cranberry, elderberry, mountain ash, and chokeberry. Nuts and seeds contain hickory nuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pecans, or birdseed. They can also eat carrion if they find it near the den. Now we know what skunks eat in winter, let’s know their diet in the summer.

What do skunks eat in Summer:

During summer, skunks eat lots of food and gain so much fat, which can help them in winter when the food is less. Skunks will eat the food with the most calories and fat to complete this task. Fish and little mammals like mice, squirrels, and rats are their favorite summer food. Lizards, frogs, snakes, salamanders, and small birds are all on skunk’s diet. Insects like worms, beetles, and larvae are also a big part of skunks’ diet. They also like to eat honeybees and attack without fear. The thick fur of skunks rescues them from stings, and they will consume them. Besides these protein foods, skunks will also eat seeds, leaves, grasses, and fruits. Now let’s know if you have a pet skunk at home and what you should give it to eat.

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Pet Skunk Diet:

Wild skunks eat everything that they find. However, these habits don’t go away in pet skunks. Luckily your pet skunk will eat almost anything you give to eat. It will also eat your garbage, so you can say that they are not picky eaters. However, that doesn’t mean you can feed your skunk chips and burgers daily. They love high-fat foods cause they need fat to survive in winter. However, skinks can also become fat easily if you give them the wrong diet. But the extra fat can give them health problems in the long run. 

So, the proper diet of a skunk should look like this: Vegetables, fruits, lean meat, and Grains. Always cook all grains before giving them to your pet skunk. However, you can serve meat, fruit, and vegetables in raw form. When it comes to meat, give chicken or fish to eat. For grains, choose cereals, rice, oats, or potatoes; for fruit, choose melons, berries, or any other low-sugar fruit. However, if you give high-sugar fruits, serve them in low quantities. You can also feed them carrots, squash, peas, and corn. 

what do skunks eat

Credit: Pinterest

Now foods you should not feed to your pet skunk. Processed foods should not be on their diet. However, they will eat everything, but processed foods are a big No because they are full of preservatives and additives. Also, dont feed them Asparagus because it causes them seizures. These are some foods you should not feed your skunk: Onions, candy, Lettuce, chocolate, garlic, fried foods, and canned cat food.

Conclusion:

Skunks are cute animals with black and white stripes on their body. Suppose you have one at home as a pet and wonder what do skunks eat. After reading our article, you know how to feed your pet skunk. Also, they are omnivores and eat almost everything. However, you should not feed them processed foods and Asparagus. Give them proper food with meat, vegetables, fruits, and grains. Tell us in the comments which type of skunks are your favorite.

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