[et_pb_section admin_label=”section”][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text”]
Written by Scott Anderson – February is known for Valentine’s Day. According to Texas Parks and Wildlife officials, February is also the prime month for breeding season for skunks in Texas.
The most common species of skunk in our part of the state is the striped skunk. They have two white stripes on their backs that join in the neck region. They have five toes on each foot. Striped skunks construct their homes wherever a convenient place is found. Striped skunks are gregarious, living in families from the time the young are old enough to walk until they are able to fend for themselves.
Their breeding season is usually February through March. They have a gestation period of 62-75 days. Most young skunks are born in May. On average, five young are born per litter. Young striped skunks eyes and ears open after about 30 days, at which time they are able to musk (spray). They are weaned at 8-10 weeks of age. Once the babies are able to leave their dens they follow their mother about. Dispersal of family units take place usually in Autumn.
Striped skunks are omnivorous. Insects constitute over ½ of their diet. They will eat nesting birds eggs, field mice, young rabbits, and small reptiles. Skunks have few natural enemies. Most predators are repulsed by the odor of their musk. Skunks have musk glands located at the base of their tail.
A skunk has voluntary control over the glands and can control the direction in which the musk is discharged. According to Extension Wildlife Specialists, the glands only contain about one tablespoon of musk at a time. Striped skunks are highly susceptible to being struck by vehicles. Individuals seldom live more than 2 years in the wild. Skunks are highly susceptible to rabies. According to Texas Department of Health records skunks accounted for 52% of confirmed rabid animals from 1956-2002. This susceptibility to the rabies virus serves to keep populations under control. Other species of skunks found in Texas are spotted, hooded, and hog-nosed skunks.
[/et_pb_text][et_pb_team_member admin_label=”Scott Anderson” saved_tabs=”all” name=”Scott Anderson” position=”Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agent for Brown County” image_url=”https://brownwood.onecmsdev.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/1378/2016/12/scottanderson.jpg” animation=”off” background_layout=”light” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]
Scott Anderson serves as the Texas A&M AgriLife Brown County Extension Agent and County Coordinator for Agricultural and Natural Resources. The Brown County Extension office is located at 605 Fisk Avenue in downtown Brownwood. To contact Scott Anderson, call: 325-646-0386 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Brown County Office of the Texas AgriLife Extension provides effective, traditional educational programs and activities. They include livestock and forage production, 4-H club activities and health and family enrichment programs. Meeting the needs of the people is what Extension is all about.