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The skunk is a little understood animal. By this we mean, that ordinary people, other than naturalists or scientists, little understand the habits and value of skunk. By some the skunk is classed as a reptile or varmint, and on account of its odor, is detested. Other animals throw scent, notably the mink and muskrat, of course not to the extent that the skunk does.
It is on account of this scent, that skunks are detested. We have animals on our farm which have never thrown a grain. And are yet in their wild state. They do not easily become frightened, hence have no use for their means of protection. That’s the only time they use it, and seldom when fighting among themselves.
To make a success out of anything, it is admitted one must know the thing. To be a successful farmer one must know what to raise and how. So with raising of skunk, one must understand skunk, just as one understands horses, cows, sheep or poultry. And skunk, when properly understood can be raised in captivity at a great profit. 500,000 skins were shipped to London last year, besides the skins which were used here in domestic manufacture.
It is surprising to note the change in conditions, due largely to the enlightenment of the rural population to the benefits of the skunk, also to the rapid increase and value of their pelts. Many skunk farms are in existence, the owners making a business of raising these animals for their pelts. While this may be a queer business, nevertheless it is perfectly legitimate, and as far as known, profitable. A ready sale of the pelts is to be had, and the skins from these domesticated animals generally bring higher average prices, being well handled and killed at a time when the fur is at its best. The domestic animal like cultivated fruits, are larger and in every way more valuable than the wild animal.
The skunk is found in nearly all the states and territories of the Union and climate and geographical conditions are responsible for the great variation in size and color of its pelage. There are very few fur-bearing animals as plentiful, and especially in the civilized sections, that bring such a handsome income to the farmer as does the skunk. As noted, the chief difference in character, besides the size of the animal itself, lies in the color of its fur.
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