BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Predators and Pests › Other than a live trap or a snare, what are my options to shoo away the opposums`
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Other than a live trap or a snare, what are my options to shoo away the opposums`

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I found a live opossum all cuddled up in my hens' egg box last night along with mess of broken eggs.  One of my four hens might be missing a toe and was terrified to move into the coop,  We finally got the opossum out of the box by pulling the bottom out of the egg box.  we have noticed a real drop in eggs over the last two months so these visits may not be new.  I think I know where the booger is getting in, but the area will be rough to work on until the snow is gone and I can get to it better.

 

Other than a live trap or possibly a snare which may not be a good idea with a dog about the same size as the possum, what can I use?  I could shoot it, but  am not really into that.  I bought a new latch for the egg box, but I don't really think that is the problem.  I also bought some animal repellent to spray about.  Any other ideas?  How about the fake owls?

post #2 of 4
You are liable to get some different opinions on this topic, some fairly strong. Since the first of the year I’ve trapped and disposed of four possum, three skunk, and one raccoon. I’m not opposed to permanently removing one of these critters but the point I want to make with this is that trapping or shooting is not a long term solution. It’s often not even a short term solution since there are probably more ready to move in if they are not already there. It will remove a critter that is hunting your territory so there is immediate benefit from that.

I’ve tried many different things to deter critters, deer, groundhogs, and the critters I’ve mentioned. I occasionally have some temporary success but I find that wild animals are really adaptable. It normally doesn’t take them long to find out that dog hair, coyote urine, Irish Spring soap, or a radio set on a talk show really isn’t dangerous to them. My dogs have killed possum and skunk in territory the dogs had clearly marked. You can probably tell I’m not a huge fan of all these deterrents. I’ve tried several and any success is short-lived.

The only thing that is going to work is fencing. You have to fence the critters out. In the snow that may be hard to do but I really don’t know any other way that is certain.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply
post #3 of 4


I've read that hanging a radio near your coop and turning it on at night usually keeps foxes, coyotes, and things like that away. Do you have a dog? We always put dog hair in our garden to keep deer away, I don't know if that will work with other animals, though. In the summer when our blueberry plants start producing fruit, my Mom hangs pie pans on a nearby tree to keep birds away. But again, don't know if that'll work with other animals. Hope you can keep them away!  

post #4 of 4

Raccoons have been a problem killing poultry for me, so they get shot, or livetrapped and then shot.  Skunks and possums have only eaten the eggs and never attacked the birds, so I let them live.  If a possum moved in, as in, inside the barn and dining on eggs everyday, he got livetrapped and taken for a ride to a wilderness/wildlife area.  I learned from a man named (of course) Skunky how to livetrap and release skunks without getting sprayed, so skunks who persisted coming inside got relocated too.  This then led to an unintended "hobby" as the local go-to person for removing skunks!

 

Now for the mea culpa--livetrapping and relocating/releasing these animals isn't legal where I used to live and did this.  All I can say is that a little governmental bird told me just not to get seen doing it.  The rationale is that they might have rabies, and also that you might move your problem varmint to somebody else's farm to trouble them.  You were allowed to kill them but not relocate them.  Since the skunks and possums weren't hurting the poultry I decided they deserved a "pardon".

 

I did find one little possum in a nest box holding an egg and delicately lapping it up, having removed the top of the shell.  When I stood over it looking in, it just looked up at me like "I'm sorry, did you want some?"  A big one started climbing up on the box where I put my barn cat food, and I was in the habit of stroking the cat as I was on my way back to the house after evening chores.  A couple of times I ended up stroking the possum!

 

Possums aren't real smart, the only way I know to make them go away is to trap and relocate or kill them.  For me, with skunks and possums it was often live and let live.  You might try closing up the opening it's using for getting in with your chickens; if it can't get any dinner it will eventually look elsewhere.

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