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Possum Attack

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
We have a coop and run that are completely enclosed with an electric fence. We have never lost any chickens or ducks to a predator. A couple day ago my daughter found once of our roosters dead on the coop floor, missing a head. That night we put our 4 ducks, 3 hens and 1 rooster in the garage and put a camera in the coop. We got footage of a HUGE possum climbing the roosts. Last night we set a trap and this morning relocated the possum miles away. We can't figure out how It got in since out coop and run is surrounded by an electric fence. It's very concerning because now I don't feel like my ducks and chickens are safe. Any ideas?
post #2 of 9

You should dispatch them if you're going to trap them.  Outside of trapping and relocating being illegal; you're basically either sentencing the animal to a less humane death by relocating it to unfamiliar and aggressive turf, or, just as likely, potentially dumping the problem off on someone else's chicken coop.

 

On diagnosing the method of how the possum got inside - without photos or such, and even then, it's not likely you'll get a genuine idea from members.  I'd just got through the coop - check for loose wire, missing panels, holes that have been dug, etc.

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On vaccinating v/s Marek's Disease - ( here & here )
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post #3 of 9

I don't know of a state or jurisdiction where it is legal to relocate wild animals.  Only government agencies have this right and they rarely use it.  Animal lovers claim their reason for relocating is because it's more "humane".  Well, we know that nothing could be more "inhumane" than to take an animal from it's home environment and drop it off into a place it has no knowledge of where food, water and shelter is to be found.

 

What is probably worse is that you dropped it off into an area of another possum's territory and, it will have to fight for it's survival.

 

The law you broke is an animal cruelty law!  You try to equate the lives of a wild animal with that of humans or the lives of Poofy Lou the Shitzu.

 

Like Owen posted above, if you visit the same wholesale slaughter onto someone else's chickens, you justify it how?  Would the next victim absolve you of guilt.  With the law on his side and, the laws of nature on his side you would be guilty as sin!!!  You may attempt to justify what you've done but, there is no argument that is humane or legal. 

Married 46 years. Great wife, 4 sons, 13 grandchildren! 

 

He who laughs last thinks slowest!


Give me ambiguity or give me something else.   

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Married 46 years. Great wife, 4 sons, 13 grandchildren! 

 

He who laughs last thinks slowest!


Give me ambiguity or give me something else.   

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post #4 of 9
Chill out they made a mistake there are a whole lot of worse things in life
3 silkies,5 easter egger 1 black new jersey giant 2 buff Orpington 3 ducks 1 silkie/ee mix 2 cats and a teenager daughters
I am sorry a head of time if I don't used the correct grammar
RIP my sweet little Tess. You will be miss
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3 silkies,5 easter egger 1 black new jersey giant 2 buff Orpington 3 ducks 1 silkie/ee mix 2 cats and a teenager daughters
I am sorry a head of time if I don't used the correct grammar
RIP my sweet little Tess. You will be miss
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post #5 of 9
First, I’m not going to attack you for releasing the animal. I don’t release them myself, but I consider that personal choice. To me, these things are not as absolute as some people seem to think. And since you did not give details of how you released it, I have no idea what you did. And since I don’t know where you are, I don’t know the laws in your country or other legal jurisdictions.

I’m not sure how your electric fence is set up. Apparently there is a weakness where the possum got under it, through it, or over it. Since it came three different times it’s probably not a case where the power went out. That would be too much of a coincidence. As Owen said, look for that weakness. You may need another strand of hot wire or a physical barrier. Or a dumb question, have you tested them to assure that all strands are hot?

I don’t know what your coop or run look like. Do you lock them in the coop-only part at night or do you leave a door open? Possum are mostly nocturnal (I did see one feeding at my compost heap at 1:00 pm one bright sunny afternoon so mostly nocturnal does not mean always). Besides, if a possum can get in, so can many other things. Some of those can visit during the day. Still, nighttime is your time of highest danger from many things. It increases your safety level tremendously by securing them at night.

The more layers of defense you have the better. How would you set it up if you didn’t have that electric fence? I consider my run pretty predator resistant but there are ways a climbing predator could get in. But my coop is about as close to predator-proof as I can realistically get it. I also have an area outside protected by electric netting. Birds of prey can still get in but that has stopped practically everything else so far, other than snakes and rats. Is there a reasonable way you can strengthen you defenses other than the wire fence?

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

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post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you for those of you who took the time to respond in a kind and informative way. Most people are more than willing to listen, learn and even admit mistakes when spoken to in a respectful way. That said, taking an overly-aggressive, rude and judgemental posture on something one feels passionately about, typically does not foster in another person a desire to hear what you have to say.
post #7 of 9

Don't feel bad.  They run along my back fence all night and torment my dogs.  My dog has cornered a few and I find them very dangerous looking with their big teeth and snarl.  Our local animal HUMANE society won't even take a possum phone call.  So at the risk of my dogs losing an eye or catching some dreaded disease... those possums disappear.  I believe you have every right to protect your livestock and family.

post #8 of 9
Wow... I feel for you. You defo got a telling off. I'd do as others have said check everything with a fine tooth comb and make sure everything is in order. I'd of put cctv on the place and seen how into was getting in but as that's not a option I'd say maybe bait the place and see if anything else finds a way in.
I've relocated many things when I didn't know the ins and outs of nature. We all make mistakes it's just how we learn from it in the future. Man messes with nature dramatically everyday unfortunately. We all could do more. Don't stress or worry about it. I hope you get everything sorted and safe again. And hopefully this time no more losses to your flocks. All the best from the UK smile.png
post #9 of 9

I certainly was not being rude or judgmental.  Overly aggressive?  Maybe so.  I explained the law as being an animal cruelty ordinance.  As for judgmental, you judged yourself when you admitted your unlawful act.  But honestly, how aggressive do you think the family who owned the dead chickens would have been had they found out who dropped off a known chicken killer in their midst?

 

Look, I know what you did was supposed to be an act of kindness.  It may be hard for you to believe but, I didn't mean to hurt your feelings.  Please accept my apology for doing so?

 

The subject is a sensitive one here at times.  My response was intended to impress upon you and those who might do the same thing as to the FACTS concerning this issue.

 

This usually comes up as sort of a debate here.  You certainly didn't attempt to justify what you did.  I should have realized you had no idea of the law or the territorial consequences of relocating a predator.  Again, I apologize for offending you.  I truly did not intend to do so. 

Married 46 years. Great wife, 4 sons, 13 grandchildren! 

 

He who laughs last thinks slowest!


Give me ambiguity or give me something else.   

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Married 46 years. Great wife, 4 sons, 13 grandchildren! 

 

He who laughs last thinks slowest!


Give me ambiguity or give me something else.   

Reply
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