dang possums!! how do i keep em out!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Flock Runner, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. Flock Runner

    Flock Runner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    personally this isn't my problem, its my friends.she is having major problems with possums. she left a camera out and caught them on tape sneeking into her coop. her rooster does a good job fighting it off but it managed to kill 4 of her bantoms so far. also its getting her other bantoms sick and she only has one left out of 8! i feel really bad for her and her bannies so i was gunna offer to help fix her coop. but would it be better to just get rid of the possom all together or fix the coop? also, how would i fix the coop? like what kind if wire fencing should i use and what structure keeps them out the best, a box like structure or dug into the ground?
     
  2. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

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    Make sure that the coop can be locked up tight at night. Windows need hardware cloth stapled on them. Doors need to shut and latch. The whole deal needs to be possum proof. Mine are more box type and they can be shut up at night and are. I started leaving them open this past summer when it was so blasted hot and I had possum problems. I didn't lose any chickens to the possums, but I shot three possums in two months. I was fortunate that none of the chickens were harmed.

    Part B is to set traps and be prepared to dispose of the caught possums. A shotgun works great.

    If food can be put up at night that will help. The possums are drawn to a food source. Cut off the food source and they will leave the coops alone.

    You really, really do need to make the coop predator proof. Possums aren't the only predators tha tlike chickens.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Flock Runner

    Flock Runner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    well my friend doesn't have a verry big coop. she only has a few chickens and a couple of bannies. all it really is is a wind proof shelter with wire fencing extending a bit down the side and a metal roof. personally i've never had any pest problems except one year i had hedge hogs that got in the house. they were actually really cut and almost friendly but the cats and dogs keep other animals away. my friend doesn't have as mant other pets. [​IMG]
     
  4. christineavatar

    christineavatar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have found one way to deter any predators except rats (probably because I don't have any at ground level). I was plagued by predators until I installed four - one on each side of the coop.
    http://www.niteguard.com/pages/Order
    I works AFTER the sun has gone completely down. It is not effective in twilight although the lights have come on.
     
  5. Kokamo

    Kokamo New Egg

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    I recently built my coop here from prior experience...eh...or maybe inexperience, lol. I built a coop that was predator proof....even down to snakes. I bought some 1/2"x1/2" welded wire and used a ton of staples. Put the wire everywhere you can from top to bottom and seal up all gaps up to 1/8th" wide with expandable foam. This will make it snake proof. From there, I bought some galvanized 1"x1"x18" tall standard chicken wire...dug a 1 foot deep trench around the bottom of the entire coop, lay the chicken wire in the trench and staple it to the bottom board (if yours is metal, use some sort of mechanics wire or even bailing wire) and lay the wire into the ditch....from there, lay big bricks or large rocks down on the wire, then cover it all up with dirt or gravel. Gravel is a good way to make water runoff easily. This method keeps out the digging predators. Around my area there is an abundance of limestone and it sucks to dig down any amount, but it really makes me feel at ease knowing that my hard work will keep my girls safe. As for the actual coop, my coop is all housed in and not part of the run....well, it is when I open the door to let them in, but at night they stay inside and out of the rain/snow/wind/cold. i just make sure the thing is nearly air tight....this is where the expanding foam comes into play again.

    Put it this way....build it strong enough to where you can't get into it bare handed (aside from using the doors). If you can't get into it, then more than likely predators can't either. Remember to double latch your doors or find a positive locking way to lock the doors....coons have fingers like we do and they are smart enough to figure out how a lock works if they can reach it. I have two locks on all my doors...one at the top and one about 2/3rds down. Just makes good insurance.

    Also, you can put an electric fence around the coop. You can buy a cheap fence charger off e-bay and get the galvanized wire from the hardware store. Use PVC as an insulator and go around the base of your coop somehow and make sure you have at least 3 or 4 rows of wire at least 12" high....tightly strung up and far enough away from the pen that your birds can't get hit from inside. If your birds free range during the day, put a timer on the fence charger. This fence will highly discourage almost any predator.....I don't have an electric fence ...YET, but I have all the materials if I ever have any sort of incident. This method works great for non-free range birds while you are at work and have no way to keep an eye on them during the day while you are at work.

    One other thing of added protection during the night hours is to buy a motion sensor/alarm system. This will send a signal to an alarm inside your house (assuming it's close enough) when there is a presence of a critter snooping around. I have two sensors on my coop....each one on the longest side since anything wanting in will travel around the edges to try and find an easy entryway and set off the sensor, thus letting me know it's presence. You can find these motion sensor/alerts on e-bay. They are called "Driveway alert". They work very well, but I think the tone they give off is pretty cheesy, otherwise a good investment if you have predator problems.

    I live back in the sticks and critters are everywhere. I have been alerted half a dozen times during the night since I got my chickens (3 weeks ago). If I get an alert, I sneak outside with my deadly accurate rifle (.22cal) and a nice bright LED flashlight.....if I see nothing close to the coop, I look around for eyeballs in the darkness, if I see any, it's getting a piece of lead right between the eyes.....I don't care what it is, if it's a critter out here too close to my hens, then that's too close and if I don't take care of them ASAP, THEY WILL BE BACK. I cherish my girls like family. So far...3 coons, one fox and 2 possums. Lots of (dead) critters around here.

    Good luck with it. There are lots of things that can be done to protect your investment.

    ~Joe
     
  6. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

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    Tell your friend to set traps.Home depot $46 for the 1089.Will take time to get them all.Is a garage an option? Perhaps putting them in a dog crate in the garage until a secure coop is built and the predators are trapped.In the least they could buy a cheap metal shed from Lowes I saw one for $300.

    If I just had one or 2 small chickens they might become house chickens until the coop was done.Avoid chicken wire for anything. Start setting the trap. I got my trap to get a groundhog and I got way more over the summer.I had no idea I had so many predators living near my chickens.
     
  7. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There really doesn't seem to be much to do except using traps. Shoot what you see, trap and shoot what you don't. Without a predator proof coop, she's at the mercy of the animals that like top feast on the chickens. That's just the way it is. She has a few today, she'll have fewer tomorrow.[​IMG]
     
  8. RHRanch

    RHRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    If she doesn't make it so her pen can be shut up at night, this problem will re-occur over time with different predators until no birds are left. This is a housing problem, not a predator problem. Your friend needs to get responsible and find a way to lock up her birds at night.
     
  9. catgil3

    catgil3 New Egg

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    After many tick bites this last weekend, camping in Tennessee, I’m Lyme disease paranoid. Research online led me to interesting finds.

    Possums are apparently a real help to any homestead for controlling ticks, mice and venomous snakes!

    How to get rid of Ticks on your property (Answer: Possums)
    http://www.treehugger.com/lawn-garden/how-get-rid-ticks-your-property.html

    ..senior scientist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, sees opossums as walking tick vacuums. ..."Opossums are extraordinarily good groomers it turns out – we never would have thought that ahead of time – but they kill the vast majority, more than 95 percent, of the ticks that try to feed on them. So these opossums are walking around the forest floor, hoovering up ticks right and left, killing over 90 percent of these things, and so they are really protecting our health.””

    Chickens, I’m not as sure about… http://www.examiner.com/article/no-solid-evidence-that-guinea-fowl-control-tick-populations

    - so if there was a way to both keep the possums and protect the chickens that's what I'd want to do!
     
  10. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Only a predator proof coop, and locking the birds in every night, will protect them. My coop and run are very safe, and that is the most important way to save chickens from predators. Free ranging the flock during the day is a calculated risk; some birds will be lost, but generally not the issues that occur during the night. Opossums also carry EPM, a VERY nasty and often fatal disease of horses. Having an affected horse, who has (expensively!) survived as a pasture pet, in addition to losses of chickens who avoid the coop sometimes, I'm not a fan of the beasts near the coop or barn! Mary
     

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