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Daytime Opossum

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by MamiPollo, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. MamiPollo

    MamiPollo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    Friday I came home from errands and my neighbor told me his brother had seen an opossum in my backyard. As we were chatting, I looked up and there was the opossum, peeking out at me from behind the privacy fence at the back of his yard.

    I said, "There he is! Look!" My neighbor couldn't see him from his vantage point, so he came over closer to where I was standing, and then the opossum crept out from behind the fence. It was very bold of him, knowing that two humans were standing there watching him.

    He walked along the fence into my yard and disappeared into some brush. I went back there and tried to scare him off, and he bared his teeth at me. Finally he did move on.

    I figured he was after my chickens, but strange he was out in the daytime. Aren't opossums nocturnal animals?

    Yesterday I cut down the brush he was hiding in.

    I have been letting my chickens free range in my yard in the hour or so before it gets dark. I really do not want this guy messing around out there.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. Kuntrygirl70

    Kuntrygirl70 Out Of The Brooder

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    Usually animals that r found in the daytime like that r sick or rabid. If it was me I would definatly shoot it. You dont want it gettin in the coop or any other animals. Or taking the chance of spreading anything
     
  3. DelcoChix

    DelcoChix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I could be wrong but I don't think possums are as much of a threat to grown chickens as they are to eggs and maybe defenseless chicks, so although I would be concerned about it's presence during the day I think your birds would be able to escape fairly easily..and I'd definitely be cautious around one that's around in daylight but if it appears to be healthy (alert, bright-eyed, good condition) it could be someone/something spooked it from it's sleeping area. We've had a young one that chose to nap under our hay pallets--when I was moving pallets to clean it hustled away, it was half grown and haven't seen it around. If it's been seen more than once during the day then definitely make arrangements to 'remove' him--baring it's teeth seems normal to me as they aren't known for their speed when confronted, I have had them 'play possum' more than once (it's very convincing too), but I never caught them in action like you did. Good luck and be careful!
     
  4. gavinandallison

    gavinandallison Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 25, 2010
    Matthews, NC.
    One easy answer - shoot it, then send it away to animal control to test...
     
  5. lleighmay

    lleighmay Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Woodlawn, VA
    A possum out during the day is not that unusual; they are nocturnal but sometimes are about at other times. Its behavior toward you wasn't "bold", if they don't perceive a threat they'll just stroll away. Baring his teeth at you when you went into the brush after him is a natural reaction- even very young babies who haven't even opened their eyes yet do that. Here in possum country we call it "grinning". If it appeared healthy it probably was; possums are not a vector for rabies. Clearing the brush and other attractive hiding locations and making sure there is no food lying around will go a long way toward causing him to avoid your yard. As for the safety of your chickens, possums are opportunists. Eggs, chicks, and chicken feed are better targets for them than a full-grown hen (unless of course your coop is unsecure and said hen is asleep, thereby presenting an easy meal). Free-ranging chickens in the yard are probably safe from your visitor; possums are not noted for their cat-like speed and athletic cornering ability..... I'm pretty sure even I could outrun one [​IMG]
     
  6. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    I have possums living in my yard. They have not been a problem for the chickens. I occasionally see them out during the day.
    They are a danger for the chicken feed. I just discovered, a couple weeks ago that a smaller one was lying on it's back and wiggling through a small gap in the corner of the chainlink, to get into the coop and eat. That gap is now fixed.

    Imp
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Quote:I fully agree with this post. They will take and kill grown chickens, but their prime target is really the eggs or feed.
     
  8. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:I fully agree with this post. They will take and kill grown chickens, but their prime target is really the eggs or feed.

    I agree too, excellent answer. Definitely not that unusual and not something I consider a huge threat, I see one out in daylight every once in a while. As noted above, they'll come checking around for accessible food or eggs. If you keep food put away and have a coop they cannot gain entry to they may still pass by but they will keep on going. Really no reason to get trigger happy.
     
  9. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Set a trap or shoot it and remove the chance there is a litter of future coop raiders in the area. It may just steal feed and eggs but if the chance arises, it will take a bird. By the way, critters don't read the rulebook that says they cannot come out till dark, and the same applies to coon.
     
  10. aprophet

    aprophet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    chesapeake Va.

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