Does this sound like an oppossum?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by CourtneyMB, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. CourtneyMB

    CourtneyMB Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 14, 2010
    Asheville, NC
    Last week, at night, something chewed through the thick wire surrounding the chicken coop and entered the house, killing my favorite girl. :( She was the only casualty, she was fully intact (ie head still on) except for part of her breast/gut was eaten. There were feathers strewn about but not an excessive amount. My golden comet had lost a couple of feathers on her breast too, with very small wounds, but she was alright. Then after his (small) feast the pest must have climbed the pen and left through a hole in the hawk netting, seeing as how there were feathers stuck to this hole.

    I put a door on their hen house since, closing it at dusk, and I've also set a live trap out near the coop and caught:
    a feral cat (doubt it was this cat, it was old and had a broken leg)
    and a possum.

    The reason I think it was a possum and not a raccoon is I've heard raccoons will kill all the hens, while possums only kill what they eat. ALSO several weeks ago I had forgotten to close the coop door (stupid me) and luckily my dog woke me up in the middle of the night cause he heard ruckus out at the coop. At about 2 in the morning I went out and found a possum chasing my chickens through the yard. Luckily they were able to outrun him because the door was open and they could escape to the pasture, so they all survived.

    What do you think? I've also heard it's rare for possums to kill chickens, that they would rather eat the eggs. So I don't know if I've caught the perpetrator or if I need to keep looking...
     
  2. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Dec 25, 2012
    The damage to your chicken sounds like what both a possum or a coon would do. I doubt that a possum would or could tear a hole in the wire, a coon on the other hand would not let a little wire stand between him and a chicken dinner. Escaping through the top of the pen instead of leaving like it got in sounds more like a cat. However possums are dumb enough to forget how they got inside and will look for a different way out. Keep us posted.

    PS: The body wasn't found right below the hole in the top were the feathers were found was it? Like what ever it was was trying to carry the chicken with him and dropped it?
     
  3. CourtneyMB

    CourtneyMB Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 14, 2010
    Asheville, NC
    No, the body was still in the hen house which I found odd, seeing as how there were several of her feathers in and around the run area.

    And that's what I thought too, that the chewed wire sounded more like a coon. I just can't see a stupid possum doing that. I've never had anything that determined before. I've dealt with foxes, bobcats, and hawks in the past, but that was only when the girls were free ranging. This fencing is the tough stuff, not that cheap chicken wire. :/ Hmm...I guess I'll see what I catch tonight.
     

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