First predator

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by wardrum, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. wardrum

    wardrum Out Of The Brooder

    40
    0
    32
    Apr 27, 2011
    N.W. Ohio
    I just killed the first predator that we have had in our coop. It was a very small opossum just a little bigger than a full sized rat. I heard the chickens carrying on so went out to see wat was going on and he was just sitting on the roost looking at me so I ran back to the house and grabbed a bb gun and a crowbar and took care of him. But to be honest I kinda feel bad for killing the little thing. But I wonder if thats where my eggs have been going for the past week there are only two hens in that coop who lay but I havent gotten any eggs from them for a week and was starting to wonder if something was wrong .
     
  2. mrpekinduck

    mrpekinduck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2011
    Ducky Land!
    Oh don't feel bad you did what you had to do. [​IMG]
     
  3. Ksane

    Ksane Overrun With Chickens

    4,149
    224
    258
    Jun 21, 2011
    Oklahoma
    BB gun and a crowbar.
    Look at you go [​IMG]
    Don't beat yourself up. In 2 months it would've been in there eating your chickens.
     
  4. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    5,314
    59
    291
    Aug 12, 2009
    My hens started to molt and there is hardly ever an egg so I am worming them.Maybe it was the little possum though. I am sure there are more.I just caught number 9 or 10 2 days ago.
     
  5. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

    7,878
    12
    273
    Jan 27, 2009
    Enumclaw
    Just be aware that if there was one small opossum, that there is very likely more of them around. They have a lot of babies each year.
     
  6. Capvin

    Capvin Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,007
    58
    178
    Apr 13, 2011
    Lake Placid, FL
    You will soon grow tired of killing and attempting to kill the possum and other varieties of predators that will be killing your chickens. My sincere suggestion is to put your efforts into securing the entire area of your coop and run (if you have one) so that it is hard to impossible for predators to just walk in.
     
  7. stilldeb

    stilldeb Chillin' With My Peeps

    691
    2
    121
    May 28, 2010
    NW Kentucky
    You wouldn't have felt bad if it had torn up your hens. Opossums are nasty critters...and mean. Set some traps out for when you aren't out there watching.
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,106
    3,303
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Possums will eat eggs and will kill and eat your chickens. I free range mine and had the same experience you did. When I went to lock them up one evening, I found one in the coop. I never enjoy killing anything but I took on a responsibility to protect my chickens when I started keeping them. Even if you don't like doing it, sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

    Since it was a young one, there is certainly a Mama and probably other siblings around somewhere. It may have recently been weaned and was looking for its own territory, or it may have already settled there. Possums are territorial in that they hunt the same area, and they will gang up and kill any new possum that moves into their area. But they get used to certain other possums in the same territory. They are not opposed to sharing their territory, just not with strangers. I've known towns and communities like that.

    I suggest you get a trap and keep it set for a while. You can use almost anything for bait since they are scavengers, anything from bread to marshmallows to smelly meat to peanut butter, but you are liable to catch something else too. Could be a skunk or a raccoon, maybe a cat. You can talk to animal control to see what your legal options are. In many places, it is illegal to trap and release anywhere other than on your own property. Animal control may be practically useless or they might have a trap you can use and may dispose of them for you. You never know until you ask.

    You are never going to totally get rid of them by trapping. There will always be others that can move into that hunting territory. But what trapping will do is remove any that are already hunting that territory. Sometimes you can go a long time before a new one finds your place.

    Good luck!
     
  9. wardrum

    wardrum Out Of The Brooder

    40
    0
    32
    Apr 27, 2011
    N.W. Ohio
    I only feel bad because it was a baby and I had to use the crowbar. The bb gun I had was my daughters (pink) red rider lol it will hardly put a hole in a pop can. I am surprised we havent had more critters. We live in the middle of a huge public hunting area and our yard goes back to a creek. I did however put the dog kennels at that edge and the chickens are in the middle of the yard. But now I'm going to critter proof a little better.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by