I am SUCH a sucker!!!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by HillCountryMomma, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. HillCountryMomma

    HillCountryMomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 16, 2008
    I haven't posted on this section of the board much but I just have to share my latest trials and tribulations. Posted a little while back about having issues with a raccoon killing my birds. Still having issues with the 'coons! I borrowed 2 live traps from a neighbor after trying to track the coon(s?) down and shoot them prooved futile. With 4 little kids and a husband that works a lot I just can't stay up all night on a stake out.

    Anyway, we've had the traps 2 nights now. As always, nothing goes as planned!

    Night #1 I get up bright and early to check the traps anticipating a big fat raccoon awaiting disposal. My trap in the small pasture had been sprung, but is empty. The hook to hold the trap door shut didn't engage so the coon stole the bait, opened the door and left. Grrr!!! I fiddled with the trap and got it working for the next night. Went to check the second trap on our back property line along the coons walking path. Low and behold there was a raccoon! The smallest, most pathetic scared to death baby raccon you'd ever hope to not find in a trap. Gosh it was pathetic. I left it there and went in to tell my husband I couldn't shoot it. A big one yea, without hesitation. But not a baby. I agonized over it all morning. Went out to muster up my courage as it got hot knowing I couldn't leave it out there to bake and suffer in the sun. Poor little thing was already panting hot, huddled in a corner and miserable. I stood there looking at it. It sat there looking at me. The it reached a little paw out of its cage in desperation. Don't know what made me do it, but I reached a finger out and the little bugger grabbed on and held my hand and begged more eloquently than anyone with spoken language coudl do. Yep. I'm the worlds biggest sucker. Little guy is no longer where he can do any damage and if he has any sense he'll live out a nice, long easy life. Way, way far away from my chickens (and yep... I know ALL the implications involved in that one).

    Here he is (yea, that's the cat cage I dumped him into out of the live trap):

    [​IMG]

    Free under a big tree far, far from me (and chickens and any other edible domestic animals):

    [​IMG]

    I failed to mention the best part though. Upon walking back from checking the traps I checked the horses big water trough and about had heart failure. There was a THING swimming laps in it! At first I thought it was a rat. Ewww!!!! Upon closer inpection (as I was pondering how to get it out and kill it and wondering where the heck my umpteen barn cats had gone off to) I realized it wasn't a rat after all. It was a baby possum! I scooped it up, took it inside, dried it off and it's become the latest charity case. Local wildlife rescue doesn't want it. Local game warden (who is a hoot and knows me after an interesting wild pig situation I had a few months ago, and cougars before that) firmly told me that what he doesn't know about me keeping wild critters won't hurt either of us. Guess I have me an orphan to raise!!
    Yea, yea... I know. Trust me I know all the implications of this one too. But could you kill this little guy? I sure can't.

    [​IMG]

    This morning all I had in my traps was a big ugly male possum. He's outta here.

    Hopefully tomorrow morning I'll catch the darn coon I've seen killing my chickens! This is just getting plain silly!! Coulda been worse I guess... at least I didn't catch a skunk (knocking wood, throwing salt....watch one be waiting for me in the morning)

    Liz
     
  2. Solsken Farm

    Solsken Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Awww you are a sucker. Nice story. Please keep us posted.......
     
  3. dixygirl

    dixygirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 14, 2008
    I would remove the water from the trough and clean it with chlorox personally. Would want to make sure the horses don't get rabies and die.

    PS Also be extremely careful handling racoons and possums. The health department has told us the ones near me are all infected with rabies. One of the neighbor's cats got scratched by one, got infected and their whole household was quarantined by the Health Department for six month. They don't even have to bite you or scratch you to pass it. Just touching anything with their saliva on it could be a danger. Oh and they can be young and cute and still carriers.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2008
  4. Chicken_Lover4567

    Chicken_Lover4567 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 22, 2008
    Central Texas
    My opinion is great job! [​IMG] You saved a baby's life. Now, go get it rabie shots. [​IMG] THEN, I will officially call you a sucker. [​IMG]
     
  5. purr

    purr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2008
    east freetown, ma
    go get your rabies shot and don't let the kids touch anything that possum touches.

    I've had the series of shots . Not fun but better than the alternative

    And that is the cutest baby ,omg
     
  6. HillCountryMomma

    HillCountryMomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 16, 2008
    Horsegirl I'll let you know what happens. All this predator stuff is an adventure isn't it?

    Dixygirl, why on earth should I be paranoid now???? I live in the middle of nowhere. I imagine momma possum (amongst other things) has been coming up for months to drink out of the tanks and just happened to loose a baby one night. Poor little critter!! As far as I know rabies isn't even transmissable via. a water trough. The ravies virus can not live outside of the host body for more than a couple seconds. That's why it usually take a bite to become infected.

    Besides, if you think about it, there's probably a lot more traveling my property at night than I'll ever know about. Come morning all the little wild things are tucked away (sometimes with a belly full of my chickens gosh darn the rotten little monsters). Doesn't mean all my animals (chickens, turkeys, horses, cows, cats, dogs) haven't already come into contact with them!

    As healthy as the little possum is odds of it having rabies are slim to nill. They are also one of the few mammals with a natural resistance to rabies so are very, very low on the list of potential carriers.

    I'm all for common sense and precaution when it comes to wild animals, but I can't stand unfounded paranoia. Personally, I think the Clorox would be more dangerous! We don't use any chlorine bleach on my farm. The environmental repercussions of chlorine bleaches are pretty staggering.

    Liz
     
  7. revelu

    revelu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 28, 2008
    Midland, MI
    That baby possum is the cutest thing in the world and who could resist it? [​IMG]-
     
  8. dixygirl

    dixygirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feed bowls need to be sanitized and disinfected regularly to keep down germs. Especially those that are plastic. Also the coops and floors need a good wash down with a disinfectant periodically to control salmonella and other health hazards. Personally i find adding chlorox to water the easiest way to handle these tasks.

    Regarding racoons and possoms, we have them here too and they can be attractive when young. But i don't want my animals or myself to have any direct contact with them. Everyone has different standards.
     
  9. dangerouschicken

    dangerouschicken Will Barter For Coffee

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    Columbia Gorge, OR
    AWWWWW! You can curl its tail around your finger and hang him there. They are too cute like that. Possums grow up to be big one day, though. You are aware of that, right? [​IMG]
     
  10. purr

    purr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2008
    east freetown, ma
    well I was told by the physician at the emergency room that the animal licks itself to clean the saliva is on the fur and you touch the fur.

    As far as the animal seems healthy, a couple of months ago the local pound adopted out a puppy to a family.
    It had rabies the whole family and anyone who came in contact with the dog had to get the rabies series.
     

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