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I think we just had an opossum attack

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by markingchick, Mar 5, 2017.

  1. markingchick

    markingchick In the Brooder

    Aug 10, 2016
    SW Florida
    I have a very small flock compared to some of you (started with only 6). One died awhile ago of a health issue. My husband forgot to close the pen gate at the beginning of this week and we lost one. She just vanished. No trace of her anywhere. So, down to four. This morning I went out to feed and found 2 beheaded and the other two injured in the neck area. One will be okay. I saw blood, but no puncture wounds. The other is missing skin on the top of her neck. I don't think she will make it. There really isn't anything there for me to try and suture. Any ideas? They both are fairly shaken up, but they are eating.

    They were all securely in their pen when this happened. Something dug under. From what we've read, it seems opossums are the ones that behead and leave. Anyone with opossum experience. Since I am getting chicks to replenish my pen, we are going to get a game camera to verify.

  2. oldclucker65

    oldclucker65 Hatching

    Mar 5, 2017
    To keep critters from digging under the fence lay piece of fencing all around the edges. Is the top covered? Possums can drop in from above also. That does sound like possums probably juvenile. I had one eat the comb off of my rooster.
  3. SilkieChickenLover336

    SilkieChickenLover336 Songster

    Feb 16, 2011
    New Jersey
    Raccoons can also behead chickens. I had one open the latch of my coop some how (I have trouble opening it some days) and beheaded one of the three chickens. It ran off with another and the other one just had its neck broken. So so so sorry for your loss I hope everything works out [​IMG]
  4. ellassilkies

    ellassilkies In the Brooder

    Mar 5, 2017
    I've read that spraying wolf pee around the coop should keep some predators away[​IMG] You can purchase it online
  5. Howard E

    Howard E Songster

    Feb 18, 2016
    Doubt that was a possum. Multiple kills is not their way. Multiple birds killed at the same time is the signature of raccoons, dogs and weasels (or one of the weasel cousins). Dogs would not get in and if they did, they mostly just kill them......no heads missing. Weasels mostly kill them all, leaving damage to the heads and necks, but seldom leave with an entire bird.

    Most likely you have a raccoon (or several of them working together). They got the first one, then came back for the rest. To shut that down, you need to tighten up the coop and that means something they can't dig under. I installed a wire apron...........


    That is 1" x 2" 14 gauge welded wire........about 2 feet tall. The part next to the coop is bent into a short upright L and was nailed to the side of the coop's runners. Diggers go at the base of the coop, but soon hit that wire. They may move up and down the base, probing for an entry point, but never figure out they need to move back a couple feet and tunnel their way in. Eventually the grass grows up through the wire and you can mow over it.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
  6. Jeepnut58

    Jeepnut58 Hatching

    Jan 10, 2017
    We have electric fence running all the way around our chicken run and we have chain link fence on top of the chicken run. fasten down.we used dog kennel panels for our chicken run.

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