Luck or are my chickens just mafia

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by liddle, Apr 30, 2016.

  1. liddle

    liddle New Egg

    Apr 30, 2016
    I am a first time chicken owner and so far have enjoyed rasing them alot! I have two chickens (i think rhode island? just the default orange light brown chickens) who seem to be loving life even though i dont get to spend alot of time with them.

    They liturly rule the backyard, i kinda thought since i am renting and the backyard is huge why not have a few chickens and let they enjoy life like kings!

    During rasing them like this i have learnt their are many things i have to acturly watch out for, for instance they drank from my paint bucket... i did remove all chemicals on the ground after that... also predators.... my neighbor has a cat which i found on the first week watching my chikcnes, i then chased it away hoping it would feel unsafe around them, i have had my chickens for sometime now and didnt see the cat again, i didnt acturtly change anything besides giving them more of the backyard, pretty much everything up to the back door now is their world.

    ... Must of jinxed my self thinking i got rid of the cat as a few months ago, i went to look where my chickens a choosing to sleep these days, and the cat was really close to them just chiling! enjoying them or thinking of munching some chicken wangs... who knows as it ran away again... i have not had any problem with the cat and my chickens seem very happy with their land also their bodies seem fine as in no battle scars....

    But tonight! i went hunting for their eggs as the little coops door must of blown shut, hasnt been an egg in their for a week.

    So i walked around the whole yard searching and i found an eaten posum.... i could post a picture but its pretty bad, like its head was eaten and stomuch eaten open and man it was like a bad day for him.... now i am starting to feel i have given my chicken to much freedom and not enough protection,

    So i am wondering would my chickens eat a possums? could my chicken defend themselves against my naighboors cat?

    Or has my neighboors cat turned into my chicken protector and has saved them from the possums? would a possum eat my chickens?

    P.S i havnt found the eggs, would a possum eat my eggs?

    Happy Regards,
  2. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    Chickens are more like fluffy dinosaurs than we usually give them credit for. Yes in the good old days feeding road kill to the chickens was just part of the plan for most farmers. So yes chickens will eat possums, skunks, rabbets, mice, chicken snakes etc. So to be safe you should never take a nap where your chickens can see you or you too could end up like your possum.

    To be sure the possums you have down under are different from the ones we colonist must deal with but why tempt fate by closing your eyes when your chickens are hungry.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Like George, I don’t know your predators all that well. Your possum is different from ours but our possum will eat eggs. They are pretty slow so they aren’t much of a threat to the chickens themselves during the day but when the chickens are on the roost at night our possum can climb up and kill one to eat. Our possum leave the shells behind, though pretty shattered. The chickens might or might not eat the egg shells.

    I do not gather road kill for my chickens but I do actively eliminate certain threats to them and my garden. They have been known to clean a carcass. They are omnivores and basically eat anything that doesn’t eat them first. You might think of it as do lunch or be lunch.

    There are many different predators here that will kill and go for the head first. Birds of prey, members of the cat family, and members of the weasel family are some that tend to go for the head first but there are others. I don’t know if the cat is the responsible party, but it’s possible.

    It’s highly unlikely your chickens would kill that possum themselves but they would enjoy eating it. My chickens seem to like the stuff inside the body cavity best but if the possum was opened at the head, they would start their feast there. I’ve seen them cut larger mice and frogs into pieces that they can swallow so they can do some real damage with their beaks.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  4. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Full grown chickens do quite well defending themselves. Some breeds much more than others. Rhode Island Reds are one such breed. Coops for night protection are needed as they've no defense when sleeping and poor night vision if awoken. Doors closed every night, I have a eye hook to latch door open due to wind closing it in daytime too. Full grown birds will easily defend from and intimidate cats. Young birds are food. Years ago unbeknownst to me a stray cat was living under a section of house without basement. 6 week old chicks were having a great time jumping at flying ants when out of a small hole in curtain under house a cat pounced and pulled one in. You'd have missed it if blinking at the moment. Free range is a risk and each persons choice of acceptable loss. You could be in an area where you lose so few it's a fair trade off for supplement food in forage and happy chickens.
    1 person likes this.

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