Neighborhood critters-should i be proactive?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Enchanted Sunrise Farms, Oct 20, 2007.

  1. i've read so many horror stories here about predators and what they do to everyone's chicks. i have not had a problem yet, but definitely have potential.

    My husband chased a possum from our yard about a month ago. It was sneaking around our new chick-n-barn which had no one inside yet, but was next to our existing coop. Last night i saw a possum, about the size of a cat, over by our pond, on the other side of our yard and not near the chicken pen. But our lot is not huge, only about .17 acres, your standard residential lot.

    Also, my neighbor two doors down has a racoon that spends a lot of time in his yard. He's told me he sees it in his swimming pool dismantling his cleaner hoses. He also told me yesterday he saw a huge owl up on the power lines the night before. We also have hawks.

    Now hawks and owls, i will just have to be vigilant. But i'm nervous about the possum and racoon. It's probably only a matter of time before they find the chicken coop. i think it's secure, but after reading posts of maximum security installations that have been breached and chicken lives lost, mine is probably not totally predator proof.

    Here is my question. i'm wondering if i should attempt to trap the possum and racoon now before trouble happens, or is there a chance that these critters won't bother my flock and i should let them be. Maybe that racoon is really loving my neighbor's pool so much he won't come down this way, although it is only 150-200 feet and two fences. i don't know. i was awake all night last night after seeing the possum sneaking around.

    If anyone could offer input on what they would do in this situation, i would really appreciate it. By the way, when i mention trapping the animal, i would probably consult a trapping specialist and let them handle the removal. Not sure i am up to wrestling a cage full of angry racoon.
  2. Miltonchix

    Miltonchix Taking a Break

    Jul 14, 2007
    Milton, Florida
    If you are not proactive you will most likely be chickenless.
    You said your chicks aren't in the coop yet. Thats all the 'coon and possum are waiting for.
    I know its kinda hard to LEGALLY own a firearm in California anymore so your best bet is trapping.
    The problem I have with trapping is the problem is just relocated to someone/where else. Once these pests get the taste for it they will never stop killing livestock.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2007
  3. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator

    Jan 11, 2007
    NE Washington State
    I would be proactive. If you let a coon get one of your hens, they will be back and you may just have to kill it. If you allow someone to trap before they get a taste for chickens, they can be placed in a refuge where they can live but not be a threat.

    Possums are different. In Oregon, they are an introduced species. Back during WWII, people from the south coming to work in the shipyards brought possums for meat animals. Then there was a flood and all the possums were set free. Those who didn't drown populated the area.
    It is not legal to relocate possums here. They are supposed to be destroyed.
  4. Miltonchix - What i meant to say was that when that possum was skulking around was the night after we first put it together, so no chicks were inside. My husband caught it inside looking around. He whapped it over the head with a broom until it left. Anyhow, we now have it all set up and enclosed inside a kennel, tarped on top with some extra hardware cloth around the bottom. i still need to put on a solid roof, as i could see where a critter might be able to tear through that tarp. All my chickens are staying out there now. And by the way, i read your other post about losing near about all your chicks and ducks. i'm so sorry!

    Thanks terrielacy, i guess i will call around for an animal trapper on Monday. i don't have it in me to kill it, meaning i don't have the skills and would probably end up in the hospital with a racoon attached to my leg.

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