Opossum Danger?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by banks, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. banks

    banks Songster

    Last night I sat looking out the window and watched a opossum walk along the top of my privacy fence. My chicken coop backs up to the fence. To my knowledge he kept on walking and went on his merry way. My question is in what way is he a danger to my hens? I did not have the pop door shut (shame on me) so it could have gotten inside the coop without a problem. Why did he pass them by?


  2. bfrancis

    bfrancis Songster

    Mar 30, 2010
    Okmulgee Co, Oklahoma
    They are critters of opportunity. It probably wasn't hungry at the time. They love eggs and getting into left over chicken food, small birds too. I would call him a danger. One of the other things that if it "pooped" where your hens could get at it and ingested any...bad stuff there, make your flock ill and could cause death with all the internal parasites the opossums carry. If in town, I would either attempt live trap and remove, or discourage it wanting to be there with a bb gun...if outside city limits...get a larger caliber gun!

    Hope this helps
  3. banks

    banks Songster

    Thank you for the info. I live in town and was shocked to see it in the first place. I will try to reduce the danger by getting rid of it. Since I collect eggs before nightfall he will not be getting any unless he hangs around in the early morning. Do opossums typically come out during the day?
  4. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Songster

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    yes a big city rat. They do carry diseases.

    This one must have been full and did not kill your birds but very capable. You got lucky!
  5. real_redhead

    real_redhead Songster

    Jun 6, 2011
    Roanoke, VA
    Opossums are a danger, I lost 1 to a opossum and early one morning my husband heard the girls going crazy (it was hot at the time and I left the coop door open) and there was a opossum in the run chasing the girls, luckily no one was injured! I live in the city! All kinds of stuff in the city you don't know is there until you get chickens!
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2011
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Possums will kill and eat your chickens. They also eat eggs, but fresh meat is certainly on their diet. A sign that it was very likely a possum is when the predator starts feeding in the vent area. All predators don't read the book and act the way they "normally" do, but a chicken with that kind of sign is often the victim of a possum.

    Many people have misconceptions about predators. They do not always maim and kill just because they have a chance. Sometimes they have other things on their mind. Maybe that possum did not realize what was inside that pop door and did not investigate. Just because he walked on by once does not mean he won't stop off for a snack next time. They are always a danger.

    Think of another predator type, the driver that consistently runs red lights and ignores stop signs. They don't have serious accidents and kill children every time they do that, but they are a danger nevertheless and you need to be on the watch for them and protect yourself as best you can. They are out there.
  7. darkmatter

    darkmatter Songster

    Jul 10, 2009

  8. ChickiKat

    ChickiKat Songster

    Jul 10, 2011
    Eastern Kansas
    We just dispatched 3 possums the other night. They were in the run, probably eating chicken food. I had seen them previously farther away from the chickens and wondered what danger they might be. I have heard people say that they are no danger to the birds. But they do eat eggs and feed. I have also read that they will kill chickens. The other thing I heard is that nothing will eat a possum. The dead possums were tossed out back near the pasture fence 3 days ago. We have lots of coyotes run through here. The possums are still sleeping by the fence..... Hum!!
    Oh and another thing. The day after the possum massacre I saw a hen peck at something that looked like a mouse. Nope, possum paw. Apparently a twelve gauge shoots 'em right out of their feet!!!!
  9. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Songster

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    Quote:Good for you, people do not get they are a large version of a city rat but huge. Who eats mice and rats either?
  10. EM Squared Farms 2

    EM Squared Farms 2 In the Brooder

    Aug 31, 2011
    Possums will scare the chickens so they fly around in their coop and then grab one when it comes close and pull it through the fence.

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