Opossum in my chicken house

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Slimp Farm, Oct 27, 2016.

  1. Slimp Farm

    Slimp Farm Hatching

    Jun 23, 2016
    So tonight I go put my chickens up and as I'm walking out there I notice my 2 ducks who live with the chickens are up eating. I notice something else in there eating to and as I get close its a big oppossum. Of course I scare it so it leaves. I'm really shocker it didn't kill my girls is it because there was food out? I have had them kill little chicks before. I have noticed some of my eggs have been eaten during the day and I thought it was a chicken but now I'm not sure. What do you guys think?

  2. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Crowing

    Mar 7, 2011
    Finger Lakes, NY
    Well, the camp is divided into two sides....kill it/don't kill it. I have had possums in the henhouse and they haven't harmed the hens at all. They will take eggs, feed and chicks if available, but it seems to me that they are quite non-aggressive unless cornered.
    If it was me, I would live and let live, it's eating the chicken food so is unlikely to kill a bird imho. [​IMG]
  3. shortgrass

    shortgrass Crowing

    Mar 14, 2015
    Northern Colorado


    I actually agree here ;)

    I encourage opossums to loiter, and I feed them when I see them out and about at night. I've noticed my other predators don't really stick around as long as the opossums are here. Yeah, they've swiped eggs that I left outside, and the dog goes nuts lol, but they really aren't bothering anything here. I've got a young one that will actually let me pet it, although I don't recommend trying that at home lol ;)

    I would, however, try to keep it out of the actual henhouse; it IS a wild predators, after all. Unpredictable, and if something happened I would shoulder the blame. But better than a pet coon or fox, any day ;)
  4. MasterOfClucker

    MasterOfClucker Songster

    Jul 19, 2016
    You could trap it and relocate it somewhere else far away

  5. cassie

    cassie Crowing

    Mar 19, 2009
    I wouldn't be so much worried about the opossum as the fact that if an opossum can get in a raccoon certainly can. A raccoon can wipe out your whole flock of chickens in a night or two. My neighbor can tell you all about that.
  6. Howard E

    Howard E Songster

    Feb 18, 2016
    Do a BYC search for all the threads on possums and chickens. Possums will kill adult birds. Just saying.

    If you don't want to kill it, better find a way to keep it at arm's length. First and foremost, do the "tighten up" so it can't get to the feed or birds.

    After that, you can try to feed it elsewhere if you want to keep it around. My guess is if you prevent it from getting to the feed and birds, it will go elsewhere on it's own.
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop

    My view on relocation of chicken predators and/or nuisance animals.

    It's really better to kill them...for many reasons.

    -You've just introduced trap savvy pest/predator animals into someone else's 'backyard'.

    -The spread of disease is a very real aspect and why it's illegal in many states to relocate trapped predator animals.

    -Releasing an animal into another animals territory could well sign it's death warrant anyway, in case you were thinking of 'saving' the 'poor little creature'. Probably a worse death than a quick shot to the head or even a 'trashcan drowning'.

    Since we've displaced their habitat (and more importantly their natural predators habitat) and fed them to overpopulation with our garbage...IMO, it is our duty to become the 'apex predator' and kill them when they become a problem to the extent that we need to trap them.

  8. Slimp Farm

    Slimp Farm Hatching

    Jun 23, 2016
    Thank you everyone for the suggestions. The opossum came back several times last night but every time i went out there it ran off. I have lost alot of chickens to these predators as well as a fox and raccoons. Im not interested in keeping it because it is fairly large and it is illegal in my state to relocate animals. I live next to a creek and have a pond on my property so the predators are abundant. I will have to try and trap him and i hate to say it but he will have to be killed. I dont like to kill animals but my chickens and ducks are my babies and i work hard to take care of them. I use my chickens for their eggs and nothing else they will never die at my hands. I also have a pond full of ducks that have slowly gone missing one at a time. My husband is building them a house currently i just have to train them to go in it, they have never been inside a coop before. Although my chickens and their 2 ducks in the coop dont mind the opossum being there i prefer to have my eggs not eaten every morning and my girls not to be harmed. Hopefully this weekend i will have this issue resolved.
  9. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    I have a very secure coop and covered run (except for bears!) and so night time is good here. When I stopped spreading any food of scraps outside of the coop, visitors ceased to be a problem. Keep all the food in the coop and run! And fix any issues so no predator can get into your coop. I have lost chickens to possums, and have had a horse with EPM, twice. She lived, but is disabled, and no possum is welcome in my barn!!! Mary
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2016

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