Hi all, Yesterday evening I lost one of my favorite hens to a respiratory disease (the third one this summer... kind of at my wit's end). When I went down to check on her, I found a baby opossum inside the run (we have a wooden coop enclosed by a secure dog run. I hadn't seen any opossums since moving to my new house in the spring, so have been leaving the door open. I got rid of the opossum, but couldn't get one of the hens that was roosting up in a tree down. In the night, an adult opossum must have gotten to her because it killed her and there were bits of her EVERYWHERE. This is the second time we've lost a bird to an opossum. I like them, they are cool because they're marsupials and they're native to North America, but really want to let everyone new to chicken keeping know that opossums will kill your chickens and they do so in a really gruesome way. If you can secure your coop, please do so, even if you've never seen an opossum in your neighborhood. I thought they were harmless scavengers, but they will tear your birds apart if given the chance. And you need to either trap them (in many places the local ASPCA will haul live animals away for free) or kill them because they will keep coming back once they know there is easy live food in their territory. Anyway, thanks for listening to my rant! I am so sick to have lost four birds in three months.