Opossum?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Shasty57, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. Shasty57

    Shasty57 Out Of The Brooder

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    I had a possum in my chicken house last night! I chased him out with my foot and a flashlight. Will a possum hurt a full grown chicken or just steal their eggs?
     
  2. gallusdomesticus

    gallusdomesticus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Opossoms will kill OChickens. At night the birds can't see squawk and are especially vulnerable. Get a gun and make them Odead..
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I’ll give you a link and a quote on what they say about possums.

    Omnivorous eating fish, crustaceans, insects, mushrooms, fruits, vegetables, eggs, and carrion. They will raid poultry houses, usually killing one chicken at a time, often mauling the victim.

    Eggs will be mashed and messy, the shells often chewed into small pieces and left in the nest. Opossums usually begin feeding on poultry at the cloacal opening. Young poultry or game birds are consumed entirely and only a few wet feathers left.

    http://icwdm.org/inspection/livestock.asp

    I’ve had good luck using peanut butter in a live trap to get possums.

    To be blunt, possums are pretty slow. As long as you don’t get real close they are not much of a threat to you. If you hit them, they pretty much play possum, which means they really are not a threat to you. I’ve used a shovel to finish off a possum more than once.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Coop Deville

    Coop Deville Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes. They will eat your chickens just as described above. They must be dispatched.
     
  5. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Do you wish to raise chickens, or possums? If you decide to raise chickens then sooner or later you will find it necessary to either liquidate
    the possums, or else invest in a chicken pen with a castle keep for a coop.

    I don't think like a possum if indeed a possum thinks. But over the years it seems that a possum is always the first chicken thief to breach a pen's or coop's defenses. I think it has more to do with persistence and opportunity than with brain power. There are instances on this forum of chicken keepers finding a possum denning INSIDE the pen, something that no respectable fox or raccoon would ever do. I lay it off on the possum eating to much chicken poop and all that ammonia going to its head.
     
  6. Shasty57

    Shasty57 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you very much. I will pop the possum over the head with a shovel the next time I see him. :)
     
  7. Oosik

    Oosik Out Of The Brooder

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    I didn't think too much of opossums because I didn't believe they caused much trouble. Then one day I discovered a dead hen with the head eaten in the coop. That is generally the sign of a raccoon, but then a raccoon would have killed the other dozen chickens for good sport. Although I was in a hurry I looked around and didn't see anything. Later that night I checked in on the chickens and didn't see anything but wanted to make sure that none of the chickens were spending the night in the nesting box. I saw one and started pushing it out - only to notice that it felt different. So, after determining that I was essentially petting an opossum I got my gun. Problem solved.
     
  8. cochinator

    cochinator Out Of The Brooder

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    We have a possum that frequents our coop and has actually been in there without harming the birds. I don't always get the coop closed right at dark and I actually have a few that don;t lay very well that I wouldn't mind becoming part of the food chain, but nothing has ever happened. I have heard they are usually looking for an easy meal and I keep the food full in the run so I guess it's never had motivation to enter the roost. I know from stories on here though that I have more or less been lucky.
     
  9. Chickens run

    Chickens run Out Of The Brooder

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    We just killed our first 'possum in the barn. I actually saw it in the coop when I went to do my nightly check on the hens and the little bugger was in there eating the food! It slunk away to the next stall through a hole that I never would have imagined it could have fit through. We lost it in the dark, but I could not rest knowing that it had been in there, so I went back. I stood in the quiet and heard a low growling/purring guttural sound coming from under the riding lawn mower. I called my hubby out with the gun. We poked under the mower, shook it and pulled it but nothing. I even prodded under the mowing deck with a pitch fork to no avail. Just when I started to question whether or not I had heard something, my husband pulled the mower out even further (riding mower with a dead battery), out came the 'possum. Hubbs shot it once and it tried to seek shelter back in the coop. A shot to the head and it was lights out for the 'possum. Now I know why my chickens were going through so much food, why I only got 2 eggs today out of 7 hens, and why I had been finding broken eggs in the coop. I am wondering if 'possums live in dens as families? As in, where there is one there will be more? I am getting some live traps tomorrow, along with hardware cloth, aviary netting for the run and other odds and ends to deter the hawk that ate my favorite (of course) RIR 3 days ago. Now I am questioning who killed my Red? The hawk or the 'possum? I know they are nocturnal, but there is always the exception to the rule. She was killed in the run a few feet from the coop door. Head torn off but not eaten. Feathers were everywhere, and the bird (I only saw a huge wing span taking flight as I ran out to the yard) had eaten the meat around her chest and thigh area. Her entrails were strewn around, but strangely there was very little blood. Sorry for the graphic details but I am curious. After 9 months of not losing a single bird, and this being our first flock that we raised from chicks, the innocence is lost. Sigh...
     
  10. cochinator

    cochinator Out Of The Brooder

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    If you saw a hawk and there were a lot of feathers around the dead bird, it was almost certainly the hawk.

    I know there are stories of possums eating chickens on this board but I have also heard they go for whatever is easiest first, so if you had food out in the run, and it was daytime, I am pretty sure it was that hawk that got your bird.
     

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