1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Oppossum....a threat?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by spuetz07, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. spuetz07

    spuetz07 Out Of The Brooder

    54
    0
    39
    May 3, 2009
    Cochrane, WI
    I found one (a small one) running around the coop as I was locking it up. I left the coop open so he could get out. I showed it to my cats, but they were uninterested. Is this thing a threat? Im going back out there, and Im sure he will be gone, but should I worry about them hurting my chickens? It seemed to me it wanted the feed more than anything.
     
  2. chickenguysmom

    chickenguysmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    YES, they are a threat. Had one kill my large chicken one night when the pen door was left open. Didn't eat her.... just interested in the eggs insider her. Found her mostly intact with egg shell laying next to her. Was told they may kill them to get at the egg inside that would have been layed the following day.

    If you have an oppossum you have trouble. Cats won't mess with them and they can be mean creatures with very sharp teeth. They will hiss and growl at you if you get too close of they feel threatened.
     
  3. M To The Maxx

    M To The Maxx Baseball+Girls=Life

    Jul 24, 2009
    Lutz,FL
    YES, they are a BIG threat.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
  4. spuetz07

    spuetz07 Out Of The Brooder

    54
    0
    39
    May 3, 2009
    Cochrane, WI
    Oh no! What should I do? We dont have any traps....should we shoot him? (By "we" I mean my husband, lol) Im going to go back out there and check on the situation. Maybe he has gone by now.
     
  5. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
    128
    281
    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    I've lost chickens to opossums here in south Florida. [​IMG] They've killed & eaten chicks & ducklings, and killed adult chickens. Often only eating off the heads [​IMG] They've gone after my broody hens and killed them in order to eat their eggs or chicks.

    They don't work during the day. Be sure to have good secure places for your birds to sleep, away from the paws & teeth of opossums & other nighttime predators. You can catch opossums in a live trap using smelly cat food, canned sardines or tuna, also using whole eggs for bait.

    It's up to you to decide what to do with the ones you catch, but please don't release them anywhere near anyone else's property. Not within miles of anyone else. Their numbers here have only increased with development.
     
  6. M To The Maxx

    M To The Maxx Baseball+Girls=Life

    Jul 24, 2009
    Lutz,FL
    Quote:Just make sure you lock your coop up every night. You can shoot the oppossum.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
  7. TexasVet

    TexasVet Chillin' With My Peeps

    905
    2
    148
    Nov 12, 2008
    Willis TX
    They seem to travel in family units too. I almost always trap 3 in a row, a big male, a big female, and at least one youngster.

    Kathy, Bellville TX
    www.ChickenTrackin.com
     
  8. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    When I was a kid they would go out to the shed where we fed our cats to eat their food. They would hiss at us if we got too close, but other than eating a little food now and then, they did no damage, so we left them alone. But if I had one in my chicken coop, I'd be sending my DH out to "take care of it." I don't mind skunks, 'possums, etc. on our property, but my coop is OFF LIMITS!! I'm not going ask why he's there "Are you merely dining on feed tonight, or do you feel more like the chicken?" I'm going to assume he's there for the chicken dinner.
     
  9. spuetz07

    spuetz07 Out Of The Brooder

    54
    0
    39
    May 3, 2009
    Cochrane, WI
    Well....we took care of it. Good thing he is a slow mover!! Easy target! Thanks for all the pointers/advice/tips!! Much appreciated.
     
  10. Widget

    Widget Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,545
    45
    188
    Sep 30, 2008
    Limington, Maine
    Fun facts: Possums have more teeth than any other North American land mammal. And they know how to use them. Also they are relatively immune from the rabies virus unlike foxes and skunks.

    I used to work with a one that was used for educational programs at a zoo I worked at for a couple years. She was actually fun to be around. But having been up close and personal with those teeth I would no recommend anyone trying to keep one as a pet. This one was an exception to the rule. Her two cage mates who were raised exactly the same way would just as soon bite the hand that fed them than be handled.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by