Oppossum attempted to upgrade from pest to predator

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by centrarchid, Nov 6, 2010.

  1. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
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    Shortly after dark I drove bike to store on honeydo errand. Upon return I noticed my cooped birds were giving the low intenisity disturbance call. I ran into house for flashlight and as coming out door swept lightbeam across coops and saw two eyes close together shining an orangish-red, therefore knew oppossum before able to see body outline. I sprinted to the pen with the critter. It was standing on roost where my extra Privett strain dominiques would normally be roosting. The pen was still propped up to allow birds to enter for roosting and get cover from hawks during day. The doms had bolted. When I got to pen, the bugger made no effort to get away. I looked down and could see a pile of feathers taken from neck of one of the pullets. She got away. I attempted to reach down and grab the critters tail but my arm was to short for good grab. When I touched the oppossum it bolted, in typical slow run for such a critter. It ran to a another pen and ran through the material almost without slowing down, in one side, out the other. I was surprised it could do it. I ran around pen and caught up to it just as it was about to go through next pen. I caught it by tail as it was about halfway through and pulled the varment back and out. It tried to resist but oppossums are not that strong.

    Took critter to house for photographs.

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    At no point did it try to bite, even when I put my shoe next to its mouth. Only had one do so in past and that was after repeated captures by me. I dispatched shortly after final photograph. It was one of few critters I worry about that 2" x 4" welded fencing would not even slow down. If a dog were in place, the critter would likely not have even tried to go after my birds. Killing to protect by birds does not make me feel better as thought originally. Gonna put more effort into getting a dog. Anyone in Missouri with Katahula pups?
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2010
  2. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

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    Quote:Your birds were lucky your wife sent you out on that errand tonight. I'm very curious, what was the material that it ran through without slowing down?
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Last night after oppossum was dealt with, I began to collect displaced birds. All but one could be called in or tracked down. The remainder was pullet walking between pens shortly after dawn. She has a gap in feathers on thigh and neck of right side. Limping pretty good but she will make it. Today going to search big time for dog.
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Got oppossum pressure yet again tonight. This one full adult female, for a oppossum she was a whopper. She was cleaning up uneaten feed around coops and presented a risk to a couple cockerols that refuse going to proper roost in coops. Caught the critter and dispatched. Having a firearm would make the dispatch less personal. Killing them does not make me feel better although tempted to put carcass in road so others when scavenging could kiss a car while engaging in cannibolism.

    These suckers do not learn lessons I teach. Coons, despite their more capable predatory nature can learn. Has anyone tried the bitter apple scents as a repellent? Sorry for rant, as a kid I used to keep these critters as pets without use of any sort of confinement, now I am a serial killer of wildlife.
     
  6. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    I've never had a raccoon or possum go THROUGH welded wire. Reach hands through, dig under, climb over, yes, but not crawl through it. I find that rather odd actually.
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Quote:Individual going through wire was only half grown. All it had to do was rotate head and rest would follow. Oppossums are fairly supple although not like a weasel.

    Not related to what I observed above, but welds of this wire can be broken by my hands without use of gloves. I think a persistant coon could force its way through. Quality of product does not inspire confidence.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2010
  8. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Quote:Individual going through wire was only half grown. All it had to do was rotate head and rest would follow. Oppossums are fairly supple although not like a weasel.

    Not related to what I observed above, but welds of this wire can be broken by my hands without use of gloves. I think a persistant coon could force its way through. Quality of product does not inspire confidence.

    Ah I see, a youngster. That makes better sense.

    Yeah, you can get it twisted instead of welded - stronger that way coz it won't pop. I have some older stuff that I got from my dad's yard, it is rust colored but it's still far stronger fence.
    Crappy how they make stuff so cheap nowadays!
     
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Several components one can purchase to make coops and pens not as strong / durable as similar from a few years back. Most of fencing material I have appears engineered first for garden use (2 x 4 welded wire) or to provide structure in fiber glass applications (chicken wire) which is too light to stopping persistant varmints.
     
  10. cackle

    cackle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We are also have possum problems around our coop. There was one in the humane trap when I went out this morning to one the coop so they could get to the laying boxes. Third one in a week. Husband will dispatch when he goes out to feed. All three have been young around the same size so I think they may be from the same litter. We are going to run an electric wire or fence around the pen.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010

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