Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by beachchickie, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. beachchickie

    beachchickie Songster

    Dec 6, 2009
    Will they really attack chickens? Will they really eat chickens? Has anyone actually seen one take a chicken down?
  2. Attila the Hen

    Attila the Hen Songster

    Nov 6, 2010
    Blue Ridge GA
    I have no idea really but possums are mostly scavengers which partly explains why so many are hit by cars. I think they get a bad rap because people are afraid of them. They are the ONLY marsupials on this continent and they can not carry rabies because their body temperature is too high to incubate rabies. This also means if you rescue a baby do not try to warm it up and babies cannot suckle--they need a tube inserted into their stomachs. They are really amazing creatures.
  3. They mY get a bad rap but I have personally caught opposums in our chicken house with a dead hen. Yes they kill chickens.
  4. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    Yes, they will definitely kill chickens. Last February I had one IN the coop. pulling birds down off the roost. It would grab them, wound them, the chicken would get away and it would grab another. I tried to get it out of the coop with various tools that were at hand. Sadly, it didn't cooperate and I finally had to shoot it.

    I just had another one show up tonight, which is the only reason I am still awake and my pistol is at hand. I hate to shoot any animal, but I had no choice if I wanted to have any birds left. [​IMG]
  5. pwappers

    pwappers Chirping

    May 12, 2010
    Yes, they have killed several of our chickens. We have also shot a couple of them. They kill the chickens and eat the eggs. One time I found one curled up in one of the nests. He was so full of eggs he just snarled at me and laid back down. he's dead now. Ugh, I hate them. We have to be extra careful because they are all over the place around here. Shutting the girls up right at dusk is now a must or else they start creeping in.
  6. WillieBoy

    WillieBoy Chirping

    Sep 1, 2010
    Yes, they will kill your chickens and eat your eggs. If they can get to your birds while roosting, they will take them out.IMO, they are no where as bad as a coon or some other determined predators.If you perhaps forgot to close your pop up door one evening and a opussom came along, it would most certainly walk in and try to get your girls while roosting or eat any eggs it may find.
    They are much slower and not as agile as a coon, weasel,etc. but none the less, they are predators of chickens, and will kill....
  7. kitkatnoah

    kitkatnoah Chirping

    Sep 26, 2010
    Houston, Texas
    Two months ago I had one juvenile opposum bite the heads off of two of my chicks. It reached right inside their brooder cage, pulled them off their roost and bit the heads off. It couldn't get the bodies through the one inch wires but it was able to reach in and kill them. I actually caught the juvenile opposum in the act and only killed it when it turned on me. I would rather trap and relocate them, my chickens are an investment to our livelihood, but if trapping them fails, I have no choice but to kill them. [​IMG]
  8. Justafarmgirl

    Justafarmgirl In the Brooder

    Nov 6, 2010
    Carroll County, MD
    I've seen a grandaddy possum kill a chicken before, idk about the young ones. Never seen em try it. The best thing I can think of is to have a fairly loose surrounding cage, because they can climb but very awkwardly, and they wont climb up stuff that doesnt appear to hold their weight. If they try they'll make a racket and you'll have enough time you can hit them with a load of buckshot or rock salt.
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Quote:Oppossums only 1/3 grown will at least attempt to take a chicken. I think the oppossum needs to be at least as large as intended victom to succede unless chicken somehow confined.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2010
  10. beachchickie

    beachchickie Songster

    Dec 6, 2009
    Ok just curious. We heard the girls on night last week 3am and hubby went running with the air rifle. Shot it in the brain. Found a pile of feathers but all girls were fine. No injuries. One of the girls is molting so I did not know if he attacked them or if she just lost a bunch of feathers. Hubby thinks I closed him up in the coop by accident. I looked in with flashlight but did not notice the oppossum but it could very well have been there. If I closed him in there he had all night to do harm. I thought maybe he was trapped and just did what came natural-fight your way out.

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