Possum attack on my 12 week old pullets

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by AnKa, May 21, 2013.

  1. AnKa

    AnKa In the Brooder

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    Feb 27, 2009
    Hi!
    I'm mostly a reader of this forum, recently mostly about how to keep my pullets safe after losing one to a raccoon (I think).

    Here's what happened after I installed my new electric fence. I'm still reeling from how crazy this all was! In short, two possums attacked the tractor, one shorted the fence and died, the other continued the attack undisturbed, and even came back once after I had scared it off. They left behind two live babies, too, for me to deal with. here's a more complete write-up with pictures.

    http://thisonegoodlife.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-chicken-fortress-night-2.html

    Now sure what I could do to a) avoiding killing things and b) keep predators from shorting the fence and thus opening the door (almost literally) for other predators? I was hoping to be able to leave town for a weekend sometimes, but this morning, I'm certain I would have lost the two pullets if I hadn't been home to hear the upset.

    Thanks for reading this far, I'd love any advice.
     
  2. photo chick

    photo chick Songster

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    May 4, 2009
    Essex, VT
    Oh my gosh - that is CRAZY!!! Predators are a way of life with chickens and it's terrible but it's so hard to protect them. I guess the first thing I would say is that you need to use hardware cloth instead of that larger field fencing that you have - so weasels and other smaller critters can't get through it. I have never heard of animals shorting out electricity though. I have a friend that uses a poultry net fence with electricity around her tractor. It has been extremely effective...after 5 years of not losing any chickens she's not quite sure what to do with them since they don't lay as much anymore! We have lost some of our flock each year because of different issues with our fencing or coop. Just when you think you have it perfect - a critter proves you wrong. We mostly have trouble with raccoons but we've also caught weasels in our "air tight" coop. As far as the 4 year old goes....that's tough. I have kids too and I hate to say it - but they learn about the cycle of life really quickly. I guess it's easier to lose animals that people so it's a lesson learned. My children now 7,9,10 are very used to seeing predators that got zapped and or chickens that they've killed. But it never gets easier for a Mama.
     
  3. AnKa

    AnKa In the Brooder

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    Feb 27, 2009
    thanks for the advice. Thing is I had pullets out in a much simpler tractor with not even the bottom covered for 3 years now, and actually never lost one out of that thing! Just when I thought I'd rebuilt it and made it so much safer... Sigh. I'll think about getting electric netting or something.
     
  4. photo chick

    photo chick Songster

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    May 4, 2009
    Essex, VT
    It almost seems like once they find your girls they keep coming back. Maybe there's a predator party where they discuss the location of vunerable chicken coops. Ha ha!!
     
  5. AnKa

    AnKa In the Brooder

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    Feb 27, 2009
    I'm going to put the pullets in the garage for the times we go away for a weekend. It's probably be better to be in the semi-dark for 2 days than dead.
     

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