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Possum attack. Will it come back in the daytime?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by bertman, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. bertman

    bertman Songster

    May 13, 2011
    Last night a possum got into the run. Fortunately I heard one of the chickens screaming (that was an awful sound--almost like a human) and ran out and scared it back up into a tree. I live in the city with houses all around so I could not shoot it. One of the girls lost some feathers but they all seem unhurt. I'm going out to check them all now.

    Will the possum come back during the day? My girls are locked in the coop right now but I'd like to let them out if there's no chance the possum will come back until tonight.


  2. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

    May 2, 2009
    Desert, CA
    When ours came it was about 5 PM in summer (4 hours to dusk), I was cooking dinner at the time.

    You'll need to trap it, if you can't use a gun in city limits (I couldn't either). untill then keep them locked up if you can't supervise.
  3. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    They are mainly nockternal preditores but may come out in the daylight if they are injured or rabid. keep all cat and dog food secured as they really like that stuff and that is what draws them to the burbs, plenty of pet food laying around in bowls, but once they catch a whiff of chicken it's all over and they will be back.
  4. bertman

    bertman Songster

    May 13, 2011
    Thanks for the answers. Just checked the girls. Somebody lost a couple of clumps of feathers, but looking at the birds I can't tell which one it is. No apparent injuries on any of them. They all marched out of the coop and started chowing down like nothing had happened last night. They would not let me catch them, but last night as I was putting them into the coop--one by one--I looked at them for wounds or blood and saw none. It was a pretty hurried checkup and I didn't do a thorough exam, so I'm hoping for the best.

    It was a young possum. Not very big or it would not have been able to get through the wire. I'm sure it will be back tonight.

    Last night it scurried up the tree and looked at me as I shined my flashlight at it. Then, when I went back to bed after locking the girls in, I decided to get up an hour later and see if possum was back. Sure enough, there it was walking along the top of the run wire, so I shined the flashlight on it and followed it around and it ran back up the tree. I checked several other times during the night but it did not come back. Maybe it didn't like that shovel I hurled at it!

    Yes, I'll be wrapping a layer of hardware cloth around the ENTIRE run now. I already have it on the lower four feet, plus an 'apron' of chicken wire on the ground a foot and a half out from the run wall and covered in rocks and leaves.

    EDITED to ask if I should take any precautionary measures since one of the pullets got feathers pulled out. I hesitate to try to catch them and traumatize them again--last night was VERY scary for them, and especially for a couple of them who were flying all over the run in pitch black darkness trying to get away from possum. Should I use any medications in their food or water? I'm brand new at this, so thanks for the help.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2011
  5. groundpecker

    groundpecker Songster

    Jun 26, 2011
    Rison, Arkansas
    possums are mostly night creatures. However, one that is sick with rabies or other disease will come out in daytime. Beware of daytime coons and possums.
  6. Mattemma

    Mattemma Crowing

    Aug 12, 2009
    I caught a little one around 7pm crawling around my chicken camp(daytime lean to and open run).Caught that one by hand easy.I caught adults and kids in the trap with cantelope and/or peanut butter.
  7. Renthorin

    Renthorin Chirping

    Jun 13, 2011
    Dexter Michigan
    I saw one at a little past noon the other day. It was nosing around the mailbox.

  8. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Possums don't need to be sick to come out in the day. I see them regularly during the day.

    Be careful, they can get through some very small spaces. I had one this year laying on its' back and wiggling through the gap between a chainlink gate and the frame. It was filling up on chicken pellets nightly. I really didn't mind it eating the pellets, but didn't like that it was getting in the coop at night to get to the pellets.

  9. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    Quote:Yes, I see them during the day a lot, same with raccoons. Even foxes, since almost all have litters of babies to feed right now.
  10. bertman

    bertman Songster

    May 13, 2011
    Thanks to all for your comments.

    My wife is 500 miles away with my daughter who's having our first grandchild tomorrow morning, so I'm winging it on my own. When I called her to tell her about the girls being attacked, she reminded me that she has seen possums at our trash cans in the not-very-late afternoon. [​IMG] BUMMER. I dropped by the house and checked on the birds twice. So far, so good.

    Interesting comment by a wildlife rehabber friend who specializes in possum rehabbing. (I know. Don't even say it. I know what you're thinking:lol:) Anyway, I called her to give her a chance to come and trap the juvenile possum before I dispatch it when it comes back--if it comes back. She informed me that possums are nomadic and that they are constantly ranging looking for food. That probably explains why so many of them get run over (and I always thought they just like to eat tire rubber. [​IMG]) She thinks this one may be in another area by now. Unfortunately, there are plenty of its brothers/sisters/cousins/aunts/uncles/etc/etc to take up the gauntlet that is being passed.

    I have been informed by The Boss that tonight I must single-handedly closely examine every one of our pullets to be sure they get treatment if they have a scratch or bite on them. This for a bunch of birds that I've NEVER even held except to put them back in the coop last night.[​IMG] (Anyone in our area is welcome to come by and watch the proceedings. Should be rich.

    Any suggestions on how to hold a bird, inspect it THOROUGHLY (those were my instructions), and treat it--all in the dark of night??

    I'm not sure if I'm cut out to be a chicken farmer, but those feathery creatures have wormed their way into my heart, so I guess I'll be doing my chicken vet-tech training tonight.

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