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possum caught in the act, sort of

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by scooter147, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2008
    Missouri
    So I get home last night around 5 pm from work. The first thing I always do is let the dogs out, well when I opened the back door I heard my chickens squawking to high heaven and saw several of them standing out in 4 inches of snow (they never come out in the snow). So I go running out there, in my good shoes no less, and find a possum helping himself to the layer pellets. Fu my lab/chow mix followed me and spotted the possum before I could do anything about him. Well needless to say I didn't have to worry about taking care of the possum, FU took it upon herself to help.
    I had the people door open so I could let fresh air in and give the chickens something to look at other than the four coops walls. They have been cooped up for several days now.
    It was still daylight so I hope this was an isolated incident.
    The ones that didn't brave the snow where all up on the top roost or in the top nesting box so I don't know if the possum was too lazy to go after them or if the pellets were just a much easier meal.
     
  2. jab91864

    jab91864 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2007
    Northern Michigan
    Pellets make a way easier meal. Fortunately it ended well... hope the dog got a treat !!

    Julie [​IMG]
     
  3. nailjack

    nailjack Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 29, 2008
    Salem,Ohio
    Came home late tonite. Went out to check on the RiR's. About fell on my but!!! When I got down to check the feed, a possum looked up and hissed right in my face!!! Hoooolllllyyyy crap!!!!!

    Came in the house grabbed a gun went back out and it was gone. The only thing I can figure how it got in is a 3 square hole in the back corner of the coop. So I boarded that boy up. wow still shaking. lolol
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2009
  4. BuckeyeDave

    BuckeyeDave Overrun with Buckeyes

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    May 27, 2008
    Minster, Ohio
    My Coop
    You were both very lucky, possums can be ruthless killers.

    I had a possum in the chicken house this past summer. It was late in the evening and many of my juveniles were still outside so I gathered them up one by one and threw em all in the coop, the next morning I went out to let them free range for the day and looking in through the chicken wire over the window hole on the door I noticed a buckeye lower leg assembly laying in the litter. I peeked around and found the mama possum laying on her back slumbering with 9 babies pouring out and laying around her pouch. I went in the house and got my trusty Ruger 1022 and dispatched them.

    I started smiling when I realized that I literally threw 25 juveniles into the coop with the possum in wait, and then started laughing when I thought about the conversations all of the chickens must have been having about their dumb human after I did that.

    I now keep live traps throughout the farm and have caught many predators of almost every flavor, peanut butter on an egg seems to really draw them in, I also catch an occasional killer chicken (which I of course release).
     
  5. Pumpkinpup

    Pumpkinpup Poultry Princess

    Jul 16, 2008
    North-West Georgia
    Wow, I have only had one incident with a possum and my chickens. It did not end well [​IMG] I am glad that you got your culprit. I was not that fortunate and lost my favorite hen as well.
     
  6. backyardchickenfarmer

    backyardchickenfarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 26, 2009
    Toms river, New jersey
    wow glad to hear it ended well.[​IMG] i have chickens and ducks and that seems to draw in alot of little pests.ive never had anyproblems with them but my nieghbor also has chickens and sometimes if one gets injured(plucked back,bleeding ect...) he takes them out and lets them walk around the yard for a few days or intill they heal. There was 2 tragadies, the first one was his rooster named charlie, he was a white leghorn that was very friendly and wanted you to pet him and scratch him but one day my nieghbor went into the coop and his back and tail feathers were all bloody and just a mess!so he took him out and he stayed in the yard for about a week, roosting in the trees at night and the one morning he went our and he wasnt there:( so we waited and waited and waited but nothing. so about 3 weeks later i was at my friends house(who happend to be next door to my nieghbors) and right on the other side of the fence there was whats left of his beloved rooster:(so then we took action!I have high powered airguns that i use to kill squirrels,rats, chipmunks, and other pests that do damage to my property. so i set up a hunting blind in my backyard one night a baited him with chicken(store bought) and there he came this huge raccoon i meen huge!(i have a picture but its alittle graphic and i dont think you guys would want to see it) and I killed him with one quick shot to the head. so i thought that was it so we went on then about a month later another chicken had a bleading back so we tooked her out and let her walk around the yard and she was doing fine(laying eggs behind the central air conditioning unit) then one day we went out there and she was gone to:( so we looked around and there was a mangled chicken carcass behind one of the coops. so again we took action and did the same thing we did before and out came a smaller raccon and again one quick headshot and lights out.and since then ive killed 3 opposums,1 skunk(theres still 4 more!) and more rats lol. so this happens to everyone and it stinks:( so just keep setting humane traps out in the yard(even if you think you;ve got him there might still be more. good luck:)
     
  7. nailjack

    nailjack Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 29, 2008
    Salem,Ohio
    My buddy dropped off some traps tonite. I'll set them on the outside of the coop and bait them. Hopefullf I'll get them. Well my luck I'll get a skunk instead. Stink up the whole coop. I'll set them sat. Hopefully it will all work out.
     
  8. backyardchickenfarmer

    backyardchickenfarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 26, 2009
    Toms river, New jersey
    i think the best bait for opposums is peanut butter. they go crazy for it!
     
  9. cgmccary

    cgmccary Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 14, 2007
    NE Alabama
    Opossums are my only wild predator problem. Opossums also hunt and eat mice at night. I see a lot of them out near my run, and generally, they don't bother the birds. Every once in awhile though, one will come alone and have encounters with my chickens. I've only lost chicks to opossums & only had them attack a grown bird once. BTW, I also have those nite-guard lites & the opossums have had to walk eye-to-eye with them to do what they've done.

    The worst was when I woke to the most awful sound, a hen screaming in terror. I grabbed my gun and went running outside, in a one of my small coops, a opossum had one of my big grown hens (a 7 lb hen), which they usually won't bother, by her head. I yelled at the opossum which let go of her and I shot him dead. Hen recovered and lives to this day.

    Then I had my brooder hen setting on 4 eggs and on day 20, that night, I heard her screeching at something & she's just a OEG Bantam-- I ran out and the opossum ran off but he'd eaten 3 of the 4 eggs -- she hatched the 1 egg left and had that chick for about 3 days and the opossum returned and killed her only chick & she looked for that chick for a week (I got the opossum that second time though because I heard her carrying on & the little hen was out flogging the opossum in the dark tryin to save her lone chick so I moved her out of the way & shot that one dead. Those OEGs are tough little mamas.

    I've had to shoot 4 opossums to date. I've tried to trap them and the opossums around me don't go in my trap. I might try using the peanut butter-- I'd tried canned cat food before.
     
  10. Stimpy

    Stimpy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 25, 2008
    Lexington, Oklahoma
    I use peanut butter mixed with raisins as bait for both possums and coons. And if I'm going out to my coops for any reason after dark I always carry a handgun, just in case.

    I guess I'm just unlucky tho because I've had possums attack a lot of adult birds. Skunks too.

    -Stimp-
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2009

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