possum got one.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Rodster, Sep 23, 2013.

  1. Rodster

    Rodster Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 24, 2011
    Tampa Bay, Florida
    Hi all,
    Just a note that opposums are dangerous and can kill a chicken when it gets big enough. about 3 months ago i started finding eaten eggs in my coop when i got home from work. a week or 2 later i came in after dusk and found a small possum in the coop eating an egg. i wacked him with my hand to get his attention, then left to find a stick so i could let him have it. However, in my rush i didnt close the door and he escaped post haste. over the next month, i started trying to get home from work before dark to lock them in, but the days i was late, eggs were eaten. about a month later I had a hen go broody and before i knew it, he was snatching eggs from underneath her from the next nestbox over. last month the poor thing finally gave up and left the nest. i tried to sit watch, but that ****** possum never showed up while i was out. i lost a LOT of eggs, but never figured he'd bother the hens.

    WELL, last tuesday morning i didn't see one of the hens, but had to get to work and figured she was hiding somewhere. That afternoon i came home early and searched for an hour before i found her beheaded and partially eaten under some hay on the floor, under the nest box. This was my 3rd favorite. a dark americana i had hatched in my waterbed a year and a half ago, due to her being a late hatch and her mom abandoning the nest 3 days before she hatched. Altho i tried to put her with her mom, MOM wouldn't accept her, so i had to raise her for about a week when another hen had only 1 egg out of 14 hatch. I put it with the other chick right away and yay, she accepted it and had a new mom to take care of her. However, the short time that i raised her was enough to create a bond where she came to me and genuinely liked me, altho didn't care to be picked up or handled. my 2 favorites actually walk under my feet and will stop and allow me to pick them up whenever i want without fussing, flapping or running away. Back to the possum.

    i was FUMED!

    within 2 days i borrowed a trap from someone at work and within 2 more days, caught a much bigger possum then he was the first time i saw him. At first i was going to try a possum recipee, but after reading further i decided it wasn't worth the trouble, and that i really wasn't that hungry or curious. So, within 12 hours of his capture i decided i needed to dispatch him as humanly as possible and bury him in the back yard a few feet from the beautiful, dark americana he had taken from us. ok, all i had was a bb gun and it sure dispatched rats very quickly. Possums on the other hand... it took 7 bb's in the head before it finally stopped breathing... very formidable creature and not very easy to kill. If you find a possum, get it IMMEDIATELY. They are NOT your friend.

    6 (-1) hens + 2 roo's + 1 turkey hen with 2 baby chickens that turkey hatched and is now raising brings the current total to 10 birds. learning algebra the fowl way ;)
     
  2. jonalisa

    jonalisa Codswallop!

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    May 28, 2013
    NH
    My Coop
    It's not totally clear from your post, but are your coop and run not enclosed? Possum are definitely high in the long list of chicken predators. I hope you decide to predator proof your set-up and hopefully find a more humane way of dispatching possum. Sorry for your loss.
     
  3. Ron D

    Ron D Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 27, 2013
    Seven bbs sounds humane to me
     
  4. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 4, 2013
    Lower Alabama
    Luckily possums are so slow & stupid they're not very efficient chicken killers. Last time I found one in my pen it was unexpected and I was unarmed. 3 kicks from my size 10 1/2 army boot subdued it long enough to go get my 22 and finish it off. 1 hen was bit on the leg and another had it's tail feathers pulled out.
     
  5. PioneerPrincess

    PioneerPrincess Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 16, 2009
    TX
    Oh, yes, chickens are not safe around possums! Just a month or two ago, at dusk, my brother called and told us there was a possum chasing our chickens. We hurried home to make sure all birds were accounted for. Thankfully, they were all safe; needless to say, there were feathers everywhere! That incident sure made us more on top of getting them all in and locked up before it got too dark.
     
  6. 218overdrawn

    218overdrawn Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 23, 2013
    north carolina
    I had the same thing happen to a maran that was sitting. I heard the dogs barking and didn't know why, only to find a possum taking eggs from under her. She became irate and tried to fight him off. He took one of her eyes and a few chunks of skin... I took his life.
     

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