possum got one.


11 Years
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 ;)
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.
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.
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.
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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