Possum in my chicken coop

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by boomchicken, Feb 15, 2017.

  1. boomchicken

    boomchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I cornered a possum (had to google "looks like giant rat" to figure out what it was) in my coop.

    It's literally backed up into a corner and I don't know what to do to get him out. I tried bludgeoning him with a shovel but I'm weak and squeamish and he's huge (maybe 15-20lb?) and may be freaked out but no visible damage. His mouth is open and he looks pretty ******.

    I shoved a floor-bound chicken into a cage and the rest are up on the roost, and I left him in there to ask for help from you guys. I was also hoping he would escape while I was not standing in the doorway with my shovel/flashlight.

    BTW, this is california, I mean I am afraid to wake the neighbors just thumping my shovel around.

    Edit: removed the "HELP" in the title since I think I have this under control (?!)
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
  2. homestead 101

    homestead 101 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If u have a live trap or an animal cage, try getting him into it
     
  3. boomchicken

    boomchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for your help.

    I don't have any traps/cages.

    My current plan is to smack it around enough to make it want to go away once I get out of there and turn off the lights.
     
  4. Lamancha

    Lamancha Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A opossum will freeze when scared. Their natural defense is to play dead and not move if threatened. You may need to actually scoop him up with a shovel and move him. If you dont want to kill it, you better take it somewhere and release it or it may come back and kill your chickens.
     
  5. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It takes a bit of nerve to do it, but you can actually pick up a possum by it's tail. Just grab that raspy little thing and pick him up. He will hang upside down and be mostly docile while doing it. Hold him at arm's length and off you go to wherever it is you want to put him. Drop him there and he will probably roll over and play dead (playing possum?). Move off and within a few moments whenever he feels it is safe to do so, he will come back to life and shuffle off in the direction where he thinks safety is to be found.
     
  6. boomchicken

    boomchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I lack that nerve lol! In order to reach it I would have had to bend down to eye level, crawl under the poop board, exposing my face to that thing which had it's ( rather huge for it's size ) mouth open and teeth bared--I think it didn't like my love taps with the shovel. It's naked tail and rat-like features coupled by 20lb-ish size was freaking me out.

    Anyway, happy ending: This morning, the chickens were out in the yard happily digging away, 4 of them.. the 5th was still in the cage I left her in for protection (since she can't jump up to the roost) No sign of that opossum. Needless to say, I will be more diligent in locking up in the future. My coop is fort knox thanks to my gardener who built it.
     
  7. boomchicken

    boomchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Also, thank you guys who responded so late in the night! You guys are great!
     
  8. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My guess is that 90% of the time, a possum in the coop is after the feed. Or at least that is how it starts. But if opportunity knocks and they can eat an egg or kill a chicken, they will. And unlike many other predators, but typical of what you might expect from a possum, they start eating the chicken at the wrong end.

    Once upon a time, I kept a dog outside in a kennel and his feed was kept inside the garage. About once a year or so we would forget to close the door and after one such an event, I went out early in the morning to feed the dog. I kept a one pound coffee can in the 50# sack of feed and would just stick my arm down in there to grab the can and bring out a scoop. Except this time my hand grabbed something furry and alive! I nearly dislocated my shoulder yanking my arm out of there. It was a half grown possum who had entered in the night and had somehow climbed into the bag, but then couldn't get out. I helped him out.

    Later found out a whole family of them were living under our patio. BTW, that was in a highly developed residential neighborhood in a pretty good sized town. Doesn't matter much where you live, there are things all around that go bump in the night. We had feral cats, the occasional stray dog (some were let out to run loose and some got out of fenced yards), coons, possums, foxes, coyotes, hawks and owls. The fact that there were houses every 100 feet or so didn't seem to matter to them at all. The predators all worked the night shift.
     
  9. Lamancha

    Lamancha Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree that they aren't one of the worst predators to have around. We also have hawks, eagles, coyote, bears, racoons, and feral cats. The only thing i have ever lost a chicken to is racoons and my own dogs. Coons are the worst in my opinion.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Did you get it out of there last night so you could lock up......or just leave the door open?

    Plethora of food there, and none of their predators.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017

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