Possums got into coop!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Ashalee0001, Dec 13, 2018.

  1. Ashalee0001

    Ashalee0001 Hatching

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    A couple weeks ago two possums got into the coop and ate the eggs while traumatizing the chickens. Now they won’t lay eggs in the coop (I have no idea where they’re laying) and one chicken will not go back into the coop at all. They’re free range, but I lock them up at night. We were out of town for two nights and that’s when it happened. I tried locking them in the coop for two days to maybe “reset” their little brains, but it didn’t work. Any suggestions on what to do??
     
  2. LlamaGirl4

    LlamaGirl4 Crowing

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    How big is your coop? Where are you located? If you have less then 14 hrs of light per day then the hens probably won’t be laying unless you have light. Do they have a run that they can be in? Keep them in the coop and you might want to make a run. Was someone taking care of the poultry while you were away?
     
    Raenh and Ducksandchickens like this.
  3. Ashalee0001

    Ashalee0001 Hatching

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    I have 8 hens and the coop is big enough for 12. We live in Florida so there is plenty of daylight. We do have a run attached but I don’t want to keep them locked in. We didn’t have anyone taking care of them the two nights (usually we do) and that’s why they got in. Their behavior has just dramatically changed ever since the incident. I just don’t know if they’ll ever be the same or if I should buy a new coop and move it to a different location? They are just traumatized to go back in.
     
    Raenh likes this.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    My Coop
    How exactly did they get in....some door left open at night??
    How do you know it was possums if you were gone...they will usually eat some birds as well as eggs....you may have dodged a big bullet there, whew!

    Will take longer than couple days to re-'home' them to coop and run.
    How big... in feet by feet?
    Dimensions and pics would help here.

    How old are your birds?
    Birds older than about 18 months are going to need ~14 hours of daylight to start laying again. Even Miami is only getting about 10 hours in December.

    Oh, and, Welcome to BYC!!
    Here's how to add your general geographical location to your profile.
    It's easy to do, (laptop version shown), then it's always there!
    upload_2018-12-13_18-31-27.png
     
    Shadrach likes this.
  5. I will suggest that possums may actually be living and sleeping inside of your coop. You certainly will not be the first BYC poster to report on a possum denning inside of you coop.

    One other possibility is that the lack of food or water during your absence has triggered a forced molt.
     
    Shadrach likes this.
  6. Animals45

    Animals45 Crowing

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    I had 5 chickens and 4 got killed by a possum and the 5th chicken died of heat when laying a egg we tried to save it's life but it died after 2 minutes of heat.:hitnow I have 10 chickens and the reason they aren't getting killed it is because I moved to a differen't state and now I see skunks possums and other animals like deer and stuff.
     
  7. Ashalee0001

    Ashalee0001 Hatching

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    Hey y’all. No, we’ve seen the little critters for multiple nights hanging around but we gave them the benefit of the doubt. Our coop had what I call a two step process. Doors closed to the run plus a door closed to there coop (bedroom.) No hens were injured, thank goodness. They just wrecked havoc. Thinking about buying a brand new coop and moving it to a different location.
     
  8. Ashalee0001

    Ashalee0001 Hatching

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  9. Ashalee0001

    Ashalee0001 Hatching

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    We had two feeders and two waters our for them. Plenty of food and water when we returned. We were literally gone for 36 hours.
     
  10. MissChick@dee

    [email protected] ~ Dreaming Of Springtime ~

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    I don’t know. Perhaps a new coop and location could help but that would be a adjustment for your hens to say the least.
    I don’t know your setup or how much you interact with your chickens. It happened 2 weeks ago and you cooped them for 2 days. I would think there’s still something that has them spooked. Completely clean out you coop and do some inspecting.
    Do the same with the run. Chickens will tell you things by behaviors that something isn’t right.
    I’d start from scratch check everything then coop them again. I don’t know much about possums behaviors but perhaps there’s still a trace of it presence. Scent? Some evidence? Could be something simple like the possum knocked something loose.
    If you figure out this mystery we’d love to know too. Best wishes
     

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