Possums - how do you kill them?


11 Years
Mar 8, 2008
I swear I live in predator central, tonight I woke up to the sounds of cheeping 8 week-olds on the monitor (we've had a monitor since a weasel killed most of our last flock at 7 weeks old).

I thought the last time I was just being weak and kept missing the silly thing (we had another possum that I shot previously but had trouble killing moral/skill dilemma - i have since recovered from), but now I am not so sure I was missing that badly...

We hit it 5 times tonight in the torso/head and we were using rat shot at close range (about ~5-6 feet away) and it was sitting directly above our chicken coop. We have a shotgun but didn't want to kill the little ones (I was worried that it would go through the wall - its 1/2 inch thick plywood).

So any ideas? I plan on taking down that tree limbs this weekend that its been sitting in and we have already resealed the hole and reinforced anything else we thought it might be able to get through. (The possum pulled apart/wiggled through where the top net wire was overlapping).

I am pretty confident it cannot get in the coop as all vent holes have 1/4 inch hardware wire on the outside and inside and there is more 1/4 inch hardware wire running underneath the tin roof and continuing about a foot down the wall with no gaps.

Also the only way we could get him to budge in the least little bit was spraying him in the face with a garden hose. The gunshots hitting his body and noise didn't even make him flinch.

Possums are nocturnal. So if you do not want to wait up and shoot it with a shotgun (which works very well - makes yummy possum juice
). I would get a trap from the feed store and put it out at night, should only take a few days to get him. You could go with a live trap or a snap trap, depending if you want it dead. Put the trap high, that where they usually hang out.
Possums have small brains. You need to shoot further back in the head behind the eyes. If you get anywhere between the eyes forward to the nose, you just hit nasal cavity.


You want to place a single shot though the brain case as seen in the picture above. A single shot with a air rifle can do the job.
We've been fighting one over here for the past week, losing a lot of sleep over it, done a bunch of research, etc, etc. We've actually seen it several times, it's climbing up the door of the pen and slipping in through about a 1" opening above the door, and down the door into the pen. A long story short, we've managed to close up any and all possible slip-throughs and bought a Havahart trap at the local feed store and baited it and set it outside the pen the past 2 nights but haven't caugh the booger! My hubby managed to whack it with a pitchfork night before last and sent it flying so maybe it's injured or laying out somewhere. It carried off one of our babies
earlier this week so we're locking up the hens in the coop regardless every night and will keep trying. They say they only stay in one place for a few days and move on, hope that's what's happened here!
You are going to have no choice...get out the shotgun and shoot it. Try to do so before he gets to the coop..shoot him out of the tree.

Also, if you not already aware, the females carry babies in a pouch. When you kill it, make sure it is a male or a female without babies...if there are babies. Kill them or you will continue to have problems.

Good luck. I know what you mean about hitting them and they ignore it. I stopped using rat shot after the first time I tried it. I used a 9mm instead.
It was the only thing handy that was loaded at that time.
Right that first night all we had other than ratshot handy and loaded was shotgun shells and he was too close to the coop for my comfort to use that. We've already lost 6 chickens this year to predators and now we lock them up right before dusk and after dawn in a *very* secure coop so we are not concerned about the possum getting in, as even my pinky finger won't slip through any cracks in the actual coop.

My husband was out there checking for the possum last night in the pen/run and didn't see him/her. This particular possum is pretty small, not like the full grown one we had previously, but I greatly thank you as I did not know possums had pouches but we will check him/her when we kill it.
Well, the deed is done (for now)! Wished we lived out where we could shoot them but we live in town and would have trouble firing guns. However, the trap cage worked, we caught two but still have the trap baited and outside. Although the pen has been pest proofed but we're still closing up the coop door once the hens go in for the eve, nothing can get in.

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