Tell me about possums

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by happydog, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. happydog

    happydog Songster

    Nov 22, 2009
    Western NC
    Last night I left a 5 gallon bucket out with a few inches of milk in it. This morning there were 2 little possums wallowing in it. Not babies, but fairly small. Like little kid possums. What kind of damage can they do to birds?

    My birds are currently sleeping in a wooden barn stall. They free range in the pasture all day while we're out there working. Then at night I lock them in the barn. There are 12 turkeys, about 3 months old and an assortment of ducklings and goslings not quite fully feathered out, waiting for their house to be completed. So far nothing has bothered them, I've never even seen any predators here, but I got to looking today and I don't think it'd be too difficult to dig under the boards to get in.

    How bad do I need to freak?
  2. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Crowing

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    What kind of damage can they do to birds?

    They will kill and eat them and their eggs​
  3. jeremy

    jeremy CA Royal Blues

    Mar 23, 2008
    Oakland, CA
    Well they'll eat ALL of your eggs. I mean every single one, they won't leave you any. I don't know if younger ones will attack and kill/eat your birds but I know that I've heard of older larger opossums doing this.

    They're nasty. If you can, relocate them FAR away from where you are, or they'll just come right back (I'm speaking from experience) if you're not one to rehome then you can decide how to dispose of them in whatever manner suits you. [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 8, 2010
  4. oldchickenlady

    oldchickenlady Songster

    May 9, 2010
    Cabot, AR
    Pretty bad...if young possums are around so are grown ones. If you have possums, you likely have coons, also. I suggest getting a coop built pronto or at least an enclosed wire run before the grown predators figure out the birds are in the barn. When checking around the barn did you see any sign of digging or scratching? If you did, you better get in high gear. Possums will kill poultry and will keep coming back until they are all gone.
  5. oldchickenlady has it exactly right. They are mean and nasty and can do a lot of damage...maybe among the ugliest creatures God ever created, too!
  6. Emzyyy

    Emzyyy Runs with Deer

    Jul 14, 2008
    Derby Kansas
    [email protected] acres farm :

    oldchickenlady has it exactly right. They are mean and nasty and can do a lot of damage...maybe among the ugliest creatures God ever created, too!

    I have pet hedgehogs. They are related to the possum they look quite a bit alike in the face.​
  7. duck walk

    duck walk Songster

    Jun 13, 2009
    white springs, fl
    I dislike the ugly things...they just about wiped out my chicken flock...I trapped and dispatched 11 of them in about 3 weeks, and then the foxes came...killed 12 or so chickens in one night and took two for take out meals...ate 14 eggs and two drakes in one night...filled one's pants with buckshot and the next day the hotwire went losses since...I have two strands on the bottom and one on the top of the night pen for my ducks and 14 Buttercup chicks are still in my double wrapped 8' X 20' kennel run...they have a top, a big dog house, roosts, shade and are rather content...nothing can get to them, or hasn't so far...

    But, if you found babies, you got mom and pop and maybe some teenagers lurking and they will kill and eat every chicken and eat every egg...nasty suckers...
  8. vaiger

    vaiger In the Brooder

    Jun 27, 2010
    I lost about 15 birds to opossums. With us, they did not go after our laying hens, but instead went after birds that were 8-14 weeks old. I set a cage style trap from TSC and thought I was trying to catch a racoon. I baited with fish, catfood, marshmallows, etc. and could not catch him. I camped out in my truck down at the barn in freezing temperatures, set up a baby monitor so I could hear what was going on down there, etc., and never could catch him.

    Finally, a little old lady that has raised chickens all of her life told me to bait the trap with a Honey Bun......two days later I had my possum. Life was groovy for a couple of weeks. When another turned up dead, I baited the trap with a honey bun and snagged the second guy as well.

    So, I am a firm believer in a humane catch and release trap and then a .22 to the head;).
  9. KILL THEM QUICKLY if you want to have chickens kill them and bury them under some rocks or drop in the land fill, My SIL shot 2 and so far I know I have one skunk, he will get him next. My GS dog dug out of the fence and killed more than half my flock, and I told him if he wanted to keep her he better move her or he will be looking in the land fill for or no pet she is one dead dog. marrie [​IMG]
  10. happydog

    happydog Songster

    Nov 22, 2009
    Western NC
    Well after reading the first two responses I ran down to the barn to tell my husband. Surprise, no possums in the bucket. The only clue to their disappearance was a few pieces of cat food floating in the milk. I ran back in the house and asked my 7 year old (she wants to be an *Animal Rescuer* when she grows up [​IMG] ) point blank, "Where are the possums?"

    She fessed up that she had fished them out of the bucket WITH HER BARE HANDS and taken them into the woods. I made her show me where and sure enough there they were, all snuggled nice and cozy in a cat carrier nestled in a nice little nest of hay she'd made for them. And in case they were hungry from swimming in milk all night, she'd given them a bowl of cat food. "Don't worry Grandma, they weren't biters and now they're not afraid of me so they won't hurt me. They know I love animals..."

    Sent her up to the house, dropped the cat carrier full of hay, bowl, cat food, possums and all in the cow's trough where it sank to the bottom.

    Thank you so much, I had no idea I had possums or that they're that bad.

    Now how do I fix the 7 year old?
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010

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