They were almost to the slaughter!!! :-(

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Hamptons06, Jun 29, 2010.

  1. Hamptons06

    Hamptons06 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 26, 2009
    North Atlanta
    I normally keep the 6 chicks (they are about 15/16w old) in the covered run overnight (my RIR hen will peck at them incestuously) but last night there were huge thunderstorms and buckets of rain dropping from the sky. So, I'm standing out in the middle of it all corralling them into the chicken house (a VERY nice shed that has a coop inside it). 30min later and LOTS of hesitation from the chicks, they finally go inside. Sarah, my BO hen was hiding under an old rug that was pushed into a corner. She's very motherly and loves the chicks so I was trying to get her to go in the coop with them. I've never seen her hide before. DH comes in with my 14mo son and says he was crying and calling my name. [​IMG] They just came to check on me with handling 8 chickens by myself during a storm. [​IMG]

    So, Sarah and the 6 chicks are in the coop and Sarah starts acting funny. Making loud clucking sounds, stretching her neck out and looking around. I asked DH to check around the chicken house for a predator and the second he does, I see a POSSUM inside the house right behind the coop and could EASILY have slid through the wood slats [​IMG] and so I yelled for him to return. I was totally freaking out! My poor babies were seconds away from becoming dinner!!! [​IMG] I grab the push broom and immediately pushed them out of the run. DH grabbed 2 at a time and put them in the garage. They spent the night there and DH and I didn't get to bed til 2am. We have decided that we've very much taken advantage of not really dealing with any predators until now. We will put all of the chickens in the coop well before it gets dark outside. I'll never leave that door open again!

    Anyone have any info about possums or how I can keep them away????
     
  2. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Aug 25, 2008
    SC
    They will kill chickens. Hardware cloth all over is a preventative, but a bit expensive. I had a large one in a coop earlier this year- tried everything I could to move it out but it just kept grabbing the chickens. I shot it and recycled it by giving it to the vultures. Hated doing it but it wouldn't give up. [​IMG]

    ETA, they can climb very well, so protect the top, too.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2010
  3. CallyB57

    CallyB57 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 27, 2009
    Northeast Louisiana
    We killed one, but the best solution is to make sure that your birds are inside their secure henhouses with the doors locked before it becomes dark. A secure henhouse has kept me from losing one bird to a nocturnal predator. They are locked up shortly after they begin roosting, and right before it is dark outside. Never fail at locking them up securely - it will save you a lot of heartache from thinking about how terrified your birds were when a possum or raccoon is tearing them apart.
     

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