You Wont Believe This!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by MISS MILLIE, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. MISS MILLIE

    MISS MILLIE Out Of The Brooder

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    I live in a neighborhood with few chicken predators save your typical neighborhood cats & dogs and the occassional groundhog (my biggest concern, or so I thought). There's a preserved area down the street near a canal, so we have a group of deer in the area and once I saw a wild turkey cross our front yard. Let me stress that we are not in a rural area- in fact I can see the capital buildings of Trenton New Jersey from my second floor windows.
    We havent had any predator issues in the entire year we've had our 7 hens. We've been so trusting and naive that we have been leaving our coop door open the entire (!!!) summer, fall and winter so far without any incidents. No one had been home for 24 hours due to work travel. When my husband went to check the hens, he found this.

    [​IMG]

    The opposum had been "vacationing?" in our coop for at least 24 hours, because the fresh snow revealed no tracks. He was sleeping in the only available egg laying box (I had closed the other two because my hens arent laying many eggs right now.) He was sound asleep when my husband opened the egg box door. Imagine the shock!
    Smart opposum, right? Staying warm in the coop, eating eggs and possibly feed. I am amazed that my hens survived it completely unharmed, but they did. Cant say the same for the 'possum.
    YES, we have changed our tactics and are vigilant about locking the coop before sunset (the hens go in about 4:30). Just thought I'd share my unbelievable story- God was protecting our girls that day.
     
  2. sadies0111

    sadies0111 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 18, 2010
    wow! you were lucky!
     
  3. greatergraceoffbg

    greatergraceoffbg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't like the part where you say "except the Opposum" ... I hope you did not harm it, it did nothing to you and all you have to do is carry it outside by its tail and release it. These are slow, harmless animals and should not be killed for seeking shelter from the cold.
     
  4. MissJenny

    MissJenny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That appears to be a baby and would not likely harm your hens.

    Jenny
     
  5. Carolyn

    Carolyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I lost 2 hens to 'possums within the last month. They are anything but an endangered species so please if you release an opossum or racoon do it on your own property (like that would solve your problem). It is illegal to release elsewhere in some states.
     
  6. MISS MILLIE

    MISS MILLIE Out Of The Brooder

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    My husbands #1 concern was for our hens. He wasnt about to take a risk that the opposum could come back. The hens are in a fenced off area where they roam around freely during the day and if the opposum had come back, we might not have gotten lucky twice.

    I dont know how big it is, I didnt see it except for the photo. Cant say if it's a baby or not.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2011
  7. Desert Rooster

    Desert Rooster El Gallo Del Desierto

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    wow, good thing it didnt do anything to your hens
     
  8. Chicken.Lytle

    Chicken.Lytle Chillin' With My Peeps

    I believe that releasing predators is cruel.

    You are taking a critter that failed at natural selection and dumping it into another (successful) predator's territory. Now they are both at risk of starvation or fatal injury.

    For predators like squirrels, gray foxes, and coyotes, I think it is better for them to learn chicken aversion and let them stay in place to keep other predators of the same type away from the chickens.
     
  9. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    I have seen the damage an opossum can do to chickens firsthand and it's not pretty. You do what you have to do to protect your flock.
     
  10. PhilErvin

    PhilErvin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I catch and release Opossums all the time. In the past two years I have probably released 12 . I release them about a mile away in a game preserve to feed the coyotes. I have never killed one but have NO love for these over grown rats! I have seen what they will do to chickens and do not tolerate them.
    Sure , you can critise me for causing an imbalance in the ecosystem but the way I look at it is this; I am releasing them about a mile away so I'm probably still within their territory, if they can survive and reproduce then they will be food for the coyotes whom I like. The coyotes mind their own business and what they eat in the wild is less they will come into the neighborhoods and eat (cats, small dogs). So I see it as a win-win. [​IMG]
     

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