Whether you check out the opossum together a friend or a fiend, recognize one in your chicken coop is never ever a pleasant experience. Although the opossum is a passive animal, it’s likewise opportunistic and may it is in a hazard to your smaller hens, and also their eggs.

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First points first…

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What Is a Possum?

“baby opossum” by foreversouls is license is granted under CC BY-SA 2.0

Standing around the elevation of a residential cat, possums have actually been described as having actually a “head like a swine … tail choose a rat … of the bigness the a cat.”

These marsupials originated in south America but their versatile diet and capacity to offer birth to as much as 20 young at a time have actually made them adaptable come a wide variety of habitats.

With long, spicy faces and also round, hairless ears, possums are sometimes mistaken because that rats. Not only is the possum no rodent, it’s likewise not averse come the occasional rat snack, should such an opportunity existing itself.

In addition to the sometimes rodent, possums will happily devour grain, fruits, and a selection of plants. Possums are also partial to frogs and also roadkill – both that which supply them v much-needed calcium.

Keep an eye on your pet food too – possums will certainly tuck into anything indigenous chicken mash come dog food if it’s easy enough to access.

One final thing – the American opossum is no the exact same as the Australian possum. They’re not also related!

Do Opossums Eat Chickens?

With your strong, spicy teeth, possums room certainly qualified of attacking and also eating chickens.

Simple answer? Yes, they do.

They reap a varied diet and will happily prey on young chicks and steal eggs. When unusual, it has actually been well-known for possums to take it on maturation hens, i m sorry are typically too large and intimidating because that the average possum.

Are Possums Responsible for My Disappearing Chicken Eggs?

It is commonly believed that, given accessibility and opportunity, a possum will assist himself come as plenty of chicken eggs together he have the right to stomach in a single sitting.

Scientific studies and also field experiment say otherwise.

Andi Cockcroft carry out a collection of field experiments earlier this year, leaving out morsels the bread and chicken egg slathered v syrup. When the possums chomped enthusiastically ~ above the bread and licked turn off the syrup, they didn’t attempt to rest or eat any kind of of the eggs.

Research is every well and good, yet there room plenty of civilization out there that will testify to catching possums in the act of eat chicken eggs. One of two people way, the best strategy is to be cautious and protect her eggs as fervently together you do your chickens.

The homestead Benefits the the Possum Diet

“Opossum with baby in mine backyard” by axollot is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Possums might be a little of a pest in part circumstances, however they additionally bring benefits to the backyard farm yard or homestead. Not only do this potential pests partake in pest control themselves, hunting down and killing cockroaches, rats, and mice, lock also aid to save tick populaces under control.

A solitary possum deserve to kill approximately 5,000 ticks in a season, damaging 95% of those the attempt to feeding on them, and also over 90% the those it finds on the ground.

Although some are afraid for your feline friends, believing lock could become possum prey, instances of a possum death a cat are very couple of and much between. That far more likely your cat will terrify the possum right into playing dead 보다 your possum having the final say.

Possums are the Spidermen that the animal Kingdom

“mom opossum and also babies” by Monica R. Is license is granted under CC by 2.0

Generally also passive come be social climbers, once it pertains to scaling physical structures, the possum is in a organization of that is own. Capable of climbing concrete walls and fences, possums are some of the pet kingdom’s many tenacious climbers.

Possums have strong hind feet and are blessed v an opposable digit that provides climbing a breeze. A prehensile tail renders them together adept in a tree as primates are, possums are more accomplished than practically any other small animal when it involves climbing smooth surfaces.

Possums have the right to climb tall trees with substantial skill and also are equally experienced at gaining into attics and roofs.

Possums Live in Burrows – have the right to You destruction It?

Possums are huge fans that dark, ground-level dens but rarely dig their own, relying rather on the disused burrows of other animals, like skunks and raccoons.

Possums like to burrow on open fields and also close to water. Your thin hair offers tiny insulation, so they line their dens with dry grass and other soft materials to store out the cold.

Possums will utilize the crawl room under a house, or also an attic or chimney, to make their homes, i m sorry is much from ideal provided their volume to carry disease.

How To defend Your chicken From Possums

In many places, that illegal to injury or death a possum for this reason finding non-lethal creates of protection is the only means to go. Proper coop defense is essential, especially as possums deserve to squeeze with some surprisingly little gaps to acquire access.

How to determine a Possum Attack

Possums i will not ~ come into your chicken coop v blazing guns or samurai swords – they’ll probably be nice stealthy about their nocturnal invasion, leaving tiny evidence behind. You can, however, determine a possum attack by looking out for these telltale signs:

Easily i can identify footprints – with their clawless opposable thumbs on the hind feet, there’s no mistaking the possum’s footprint;Possum droppings are fairly big and comparable to dog feces. More rounded 보다 rat droppings, possum feces have tendency to be about two inch long and also around 3/4 the an customs wide;Discernible bite point out on the bird’s neck, thigh, or breast;Partial continues to be of their kill;Baby chicks missing;Eggs lacking or broken shells visible.

How to Possum-Proof your Chicken Coop


As possums are excellent climbers, wire mesh fences do small to deter them. Below are some ways you can defend your chickens from opossums!

1. Electrical Fence

An electric fence wire about the height of the fence, around three inches native the fence chin will do the trick. Many predators are deterred by an electrical shock – together we are once we touch an electric fence!

2. Motion Activated Lights

Motion-activated lamp in her yard or around your coop are fantastic deterrents against nocturnal predators but, if that sounds prefer too hefty an investment, you could festoon her chicken coop through cheap Christmas lights instead.

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3. One-of-a-kind Predator Lights

You can obtain night lights that are specifically made come deter predators at night. Basically, that imitates a bigger predator’s eye (or fire, as the summary states) i m sorry scares smaller sized predators prefer opossums away.