I found a possum in the feed in the shed this morning. My Possum elimination committee (DH) is not going to be available today. Can I dispatch him with a shovel blow to the head, and if I miss how likely is he to come after me? Also, do they carry rabies or any other disease that is worrisome?
Post by cloverhill on Feb 14, 2013 11:07:09 GMT -5
opossums are potential carriers of rabies, however they are very resistant to it. You can definitely kill him with a well placed shovel blow. If you're able to take him down, make sure to get another good blow to the neck/base of skull. Those lil buggers will "play possum" on you in a heart beat. They generally will posture at you but try very hard to get away if there is an out available. If there is an out, he will take it instead of coming toward you.
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Maybe you know someone who has a trap you could borrow? We keep a little giant trap around for catching critters.
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A word of caution.....if it happens to be a hungry female with babies, they can be very aggressive. Ask me how I know. You won't see the babies cause they are in her pouch. If you have never seen their teeth...ummm they are more than a little intimidating also. Yep, a little experience there also!
We had one get in the garage, in the dog food. So brilliant me, I took the broom and went out and hit it to make it leave. All that did was make it really mad. After a lap or two around the car and yelling for my son to get the gun and one of my other sons getting a shovel, we forced it out into the drive way and my son shot it. Low and behold I see something go flinging through the air. Walk over to check it to see if it is dead and the "thing" is the ugliest, so cute little baby. My son picks it up and brings it to me as I stand watching momma's belly wiggle around. So, I reach in her pouch only to find a belly full of babies. It was like the game "barrel of monkeys". They were hanging onto each other with front and back feet and tails. 6 of them total. I really hated knowing I was rescuing 6 more of the darn things that we just killed.
They were cute little things. They survived the night and we found a lady that did wildlife rescues the next day. Only one didn't make it.
So if you kill your possom don't look too closly to see if it is male or female. My 2 cents!
Their teeth are really scary-big. Sorry it killed your chicken, at first I though it was just eating your feed.
We used to have one that would eat the cat food. The cats just kind of chilled like they didn't mind sharing. I surprised it one night and it held its ground and hissed at me - very large mouth, very large teeth!
Proud momma to 2 great kids Eloise, Ivy, Teddy, Luna, and Murray - our fold of Scottish Highland cattle; Clarabelle, our Charolais baby & her son Clyde; Mac our mini hereford bull; ever changing number of mini meat pigs; around 60 chickens; 10 sheep; 4 dogs; 3 cats;
My son "killed" one in my garden close to the cage where we had the meat chicks, but we had moved them into the broiler shed the night before. He hit it with a shovel, so dh scooped it up with a shovel and put it in a bucket so he could dispose of it somewhere else. Well when my dh opened the back of the truck (there is a camper over the back) he was not in the bucket but had gotten himself all tangled up in some electrical wire dh had rolled up and dh pulled it out and he ran to get out of the truck and dh laughed and said he got his tail caught on the cable that holds the tail gate up, I said they have a prehensile tail, he was just holding on till he knew how far up he was, LOL anyway he got a good enough blow to the head that it took him out. DH always gets shook up with stuff like that. LOL hope you catch your possum and sorry it took your chicken.
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Have you been able to get rid of it? I sure hope it hasn't killed any more of your chickens.
Be aware that possums carry a disease or parasite that horses can catch...Sorry, it's been so long since I did the research that I don't remember now what it is. Possums will shelter in hay bales and defecate on the hay, then the horses eat the hay and get sick. Just something else to watch out for.
Until the 1980's we didn't have possums this far north. Then came the drought and possums piggybacked in hay bales brought up from the south. I guess winters aren't harsh enough to get rid of them again...
No sign of him since that first day and the dead chicken hasn't been touched. I didn't think it would wander off in the cold temps we had at the time. There isn't much cover around here unless he headed to one of the other sheds. I'm ready for him now though.
you know, people say australia is full of dangerous creatures that bite and sting and kill you... yet our possums are quiet, timid, fruit & bug eating little things, that people often encourage to come and eat at their homes, and several precious species are endangered.
you guys make possums sound like terrifying creatures (like a quoll or feral cat or something) so i'm going to guess either your possums are vastly different from ours (or you americans are a bit wimpy maybe lol but i'm not really suggesting that)
the idea of a possum being that scary is very strange. the stories you are telling here make it sound like how i'd describe a drop bear to a foreigner (drop bears are creatures of legend, lke a koala but they supposedly drop out of trees and eat you) so that's how i'm picturing your possum.
Post by Debbie Lincoln on Feb 18, 2013 17:21:06 GMT -5
Dunderi - our possums are about as big as a large house cat and I ain't afraid of 'em, and I have encountered many ! LOL They do have snarly large teeth. They have never been aggressive though - even when cornered - just snarly. I hate killing even the coyotes, so we just try to keep all food (including the chickens!) locked up safe so they don't have a reason to visit. Baby possums are actually kinda cute...
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Here in Nebraska an old boar possum can go 30 lbs. And a knarly old boar can be a formidable animal if he's decided he doesn't want to back down. The females seem to do a lot of scavenging and eat carrion, but they also really go for fruit and eggs. A big boar on the other hand will steal hens, kill housecats, and rip the front off of a rabbit cage to get to the rabbit. And the colder it is, the more aggressive they seem to be
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