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  #1  
Old 02/27/10, 08:43 AM
 
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Location: northern Kentucky
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What kind of problems do possums cause

My kid caught one in a trap and killed it. What problems do possums cause? We have chickens, rabbits, and goats. Do they eat eggs or kill others? We have had a an egg thief and some one getting into the goat grain. I assumed it was a coon when I saw the poo, but could the possum have been the guilty culprit?

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  #2  
Old 02/27/10, 08:49 AM
 
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A possum will eat just about anything including small animals.

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  #3  
Old 02/27/10, 08:53 AM
 
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They will steal your eggs, eat your chicks, kill your hens, nibble the feet off young rabbits in suspended cages... I am not a fan of possums. (possi?? possa? LOL)

Mary

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  #4  
Old 02/27/10, 08:57 AM
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Sure, they'll get into grain if they can. They're opportunistic but pretty lazy, too, in my opinion, and will go for whatever is easiest. It is best to keep your animal feeds secured in such a way that nothing can get into it.

Now, I'm going to go against popular opinion here and state that I don't think 'possums are the super killers they're often portrayed to be. In fact, I read somewhere where, because of their body shape, they are physically unable to take down and kill a full-size chicken. I suppose that doesn't necessarily mean they won't get into a nest and steal eggs and/or baby birds.

They are also scavengers and are much more likely to get caught cleaning up the kill of a raccoon, dog, whatever.

And they are migratory and tend to not stay in one place for long.

They don't bother me here. One will show up occasionally but since they can't get into the feed nor can they get into the chicken pen and coop, they find the pickings pretty lean and move on. Plus, I suspect they don't think much of all my dogs.

I can't say I can think of one single time one has caused me any real damage.......and I've had chickens and ducks for over thirty years.

Now, coyotes and raccoons are a different matter........

Edited to add: If I had horses, I probably wouldn't be quite so complacent about 'possums because having them around can be deadly.

Quote:
Opossums carry the organism that causes this disease (EPM) so it is important to make your stable area unattractive to these animals. Opossums will eat almost anything including dead animals (road kill), dog and cat food or horse feed. It's important that all food stores be secure and any animal carcasses buried promptly. Clean up any spilled feed promptly. If opossums live on your property they should be humanely trapped and removed. Fencing has been designed to prevent entrance of these animals and should be considered if opossums are a nuisance.
http://horses.about.com/od/diseasesa.../epmhoirse.htm
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  #5  
Old 02/27/10, 08:57 AM
 
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We kill any opossum we catch. We set a live trap out every so often when chickens or eggs start going missing. And about 3/4 of the time it's a opossum. Other times it's a raccoon (they are dispatched of also).

We've caught a opossum "red handed" in the hen house one night. The bugger killed two chickens & ate the insides out of it clean as a whistle before we got it.

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  #6  
Old 02/27/10, 09:15 AM
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I have had oppossums kill chickens, eat eggs, eat garden vegetables etc. But my main concern with them is that they can spread EPM to horses. EPM acts like west nile virus attacking the nervous system. But EPM is debillatating and incurable.
Personally I shoot any and all oppossums that come on my property. Mary.

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  #7  
Old 02/27/10, 09:29 AM
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caught a few killing chickens red handed. We kill any we can find.

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  #8  
Old 02/27/10, 09:50 AM
 
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Thanks for the info. We do have horses. The feed that something is getting into is what I have set out for the goats, not the main stash. I have some goats that I put out all the feed I can for and they don't eat it all. Well the poo left behind tells me something else besides the goats have been feasting. What do I have to be sure of with the horses?

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  #9  
Old 02/27/10, 09:56 AM
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I read somewhere where, because of their body shape, they are physically unable to take down and kill a full-size chicken
They can easily kill grown chickens. They most often do it at night when the birds are roosting
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Old 02/27/10, 10:00 AM
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I don't hate the species, and don't begrudge them their existence. It's just that they can't set up their home in my chicken house. They'll eat eggs, chicks, and full grown chickens. They attack at night, and rarely 'lose' the battle with a complacent docile chicken. I usually don't have to deal with them... the dogs roll them first.

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  #11  
Old 02/27/10, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRAILRIDER View Post
I have had oppossums kill chickens, eat eggs, eat garden vegetables etc. But my main concern with them is that they can spread EPM to horses. EPM acts like west nile virus attacking the nervous system. But EPM is debillatating and incurable.
Personally I shoot any and all oppossums that come on my property. Mary.
Ditto...
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  #12  
Old 02/27/10, 11:22 AM
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Missouri
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Possums aren't always the laid back roll over and play dead animals some folks think. Some are vicious fighters that can inflict a lot of damage when the playing dead routine doesn't work. I have caught hundreds of them, I made a lot of my spending money as a kid hunting and trapping them for the hides.

They will eat anything they can scavenge, steal, or overpower and are a more efficient and powerful predator than a lot of people give them credit for. I caught one in the act of killing a new born pygmy goat kid.

Our predator problems pretty much went away when the Pyrs arrived on the farm.

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  #13  
Old 02/27/10, 11:31 AM
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If I see one out in the woods etc I have no trouble letting him go that's his home ......... but if I see him under my cages walking round my pens or up in my roost trees etc. he is history.......

as to what they get into an do ......... once when I lived out in CA we had this really gentle cat that showed up on our porch we kept her there an gave her a box to use as her bed, she ended up having kittens in the box one morning I heard kittens crying went out to find one dead on porch an a possum going over the side with another in his mouth running off when I caught him an killed him the kitten was already dead when I got back, found out he had killed 2 more in the box...........

wild animals have their place but there are some things ya can't abide from them ........
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  #14  
Old 02/27/10, 12:25 PM
Brenda Groth
 
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a lot of people believe that possum are harmless..but they are not, their teeth and nails are like needles and they'll rip a dog or cat to shreds and are vicious when they attack

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  #15  
Old 02/27/10, 01:17 PM
 
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no problems at all with a well placed .22 between the eyes

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  #16  
Old 02/27/10, 04:14 PM
 
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Well - at our place the problem with possums is that they get on the front porch, which ticks off the dogs, they bark, this annoys the cats, they start scratching anyone nearby, the kids start hollering, all heck break loose.....the dogs chase the possums to behind the barn, the cats get loose, the kids chase the dogs.......and......it is total chaos.....

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  #17  
Old 02/27/10, 05:27 PM
 
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I am a horse person foremost, and am not a possum fan. Whenever I find one in the barn, I turn the dogs on it (they love a good fresh possum dinner). One of my dogs will even scent and hunt them when out walking in the woods and has dug several out of burrows.

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  #18  
Old 02/27/10, 06:36 PM
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We get rid of any Oppossums, raccons or coyotes that we see or catch, we call it Recycling!

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  #19  
Old 02/27/10, 07:07 PM
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Australia
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Here in Australia, possums can be a problem too, but we can't hold it against them if they interfere with our way of life - they have to get on as best they can, and they are opportunists just like us!

They have a particular preference for fruit, I've found. But the worst problem I've had with them is if they get in under your roof and take up residence in your ceiling cavity. I don't know how to put this politely - but they have a very efficient excretory system, and they tend to do it in large quantities. A puddle can easily seep through the ceiling - and the smell is absolutely horrendous - not to mention the more solid excretions!! Need I mention the irritation of having them scrabbling about above your head while you're trying to sleep??

One solution is NOT to grow trees close to your house.

They are a protected species here in Australia.

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  #20  
Old 02/27/10, 07:08 PM
 
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They can carry typhus, a disease humans can get that is not to be trifled with.

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  #21  
Old 02/27/10, 09:46 PM
 
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they are somewhat difficult to kill without the proper weaponry.

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  #22  
Old 02/27/10, 10:12 PM
 
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Opossums cause no problems if you eat them.

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  #23  
Old 02/28/10, 01:40 PM
 
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Mom learned to feed the outside cats in the daytime. After hours she would have visitors. Anyone that thinks they are harmless should get a good look at the mouth and teeth and hear one snarling! Yikes. I sic my DH and kid on 'em.

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  #24  
Old 02/28/10, 04:05 PM
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I am a horse person... hate possums with a passion.......

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  #25  
Old 02/28/10, 04:25 PM
 
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i have no problems with opossum when they stay away...
im a wildife rehabber and have rehabbed many possum, all of them cool interesting little critters...
but when it comes down to farming...
its the same for ALL wild animals, my livestock, my pets, and my family/saftey come first, mess with those im not so large hearted to just let you get away with it.
possum in the woods, let it be...
keep feed and such locked up tight...if possum still wants to try it id have no problems cleaning it up for doggy dinner!

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  #26  
Old 02/28/10, 04:44 PM
 
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If you have horses, then possums can cause Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (EPM).
Sorry, I see it's already been posted.

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  #27  
Old 02/28/10, 04:58 PM
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I was wondering, do they carry rabies?

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  #28  
Old 02/28/10, 05:37 PM
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You all missed the obvious - they stink!

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  #29  
Old 02/28/10, 06:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BTO View Post
I was wondering, do they carry rabies?
Uncommon, but not impossible. A few years ago they found a few rabid possums down in Orange Co, CA that picked up the bat strain.
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  #30  
Old 02/28/10, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Callieslamb View Post
You all missed the obvious - they stink!
You got that right! And they love, love, love cat and dog food.
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