Are possums monogamous?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by GoldenMom, Apr 29, 2005.

  1. GoldenMom

    GoldenMom Well-Known Member

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    I've been having a few issues with possums in my barn lately. On Wednesday, I shot a female possum with 5 babies (oh boy-6 possums with one bullet!!!). I cleaned up the possum poop she had deposited near my barn cats food bowl (it's only filled with a limited amount of food twice daily so it shouldn't be a draw for wild critters). This morning there was another "deposit" near the food bowl. It was very similar to the poop that came out of the newly dead possum. I'm quite sure it's not from my cats-they much prefer my garden! Besides it doesn't really look like cat poop (believe me, I've seen LOTS of cat poop) and most cats don't like to defecate near where they eat. So my question is are possums monogamous? I really wonder since I shot two possums early last winter and I think one was a male and one a female. Hopefully there are too many left around my place, I'm tired of disposing of them! Thanks.
     
  2. papaw

    papaw Well-Known Member

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    why would one prefer a cat to a possum?
     

  3. frogmammy

    frogmammy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    A few years ago DH and I had a second story apartment in an area (in the middle of the city, yet!) that had a LOT of trees. One winter's day I noticed a long-haired grey cat that would exit/enter a gutter at different times during the day. Kept watching for several days and it became obvious it was a stray, so I started putting out a small bowl of food every day.

    I put the food right outside my (second story) door and the bowl would be empty by nightfall. Every now and then I'd come home early and the cat would make a frantic run and jump onto a nearby tree...the cat still sheltered in its gutter.

    Sometime in early spring, my neighbor across the hall decided to toss out an old overstuffed chair...it sat there between the two apartments, too heavy to move down the steps, and nice to sit in every now and then to enjoy a nice day. Came home one day and there's "my" grey cat, taking a nap in the chair. It jumps off the chair, grabs a mothfull of food out of the bowl and leasurely heads for the tree. This goes on for a few weeks, then one day I come home and there's the cat curled up on the chair with anoth...oops! Curled up with a possum!

    All that summer, the cat and the possum kept each other company. They'd grab a nap together in the chair, grab a bite to eat out of the food bowl and roam the treeline together. If it rained or they got scared, they'd run to "their" gutter.

    We moved from the apartment that Christmas, and took the cat with us...I felt guilty at not taking the possum too, as they were so close to each other. The cat never did learn to like living inside and snuck outside every chance she got...maybe she was hunting for her friend. All this to say, I would not be at all surprised to find possums mate for life...they certainly do stick by their friends.

    Mon
     
  4. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Want me to go out in the garage tonight and ask one? They like to come into the garage and eat WITH the cats.

    Of course, there could be a problem. I don't speak possum and I've never met a possum that speaks English!

    :haha:
     
  5. GoldenMom

    GoldenMom Well-Known Member

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    My cats don't suck eggs and they can't reproduce!!!! I've been wondering why I haven't been getting many eggs lately. I think I'll have to borrow my folk's live trap and see if I can't catch #2.

    Raven-please feel free to ask. Personally I can't stand anything that doesn't have hair on it's tail. My boss enjoys seeing pocket pets and I have a heck of a time when he's on vacation. I HAVE to see the rats then! :waa:
     
  6. jerneeon

    jerneeon Well-Known Member

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    I hate possums! They look like giant ghost rats.
     
  7. Fire-Man

    Fire-Man Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hello GoldenMom. I am not sure if possums are monogamous or not, But I sure know they Love Cat food. Some of you might feel this is bad, but I have a Pit Bulldog and he HATES a possum. My daughter has several cats that she keeps in her "Cat House" a 10x12ft storage building with lights, heat, AC. and a kitty door that they can go in and out of. Between Moves She asked if I would keep her cat house on my property for a few months-------moved the house here, In just a few months my Dog found and Took care of 7 possoms in and around this house, some times I would open the main door and he would go inside and get a possum hiding in the cat food bag. Well the cat house is gone now(2 months), but there is still some possums left, He had a "Serious Discussion" with a possum last night. I have seen 100's of possums in my life(Use to coon hunt) but have Never seen two Together, or in the same tree, so I would feel they are not monogamous. Randy
     
  8. GrannyG

    GrannyG Well-Known Member

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    I came up on the porch late one night and thought I had a new cat till it turned it's head and showed me all its pearly whites. Yipes !! Later, a baby possom turned up, and then the cats started killing the babies. They killed 4 of them and left them on the porch. They are nasty critters. I read where cats have 30 teeth,humans 32,dogs 42,armadillos have 104, but I know that big possom had a mouthful.
     
  9. papaw

    papaw Well-Known Member

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    so ... the cats killed the baby possums and the possums are nasty critters??????

    I'm a bird lover ...cats belong in Chinese food.
     
  10. Chas in Me

    Chas in Me Well-Known Member

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    Well, I'm sure mine has never run around on me.
     
  11. Irish Pixie

    Irish Pixie "You have to be odd to be number one." Dr Seuss

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    Possums are nasty, vile creatures. Spread diseases like EPM that can kill a horse. If I see one on the farm--it's dead. It's the only animal I'll shoot on sight. They mess up stored hay and grain, just nasty things.

    Goldenmom, I've never seen a pair of possums, so I don't think they're monogamous.

    Stacy
     
  12. texican

    texican Well-Known Member

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    Golden Mom,

    ...when you shot the momma possum, you should have prepared for all the kinfolks coming to the funeral, to pay their last respects and whatnot, and while there, they probably'd like a little snack!!!

    phil
     
  13. tamilee

    tamilee Well-Known Member

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    Hi pawpaw;
    :haha: :haha: :haha:

    To Goldenmom;
    Don't know if possums are monogamous but they are nasty, mean little varmits. They do carry diseases and there have been a few confirmed cases of them infected with rabies. Around here the locals dispatch them with a shotgun.
    Personally I think they're kinda neat to see. The only indigenous marsupials we have. Too bad they're pests.
    tamilee
     
  14. bgak47

    bgak47 Well-Known Member

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    People carry diseases too & many of them are nasty varmits. Should we use shotguns on them? I'd say that possums deserve to live as much or more than most people. They've been around for millions of years. Secure your trash & feed your pets inside.How hard is that?
     
  15. tamilee

    tamilee Well-Known Member

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    HI All;
    I thought maybe part of my post had been deleted. Especially the part below:
    "Personally I think they're kinda neat to see. The only indigenous marsupials we have. Too bad they're pests."
    Nope wasn't deleted. It's there. Just checking........
    tamilee
     
  16. Shygal

    Shygal Unreality star Supporter

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    I guess I have to agree with you bgak. Why feed the cats where you know possums will be attracted to it?

    And I guess Im a little disheartened that a small animal veternarian can appear to take such joy in taking an animals life - "On Wednesday, I shot a female possum with 5 babies (oh boy-6 possums with one bullet!!!). " :(

    And talk about spreading disease, yet the cats poop in her garden? Blech.

    I guess the thing that bothers me, is if someone brought the possum into her office with a bullet wound, wouldnt she be required to treat it and save its life?

    Eh, I know Im gonna get jumped on, Im used to it.

    *edited for not spelling worth a darn*
     
  17. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Opossums do not harbor diseases normally found in dogs and cats, such as distemper, parvovirus, or feline hepatitis. All warm-blooded mammals can contract rabies, but opossums are rarely found to be rabid. Scientists believe that a body temperature too low to support the rabies virus is the reason. According to Dr. Susan Jenkins, Assistant State Epidemiologist, Office of Epidemiology, Virginia Department of Health, six rabid opossum cases were reported between 1989 and 1998.

    Opossums rarely cause problems for humans, but often frighten people by their rat-like appearance. Opossums are excellent at rodent and insect control, and being carrion eaters, they help keep roadways and neighborhoods clean. Opossums are more beneficial as scavengers, than harmful for any damage they may cause. A neighborhood with opossums tends to be considerably cleaner than a neighborhood without them.
    The above is a copy and paste
     
  18. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    THANK YOU AGMANTOO!! AT LAST, AN INTELLIGENT POST ABOUT OPPOSSUMS! APPLAUSE! These creatures are excellent to have around. I put out cottage cheese and fruit
    for them and they keep my garden free of pests that eat my plants. Being that they are also great rodent catchers I don't need any kind of poisons here.

    Currently, the armadillo, domestic cat, skunk and raccoon have all been identified as intermediary hosts pertinent to the life cycle of Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (EPM). I don't hear any of you yelling about shooting cats and they are more dangerous to US and our species in general than any numbers of possums as they carry many diseases that infect humans!


    Jeez, get a grip and! use your brains! I can't stand some dogs either, especially those ratty things with no hair and the disgusting chinese breed the Sharpei, but I don't go around shooting them! And dogs kill more people than any wild animal. snort!

    :soap: OK, enought of that! LOL LQ
     
  19. Irish Pixie

    Irish Pixie "You have to be odd to be number one." Dr Seuss

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    Ever lost a horse, or have had to treat one for EPM? There is no vaccine to guard against it. The treatment alone runs $1500-$2000 and they relapse frequently. The ONLY carrier is the opossum and the protozoa is passed in their feces. It's an ugly disease that causes the horse to lose control of it's hindquarters. The disease is progressive, and the horse will continue to deteriorate until it can no longer rise.

    The armadillo, domestic cat, skunk and raccoon are carriers and cannot pass the protozoa itself. A opossum has to ingest an infected carrier in order to shed the sporocysts that, in turn, infect horses.

    I compare opossums to coyotes and protect my stock against them. If that involves blasting them to "possum heaven"- so be it. Works for me.

    Stacy
     
  20. tamilee

    tamilee Well-Known Member

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    [/COLOR]

    Hi agmantoo;
    Checked out your statement about oppossums. You are ABSOLUTELY CORRECT!
    It is next to impossible for oppossums to contract rabies because of their GENETIC makeup. Also included are other rodents and lagomorphs. This according to NC Wildlife website. the info I had was based solely on the statements made to me a few years back by an animal control officer. Much of the information they have given has turned out to be incorrect. I had asked them about trap/release of oppossums as an alternative to locals shooting them. I was given the "they carry rabies" line which in NOT true. I was also told it was ILLEGAL to trap and release any wild animal in the state of NC. AGAIN, I found out today that this is INCORRECT! Oppossums that are a nuisance to persons with domestic animals can be LEGALLY trapped and released by the property owners or they can hire someone to do it.
    Also, the NC websites states that many people who complain about oppossums leave out trash and pet food. YES, it's true they lOVE cat food. The section of the website I'm referring to was posted to educate the general public about the animals in an attempt to cut down on the incidence of people shooting them.
    (Also note that I DO nOT own horses)
    Having said that, due to the rapid uncontrolled development in NC the majority of oppossums are killed by automobiles because their habitat is destroyed or severely encroached upon.
    Have a blessed day!
    tamilee

    P.S. People in 'these here parts' shoot cats, raccoons and even dogs, any animal they consider a nuisance. Sad but true. And before anyone goes off half-cocked; I've NEVER shot an animal!