Tuesday, March 15, 2005

This is my first varmint of the season. I don't think he's the real culprit. So far they've killed my last two Pekin ducks and all my chickens are in total lockdown. I'm afraid it's going to go after the geese next so I may camp out up there tonight with the .22 and a flashlight. Dangnabit Varmints!


  1. Ed said...
    Killed your ducks?

    More likely they have been killing mice and rats, although it is not impossible that they killed your ducks. I would be looking for another suspect.

    Possums are wonderful animals who do all sorts of helpful things for us like eat grubs and keep rats at bay.

    You need to get over to the Natioal Opossum Society and learn what sweet creatures these guys are.

    We used to feed them along with the raccoons since we were feeding a raccoon with a severe leg injury.

    I have seen the raccoons, possums and a cat all eating cat food in close proximity to each other and with no fights between them. The raccoons are a bit aggressive with each other when it comes to food, but these three species seemed quite content to live together peacefully.

    A few key opossum facts taken directly from the website above:

    North America's only marsupial (female has a pouch) mammal.

    Hiss or growl and show their 50 sharp teeth when frightened; but, in reality, they are gentle and placid— they prefer to avoid all confrontations and wish to be left alone.

    Omnivorous: eats insects, snails, rodents, berries, over-ripe fruit, grasses, leaves, and carrion; occasionally will eat snakes, ground eggs, corn or other vegetables.

    Opossums regularly consume insects, snails, worms, rats, mice, and carrion. They can actually help keep your yard free of these pests.

    They are far less of a health risk to you or your children or pets than nearly any other wild animal.

    By eliminating the opossums, you may create a niche that will be filled by a less desirable species. Rabies and viral diseases (e.g., distemper) are practically unheard of in the opossum.

    They are exceptionally non-aggressive and non-destructive. They will not dig up your lawn, chew wood or wires, or create burrows. They do not "attack" anything that is not a food source, and is not threatening them. If you keep prey animals such as birds, rodents, or rabbits, you must keep them secure in their enclosures from any wild animal. Adult cats and adult opossums generally get along together, or ignore one another.

    Dogs are a serious threat to opossums, but not vice versa.

    Just because you see an opossum around does not mean that they are the ones causing your trouble.

    Opossums are much less secretive than animals that cause damage, and you are more likely to see them, when it is actually another animal doing the deed.

    It very unusual for them to be the culprits of any damage to property or lawns.
    Anonymous said...
    I have the same issue with a opossum. My Pekin duck was killed also.

    I live in city limits so my duck was in my garden in a small area with her own water garden and house, surrounded by garden fence.

    I thought she was protected from wandering off, but in the end, it was a opossum that slinked inside the fence without damaging it and fighting with my duck.

    She did not die the first time she was attacked. We kept her in the bathtub overnight and the rest of the next day. She even laid an egg in the bathtub.

    We could not keep her inside any longer and put her back in her fence area where she was repeatedly attacked until she died 2 days later.

    My wifes friend had her chickens and full grown cats being killed by possums on her farm.

    2 people I work with have had similar issues with opossums.

    One such issue was a possum coming onto their back porch and carrying off their baby kittens.

    The other issue was an opossum eating out of the same food dish as some cats and kittens, only to later find the kittens with missing heads.

    On a further note. Another coworkers former employer had a finger removed by a possum while bailing hay.

    Despite what anyone reads about opossums, they are not sweet!
    They are sneaky, vicious turncoats that will kill to get to anything they deem tasty!

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