Do possum eat chickens? Possums, also known as opossums, are common wild animals found throughout North America. They are often seen scavenging for food at night and can be a nuisance for backyard chicken keepers.
One of the biggest concerns for chicken keepers is whether or not possums will eat their chickens. In this article, we will discuss whether possums eat chickens and what you can do to protect your flock.
You may also want to read about the best chicken coop.
Do Possum Eat Chickens?
Possums are omnivores and will eat a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, insects, and small animals. While possums are not known to actively hunt and kill chickens, they will eat a chicken if they come across a dead bird or find a way to get into a chicken coop.
Possums are opportunistic feeders, which means they will take advantage of any food source that is available to them. If a possum gets into a chicken coop, they may eat eggs, feed, and even small chicks. Possums are also known to carry diseases that can be harmful to chickens, such as avian influenza and Newcastle disease.
How to Protect Your Chickens from Possums
There are several ways to protect your chickens from possums:
- Secure Your Coop: Make sure your chicken coop is secure and predator-proof. Possums are good climbers, so make sure your coop has a solid roof and that all windows and doors are securely latched. Check for any gaps or holes in the walls and floor and seal them with wire mesh.
- Use Electric Fencing: Electric fencing is a great way to keep possums and other predators out of your chicken coop. Make sure the fence is high enough to prevent possums from climbing over it and that it is properly grounded.
- Keep Feed and Water Inside: Possums are attracted to food and water sources, so keep your chicken feed and water inside the coop. Make sure to clean up any spilled feed or water outside the coop as well.
- Use Motion-Activated Lights: Motion-activated lights can help to deter possums and other nocturnal predators from coming near your chicken coop. Install them around the coop and run, and make sure they are bright enough to scare away any predators.
- Use Traps: If you have a possum problem, you can use live traps to capture them and relocate them to a different area. Make sure to check the traps regularly and release the possums at least 10 miles away from your property.
- Use Natural Deterrents: There are several natural deterrents that can help to keep possums away from your chicken coop. These include planting strong-smelling herbs and flowers around the coop, such as lavender and marigolds, and using predator urine or garlic spray.
Do possum eat chickens? While possums are not known to actively hunt and kill chickens, they will eat them if they come across a dead bird or find a way to get into a chicken coop.
To protect your chickens from possums, make sure your coop is secure and predator-proof, use electric fencing, keep feed and water inside, use motion-activated lights, use traps, and use natural deterrents. By taking these precautions, you can help to ensure the safety and well-being of your chickens.