Sep 30

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Think Your Chickens Are Safe? Think Again!

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Some of the gals in our new flock of chickens!

When we built our chicken yurt this past summer we made sure to reinforce the bottom of our fencing so it was double layered to prevent predators from getting through the fencing.  But what I am about to show you may make you change your mind about all the measures you take against possums and raccoons anyway.

We routinely set up our humane trap to capture any would be predators that might be preying on our gals and we realized recently that possums prefer chicken feed to fish believe it or not.  We left a mullet for two days in the humane trap and the possum never went for it but once we put chicken feed in the trap bingo we caught something but it wasn’t in the trap when we went out in the morning because believe it or not it had chewed its way through the wire of our simple box trap!

Gives you an idea of how sharp their teeth are!

It is very important not to have feed left in the coop in the evening for the best pest/rodent management practices and this takes a while to figure out for our two flocks of chickens but I have found a great website/pdf  (you do have to download Adobe X though if you don’t have it) that is a guideline to help me make sure my chickens are getting the right amount of food (it even has info for broiler chickens) and we are taking measures in the evening to remove the feed to help prevent rodents from visiting our Lil’ Suburban Homestead.

possum fur

The possum had left its evidence its fur all over the metal wire!

So even though we feel like our gals are secure it is somewhat of a false sense of security although my  husband “The Viking” in my life mentioned that maybe a possum would chew its way out to save itself but maybe not to get to a chicken…..maybe….



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  1. Earl B Russell

    Karen, thanks much for the linkback on my related blog post. I just sent it to my son-in-law and daughter whose new urban chicken flock consists of chicks from 1-2 weeks old. Hope you get out from under the weather soon.

    1. KarenLynn

      Earl I loved your candid blog post on rodents/pests…its a part of life when you raise chickens and in our case we grow veggies and have bees too. No one really likes to discuss the gory details as you said but its a reality and if you don’t manage them they will manage you. We not only use humane traps but we use other methods as well but this is an example of a humane trap failure. Thanks so much for forwarding my blog post to your daughter and son in law I hope it gives them food for thought! Thanks for stopping in!

    2. KarenLynn

      I have passed this blog post along to my husband, my twitter feed, and a couple of groups I’m in….I really enjoyed it!

  2. grackleandsun

    That is determination.

    1. KarenLynn

      I know right…;)

  3. Jan

    Yikes! I was up at midnight last night after hearing something stirring around the goat shed. It spooked out one of our hens (the one who decided to live with the goats instead of the other chickens) and the ducks and even the goats! I could see the eyes glinting in the moonlight, but by the time we got down to investigate, it was gone. I think it has to do with the fact that my hubby moved all of the feed into the goat shed yesterday afternoon – those possums do love chicken feed!! Setting the have-a-heart trap tonight to see what we get!

    1. KarenLynn

      Jan I know I hate wondering what is lurking in the shed at night….(SHUDDER)…;)….We just ordered a have a heart trap trying to be as humane as possible with all rodents. Thanks for stopping in and sharing your story!

  4. CurtissAnn

    Oh, my heaven! Thanks for sharing. I want to say that perhaps we won’t have such difficulty, because we feed grains and seeds, and really the chickens eat it all at night. But they have it strowed all over their run. And when we lived in Oklahoma, we had raccoons all the time trying to get into the horse sweet-feed.

    1. KarenLynn

      Hopefully you won’t have to worry about them but I will tell you raccoons are ruthless with chickens. I bet they loved that sweet horse feed!

  5. Tami Lewis

    thanks for the PDF link- I plan to read thru it and learn!

    1. KarenLynn

      Tami I thought it was very informative I like the way it is broken down by the amount of chickens you have. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. angie

    oh boy, we had a bear come in & eat 7 hens, a rooster & a turkey, it was heartbreaking!

    1. KarenLynn

      Wow Angie! I hope I don’t have any bears come near my place. But that sounds awful. Thanks for stopping in over here!

  7. Sunny Simple Life

    A good reminder. I usually always put away the food at night but I think I will make sure I do from now on.

    1. KarenLynn

      Sunny Simple Life so glad you stopped in and it served as a reminder for me for sure!

  8. Sue

    Oh! I didn’t think about this. We had a squirrel and chipmunk helping themselves to the feed in the daytime all summer, but didn’t think of any night critters wanting to do the same thing. Thanks for the heads up!

    1. KarenLynn

      Thanks Sue! I know those possums would so be happy to eat your chickens and I for one just want those lovely eggs! So glad you stopped in for a visit!

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