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6 Effective Ways to Protect Your Chickens from Possums

 

A possum standing up looking and peeping behind a branch of a tree.

 

Are you always worried about how to protect your chickens from the sneaky possums lurking around your yard? 

It may be hard to imagine, but these quiet animals can be a big problem for your chickens.

In this ultimate guide about "How to Keep Possums Away from Chickens," you will learn many useful methods to keep possums away from your chickens, allowing you to relax knowing your chickens are safe.

We will explore the proven methods that are easy and effective for saving your chickens from possums. 

With this knowledge, you will be better prepared to defend your chickens against any threats, even beyond possums.

Let's start by understanding the possum threat and why we must protect our chickens.


Understanding The Possum Threat

The reality will surprise you - possums can seriously threaten your chickens. 

You might ask, "Are possums dangerous to chickens?

Despite their often calm behavior, possums can become problematic when hunger pangs hit.

Hungry possums might look at your chicken coop and see a fast food joint. 

They do not shy away from causing notable damage to get their meal. 

And unfortunately, if they're desperate for a snack, the answer to the question "Will a possum kill a full-grown chicken?" is a concerning yes

Particularly, those chickens that are smaller, weaker, or unable to defend themselves fall prey.

But that's not the whole story. 

If you're wondering, "How do possums eat chickens?" the answer involves more than just your full-grown birds.

 Very often, the eggs and young chicks in your coop are at greatest risk. Possums see these as easy targets - quick and effortless meals.

But, when other options are limited or nonexistent, they won't hesitate to approach and attack grown chickens.

So why are we telling you all this? 

Well, the first step in dealing with a problem is understanding it. 

By knowing how possums operate, we can better prepare and protect our chickens. 

That's where our proven techniques come into play. 

The following sections will show you how to stop worrying about possums forever with a few easy actions.


How To Keep Possums Away From Chicken Coop

Here are the 6 Proven Methods:

1. Strengthen the Chicken Coop

One of the most effective ways to protect your chickens from possums is to fortify or strengthen your chicken coop.

Start by examining the chicken coop. Ensure it's strong and stable, without any points where a hungry possum could squeeze through.

 Look closely for gaps, holes, or weak areas that a smart possum could use to get inside. These weak points must be repaired immediately to ensure your chickens' safety.

Next, think about the locks on your coop. Possums are clever, and they can figure out simple locks. It's worth spending more on sturdy locks, such as ones with padlocks or that are hard to tamper with. These tougher locks can discourage possums from trying to break in.

Finally, consider strengthening your chicken coop's base and walls with a special type of wire called hardware cloth. Using a sturdy, tightly spaced wire will add an extra layer of protection, making it hard for possums to dig under or squeeze through.

A flock of chicken inside a sturdy chicken coop with hardware cloth as protection

 

2. Light Up the Coop

Like many animals that prefer to sneak around at night, possums don't like bright lights. This gives us a brilliant (and easy!) way to help keep your chickens safe.

Just like how you might turn the lights on at home to check for things that bump at night, we can use lights to scare possums away from our chicken coops. 

And we can make this task even simpler by using special lights called "motion-activated lights".

These smart lights turn on by themselves when they sense movement. So, if a possum tries to creep near your coop, the sudden brightness will likely frighten it off. This is the power of using light as a possum deterrent.

A white-colored motion sensor light

3. Remove Temptations

Besides your chickens, they're attracted to food scraps, chicken feed, and other tasty bits they can find lying around. 

We can start by storing chicken feed in airtight containers, making sure possums can't sniff it out or reach it easily. 

You can also clean up your yard daily by picking up any leftover food or scraps and properly throwing them away.

Chickens eating feeds at open container

 

4. Choose Humane Traps

Sometimes, even after trying all the other methods, possums can persist. In such cases, humane traps may be the perfect solution to stop them from bothering your chickens. 

Live trapping followed by relocating possums to a suitable location far from your yard is an effective and ethical pest control measure.

The main trick is being clever with bait. Using irresistible treats like canned pet food, you can easily tempt possums inside the traps. After all, they're always on the lookout for easy-to-get food.

Once you've captured a possum, remember to handle it with care and compassion. 

Relocate it to a distant, approved location where it can live in peace, away from your chickens. 

 

A wooden animal trap with written warnings for humans

 

5. Take Advantage of Electric Fencing

If your property is facing significant wildlife interaction, or you simply want a more robust defense system, you might want to consider electric fencing.

It might sound a bit extreme, but believe it or not, an electric fence can protect your chicken coop. This is an especially effective measure for larger properties where chickens might be more accessible to wildlife, like possums.

Installing an electric fence creates a physical barrier that deters possums and gives them a slight shock if they try to touch it - a powerful message that says, "Stay away!"

This isn't an electrifying danger, though. It's important to ensure that professionals install the electric fence to guarantee its effectiveness and safety. 

It has to be built in such a way that it keeps possums out without causing them major harm.

An electric fence with a white sign

 

6. Be Consistently Vigilant

Regular inspection is like a safety net in your fight against possum intrusion.

How do you do this? Start by conducting daily inspections of your property. 

Look for signs that a possum might have paid a visit. 

These signs could include:

  • tracks
  • droppings
  • digging around your chicken coop
  • Missing eggs or chicks

Spotting these signs of possum activity is like reading footprints in the sand. They tell a story of what has happened when you weren't looking. 

And by frequently checking for these indications, you can constantly be on top of the situation. 

You'll know if possums are becoming a problem, and you can respond quickly to deter them.

Constant surveillance doesn't just deter possums. It also signals early if other issues exist, like diseases or predators. 



Final Word

The challenges of keeping your chickens safe from possums are manageable and conquerable. 

We can create a comprehensive plan to keep the possums at bay by implementing these proven methods.

Knowing that your chickens are well-protected from possum threats also brings you peace of mind, saving you from stress and worry.

So, let's roll up our sleeves and create this possum-free zone now.

If you want to give additional protection to your chickens, consider looking at certain tools that can enhance their safety.

Some poultry raisers find incorporating solutions like this bird netting product beneficial to add protection. It doesn't hurt to check it out and see if it fits your needs.

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