Do you have possums living in your local area? Wondering do possums eat chickens and if a possum is likely to eat your chickens? Well, we are going to help you to determine whether this is a real possibility right here.
We are also going to provide you with tips on protecting your chicken flock from possums and other chicken predators as well.
Do Possums Eat Chickens?
There is no short answer to the question ‘Do Possums Eat Chickens’, it is yes and no, but possums can eat chicks for sure, if they have a chance to grab one.
Possums will pretty much eat anything that they are going to be able to get their little paws on.
This means that there is a pretty strong chance that they could attack your chickens.
Generally speaking, possums are probably not going to try and get anything more than chicks, eggs, and maybe some of the smaller breeds of chickens. It is very, very rare that they would take full-sized adult chickens from a coop.
It is not unheard of, but the full-sized chicken is probably going to be putting up too much of a fight for the possum to bother. This means that if you have a ton of adult chickens (and they are not one of the smaller breeds), then you should be fairly well-protected.
That being said, possums are known to attack some of the larger breeds of chicken if the opportunity arises. However, they tend to do nothing more than just kill the chicken. They may eat from the gizzard area, but that is it.
They are not going to drag the corpse away. They are just going to leave it in place. Honestly, it is more likely that the possum is going to be trying to eat the actual food of an adult chicken as opposed to eating the chicken.
How to Protect Your Chickens From Possums
The chicken coop should be fully enclosed. This way the possums do not stand a chance of being able to climb into the coop from above.
In addition to this, you will want to bury a small amount of fence under the soil.
This way if a possum tries to dig under the fence of the chicken coop, they won’t be successful. They are just going to encounter more fence.
Obviously, this is not going to stop a more determined possum from getting into your chicken coop, but this is highly unlikely to happen.
Since a possum isn’t going to know exactly what food is in that coop (and how dangerous it will be once they are inside), they are probably not going to bother trying to get into the chickens if they are met with a little bit of resistance.
We know we said the risk of a possum harming fully-grown chickens is minimal, but we do suggest that you try and do your best to reduce that risk to zero. You want to protect your chickens as much as you can.
If a possum sees your chickens as a viable food source, then they will keep returning. If they can’t get in just once, then they are probably not going to return.
Remember, possums like their food to be easy to reach.
See also: How to protect your chickens from predators.
Possum vs Opossum
Let’s clarify something here. On our page we are answering the question ‘Do Possums Eat Chickens’, however there is a difference between Possum and Opossum.
Our page actually answers the question ‘Do Opossum Eat Chickens’.
But, when people in North America say Possum (we do the same on our page) , we actually think of Opossum!
In USA people often shorten opossum to possum when talking about the creatures prowling around the backyard at night. (source)
However, these are two different animals.
Possums live in Australia, New Guinea, Sulawesi, New Zealand, and China.