Do Possums Eat Chickens?

Maybe some chicken (plus chicks) and their eggs have recently disappeared from their coop. Recently, there have been some native opossums (Didelphis Virginiana) and dead chickens around – well, these are scavengers. 

So, you’re wondering really ‘do possums eat chickens?’ Well, Yes, possums will scavenger and eat chickens (including fully-grown hens) and other easy food sources like chicks and eggs. 

  • The adult possum weighs 4 to 15 lb and measures about 21 to 36 inches in length – about the size of your house-cat. They have 50 pointed and sharp teeth with a white mouth (& face) with grey or white fur.
  • You’ll also notice that they have a hairless tail, black eyes, and pink nose, and pointed faces. 

Do Opossums or Possums Eat Chickens?

As noted above, possums and opossums will attack and eat your chickens. So, YES, simply put, possums will eat chickens. Their strong teeth enable them to tear down prey’s bones and flesh – including from dead animals and chickens. 

  • While uncommon, possums like raccoons will eat mature hens (about 20 in a night since they are large & intimidating) but may regularly prey on chicken eggs and their young chicks.

The omnivore animals largely eat and prey on small invertebrates – but if they are occupying the backyard gardens, the possums could hunt your chickens and eggs too – but the possums won’t eat the cats or dogs. 

Do Possums Steal and Eat Chicken Eggs?

Yes, possums that will manage to sneak into the chicken coop will (or come across eggs) will eat the chicken eggs – but they’ll also prey on adult chickens. 

  • My experience: One night I met a large possum in the chicken coop around the bird’s nesting boxes.
  • We noted that the possum had returned and stolen eggs – we also found some of the eggs busted. 

But will the possums eat raw eggs? Yes, they’ll feed on raw eggs in addition to other foods like protein dog kibble, minced veggies, calcium vegetables, chicken crockpot, and bones. 

Also, what smells do the possum hate? Well, these animals won’t love ammonia – so I would recommend you pour some ammonia into that coffee container. 

How to Stop Possums from Killing My Chicken?

1. Remove chicken or pet food 

Avoid leaving chicken or pet food lying around overnight. Such idle foods tend to attract the possums.

Put the chicken or pet food in some metallic (and air-tight ) containers – this will prevent the mother possum from nesting around and rearing their babies.

The possums and their younglings will eventually take over your spaces – and this will endanger you5r chicken as the adult possums will think that the food belongs to their babies.

2. Line the Chicken coop with 10-inch tin 

Line the chicken coop with some 10-inches tin to bar possums eating up the wood-  they won’t attack the chicken easily.

So, lining up the chicken structures with tin inside and outside – this is because the possums won’t chew on the tin.

3. Don’t Leave Chicken Eggs overnight

Next, I caution against leaving the chicken eggs overnight in that coop.

This is because the scent of the egg will attract predators including raccoon’s, skunks, and possums.

4. Place Mothballs and Ammonia 

Next, position some mothballs and ammonia (odour or stink) as these will help remove the possum from its hiding area.

So, pour the ammonia onto some coffee container and place a wick (towel or rag) that’ll help disperse the stinking fumes.

  • Check locations that look like possum shelters and place the mothballs or ammonia

5. Pour Wolf or Fox Urine repel possums 

Skunks, raccoons, and possums won’t get near that chicken coop or nearby hiding areas that have wolf or fox urine.

  • You may also use the fox-urine granules (Shake-Away) by the brand name as they’ll repel and scare off the rodents and possums.

Besides, you may use human urine to repel the possums around the garden or yard. Notably, the fresh urine will be bacteria-free and clean. 

6. Set Possum Traps

Possum traps will also be a great addition to the feature in reducing chicken death and disappearance. Set up this device on areas you suspect possum frequent. 

  • Some baits suitable for the possum trap include apples, peanut butter, vegetables, berries, and fruit. 
But remove these traps around the morning time to prevent catching other small pets or even your chickens. 

7. Fencing 

Fencing around that yard or garden will also hinder possums from reaching your chicken.

  • Definitely, their strong teeth won’t tear down that fence – but avoid chicken wires as they’re too weak.

Further, don’t allow drinkable water around your garden or yard as this will attract possums that may attack your chicken.

  • The chicken will be very vulnerable during the dark hours – while also the possums will also be active at night.

Conclusion

So, do possums eat chickens? YES, possums will occasionally hunt and seat chickens in the backyard.

  • But they’ll more probably eat chicks, Bantams (small breeds), and eggs.