Predator Patrol

A few weeks ago, both Abby and Lovelyn saw something “creepy” (in Lovelyn’s words) around dusk, slinking around the back patio.  They did not see it closely but knew the animal was not a raccoon, squirrel or weasel. It was odd looking … shaggy fur, had a tail of a rat and was big and fat. My father in law suggested it was an opossum — and was he right!


Monday morning, the girls were letting the chickens out of the barn at the break of day when Lacey saw something large, fat and grey chasing one our of big roosters. It did not take long to figure out the  creature was an opossum. Lacey yelled for us to come outside … the opossum was chased into a hole without an exit … the girls then blocked the entrance with a board and waited for grandpa to show up with his gun {Daddy was already at work}. We were pretty sure that this was our predator from the summer – the one that ate and killed nearly all our chickens and geese.

Before you read on, please know I do love animals and would not want to hurt an animal without a reason. In this instance, the animal was a predator to our chickens so the death of the predator ensured safety for our hens and geese. Opossums are known to be chicken killers and egg snatchers. 

Thankfully, grandpa came by and was able to kill the opossum for us. I guess it does not matter how long I live in the country – I am still a wimp when it comes to shooting a gun.


We were all a little intrigued and grossed out by the animal. It was much larger than we thought …


With the opossum out of the way, we figured were were going to be okay with chicken and duck predators for a while yet.
However, just this morning, we opened the back door and lo and behold, there was another opossum on our patio, sitting beside our firewood box. They truly are ugly creatures in person!

We have no exterior lighting around here so you will not find me trying to light the stove early mornings  as it will require fetching wood from a dark patio — I may encounter another opossum, waiting for his breakfast!

P.S. We used this experience as a learning springboard for some school – we have discovered some very interesting facts about opossums since then!

1.  They have the most teeth of all land animals in North America.
2. The females are pregnant for just less than two weeks – a quicker gestation time than rabbits.
3. Baby opossums are tinier than a honey bee when born.
4. Up to 20 babies are born at a time – and they can all fit on a teaspoon!
5. Possums are located in Australia – opossums are our friends in North America.
6. They are the only marsupial in North America.



November 9, 2017 - 6:45 am

Gigi Wow, I have never heard of such a recipe. Thank you for sharing! We only use real butter. I am saving up for a family cow! 🙂

November 7, 2017 - 7:13 pm

Sue By the way Gigi, here is a recipe i have not yet seen on your blog for spreadable butter. We use only real butter so this recipe really helps stretch our dollar and it is easier for little hands to use as well!
1/2 c. Real butter, softened. (Salted or unsalted)
1/4 c. Milk
1/8 – 1/4 c. Oil (any liquid oil will work. I use canola for the taste).
Beat all ingred. together until light and fluffy, about 3 -5 min. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy ! 😉

November 7, 2017 - 4:33 pm

Gigi Sue, you are so right! I did not even notice, but yes, it is a fact of life. A predator shredded one of our roosters this week so it is on the prowl again. 🙁

November 7, 2017 - 11:06 am

Sue Ha! I noticed that your facebook “likes” are at an all time low for this post lol. You guys did nothing wrong! Animal rights has become extreme craziness. We have to protect ourselves against snakes (rattlers) over in these parts. And yes we do kill them when they are a threat to us.
As always, i so enjoy your beautiful blog! I have been very inspired by your life choices and have gleaned many great tips and recipes from you. Thank you for sharing with us!!

November 3, 2017 - 2:32 pm

Claire I saw one that didn’t make it across the road just yesterday on our way to The Maples. I had no idea there were so many around. But I guess with that short a gestation and that many babies, it makes sense. I’ll keep it in mind when the dog wants to play outside before sunrise!! They look pretty nasty.

November 3, 2017 - 1:34 pm

Rebecca Yuck! Thankfully we don’t have these this far North.

November 3, 2017 - 6:51 am

Katy We had an opossum in our chicken coop once and it scared the daylights out of me! I noticed a lot of our chickens outside in the run huddled together so I wondered what was up. I opened the door to the coop and there was this opossum backed up in a corner hissing at me! It was icky!!! My husband had to kill it ~ I felt really bad to have to do so but, like you said, it would have killed all our chickens!

Glad you were able to find the culprit and save your hens! I hope you and your lovely family have a nice weekend!

November 2, 2017 - 9:11 pm

Regina Oh my they are ugly! And thank you for explaining the difference between an opossum and a possum. I Googled images of both and they are hideous!