Saturday, July 16, 2011

Opossum Problems.

    I have become completely infatuated with our chickens. I thought my mom was crazy when she first told me she bought chickens. I am now a reformed chicken hater (although I do kind of hate the rooster, but that's only because he attacks me). I love our girls (Ginger, Cinnamon, Pepper, Jodi, Kelly, and the baby Marty.. or Speedy Gonzalez as I like to call her). Today while driving down Dixie Drive, Dad and I saw that they had the Chicken Swap going on outside Tractor Supply!! I nearly wrecked my Jeep I was so excited!! We turned around and I went and saw all sorts of beautiful hens, roosters, turkeys, guineas, a goat(?) and some adorable rabbits and puppies.  Among them I fell head over heels for a pair of Silkies. The rooster was black, and the female was white. We have a pretty capable rooster already, but so many people will only sell them in pairs. I don't want to buy another rooster only to have Fred kill him... Alas, I returned home silkie-less.
How can you NOT love that face?!
     I'm really wanting some guineas because I've been reading a lot about them lately. They eat ticks (we have millions here), wasps, bugs, slugs, all while not destroying my mom's incredible plants and flowers. The chickens will also eat bugs, but since they scratch, they tend to wreck the flowers so we keep them in a fenced in area.  Mom and I are also trying to talk my Dad into letting us turn the shed into a chicken coop (mostly for protection) but also because WE WANT MORE CHICKENS!!!!! Or we've picked out a rather striking model for only $1,500. Your move Steve!!

   All of this leads me to my current Opossum problem.  Last night when I came home from dinner, I was taking the girls my leftovers (Our Chickens will eat A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G!!, much to the dismay of more serious Chicken owners).  I donned my Chicken boots and went to scatter rice and chips from the Mexican restaurant when I see a large mass of gray fur and the tell tale skinny little pink tail. A OPOSSUM!!! Before discovering my love for chickens I would have cared less!! But I came inside and found some disturbing research on Opossums.  They like to take a bite out of roosting(sleeping) chickens. Sometimes gnawing off toes, feet, beaks and in some cases entire legs.  They steal eggs, baby chicks (which explains how 2 of our 3 babies went missing.. we have previously thought it was a hawk).  They will kill hens by chewing their heads off and then eating the insides.  Opossums are a Problem!! I barely slept a wink last night worrying about my girls!! I came downstairs every few hours flipping the lights that shine into the Chicken Pen on to check for Opossum activity or (gulp) feathers and a dead hen...  He got in their pen twice last night!! I should say, I saw him go in there twice last night. I ran downstairs, pulled my boots on, grabbed a spray bottle of Clorox (It was all I could find) and a shovel and crept outside.  There he was, just eating their food.. Our tom-cat, Max woke up, but was absolutely NO help. Squirrels and Mice he can handle.. He's even chased a copperhead away.. but a opossum the size of a basset hound (they're bigger than you'd think!).. No.  The opossum was at least twice the size of Max.  I threw a large rock (trying to hit the opossum) but it landed right beside him and he scampered into the night.  At first I felt like a failure.. but then I thought.. "Ha!! Now I know how he gets in there!! and which direction he goes out!!".  I swear, if I had a gun I would shoot him!! I went to Weston's {Link Here} and they're letting me rent a trap for a week. This opossum and I are at war!! He is going DOWN!!! After I catch him, my mom wants me to take him to the Zoo so they can "let him go", me.. I want to kill that SOB Opossum!! He ate 2 of my babies and for that he will pay!!!

Off I go to rake up old straw and put down fresh new straw, and spend some quality time with my girls!!
Happy Saturday!!

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