"It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." A.Holmes

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Look Who Came For Dinner

We set a catch and release trap to catch those pesky raccoons who are very adept at dining uninvited on our chickens and ducks.We baited the trap with the almost but not quite hatched duck eggs . Look who showed up for dinner. An opossum!
"Opossums have a couple of defensive bluffs at their disposal. They'll flash their abundant teeth ( 50 in all ) when cornered or frightened and back the implied threat with a horrific sounding hiss."....."opossums are unintelligent creatures ( they eat cockroaches by choice- nuff said) ,.....they carry fewer diseases than the average household pet, and have greater resistance to rabies than any wild or domestic animal living around you. They are also immune to the venom of most pit vipers ( rattlesnakes, copperheads, cottonmouths, and the like ). Scientists are studying the opossums ability to neutralize venom..." Barbara Mikkelson
She is kind of cute, isn't she? On further investigation though the tail looks like a huge , huge rat tail and the teeth totally take the cute look and turn it into a monster grin. When I lived down south, ( Louisiana ) I learned opossums were not to be found north of the Mason / Dixon Line....I do not think the possums read the books.....they are abundant around here. And by the way, they really do play dead very well.....hence " playing possum".

15 comments:

Debbie said...

Nice of that possum to present itself in your trap. They are pests here as well. They are the second animal most frequently spotted on the side of the road here in Illinois (dead of course)preceded by racoons and followed by deer. Not an ambassador of the animal world for sure!

Wobegon Cottage said...

when we lived there we found two little ones on the fence near the garbage can...I think they look scary.

Mildred said...

OOHHH! These ugly critters are in abundance here in GA. I am jealous of all those teeth!

noble pig said...

We get them here and they are so ugly...yikes those teeth.

LindaSueBuhl said...

nasty ratty critters - they like to bite the heads off poultry - and eat the HEAD! fer goodness sakes - eat cockroaches by choice and chicken heads - those are some dumb animals. Glad you caught one and dispatched it I hope?

Lanny said...

Ummm catch and release? And where pray tell was the "releasing" done? Back south of the MD line would be in my liking! Road Trip! Perhaps we could collect up all the neighborhood possi and charter a bus for them. "Go Greyhound!"

And Mildred, exactly what would you do with all those teeth? Got some neighborhood chickens to deal with do you?

Leslie said...

Am I the only one that thinks that Opossum are kinda cute in their own special way? I like the way they waddle around. A nuisance, but cute. I don't like to hear they bite the heads off chickens, yuk!

Mary said...

They are abundant here too.

The cats killed one in the barn a few weeks ago. The rat-like tail was hanging off of the cattle panel. There wasn't much else left of it. Intersting enough it appeared again a week later. The pelt did.

The cats leave presents for me to shovel up frequently. At least they are fresh presents.:)Keeps the need for a trap down for now. Mary

Southern Comfort said...

I think that possums are very creepy looking. I guess it is because I know they will get your chickens, too. Raccoons are cute but big and super smart-super pests too. My favorite visitor this week was a deer. I think it came to drink out of what is left in my tank. Hope it comes back, the deer not the possum.

Nancy M. said...

That's why I don't like them, they remind me of a big rat! Yuck! I hope you'll catch what's getting your animals.

A. Joy said...

What the heck did you do with the thing? Were you thinking of bringing it over here in a bucket in case CT wanted to keep a pet possom in his room? I'm sure a breeding program would go quite well after reading how disease resistant they are - maybe some of the cockroach infested islands need to raise them?!

KathyB. said...

Debbie, yes, very nice of the possum to present himself! Usually we see them dead in the road too,but we see them around our home often enough.

Wobegon Cottage, sometimes they are cute, but often they look like rats, only bigger. Probably does not help them to look so much like such a despised creature.

Mildred,Do you need more teeth?

Noble Pig, yikes is right! Until they open their mouths and hiss, I feel sorry for them and think they are cute. Then , when I see the teeth I think about my poultry at the mercy ( or lack of ) of those teeth.

LindaSue, dispatched, YES!

Lanny, I was thinking you all would like another predator at your place..you know, another opossum to join the cougars, coyotes, raccoons, eagles and dogs already prowling around your place in search of fat ducks and turkeys...oh, I forgot to mention the weasels , hawks, ......so, how about it? Want another possum ?

Leslie, I do think they are kind of cute, until they hiss and bare their teeth. They also emit a horrible smell as a defense , but in a way it is worse than a skunks'. The smell is kind of like rotting stuff, combined with a skunk like urine smell....

Mary, my dogs have killed possums, but unlike everything else they have killed ( poultry, rabbits,and the like ) they did not eat the possums. Just left them dead by the porch.

Southern Comfort,that is the big difference between raccoons and possums, coons are very smart. I too, like the deer but don't want them around our fruit trees...we have enough dogs that deer don't trouble us and our gardens.

Nancy M. , They really, really do look like big rats! Good thing they aren't as smart , because they could take over the world!

A.Joy, doesn't CT want an opossum as a pet? I so wish the mole in the bucket had survived for CT to see. Amazing , isn't it, the creatures all around us all the time and only once in a while do we actually get to examine them up close , and marvel at how unique they are and how very well God has created them to adapt to their environment!

Daisy said...

We have possums here too, Kathy. I don't know, but I don't find too much about a possum that seems cute! HA!

Eat cockroaches by choice!! YIKES!

Pamela said...

Very interesting post. I'm pretty much tolerant of any animals, but there's something just down right creepy about a possum. Maybe it's like you said--all those teeth?

Farm Chick Paula said...

Yikes! They are so scary up close, and boy can they be vicious when they have little ones.
We once had a bulldog that caught one and chewed on it all night until he thought it was dead, only to have it hop up the next morning and run away!