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Pooper 'Possum

Okay, this is a new one on us. We have plenty of wildlife around, which means frequent sightings if not frequent evidence that we're sharing our homestead with them. We are concerned only with anything that threatens our livestock or garden and so take precautions to protect both. Dan keeps the live animal trap set most of the time, although it isn't uncommon to have the bait disappear leaving the trap otherwise untripped! Obviously, our varmints are on to us.

During evening chores not long ago, I checked the bucks' hay feeder. I was surprised to find it largely uneaten, and reached in to fluff the contents a bit. What an unpleasant surprise to put my hand into a pile of poop! Yuck! That explained why the boys hadn't eaten it. I had to throw out a good bit (to me that means spreading it out on bare soil in the pasture) and go get more.

Wellsir, for the next several nights I found the same thing when I went for evening hay check. Why in the world would any critter prefer pooping in hay instead of fertilizing the ground the way nature intended???

We surmised 'possum, and Dan put out the live animal trap. No joy. I decided to stop using the hay feeder for awhile and emptied it out. I used the hay net instead. That worked somewhat, but instead of pooping in the hay, the dern critter started pooping where the boys made their beds. Grrrr! 

I cleaned out the buck shelter and moved the boys back to their little log barn. Dan moved the live trap back there as well. The next day I found a pile of poop on top of the hay in that feeder! About the time we were conceding defeat, lo and behold, he fell for peanut butter as bait!


There's a lot going around the internet about leaving these cute little critters alone because the eat insects and ticks. Yeah, well, they also eat chickens. They maul their victims and gut them by tearing into the abdomen. We've lost a number of chickens this way.

Dan has a place for rehoming his wildlife catches, so this little guy was relocated there too. It's part of a large county park, pretty isolated, and with a stream and plenty of shrubs and ground cover. Who knows? His mom and dad may already be there - sisters, brothers, and cousins too.

Thankfully, that solved the pooping in the hay problem. Hopefully, he won't find his way back.

Pooper 'Possum © October 2019

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