Friday, March 15, 2013

im-possum-bly'd ticked pt II

The whole possum thing wasn't over after Monday night's homicide.  Hubs thought he'd pretty much possum proofed the coop before he left for Hawaii on Tuesday night...not so much.

Yesterday morning, I went to the coop, filled the water tank, fed the ladies, then went into the nesting boxes to see what they'd left for me in the egg department, and I got a shock.  Curled up, sleeping peacefully in one of the boxes was that blasted possum!  At first I thought it was dead or something, until I watched closely and saw it was breathing.  Shoot, not good.  Diesel doggy was going nuts, but the nasty little rat just slept on like it owned the place.  I put the dog outside, got a long stick and tried to get it out of the nester.  Our nesting boxes are 2 sided. There are four in a row, open toward the coop for the chickens to get in and there's also a hinged roof on the barn aisle side of the boxes, so I can just open it up and get the eggs without having to climb around in the coop trying to get around my chicken groupies without stepping on someone.  I opened the hinged roof part so it had an escape hatch, then went into the coop with a long stick.  The plan was to poke at it, wake it up and convince it that it should get out of the box (on the barn side, not towards me).  It didn't get the memo.  All that happened is that it woke up when I poked it, then turned toward me, hissing and barring its teeth like a vampire, not the shiny kind, the Nosferatu kind.  Not good.  Once I gave up on the poking thing, it just curled right back up and fell back to sleep.  At that point I wasn't quite sure what to do.  I could have gone all stabby on it with the long stick and skewered it, but that just seemed kind of gross and I'm not the pioneer women type.  Giving up for the moment, I went back inside and called WE at school to see if there was some way he (and possibly a helpful buddy) could come over and deal with it.  He had a track meet right after school a looong ways away and wouldn't get home until late and I really didn't want to deal with possum problems all day.  After I explained the situation and he quit laughing at me, he said I should try to shoot it.  Excuse me, but I am not Mrs. Grizzly Freakin' Adams, here, I don't have a clue how to shoot a gun.  He said if I couldn't find someone else to deal with the problem, he'd take care of it when he got home.

So, back out to the barn I went, armed with screws and a screw gun (that kind of gun I know how to use).  I got a bunch of boards and essentially screwed the possum into the nesting box then screwed the cover closed so if it woke up, it couldn't get out and eat any more of my chickens.  I then headed to work, wondering what the heck I was going to do with the stupid possum the whole time I was there.  When I got home, I left a note on my neighbors door, asking if he could come help me when he got home from work.  Shortly after, his daughter came over to say that he'd just had back surgery that morning and wouldn't be able to help.  Way to plan an inconvenient surgery, Tony!

I had no choice but to wait for WE to get home, which he did at about 10:45. He said he saw a huge raccoon in the neighbors yard when he went past (which is still running around loose because Mr. Back Surgery is hanging out in the hospital instead of staying home and shooting random animals where he belongs!).  I'm telling you, spring is definitely springing around here, it's like Wild Kingdom.  Someone also hit a deer just down the road, actually, I thought it was 2 deer until I saw that it had  been hit so hard it was in two separate pieces, the front one on the road, the rear end half in the ditch, gross, eh?  There were also what looked like internal organs scattered around, that thing must have been hit by a Mack truck or something. Anyway, WE gets the .22 out and tapes a flashlight to the barrel so he can see what he's shooting at.  About 15 minutes later, the deed was done and the dead possum is in a 5 gallon bucket waiting for its final trip back to the woods, where, if it had been smart, it never would have left in the first place.

This morning, I had to unscrew all my possum proofing boards so the ladies could get back in to lay eggs.  I also had to scoop the yucky bedding out of the nester box in the corner where the possum slept the big sleep.  It wasn't as bloody and gross as I thought it was going to be, which was a good thing.  Bloody and gross is not something I wanted to deal with under the best of circumstances, on a cold morning at 8:30 am, it would be even worse.  I'm going to have WE do a bit more possum (and raccoon) proofing tomorrow and hopefully I won't run into any more massacres.  This is all too stressful for me, I just want to raise my chickens and get on with life.

1 comment:

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

As I commented on your previous post--damn possums! They are nasty when they growl. Glad you got him. Next time, put some dog food in a tipped over garbage can and then suffocate him like I did. :)

I love raccoons, but not when they're eating my cat food. They used to come on my side porch and when I'd stick my head out the large sliding window to yell at them, they'd growl, too. Poking them with a play sword only aggravated them. :) Going back to when I kept food in the barn, we came come from a weekend up north to find a whole, unopened 50# bag gone. I wondered if someone had stolen it because of the size, but my expensive leather saddles were still there, and other tools, so the only thing I could figure out is that masked bandits of the 4 legged variety made off with it.