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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    436

    Default Possum in the barn?

    I am originally from California. I now live in Kentucky. Last night I found a possum in my barn. I didn't think that much of it, other than being startled. I took some pics of it. I posted pics on another forum and every single person said I should have killed it because of the risk of EPM. I had heard that EPM can be carried by possums, but my thought is that if they are indigenous to the area, how much am I accomplishing by killing one possum? Is it true most horses have been exposed to the organism? Do most people kill possums on their property or deal with them?
    Thanks



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 20, 1999
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    14,656

    Default

    The problem (as I see it) with a possum in the barn is that it has discovered food and shelter. If it is snarfling up spilled grain, there is a greater chance of it's feces being left where your horses are likely to come in contact with it.

    You could live trap it and relocate it (somewhere MILES from your barn). Preferably before you find out it is female and you have a family of them settling in.
    "If you would have only one day to live, you should spend at least half of it in the saddle."



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2000
    Location
    Clarksdale, MS--the golden buckle on the cotton belt
    Posts
    18,791

    Default

    My dogs kill possums that have set up housekeeping in the barn. The terrier mix and the Dalmatian together have kept me possum free for a couple of years now.
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
    Thread killer Extraordinaire



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 19, 2004
    Posts
    361

    Default

    Possums are just big rats and need to be killed.

    I have been known to live trap them and relocate them to a local park. I believe that parks like wild life... right?

    I have free range chicken and rabbits, and of course horses. Possums will kill chickens and rabbits!



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2005
    Location
    Bonsall, CA- with my horses finally home again!
    Posts
    2,165

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by chestnutwithchrome View Post
    Do most people kill possums on their property or deal with them?
    Thanks
    In one of the more shocking things I have ever seen, about 8 years ago I was doing a live-in working student stint with a BNT. We were both standing in the barn when a possum scuttled along the barn wall. Quicker than I could blink, the BNT screamy-breathes "A POSSUM! THEY HAVE EPM!". And she picked up a pitchfork and jabbed it straight down into that possum's back. And left it there, impaled and twitching, to die a horrible death. I was so beyond shocked I didn't move, say anything, react at all.

    I mean I guess they should be killed and/or relocated (or I currently have a dog who would take care of any Possum Problem all by her lonesome ), but that day? Seeing it stabbed to death by an Olympic BNT in under three seconds flat? Let's just say that image still pops into my head now and then and I'm still slightly scarred thinking about it.
    ~Living the life I imagined~



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    10,521



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 18, 2009
    Posts
    63

    Default

    Possums can seriously kick your butt. Badly. As suggested, a trap and a .22 sounds about right to me.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 15, 2003
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Posts
    4,343

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cindylouwho View Post
    Possums are just big rats and need to be killed.
    Actually they are marsupials, like kangaroos and koalas, and they do not get rabies.

    I haven't had to deal with any on my farm but they would get trapped and relocated if they did come visit.
    Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.
    Bernard M. Baruch



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov. 24, 2002
    Location
    Northern KY
    Posts
    4,471

    Default sss

    problem solved. Raccoons and possums around here have acres and acres of nice woods and fields to hang out in. They don't need to be in my barn.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 1, 2008
    Posts
    4,873

    Default

    It's interesting to me that possums are the one critter that my Corgis won't take on. They'll try and chase it off the property and usually are successful, but if one stands its ground, the dogs will just keep a watch on it until it leaves. The two will take on just about anything else, including coyotes. I don't if it's because the possum has a *!%k you attitude, or what.

    Maybe because possums are so prehistoric looking, they just don't know what to do with it. The possums certainly don't play by the rules, according to my dogs.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 20, 2009
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    101

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by danceronice View Post
    Get a live trap and a .22, and be persistent. No more possum problem.
    What they said.


    Also, here is a link to 'possum facts.

    http://www.opossumsocietyus.org/freq..._questions.htm

    Yes, they CAN carry rabies, although rare.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec. 18, 2006
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    4,643

    Default

    I had the same questions some time ago when an opossum took up residence near my barn. Most of what I read and heard suggests that if you see one, you probably have more in the area, so trapping and relocating possums may not be very effective. The best thing you can do is to try to reduce the attractants to opossums in the barn -- make sure grain and cat food is not available to possums; and if possible not to allow them to use your hayshed as a shelter (good luck....but possibly a barn cat can help?. Other than that, there isn't too much you can do. Sadly, with the exception of the EPM/horse connection, possums are great wild animals to have around as they take care of a lot of other pests - slugs, insects, small animals - are not aggressive, very rarely carry rabies, and most often do not put up a fight if you have to move one along.



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