Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Luigi and Company

It is open hunting season on opossums here in NY. We should have dealt with Luigi when we had the chance. Or at least we should have been more thorough. 

I came in from chores the other night to find our Becky perched on the bank behind the house proclaiming, "I have named him Luigi, and I am not walking past him."

Once I got over wondering what the heck she was talking about and got closer to the house, I realized that the possum whose tracks we had seen off and on all winter was on the back porch.

I attempted to dispatch him with a shovel. This is almost impossible. The boss followed suit and when he seemed pretty dead we dumped him in the compost bin for morning disposal. (We do not shoot things on the porch-too much concrete.)

Before you label us cruel and inhumane, please understand that possums are death on poultry so we don't encourage their presence around the house and buildings. They can get through the tiniest openings....you wouldn't believe it...and they do not know fear. Something, probably a creature of Luigi's ilk, killed beautiful Mr. Peacock last fall. We still have the Missus and several hens and roosters, but his majesty is gone and much missed. 

Next morning Luigi was gone, leaving happy little tracks behind. The next night he brought his friend Mario. Alas they had moved along when the boss and I came in from the barn, so we could make no further efforts at their dispatch.

The next night quite late Alan came home from visiting his fiance, and lovely little Laura, our elderly, tiny, bantam Cochin was out in the yard, muddied and terrified. He caught her and put her in the hen house. Actually she is such a pet, as soon as she realized that he was not a possum she huddled at his feet to be picked up and carried to what is normally safety. Morning revealed the mangled and tattered corpse of one of the roos, scattered all around that edifice.

The kids put new latches on the door and boarded up the window, but I think a hunting expedition is in the offing. Danged varmints anyhow.


Brandi Miller said...

Yeah...opossums are some evil creatures. We leave un baited traps around the chicken run, and are constantly catching, and taking "care" of them so that they stay away from my chickens. (I breed and raise Black Copper Marans, so the last thing I need is a possum taking out my girls) We do lock them up in a chicken house at night, which I like to think is pretty safe, but I still worry that something will get in there.

Cathy said...

Sorry about Luigi and that dark mischief.

Possums are so cute when they're tiny . . . and then . . scary . . .

Rev. Paul said...

My family has been responsible for dispatching many a possum, mostly via .22 rifles. And I'm not sorry if that offends anyone; they're destructive pests.

Terry and Linda said...

I hate predators and Luigi is one...a gun works perfectly!


threecollie said...

Brandi, I knew when Luigi walked away from his ordeal that we would soon see them after the hens. Darned things. I love those Marans. Never saw one until a couple of years ago, and we still only see them on Craig's List, but they are lovely birds.

Cathy, they are fierce things, or so they would have you think. You should hear the story Becky told from a friend at work. They have NINE dogs, some large, some small, which they allow to run outside for potty breaks. On one fine occasion, one of the large ones brought in what appeared to be a dead possum. He deposited it in the middle of the kitchen floor in the center of his pack of cohorts. Then it woke up. Wish this was my story...and if I ever write a book, I swear it's going in there. Worst thing is, the male member of the family finally extricated the beast from the melee and toted it away...and then the dog brought it, or a good friend back the next night. That one discovered fun with lead poisoning. lol

Rev. Paul, we shoot em too, but not on the concrete porch, even with a .22. It was a lesson learned the hard way, as the boss got nipped with a bit of flying concrete once when dispatching one.

Linda, it is so nice to have chickens. Used to be we could let them free range and come into the coop at night...or not..as they wished. Now the varmint population is such that if one is out it is dead the next morning with no room for mistakes. And now the darned possums are getting right into the coop.