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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 8:20 pm 
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Champion Bird
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I think I win the strangest chook-attack ever. Tonight while cooking I hear the classic - chook being eaten by a fox scream :x . I last heard it when a chook was being eaten by a fox and I will never forget it. So a mad search for a torch and of course it wasn't put away last night after candelling some eggs in the bator. Sprint to the pen with my heart pumping imagining my special silkie hens being ripped apart. I bust through the door to see my splash hen with 3 chicks running around the pen screaming in terror with a grey animal hanging off her. S..t a rat is eating Splash. I run to her and grab its tail. It lets go and turns to run up my arm while the hen bolts out the door and into the blackness. I throw the animal off only to see a poor little baby possum run across the floor. A baby brushtail just looking for somewhere warm to sleep and where better then under a silkie. It disappeared into the back of the house and the hen is found after an extensive search metres from the dam. Well, that was my excitment for the night. :lol:


Last edited by pepe on Wed May 20, 2009 12:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 8:27 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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so ur chickens were alright?
tes


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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 8:32 pm 
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Gallant Game
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holy cow :rofl: as the story unfolded, and the scene came to "and i threw the animal off", i'm seeing in my minds eye, you holding the animal by the tail and doing the "slam it to the ground and crush it's skull" movement, only to finish reading the outcome, and thinking "awwww how cute, it wanted to get warm and needed a mommy, and whew, i'm so glad the little baby was ok from the fall" :rofl: althoughhhhhhhhhhhh, when it gets bigger, it will probably be back for a blood meal, PLUS, where there's a baby, a mommy is SURE to be around, and where there's a mommy, there has to be a daddy. around here, when a possum shows up, it's killed. too many horror stories told about possums getting into the chook coops and eating the throats, then leaving the chooks to die.

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danish brown leghorns..araucanas..white, partridge & self blue silkies..black sumatras..BBR cubalayas..golden phoenix..WC black polish bantams..a few Xs... and no peafowl this season :'(


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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 8:37 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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gee peeper lol
our dogs here get rid of possums pretty quick
they seem to come back year after year
and we do try and save them from the dogs
but we only seem to see one
the other night our dogs alerted us to an echidna in the back yard
so in a week we had a brown snake, caught two cockateils
and the echidna
lol
tes


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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 8:43 pm 
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Nifty Duck
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lol pepe, thats an amazing story. Poor little possum :( mustve lost its mummy and new silkies are good mums :) Glad all the chookens are ok. Have a glass of wine to still the thumping heart :lol:

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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 8:52 pm 
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Gallant Game
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i have 2 dogs, an aussie mix, and a min-pin. when my aussie's outside, she'll nail them in a heartbeat, however.........when it comes night, she wants inside to warm her favorite chair :lol: , for about a week though after she's caught her bounty, she wakes up every hour through out the night and wants outside to "patrol" HER property....i know it's every hour, because she barks at my bed until i get up and let her out (and i always look at the clock, it's a habit, want to see if she's still on schedule :lol: ) after she's checked things out and nothing has violated her space (usually 30 minutes tops) she barks at the door to come back in to catch a few more winks until her biological clock goes off 60 minutes later :aaargh: the min-pin is way too hyper (he's only a year old) to let out back, i'd never get him back in so, he only gets to go out front.

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danish brown leghorns..araucanas..white, partridge & self blue silkies..black sumatras..BBR cubalayas..golden phoenix..WC black polish bantams..a few Xs... and no peafowl this season :'(


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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 6:54 am 
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Proud Rooster
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Location: Gympie
peeper lilly wrote:
althoughhhhhhhhhhhh, when it gets bigger, it will probably be back for a blood meal, PLUS, where there's a baby, a mommy is SURE to be around, and where there's a mommy, there has to be a daddy. around here, when a possum shows up, it's killed. too many horror stories told about possums getting into the chook coops and eating the throats, then leaving the chooks to die.

They must be American 'possums, you are talking about, are they peeper? Australian possums are marsupials that only superficially resemble their American counterparts. Ours are mainly folivores (leaf-eaters). :wink:

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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 8:16 am 
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Champion Bird
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By the way the possum baby seemed to be ok and ran off.


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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 9:33 am 
i had a baby possum i was looking after. if it wasn't the toothpaste i was rescuing it was the chickens in the brooder....in the end i decided my sleep was more important and my other half, who it took an exceptional dislike to having him share our (the possum and mine)bed, was threatening murder, so i sent her off to a wildlife carer. funny it was my other half who brought her home in the first place.

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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 5:36 pm 
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Champion Bird
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pepe, that was a great story and you tell it so well. :thumbs:

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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 12:54 am 
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Champion Bird
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Unfortunately my story turns from a cute little fairytale ending to a horror movie. I will go back the day before the possum.

I put a incubator silkie youngster into the big pen and it is going fine. It was sick as a baby so Im as happy it seemed ok. But three days later - dead - and with a nasty injury. I assumed it died due to being sickly as a chick and the other chooks had a pick after it died. So write it off as a bit sad but 's..t hapens'.

The next was the possum attack. Copied here for those missing the story above.
"I think I win the strangest chook-attack ever. Tonight while cooking I hear the classic - chook being eaten by a fox scream . I last heard it when a chook was being eaten by a fox and I will never forget it. So a mad search for a torch and of course it wasn't put away last night after candelling some eggs in the bator. Sprint to the pen with my heart pumping imagining my special silkie hens being ripped apart. I bust through the door to see my splash hen with 3 chicks running around the pen screaming in terror with a grey animal hanging off her. S..t a rat is eating Splash. I run to her and grab its tail. It lets go and turns to run up my arm while the hen bolts out the door and into the blackness. I throw the animal off only to see a poor little baby possum run across the floor. A baby brushtail just looking for somewhere warm to sleep and where better then under a silkie. It disappeared into the back of the house and the hen is found after an extensive search metres from the dam. Well, that was my excitment for the night. "

The following morning one of the Splash chicks is dead and is minus a head. Bloody rats I think. A possum couldn't do that.

So the next night I put my two groups of silkies into rat-proof broody boxes. Four hens and a roo in each one. There is hay on the floor so I have a thought 'I hope the rat isn't in the box' so I poke around under the hay with a stick. 'Paranoid loser I think'. The younger roo doesn't want to go in and tries to escape. I grab him and force him into the house - 'it''s for your own good' I say to him. So I return to my house and cook tea etc. Before sitting down for some TV I get a bad feeling and decide to check on the chooks. Not a nice sight. One dark blue hen dead. And the rest huddled against the door. I quickly ran over and grabbed the survivors out and examine the dead one. When turned over the guts spew out over my hand from the hole in her gut. Bile comes into my throat and I am in danger of losing dinner. So what to do with the chooks.

I have an outside pen that houses excess roos - under cover but not as warm as the house. So one lot of chooks goes in with the young roos and the others in a spare cage next to the roos. Back to the house and my 3yo daughter decided to 'cook'. The whole kitchen floor is cover with 4 kgs of flour, eggs, milk, sugar and uncooked pasta. She is in the middle with a big smile and a mixing spoon and two large dogs are with her eating pasta. All white from flour. Three hours later I go to bed.

This morning - all is fine with the chooks. I buy more hay to keep them warmer etc. After dark I hear the dying chook noise again. This time I have a torch on hand but it is bucketing down. I had left all the gates open (just in case) so I get there fast. Poor Splash is being attacked by the 'baby possum' again. I grab the chook-net and climb into the pen and manage to net the mongrel. Splash is still screaming. I run to the house through the teaming rain with the animal wrapped in the net yelling for hubby to get something to put it in before I kill the M. F. . Into the house, and the animal gets out of the net and runs behind a cupboard. Daughter is on the couch screaming 'RAT RAT RAT', I am screaming 'kill that silkie killer' and hubby is saying 'its a glider they only eat nectar - you must be mistaken'. 'Mistaken ? I saw it eating a hen - kill it'. So I find a box and poke it out from behind the cubboard and herd it into the bathroom. Daughter is still screaming RAT RAT RAT and things are tense. So it ends up clinging to the shower rose and is eventually photographed and captured. Hubby still yelling 'it eats flowers not silkies - it's endangered'. 'I don't give a s..t if it eats flowers with silkies - It ate 3 of my silkies and injured another - get rid of it'.

For those worried about the animal both hubby and myself work with endangered animals (but not mammals). It was never going to be killed. :oops:

On further examination we realise it is a phascogale. A meat-eating marsupial that used to be known as 'Vampire Marsupial' due to its tendenacy to kill poultry. It must have been hiding in the broody box under the hay all along. It is still in the big plastic box awaiting release some where miles away from my chook pen in the morning.

Hopefully I won't get another back here any time soon - I suspect I will, but at least I know what it is now and can act accordindly. I went down to check on Splash but she is huddled in the corner with her two chicks again and looks ok so I left her as I didn't want to stress her further. Looks like these little creatures, about the size of a big rat, cling on and eat until they cut something important (like an artery or into the guts etc) to kill the chook. Have a feed and leave most of the body.


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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 2:00 am 
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Superior Bird
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:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:


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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 3:53 am 
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Proud Rooster
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Sorry to hear about your losses, especially the dark blue hen. It's cool that you have phascies in your area but not if they are taking out your chookens like that. :shock:

Having seen your set up, I would say that you are much better prepared than me. My only cause for hope is that our "bush" is a little bit further away from the house and chookens than yours. Still, we have been getting sugar gliders and antechinus up near the house, it is not inconcievable that we could have native predators in the area, too. I had probably better think about some precautions. What sort of precautions can you recommend?

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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 7:56 am 
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Site Administrator
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Oh my Goodness! What a story. I had to look the creature up to remind myself what they looked like. They look sooo cute! Obviously they can do a lot of damage. Sorry about your chickens.
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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 8:16 am 
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Gallant Game
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:upset: i'm so sorry for your loss. i'm sure it was heart wrenching to walk in on such a sight. :grouphug: hugs to you

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danish brown leghorns..araucanas..white, partridge & self blue silkies..black sumatras..BBR cubalayas..golden phoenix..WC black polish bantams..a few Xs... and no peafowl this season :'(


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