4 Legged Varmints

Spring! It looks like you are finally here!

The temperatures are warming up, there’s rain – not snow in the forecast, and the 4 legged varmints are back.

You know the ones – raccoons, ‘possums, skunks and the like.

Although none of these animals actually hibernates during the winter months, they sleep longer and don’t do as much stuff. Some call it a state of “tupor” – waking from time to time to search for food.

That sounds very familiar – much like my own winter pattern! 🙂

As the days get longer and the warmer, they venture out and become nuisances.

We counted 3 dead skunks on the way to church yesterday. (Bet those cars will remember that stretch of highway for a long time!)

One friend reported that a critter had gotten into their chicken coop and killed every chicken. The intruder didn’t eat them – just killed them.

Another friend had a similar occurrence – but they only lost half of their flock.

At lunch today – I  saw a big fat ‘possum walking across the farm yard as if he owned the place.  I was concerned that he might be diseased so I checked online.

The site I found was full of interesting information. I discovered that although opossums are nocturnal, to have them wandering around in daylight isn’t too unusual – just like cats.

They are also very immune to rabies, but you should still avoid getting a bite. (Now that’s good advise!)

I also found that possum tastes like chicken, but if you wish to eat them, you should first catch it and feed it table scraps and other good food for a while to work all the carrion out of its system.

Right… like I really want to look the critter in the face and ask when it ate it’s last meal of carrion?! I wonder how long it would take to remove the effects of a carrion diet anyway?

But this particular sight didn’t recommend the practice of eating opossums at all. It sited that “a small cadre of renegade opossums has been known to have sought out people who have eaten their compatriots and lay siege to their dwelling. Armed with crude but efficient crossbows, they may shoot arrows into the car tires or capture and hold hostage the pets of the offending citizens.

Wow! And since it’s online – you know it has to be true! I guess we’ll cross ‘possum off the menu this week.

I sent the boys out to take care of the offending critter.

Let’s just say it won’t be eating any of our chickens or eggs; nor will we be eating it.

Things will settle down here in a few weeks when the rest of our corner of the world wakes up and shakes off the winter doldrums.

But in the meantime we’ll keep the critter gun ready – and a close eye on the flock!

2 thoughts on “4 Legged Varmints

  1. Yep. The skunks and racoons are coming out and there are going to be a lot of them this year I can tell. The racoons can make one heck of a mess in the barn! The skunks…well, all I can say is I have less of them by the time summer is over!


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