My Tiny Brood of Backyard Chooks

chooks, hens or chickens?

The possum who thought he was a chicken.


On the way home from work last Friday, we decided to stop for a meal. We got home about 8pm, which is dark here in New Zealand at this time of year. When we got home, I went outside without my torch and felt my way to the door of the run and shut the chickens in for the night.

The next morning there were the chickens as usual, at first patiently waiting and then if I don’t come out quickly enough, crowing and cackling to make sure  I am awake so I could come and let them out. As soon as they hear the sliding door open, they stop their noise and look expectantly at the corner of the house where they know I will soon appear with treat tin in hand.

An hour or so later, I went back outside to collect the eggs from yesterday. I lifted up the lid of the nesting boxes at one end of the chicken house. Two lovely brown eggs. Thank you Hilda and Helen.

Then I walked around to the other side to the other nesting boxes.

I opened the lid and I got such a fright! I could not believe what I saw! There curled up sound asleep in one of the nesting boxes was a possum!

How on earth did he get in there?
When did he get in there? Possums are nocturnal animals and he would not have been curled up asleep in there before I shut the door to the run at 8pm.
He was not there that morning as I cleaned the nesting boxes before I went to work.
There is no hole in the run or the coop so he could not have got in after I had shut the door.

The only thing I can think of is that he was in the run when I shut the door and he got locked in for the night. It was a very dark night and if he was in the run, I wouldn’t have seen him. But why didn’t he make a noise when he saw me?

But what did the possum do after I shut the door?

Did he just go into the chicken house, squeeze past King George and turn right and choose the nest box that Hannah wasn’t sleeping in and curl up for the night?
But he is a nocturnal animal. Maybe he roamed all night in the small run, trying to get out before giving up and going into the house to bed.

How did he manage to get past King George? King George only just fits in the chicken house. He squeezes himself through the door and just plops himself down on the floor, almost filling the whole floor area. I am sure King George would have made a fuss if he saw a possum trying to squeeze past him?
Why did the possum not try to attack my girls?

How could the chickens not be aware of the posssum sleeping beside them when they got up the next morning? But then I guess it is dark in the house. Can they not smell that there was an intruder sleeping in their house? Maybe chickens don’t have a sense of smell?

When King George was crowing at 5am in the chicken house, how did the possum not wake up and get a fright and run about?

It is all a big mystery that I do not think I can ever solve.

So what did I do with the possum? I got a broom and woke him up and poked him out of the house and into the run. Possums are classed as pests in New Zealand as they  eat our native trees and birds eggs so I won’t go into what happened next.

A very bizarre experience but the egg that Hannah had laid the day before survived being slept on by the possum. He had somehow managed to roll the golf ball out of the nest but the egg as still there, intact and safely buried in the wood shavings. I am surprised the possum didn’t eat it.


9 thoughts on “The possum who thought he was a chicken.

  1. That is all very surprising and out of the ordinary!

  2. What a great story! You are lucky on so many fronts. I hope you took action so that he won’t come back!

  3. Wow! That’s crazy! So glad it didn’t hurt any of your chickens.

  4. Pingback: Don’t take your chicken’s freshly laid eggs for granted | My Tiny Brood of Backyard Chooks

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