Do Possums Attack Chickens? (With Pictures)

By Chicken Fans Editorial Team

Possums, or opossums, are fascinating nocturnal animals that play a crucial role in the ecosystem by consuming insects, snakes, and rodents. However, they can be dangerous to your flock once they invade the coop at night.

Let’s explore the reasons behind possum attacks and how to protect your chickens from getting harmed. We’ll start by tackling the most important question first.

Do Possums Attack Chickens?

Yes, possums can attack chickens and chicks and pose a threat to chicken eggs. As possums are nocturnal, they’ll mainly attack during nighttime. Protect your flock at all times by securing coop entrances, using wire mesh, and avoiding leaving feed out during the night.

When possums intrude a coop or run, they mainly feast on eggs or young chicks, but adult birds, especially bantams, are also in danger. Their modus operandi is similar to that of raccoons, as they enter the coop at night and leave killed birds on-site, rather than taking them with them.

a possum inside a chicken run

Do Possums Kill Chickens?

Yes, possums can kill chickens. They may target the eggs at first, but chicks and adult birds are also vulnerable to a possum attack. Their primary method of killing chickens is to bite their necks and sometimes consume small parts of the chickens’ bodies.

It’s worth noting that possums rarely eat the entire chicken.

Protect Your Flock from Possum Attacks

Follow these preventative measures to minimize the risk of possum attacks in and around your chicken coop:

  1. Avoid attracting predators: Don’t leave any feed out, and secure your garbage cans at night. Clean up fallen fruit from trees and eliminate woodpiles and bushes around the coop.
  2. Secure coop entrances: Ensure all entrances to the coop are closed at night, use an automatic coop door, or tuck your chickens in at dusk.
  3. Use wire mesh: Cover ventilation openings and windows with wire mesh. Don’t use chicken wire, as possums can tear through it.
  4. Install motion-sensor lighting or electric fencing: Nocturnal predators are often deterred by sudden lights shining on them. Alternatively, electric fencing can be a great barrier against many predators.

If necessary and legally permitted in your area, trapping and relocating possums is another effective measure to keep them away from your chickens. Ask your local authorities for assistance.

Although it may seem the most obvious solution, we advise not to kill possums near your property. Possums eat mice, ticks, and rats and can help keep your pest issues under control.

a possum inside a chicken run

Are Possums Dangerous To People?

Possums are rarely dangerous to people as they avoid human contact and rarely attack. They may, however, growl or bite when they feel threatened. While possums can carry diseases, the risk of transmission is low.

When encountering a possum near your coop, there is no need to panic. If you follow the preventative measures mentioned above, you and your chickens will stay safe. Possums are unlikely to carry rabies due to their robust immune system, but caution is always advised.

Possums respond to treats by hissing and growling or showing their teeth. In extreme cases, when threatened, they play dead and lie motionless with their mouths and eyes open on the floor. With this behavior, they ward off predators by acting death.


Possums can attack chickens and pose a genuine threat to them, endangering chicks, eggs, and adult birds. But with proper protective measures in place, you can significantly reduce the risk of a possum attack in your chicken coop. While possums are not immediately dangerous to humans, caution is advised when encountering them.

Chicken Fans Editorial Team

The editorial team consists of 3rd generation chicken owners Kat, journalist, editor-in-chief, and Nick, working with illustrators and specialists in the field.