Skye barks. It's past midnight. I get out of bed, put on my robe and walk outside. Skye is at the chicken gate. Her bark becomes excited now. I gaze in the direction she is looking. As my eyes become accustomed to the darkness, I see something on top of the fence. It's big, probably a cat. I call him out hoping he will move away. He doesn't. I go in the chicken yard to get closer. He still doesn't budge. It's really dark and it really looks big. I talk to him but he still doesn't budge. I must admit that I am a bit scared by now. What if it's not a cat? He doesn't really seem scared of me. Can he attack me? I go back in the house to get a flash light and my phone. Peter is still soundly asleep.
I am back at the gate and I videotape the following... Turn on the sounds if you want to hear my live commentary (no editing made :)
(I apologize for the poor framing. I had the flash light in one hand, the phone in the other, and was actually looking around and not through the camera!)
It's only when I came back inside that I thought about opossums. A quick google search confirmed it. I met my first opossum! and I named it Noël as it was Christmas' Eve :) Since all the chickens were safe and soundly asleep in their coops, I went back to bed ( Skye followed me back inside).
Since this morning, I've been learning as much as I can about these creatures. They are quite fascinating! See this short documentary:
They are omnivores and do eat eggs, baby chicks, and could possibly kill a full grown chicken. But as they are nocturnal predator, it's really easy to protect your chickens from them by locking them up in a predator proof coop.