My wife and I have chickens. We closed in a 40' x 7' run for them on the back of our property, and they free range over that stretch. 4 hens giving us 3-4 eggs a day. Well, 4 hens until this past weekend. While I was back on the farm visiting family, a possum got our youngest hen (she had just started laying). I shoulda known better than to not lock up the coop at night. We were sure it was a possum, killed our hen in characteristic style (bit off the head then gutted her). Well, this evening we got out with some friends, and realized too late that we'd forgotten to lock the hens up in the coop. We got home a little after 9pm, and went straight out to lock up the hens. The varmit was already in the coop. The 3 remaining hens were all perched high atop the highest branch of their roost. The possum tried to hide from us underneath the nest boxes. I held him at bay with my walking stick, and told my wife to go get me a hoe or a spade. She came back with our 4-pronged pitchfork. Even better. I stabbed him with it. When I tried to drag him out from under the nest boxes, I could feel the prongs coming out of his body, so I got him just enough clear of the boxes to be able to beat him over the head with my stick until blood was flowing from his mouth and the top of his skull. Then I got him to the ground and re-positioned the pitchfork so that I could run all four prongs clear through his body. Pretty sure after that he wasn't just "playin' possum." So we are down one hen, and the others are pretty freaked out, but the nasty culprit has been dispatched to Mount Trashmore. Funny, I grew up with this kind of thing on our family farm. At one time we had 3 hen houses, so we were always setting traps for and shooting possums. This isn't the first time I've killed a possum within the city limits of Corpus Christi, but it's the first time I've done so in the city over the chickens vs. possums battle.