What do Possums eat?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “What do Possums eat?”, and provide information on which foods are frequently eaten by possums, what exactly is a possum, and what wild possums consume.

What do Possums eat?

Possums eat fruits, rodents, insects, and dead animals. They are however known to be omnivores (similar to humans) and eat whatever they are able to kill. Possums eat anything that comes their way and is not choosy.

Possums adjust their diet based on their environment. Possums are also not much active during the winter season and accordingly would adjust their food intake.

Which foods do possums frequently eat?

Some of the foods that the possums frequently consume would include fish, eggs, and amphibians. Mammals, birds, and reptiles are other foods that can be consumed as well.

Insects, seeds, fruits, and berries can be commonly consumed foods too. Possums also eat carrion (flesh of dead animals). However, they can eat live animals that they are able to kill too.

Possums can also consume other possums too. When living amongst humans, they scour for food in garbage bins. Apart from this, they can also steal or consume pet foods or bird feeders too.

What exactly is a possum?

The possum is a marsupial that is commonly found in North America. It can also be called an Opossum. They are usually solitary but may live in groups where food is readily available too.

Physically, a possum can be the size of a cat. It is covered with gray fur and has a snotty nose. It can come in brown, white, or black colors as well. The tails are thick and bushy.

When threatened, the possums have a unique response wherein they play dead. This action is involuntary and might not be done by baby possums.

What do wild possums consume?

Wild possums generally consume insects. Insects that are commonly consumed would include beetles, crickets, cockroaches, and grasshoppers. Possums can also consume ticks.

Around 5000 ticks can be consumed. Possums also eat small animals like mice, fish, lizards, rats, rabbits, birds, and snakes. Frogs can be consumed as well. Possums can also wander into urban areas in the search of food.

Possums tend to eat animals more during the spring or summer months. However, during the autumn or winter seasons, their diet becomes more plant-based. In this manner, possums can modify their diet based on seasons or environment.

What plant-based matter do possums usually consume?

Possums consume nuts and seeds. Most often, they would feed on fruits like persimmons or apples. If there is nothing present in the forest, they would feed on grass or other plant matter.

What should the captive possums consume?

When possums are captive, it would be better to give them a balanced meal as their diet becomes very restrictive. This is because they no longer can actively hunt for food. 

Pellet foods are commonly given to possums as they might contain a lot of nutrients. Fresh veggies and fruits can be other options too. Apart from that, lean meat, fish, or chicken can be consumed too.

Calcium is another very important nutrient that needs to be provided to the possum through food or supplements. Possums would eat almost anything though this can be a disadvantage in captivity as the possums are likely to gain weight. 

What do baby possums consume?

Baby possums can usually consume milk. Once they come out of the pouch, they would stop consuming milk. They will stay on their mother’s back. A baby possum’s diet would be similar to that of an adult possum’s diet.

Once the possums become 4-5 months old, they would become independent. They would then start scouring for food by themselves. 

If the baby possums are kept captive without their mother, it would be better to feed them with milk powder. Pureed or mashed fruits and veggies can be given to them as well.

If you find a baby possum in the wild, avoid attempting to catch them. This is because there can be an increased risk of the mother becoming aggressive as well.

Conclusion

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “What do Possums eat?” and provided information on which foods are frequently eaten by possums, what exactly is a possum, and what wild possums consume.

Reference

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