Like a real life micro pig, possum can eat anything and produce high quality meat, plus the finest hides. Reproduction is high, with up to two litters a year, and they are actually very quiet.
Gotta keep them caged-they just wont stick around, but the payoffs could be incredible.
Let me know what you think...
"produce high quality meat" - do some intensive market research before you get too far into it; possibly with the public school lunch program. I do not recommend doing any testing yourself, but if you do grill it outside, on a grill you were going to throw away anyway.
"plus the finest hides" - The hair is truly very fine... & thin on the belly. The rest slips easily and is somewhat coarse.
They are quiet so potential for urban/suburban livestock. What about guerrilla ranching these, just let them run and round them up for butchering? Sorry, it's late
I can see that some folks have a sense of humor....and I don't mean William B...
Possum actually has a very marketable fur if harvest in the winter, and I would add that fur prices are on the increase.
As for the meat being disgusting...I always here that...and...it always comes from folks that have never eaten it. I have (do) eat both coyote, raccoon, and possum. Of the three possum does have to be handled with care as they are the biggest scavengers of the 3 and do take on the flavor of what the eat extremely well. If its garbage and nasty rotten onion (which they will eat) their meat is not only bad tasting...it is down right unhealthy.
This characteristic is exactly why you catch them live and cage them for two weeks or more before harvest, as you must "strip them of taint," a very common practice in the Southern traditions of times gone by. Feed them persimmons, or other sweet food and not only is the meat good...its a delicacy.
Legality and actually efficiency of production is the only real issue compare to other species that are better suited for domestic rearing. Opossum are easily domesticated but will not compete with some other species for speed of production to market weight...imo.
Good luck trying, and do let s know how you progress...
OK, this idea came from my encounter with a opossum that got stuck in the railing of my back porch trying to "run away".
Not used to wild animals being so ineffectual, I had to research how they survive. The answer is high reproduction rates and mimicking dangerous illness.
Too many and too gross to die.
Their willingness to eat anything made me think of the pig stereotype, that plus the reproductive rate and boom I am Googling opossum farming ....
maybe raising them in a holistic grazing style could have other benefits
just like renting out goats to remove unwanted plant growth
a passle? of roving possums could remove some other unwanted elements of the landscape
1. William could start a "farrowing" operation,
2. Duane herds them through the suburbs (OPL model) where recently clear-cut woods have lost the feral ones, finishing them to market weight. BTW- he charges the 'burbs for his service and doesn't pay rent! -like the guy they hire to let his dog chase geese off of corporate/golf course ponds.
3. Then Jay G & Jay WC can support their (not-so) local permies! Win for all!
I actually have never tried possum (coyote steak on a whim but we didn't have the same result Jay) so I can't judge. Your de-tainting sounds like it should work; like fish, ducks or anything what they eat makes a big difference.