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Matt Gould

pigeon on rape yet ?

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Well, this time last year it was about 5 below most days and there wasn't a pigeon to be seen, the cold weather and snow cover had driven them off to other parts of the Country where there was less snow and therefore more food available.

 

The fact is, Winter Rape is not their food of choice, they will feast upon Ivy Berries, Acorns, Hawthorn berries and pretty much everything else before they start hammering the Rape, "Cold Weather" has nothing to do with it, they've got to eat every day, be it mild or cold, it's all about availability of food supply during these short Winter days. :yes:

 

Cat.

cold weather will push um to to feed on rape leaf [harsh frost] of course they didnt feed on rape much last year and not many too been seen, pigeons have a bit of a job to feed on a field that has 4 foot of snow on it

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cold weather will push um to to feed on rape leaf [harsh frost] of course they didnt feed on rape much last year and not many too been seen, pigeons have a bit of a job to feed on a field that has 4 foot of snow on it

 

Yeah...you reckon..........I've had some of my best bags over Winter Rape in late October when it's been around 10 - 12 degrees, Cold Weather has nothing to do with it, they simply have to feed every day, rain or shine, mild or freezing. :yes:

 

Cat.

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Yeah...you reckon..........I've had some of my best bags over Winter Rape in late October when it's been around 10 - 12 degrees, Cold Weather has nothing to do with it, they simply have to feed every day, rain or shine, mild or freezing. :yes:

 

Cat.

 

ar well you must be doing it all right then mate, best i start looking foward to summer then, hot days, no wind then

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cold weather will push um to to feed on rape leaf [harsh frost] of course they didnt feed on rape much last year and not many too been seen, pigeons have a bit of a job to feed on a field that has 4 foot of snow on it

Must agree with Cat on this one. I've never been one for the theory that pigeons go on the rape when it gets cold. There are still berries aplenty, and no cold or snow will stop pigeons from feeding on them. Obviously any food that's either buried under snow or frozen to the ground will not be eaten by pigeons.

When most of the other food sources have gone is when most of the pigeons will be on rape, regardless of how cold it is.

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i also agree with cat, but on the other hand a couple of weeks ago there was no pigeons on this rape field it started to have snow showers in the afternoon and all of a sudden the woodies whent on the rape it was realy weird :hmm: the acorns were not covered or anything. only thing i can think of is when its realy cold they flock up in big number 200/300 and i have yet to see a flock of 200 all feeding on acorns in the same area so they go to a bigger area like rape fields where they can all stick together and feed, so maybe cold weather helps in that aspect ???????

Go easy on me im new to this game. only a thought

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i think rape is a last resort whatever the weather, its been a real bumper year for acorns and berrys and theres still loads of all sorts about even if we get snow i think most pigeons will get on the hawthorne and ivy berrys first. only pigeons i have shot so far this winter have been roost shooting and all have been stuffed with acorns. i have more rape to shoot on now than i ever have had over a wide area and theres nothing on any of it and none of its to high for them to feed on. and some of the fields over the years have always had loads of pigeons gauranteed to be hitting the rape mild or cold but not this year. the thing i have noticed is i havent seen any rape fields that i can or cant shoot that have any sort of bird scarers on them or heard any gas guns in my area any way.

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i think rape is a last resort whatever the weather, its been a real bumper year for acorns and berrys and theres still loads of all sorts about even if we get snow i think most pigeons will get on the hawthorne and ivy berrys first. only pigeons i have shot so far this winter have been roost shooting and all have been stuffed with acorns. i have more rape to shoot on now than i ever have had over a wide area and theres nothing on any of it and none of its to high for them to feed on. and some of the fields over the years have always had loads of pigeons gauranteed to be hitting the rape mild or cold but not this year. the thing i have noticed is i havent seen any rape fields that i can or cant shoot that have any sort of bird scarers on them or heard any gas guns in my area any way.

Agreed. I drove around a fair bit of Norfolk and a bit of Cambridgeshire today and still saw loads of birds feeding on berries. But over the last week or two i've seen pigeons on quite a few rape fields that i believe haven't been touched so far this winter. I think it's only a few weeks until we are all getting amongst the pigeons on rape.

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In this part of Lincs I have seen alot on rape, but also in the hedges on the berries too. Mind you, quite a lot of farmers are flailing hedges at the moment which will cut down the food supply. I agree with the above, pigeons will hit rape, but only really hard when the autumn berries and nuts run out, so Jan - March will see alot on rape. Have also seen a lot on cover crops today, especially where it has been flattened on top of the Wolds. Looking forward to the end of the season!

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I went out yesterday afternoon for a couple of hours decoying on rape and shot 11.When i crowned them most were full of Ivy berries with a bit of rape in some.I do think rape is their last choice but if you have a good pattern and the birds are passing you will get some.

 

ATB

Fielddweller

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Out yesterday afternoon, seen hundreds on the fields but there is a wood and another big rape field next to my permission so the birds were just flitting from one area to another without really settling.

 

Need to work on my decoying to get the most out of it.

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Went for a little roosting yesterday afternoon to see if could bag a few. managed to get six and when i opened them up one was packed with ivy berrys, one with sugarbeet and one with grain. No rape here yet or i just didnt shoot the ones with rape in. :hmm:

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Before xmas we crowned a couple and they both had been feeding on rape in morning and red berries in the afternoon,now yesterday 28th dec they were all full of rape :good: about time :lol:

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Agreed. I drove around a fair bit of Norfolk and a bit of Cambridgeshire today and still saw loads of birds feeding on berries. But over the last week or two i've seen pigeons on quite a few rape fields that i believe haven't been touched so far this winter. I think it's only a few weeks until we are all getting amongst the pigeons on rape.

lets hope so, all i have done latley is waste diesel. although as theres been no pigeons about its been nice to have a few walks around after afew pheasants and rabbits and it keeps my dog busy.roostshooting tomorrow will see if there still all full of acorns. will have to brush the dust off my decoys when they do get on the rape.

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Just started coming out onto the rape in one area i shoot over, in the last week but cannot shoot em there until end of jan.

the other farm i shoot has rape but is advanced this year and not a pigeon on it yet,but its getting to tall now really for them to get on it proper.

(Berkshire)

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Yeah...you reckon..........I've had some of my best bags over Winter Rape in late October when it's been around 10 - 12 degrees, Cold Weather has nothing to do with it, they simply have to feed every day, rain or shine, mild or freezing. :yes:

 

Cat.

Cat, as a fellow 'ertfordshire ,edgehog" I have to disagree with this "Established Wisdom" that pigeons have to feed each day. When it's warm like it is now, if they fluff up a bit and don't fly much, the odd mouthful of berries or rape will do them just fine. I've shot a few (very few compared to last year) and NOT ONE has had a crop FULL of anything, just snacks.

We DO need it to get cold, then the need for fuel will increase, just like us OAPs!!

THINK SNOW!!

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Cat, as a fellow 'ertfordshire ,edgehog" I have to disagree with this "Established Wisdom" that pigeons have to feed each day. When it's warm like it is now, if they fluff up a bit and don't fly much, the odd mouthful of berries or rape will do them just fine. I've shot a few (very few compared to last year) and NOT ONE has had a crop FULL of anything, just snacks.

We DO need it to get cold, then the need for fuel will increase, just like us OAPs!!

THINK SNOW!!

 

Sorry you say they dont have to eat each day then you say they snack is that not eating :hmm:

 

I feel cold weather plays some part as it makes them feed harder but at the moment there is alot of berries corn from game hoppers and now round me there on maize strips .

 

Having said that watched a good 1500 on rape this morning :good:

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Cat, as a fellow 'ertfordshire ,edgehog" I have to disagree with this "Established Wisdom" that pigeons have to feed each day. When it's warm like it is now, if they fluff up a bit and don't fly much, the odd mouthful of berries or rape will do them just fine. I've shot a few (very few compared to last year) and NOT ONE has had a crop FULL of anything, just snacks.

We DO need it to get cold, then the need for fuel will increase, just like us OAPs!!

THINK SNOW!!

 

Hi Kitchrat, welcome to the Forum. :good:

 

A tip for you, fill in your profile, more folks on here will be friendly towards you if you do that.

 

This "cold weather" debate comes up on this forum about as often as the one about snapcaps, i.e, every other week. :yes:

 

I can only base my experience on shooting pigeons in my part of the Country, feeding habits are very different elsewhere, if you have a lot of beech / oak woods in your area the birds will usually be slow to get going on the rape because they prefer beech mast & acorns, and many other berries, to rape.

 

At the end of October last year my mate & I shot 480 in 2 outings over drilled Barley, the birds then turned their attention to the rape, and we were regularly shooting bags of 80 - 120 through November and into early December.

 

Then came the really cold weather and heavy snow cover, and it killed the pigeon shooting pretty much stone dead, as the birds do not decoy well in snowy condition, they get "snow blindness", and I'm convinced a lot of the birds cleared off to other areas where there was less snow cover and therefore more food available.

 

I also think an awful lot never came back, as numbers this year generally have been well down on previous years.

 

That's my take on it, based upon shooting pigeons over rape since it was first grown in this area in the early 70's.

 

Cat.

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Many thanks for this Cat, I'm still feeling my way around this forum! I don't know about your area but here the small improvement in numbers when we had the frost has melted away!!

Cheers and think SNOW!!

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Sorry you say they dont have to eat each day then you say they snack is that not eating :hmm:

 

I feel cold weather plays some part as it makes them feed harder but at the moment there is alot of berries corn from game hoppers and now round me there on maize strips .

 

Having said that watched a good 1500 on rape this morning :good:

 

When I say "snack", a couple of dozen berries take 5 mins to eat, then back in the trees. Not "feeding" like we need to be able to get a decent bag.

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Many thanks for this Cat, I'm still feeling my way around this forum! I don't know about your area but here the small improvement in numbers when we had the frost has melted away!!

Cheers and think SNOW!!

 

Cheers Kitch, I'm fully prepared for the dreaded white stuff, the shovel's in the boot, I've got new Goodyears on the 4X4, and I know the wife's praying for heavy snow because she knows I won't be shooting many Pigeons and perhaps I'll get around to redecorating the bedroom.... :lol:

 

All the best,

 

Cat.

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When considering the length and amount of feeding periods in a pigeons day, its worth remembering that some foods are much slower to digest (acorns, beechmast, berries and grain) and others pass almost straight through them, (rape, kale and most greens).

 

At the moment the birds are still in the woods and hedgerows in this part of Kent and the rape has hardly been touched.

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When considering the length and amount of feeding periods in a pigeons day, its worth remembering that some foods are much slower to digest (acorns, beechmast, berries and grain) and others pass almost straight through them, (rape, kale and most greens).

 

At the moment the birds are still in the woods and hedgerows in this part of Kent and the rape has hardly been touched.

 

 

I agree .

 

Harnser

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When considering the length and amount of feeding periods in a pigeons day, its worth remembering that some foods are much slower to digest (acorns, beechmast, berries and grain) and others pass almost straight through them, (rape, kale and most greens).

 

At the moment the birds are still in the woods and hedgerows in this part of Kent and the rape has hardly been touched.

 

Too true, this time last year there was alot of movement and bare patches appearing everywhere, this year the only bare patches are from bad drilling. it`s all been crow shooting for the last few months who seem to have had a population explosion.

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When considering the length and amount of feeding periods in a pigeons day, its worth remembering that some foods are much slower to digest (acorns, beechmast, berries and grain) and others pass almost straight through them, (rape, kale and most greens).

 

At the moment the birds are still in the woods and hedgerows in this part of Kent and the rape has hardly been touched.

 

True, the calorific value of foods like acorns is also much higher than "salad" like rape leaves. This year is the best for acorns and chestnuts I can remember, there are still loads laying around.

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