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How soon for oilseed rape? (or please tell me all you know about it).


telbert
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On one of my perms, the farmer has been drilling oil seed rape over the last few days. and will continue until the weekend.  I've never shot over newly drilled rape so don't know if pigeons will be on it as soon as the tips are pushing up through the soil (5/6 days)? Or do i wait til Jan /Feb?

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Pigeons generally don't go for recently drilled Rape, and how soon they start feeding on it will depend largely on what other food is available, as it's not their food of choice, they eat it during Winter time because they have to.

I have had good days as early as late October, when there is not much Beech Mast or Acorns around, but some years it's well into February before they will look at it in any numbers.

Keep an eye on the field, if you see birds on it, then shoot it, if not, don't bother.

Cat.😎

 

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As above , the only time you might get some shooting on early rape is, if it has been direct drilled into a grain stubble , even then they will be more likely after any loose grain rather the rape plants . worth keeping an eye on but while the weather is mild it will grow like the clappers and will soon be well up .

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Strange one this weekend, I could have shot a field of rape stubble that had a lot going on, but had been sprayed with di- gestate and it’s stinks terrible, so I left it and flighted some going and coming back. The ones coming back had a mixture of rape leaves and wheat, so they will eat it if they fancy it. 

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1 hour ago, marsh man said:

As above , the only time you might get some shooting on early rape is, if it has been direct drilled into a grain stubble , even then they will be more likely after any loose grain rather the rape plants . worth keeping an eye on but while the weather is mild it will grow like the clappers and will soon be well up .

I think whatever was in the ground previously has been well ploughed in by now so ill just keep my eye on it for now. There's a few other fields of wheat/barley stubble that i can concentrate on in the meantime. There's also the chance of some Canada's flighting too so that should keep me busy.

Thanks for all the info.

Edited by telbert
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On 15/09/2021 at 19:33, marsh man said:

As above , the only time you might get some shooting on early rape is, if it has been direct drilled into a grain stubble , even then they will be more likely after any loose grain rather the rape plants . worth keeping an eye on but while the weather is mild it will grow like the clappers and will soon be well up .

I was about to put up a report from an outing yesterday, but this item caught my eye, so here goes, I called in to a large area of what I thought would be wheat stubble but the harrows and drills beat me to it and by the look of the fields , some time ago.

There were green patches all over the two large fields but still a lot of wheat stubble poking  through which had just been harrowed and plenty of birds on the ground, crows and pigeons, the spilled wheat had germinated and had sprouts some 3 inches high, but in between the wheat were new oil seed rape plants coming through, very small but two leaves clearly visible. I had seen the drilling about 2 weeks ago but didn't realise it was rape.

Not sure what was attracting the attention, the wheat or rape but the birds were there and so was I. A large open field, no trees or hedges, but good reed bed cover along all sides, hide set up in the tallest reed patch and 15 dead birds plus 4 flocked crows out, 

The crows came first in large numbers and after knocking down 11 they cleared off, so I took in the crow decoys as my number one target is always pigeons, the rest of the 5 hour session was slow but regular, with birds decoying well, by the end of the session I had 21 pigeons and the 11 crows picked, not bad for a very speculative session . 

So in answer to the original question and as a follow on to Marsh mans comment , yes the birds will come if they can find something they like and in this case it was a nice mixed plate of fresh greens and rotting seed on the surface. So next week I will be there again until the birds loose interest but I will just say, in the past I have not had any decent results on young rape until the first frosts have knocked it back, I think the birds find it a bit tough going and will hunt out anything more edible before finally resorting to shredding the rape..👍😁

Edited by lakeside1000
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What is very confusing this year is the amount of Fodder Radish grown for Winter grazing for the Sheep , this is normally direct drilled into the Barley stubble and look exactly like Rape when it is a few inches high , if anything it is a slightly lighter Green than Rape , again you might get a few Pigeons to begin with but as the crop grow the chances will be few and far between. .

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On 17/09/2021 at 19:07, marsh man said:

What is very confusing this year is the amount of Fodder Radish grown for Winter grazing for the Sheep , this is normally direct drilled into the Barley stubble and look exactly like Rape when it is a few inches high , if anything it is a slightly lighter Green than Rape , again you might get a few Pigeons to begin with but as the crop grow the chances will be few and far between. .

Totally agree, just need enough for a decent salad, I wonder if it makes the meat taste any different from sheep, probably not 👍 

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On 15/09/2021 at 19:43, muncher said:

Strange one this weekend, I could have shot a field of rape stubble that had a lot going on, but had been sprayed with di- gestate and it’s stinks terrible, so I left it and flighted some going and coming back. The ones coming back had a mixture of rape leaves and wheat, so they will eat it if they fancy it. 

My theory on that is they take the leaves simply for their moisture.  A bird's crop full of grains of cereal must be the human equivalent of trying to eat a dry cream cracker without having a drink!  I watch pheasants doing it in the pens, hacking bits off the leaves of the low vegetation.  It's not that they're lacking food, they're wading around in it.

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