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Food for bucks and does

Daver

PMA Member
I am trying to raise the overall wildlife population, not just deer, on a property and have been making brushpiles and that type of thing.

What can be done to provide more food for rabbits? ( Also known as bucks and does.
)

The farm has about 90 acres of low quality brome CRP with volunteer trees, mostly cedars and scrub oaks. There are some rabbit there now, but I would like to radically increase the number of rabbits. The brushpiles will help provide cover, but my sense is that there needs to be more food.
 

deadeye

Active Member
Multiflower rose bush usually goes hand in hand with a good rabbit population. Don't know if they eat any of it or not. Maybe it just helps keep the predators away if it is thick enough.
 

Fishbonker

Life Member
Rabbits will chew the bark off of rasberries, small trees and branches that fall from bigger trees. I'm not sure if they chew MFR or not. CAn't seem to picture and stripped canes in my memory.

FWIW

The 'Bonker
 

all4s

Life Member
I would burn off all that brome first. Drill in switch grass and some big and little bluestem. Map out areas where you would like to put in some trees ( preferably bushes). topo maps help. I'm not sure about Iowa but go to your local NRCS with your plans and see what kind of cost share programs are available.

Hunt on All4s
 

Bakes

Member
All4s,
You must have experience with the drilling of Switch and big and little bluestem. Have you ever tried broadcasting it? Do you think burning the brome will work better than spraying it to kill it first?
The farmer beside my property in Iowa is having his mixture of CRP seed broadcast in April and committed and I don't think that's a good idea. He believes the seed is to fine to be drilled in. What's your opinion?
Thanks,
Nonres
 

all4s

Life Member
Nonres, Bluestem is a fluffy seed (like cotton) not fine so I don't know what your neighbor/farmer is talking about. Switch grass is very fine but I still don't unterstand the logic that its too fine for the drill. A grass drill can be calibrated for the finest of seed. Broadcast/drill, both will give you good results. I would take the cheepest route. Burn off the brome with fire, kill the new growth with roundup, broadcast bluestem and drag in with harrow. I would also use oats in the grass mix as a cover crop. The bluestem will take a couple of years to take but you and deer will love it. This is just my opinion and you should talk to the NRCS and other farmers in the area who have done this. Good luck

Hunt on All4s
 

Bakes

Member
All4s,
He is afraid that the bluestem seed will bridge in his seeder when he goes to drill it in. He has hired the local seed distributer to come and broadcast it and then he was going to disc it in. I'm afraid he is going to force alot of the seed to deep to get good germination. Thanks for the info I am asking on my behalf as well because in a couple years I will be doing my CRP fields as well.
Thanks,
Nonres
 

all4s

Life Member
I would say he will be alright. I'm sure he will drop the disc down so it just skims the ground rather than than too deep. Broadcast, light disc or drag will be cheeper and have simuliar results. Either way you should have some time to observe his work.

Hunt on All4s
 
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