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Thread: Cow parsley chewed through - A question for the panel

  1. #1
    SD Regular Mr. Gain's Avatar
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    Cow parsley chewed through - A question for the panel

    I went out and sat in a high seat last night, and as I made my way to it through the thicket where it's located, I noticed, along with a lot of trails through the grass and flattened areas under the trees, that in many places the stems of the cow parsley had been chewed through.

    The plants are now growing about 3' 6" high, and had been bitten off around 18" from the ground. It didn't look like random browsing, but as though it had been deliberately sought out as a delicacy!

    If my phone hadn't been flat (note to self: check before going out) I'd have taken some photos, but I've set up a camera overlooking a patch of the stuff to see if it will answer my question, which -if you've been kind enough to read this far- is...

    Is this characteristic of roe and/or muntjac feeding? (Both are found regularly in this spot.)
    "Docendo discimus" - Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC – 65 AD)
    “Comodidad, tranquilidad y buena alimentacion” - A Spanish recipe for contentment that oddly omits hunting.
    "I'm off to spend some time at the top of the food chain..." - (after) Tulloch
    "Oh [dear], they probably heard that in the village!" - RickoShay

  2. #2
    We had 3 fallow does in a pheasant pen this time last yr a very big pen and lots of open grassy areas and tree browsing the fallow promptly ate Huge sways of cow parsley they were a bugger to get out too !
    norma

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    Fallow. They seem to love the new shoot cow parsley. You will find that some stems get too big and they'll leave those alone - fussy b*******s.....!!

    Not been aware of it in roe - although they may well do the same. Browsing height is a clue here, as the heads will have started off much higher.
    Last edited by Eric the Red; 07-06-2014 at 07:24.
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  4. #4
    SD Regular Mr. Gain's Avatar
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    There are definitely no fallow on this ground -or at least 6 months of camera surveillance and 2 years shooting over it have never produced a sighting- but I'm nonetheless very interested to learn that another species has a taste for the stuff.
    Last edited by Mr. Gain; 07-06-2014 at 10:20.
    "Docendo discimus" - Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC – 65 AD)
    “Comodidad, tranquilidad y buena alimentacion” - A Spanish recipe for contentment that oddly omits hunting.
    "I'm off to spend some time at the top of the food chain..." - (after) Tulloch
    "Oh [dear], they probably heard that in the village!" - RickoShay

  5. #5
    You don't make it clear whether the cow parsley has actually been eaten (i.e., gone), or just broken / bitten off?
    From your description of the flattened areas under trees, broken stems, trails through undergrowth, centered on a thicket, etc, I'd say there was a litter of fox cubs using the area as a playground.
    I can remember many years ago, in my youth, standing in a large clump of cow parsley under some big trees, waiting with my air-rifle for pigeons to come in, and having fox cubs playing round my feet. The area looked very much as you describe.

  6. #6
    Oddly enough, My cows like it too.

  7. #7
    SD Regular Mr. Gain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VSS View Post
    You don't make it clear whether the cow parsley has actually been eaten (i.e., gone), or just broken / bitten off?
    From your description of the flattened areas under trees, broken stems, trails through undergrowth, centered on a thicket, etc, I'd say there was a litter of fox cubs using the area as a playground.
    I can remember many years ago, in my youth, standing in a large clump of cow parsley under some big trees, waiting with my air-rifle for pigeons to come in, and having fox cubs playing round my feet. The area looked very much as you describe.
    Thanks for the suggestion, but the thicket has trail cameras in it, and I only see foxes on them occasionally. You might argue that the cameras aren't in the right place, but they're at natural choke points and cover well-used trails, so I'd be surprised if they were missing much. I've also been shooting this patch, with foxes as the primary quarry, for two years. Any type of sighting is consequently rare, and I'd be very surprised if a pair had managed to set up house under my nose. There's no fox scent or scat around either, and no quarry remnants.

    My first impression of the stems was that they'd been bitten through and a section eaten, but without knowing how tall the stem was when it was chewed through, it was hard to tell ho much had gone, if any. I would like to have had more time to take a more considered look, but by the time I'd checked the first camera, found that vegetation had grown up in front of it and was now blocking its view, repositioned it, and swapped out the data card, it was time to make (my own) tracks for home, and with a dead phone I couldn't call ahead to negotiate a change of plan. "No darling, I know I promised to take you to XYZ, but now I can't because I have to take a closer look at some parsley." was too likely to be filed for eternity under "unreasonable behaviour" in any case!
    "Docendo discimus" - Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC – 65 AD)
    “Comodidad, tranquilidad y buena alimentacion” - A Spanish recipe for contentment that oddly omits hunting.
    "I'm off to spend some time at the top of the food chain..." - (after) Tulloch
    "Oh [dear], they probably heard that in the village!" - RickoShay

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