Wretched Mixy!

FrenchieBoy

Well-Known Member
I suppose that I really shouldn't complain as my permissions have been pretty much "Mixy Free" for many years now and I have had more than my fair share of rabbits off all of my permissions. However Mixy seems to have hit very hard around my area recently and there is hardly a clean rabbit to be found. I went for a walk about with the shotgun this afternoon and gave up after three shots for three rabbits, all of which had Mixy quite badly. It's looking like it could be a lean winter for rabbits for me and my elderly neighbours who happily take rifle (.22LR) head shot off my hands - I never have a shortage of pensioners/neighbours who will always take rabbits from me and enjoy eating them. (I give them to them F.O.C. and "Oven Ready" to help make their pensions stretch a little further)

How is the Mixy situation in other areas i.e. where you guys are? Could the abundance of Mixy in my area be anything to do with the milder/drier weather we have had this year?
 

diverdave

Well-Known Member
My main rabbiting area in Aberdeenshire is basically wiped out this season. In early spring i could easily shoot 20-30 in the afternoon, and they were so numerous we did not even bother evening shooting. We have 2-3 areas there that had huge numbers for the last decade or so, and sport was totally reliable, year in, year out, loads of rabbits. Now we only see half a dozen when out and about so will probably leave them now. Mixy has basically destroyed the population. I hope they recover well! The ground still has roe and reds, so still very good, but the rabbits provided sport at times when the deer were not out and about.
 

The fourth Horseman

Well-Known Member
Spent quite a lot of time and many bullets getting on top of the "Wilfreds" on the estate, after having trapped them down to low numbers.Returned from one end to the other after a weeks absence. Shot two easy ones, went to pick them up Myxy. It is now rife on one side of our river, just hope it doesn't cross to where the numbers are at a low ebb.
What amazes me is that before cage trapping nearly three thousand we hadn't seen the dreaded disease for many years. Just not sure what sets it off (unless it's introduced by some barsteward). I would have thought it would more likely have been prevelent where there were large numbers.
 

FrenchieBoy

Well-Known Member
My main rabbiting area in Aberdeenshire is basically wiped out this season. In early spring i could easily shoot 20-30 in the afternoon, and they were so numerous we did not even bother evening shooting. We have 2-3 areas there that had huge numbers for the last decade or so, and sport was totally reliable, year in, year out, loads of rabbits. Now we only see half a dozen when out and about so will probably leave them now. Mixy has basically destroyed the population. I hope they recover well! The ground still has roe and reds, so still very good, but the rabbits provided sport at times when the deer were not out and about.
It always saddens me to read reports like this as rabbit shooting with moderated rimfire or air rifles is (In my opinion) great sport and an excellent way to keep your eye in while helping the landowner by reducing the rabbit population. Plus a good rabbit stew takes some beating during the winter months!
 

monarman

Well-Known Member
On the estate where I work I was surprised at the number of rabbits this summer.. there was a good number about. It seems now the numbers have dropped a little.... they aren't getting shot in any numbers at all..... but starting to notice one or two with scabby eyes, and yesterday I jumped off the telehandler and killed one with a deft blow of a shovel that had the worst myxi I have ever seen! I really hope it doesn't get too rife as I think rabbits in general have dropped in numbers over the past ten years..... and as deer now seem to be more popular than bunnies..... I'd like to think I'll have a good future with the rifle.
 

ileso

Well-Known Member
I hope you guys dont get it as bad as we get it here in Portugal.
I think we have under 1% of rabbit numbers from 30years ago. From what I understand it spreads either from direct contact or flies/mosquitos so a dry patch of weather doesnt help one bit. It doesnt matter if the numbers are high or low, or even if the rabbits are wild or cage farmed. If it hits an area it spreads everywhere.
I was going to ask how you keep rabbit numbers so high in GB with the threat of Mix.? How do you guys generally control the disease?

Damned french doctor that introduced it to europe would be one person to be taken out if they ever invent the time machine....
 

Archer

Well-Known Member
No signs on the land I shoot in Hastings and Kent (though it's an annual thing late Sept in Kent) - yet.
Had a couple of does this week carrying young so I think a fairly well populated 4th litter can be expected and I expect mixy to strike them
 

deerstalker.308

Well-Known Member
Rabbits are seriously under threat from mixy, VHD (viral haemorrhagic disease) and now a third disease similar to VHD. Rabbits are crucial for habitat management in my part of the country and their loss could spell disaster for the Breckland landscape. One thing that I do know is that mixy can be overcome by some rabbits and once overcome they can pass on this immunity to offspring so there is actually an argument for not shooting mixy rabbits, cruel as it sounds. There is a huge amount of research being done by the University of East anglia on this very subject, believe it or not on a lot of the heaths in this neck of the woods we are trying to reintroduce rabbits... much to the bemusement of local farmers!
 

JTO

Well-Known Member
I've always thought that when rabbits remained above ground in the summer, it didn't spread as quickly as it does when they go underground as colder, wet weather comes in the Autumn. The recovery rate was about 1 in 10,000 in the early 50s, I think. Now it's much higher, due to evolved immunity, in the same way that Superbugs are become resistant to drugs.
 

bumpy22

Well-Known Member
alot of my ground has been completely wiped out in the last few years. only a few spots of land that have small numbers which i work the ferrets on. i think alot is down to the flooding and heavy rain we have had over the last few years has made mixy spread
 

Archer

Well-Known Member
I've always thought that when rabbits remained above ground in the summer, it didn't spread as quickly as it does when they go underground as colder, wet weather comes in the Autumn. The recovery rate was about 1 in 10,000 in the early 50s, I think. Now it's much higher, due to evolved immunity, in the same way that Superbugs are become resistant to drugs.
Much what I thought, plus too many litters/kittens sapping the adult does' resistance to infection and so the infection spreads to the bucks
 

philip

Well-Known Member
some of my bits are overrun, then a mile away you need a thermal to find the odd one, had no usual signs of mixy
one area last year i started reducing from harvest up to the crops got high enough in the spring not to be a problem we had 80% less crop damage, the place was overrun last year, been out with thermal from harvest this year, nothing even though they've had best part of spring and summer to rebound nothing found ????

5 fields away epidemic numbers back after doing the same as the previous fields they've regrouped as you would expect

no rhyme or reason, farmer hasn't introduced anything to slow em down ????
 

Jackd

Member
It's not good to read of all these areas being affected, as it undoubtedly has the ability to spread. I get a couple here every now again but on the whole my permissions produce good numbers of edible animals regularly.
 

Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
There are very few rabbits in East Lothian, Edinburgh and across into Fife. Have seen any numbers for a few years now, when it used to be possible to shoot 30 in an evening. Farming friend even had to convince an flo he still needed his .22 and ammo allowance as he hasn't used any of his last brick of 1000 bullets - bought five years ago!
 

ileso

Well-Known Member
I have always wondered why in some countries they dont import loads of mixy/VHD resistant rabbits from australia... would do wonders in spain and portugal where rabbits are native. and the aussie government would be happy too no tto mention aussie farmers..
 

old keeper

Well-Known Member
Here in my part of Devon mixy has been endemic for years so some winters the ferreting has been good others not so good. This spring there were a lot of young rabbits about which promised a good season, then once again mixy appeared together with VHD and the VHD variant (VHD2) the three pronged attack has decimated rabbit numbers in most of my area although elsewhere in the county there are still pockets of fair numbers.
I fear the rabbit has a battle on its paws, let's hope it wins.
 

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