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#6463643 - 09/22/16 12:41 PM Blackbuck diet?
ErnestTBass Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 08/12/16
Posts: 29
We've got some herds of blackbuck on our low fence place, and every now and then we have some nice shooters. But it seems like their population has remained pretty flat, and I'd really like to see them flourish.

We've got WT, axis, and sheep/cattle grazing, but I could keep an area free from the sheep/cattle if necessary.

Does anyone have anything they've planted or fed for blackbuck that has helped them come along?

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#6463740 - 09/22/16 01:53 PM Re: Blackbuck diet? [Re: ErnestTBass]
don k Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 08/27/08
Posts: 9285
Loc: Bandera, Tx
If the population has remained flat I would think it is because of predators.
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#6463767 - 09/22/16 02:05 PM Re: Blackbuck diet? [Re: ErnestTBass]
ErnestTBass Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 08/12/16
Posts: 29
Entirely possible, but we do have government trappers and do some casual predator control of our own because of the sheep. That means coyotes are rare around our place. Lots of foxes and ringtail cats. Hard to say on bobcats because, frankly, I'm not that good a caller. We have some, but I don't think many. We see them rarely. Someone kills a mountain lion in our general area once in a blue moon (so like most of the state there).

I think part of it is just pressure from other game and livestock, and I'm wondering if there's a way to specifically help the blackbuck.

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#6463880 - 09/22/16 03:31 PM Re: Blackbuck diet? [Re: ErnestTBass]
xtant23 Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 02/14/11
Posts: 29
Loc: ALLEN TX
Protein year-round!!

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#6464086 - 09/22/16 05:47 PM Re: Blackbuck diet? [Re: ErnestTBass]
nsmike Online   content
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 05/02/12
Posts: 4218
Loc: MN
You really need to have your place evaluated by a biologist familiar with blackbuck. Healty backbuck can breed twice a year, poor food avalability at the wrong time, could be reducing you to once a year. If it's something like limited food availability in a season, supplementation should help, but you can spend a lot of money guessing.
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#6464337 - 09/22/16 08:37 PM Re: Blackbuck diet? [Re: ErnestTBass]
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
If your population is not growing it is from predators. I started with 3 doe, 1 doe fawn and 3 bucks and 5 yrs later that herd had grown to 80-90 head in Kendall County. No predators, cattle in the same pasture or I cut hay, 30-35 acres of coastal and 50 acres hill country brush. Winter ice storms would kill a few and they only had access to a corn feeder. I did give them hay in the winter and extra corn on cold days. Like nsmike posted, they breed twice per year. Is your pasture open or thick cover?
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#6464641 - 09/23/16 06:56 AM Re: Blackbuck diet? [Re: ErnestTBass]
don k Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 08/27/08
Posts: 9285
Loc: Bandera, Tx
I started with 3 does and one buck 3 years ago. I now have 2 does a doe fawn and one buck. And the decline isn't from nothing to eat. It is from what the coyotes and bobcats eat.
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#6464964 - 09/23/16 10:44 AM Re: Blackbuck diet? [Re: ErnestTBass]
ErnestTBass Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 08/12/16
Posts: 29
Maybe it's bobcats.

I guess a fox would nab a blackbuck fawn...?

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#6465011 - 09/23/16 11:19 AM Re: Blackbuck diet? [Re: ErnestTBass]
Exiled Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 07/24/13
Posts: 70
Loc: Round Rock, TX
I wonder if it's a terrain issue, and what's happening is that they are splitting off into smaller groups and moving off your property? Blackbuck like open areas where they have good visibility, if your place is heavy cover/brush they may just be dispersed.
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#6465015 - 09/23/16 11:29 AM Re: Blackbuck diet? [Re: ErnestTBass]
nsmike Online   content
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 05/02/12
Posts: 4218
Loc: MN
There are a lot of possibilities with predators, don't discount avian predators, like caracara. Any predator big enough to take a jackrabbit is a potential threat. In the summer, blackbuck turn to browse when the grass dries up, if you have high browse lines, you might have limited food availability. I'm really just throwing out possibilities, based on a reference book I have, they specifically mentioned high browse lines as being a problem. I'm guessing that your somewhere in the western Edwards Plateau area. Let us know the general area your at it would help.
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#6465174 - 09/23/16 01:29 PM Re: Blackbuck diet? [Re: ErnestTBass]
ErnestTBass Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 08/12/16
Posts: 29
Eastern Edwards County.

I think they are somewhat dispersed, but I've had a pretty good feel for where they group for probably 15 years (and it is more open/grassy areas), and the separate herds just don't seem to be increasing at all.

We certainly have caracaras from time to time. Hawks. Bobcats. Foxes. Like I said, we are fighting them anyway for the sheep, but our fox #s are pretty high right now and have been for the last couple of years. But I'd also say the stagnant blackbuck issue goes back longer than that. I think their #s have actually decreased, and the number of mature bucks seems to have decreased, too.

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#6465309 - 09/23/16 02:59 PM Re: Blackbuck diet? [Re: ErnestTBass]
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
You will have Golden Eagles also that migrate through your area. I would also think about internal parasites as a potential problem. Do you have good thermal cover for extreme wet cold or ice storms? Blackbuck do not do well in ice storms.
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#6465317 - 09/23/16 03:12 PM Re: Blackbuck diet? [Re: ErnestTBass]
ErnestTBass Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 08/12/16
Posts: 29
We absolutely do get golden eagles from time to time.

If it was internal parasites, wouldn't we be seeing it in other species? Or not necessarily? We do have good cover for winter storms.

You're swinging me around to thinking it is primarily a predator issue. Blackbuck is probably easier to take down than anything on the ranch larger than a jackrabbit.

I'd still like to know if there's something I could plant or use as supplemental feed that would help them. I can keep cows and sheep off it with a pen, but it would be fair game for the WT and axis.

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#6465337 - 09/23/16 03:30 PM Re: Blackbuck diet? [Re: ErnestTBass]
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
Originally Posted By: ErnestTBass
We absolutely do get golden eagles from time to time.

If it was internal parasites, wouldn't we be seeing it in other species? Or not necessarily? We do have good cover for winter storms.

You're swinging me around to thinking it is primarily a predator issue. Blackbuck is probably easier to take down than anything on the ranch larger than a jackrabbit.

I'd still like to know if there's something I could plant or use as supplemental feed that would help them. I can keep cows and sheep off it with a pen, but it would be fair game for the WT and axis.

When I was on the ranch in Kendall County, the eagles came thru in the same months that our blackbucks were born in. With parasites it is easy to find out, just contact your vet to see what he will charge you to check fecal samples. Let him tell you how/when to collect them. I would do all the game species on the ranch. Blackbucks are primarily grazers, so they are eating closer to the ground in drier times. You can supplement blackbucks with a good quality hay in a feed pen, which axis will eat if it times are bad. Do you by chance have Sika deer also?
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#6465356 - 09/23/16 03:46 PM Re: Blackbuck diet? [Re: ErnestTBass]
nsmike Online   content
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 05/02/12
Posts: 4218
Loc: MN
The reference I have mentions three specific crops, bicolor millet, common sunflower, and peanuts, on the millet and sunflower they listed the scientific name so I had to look them up.
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