Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Hunt for New Vegetables

I can be really, really lazy. This sometimes affects my decision on the food I give Walter. Like, maybe I don’t feel like chopping up a pepper into portion-appropriate sizes (I know, I said I’m really lazy). So what ends up happening is I buy a big bag of some sort of leafy green and give that to Walter until the bag has run out.

This is bad for a few reasons. First – it means that, aside from getting pellets, Walter is not getting any sort of nutritional variety. Second – I usually choose to buy bags of kale or spinach. I was browsing the House Rabbit Society website the other day to determine if rabbits could eat baby bok choy (they can) and I noticed this:
(!)=Use sparingly. High in either oxalates or goitrogens and may be toxic in accumulated quantities over a period of time
Now, I don't know what oxalates or goitrogens are, but it seems like they're a terrible thing.  Guess which were the only two greens on the list with an exclamation point after them? Yep – spinach and kale. Whoops!

So, it’s time to try out some new veggies. Last night, I offered Walter mustard greens and baby bok choy. He sniffed the mustard greens for a while and attempted to eat them twice before either deciding he didn’t like them, wasn’t hungry yet, or couldn’t find a good spot to take a first bite. He gave the baby bok choy more of a chance, and actually nibbled at the leaves for a few seconds before hopping away to something more interesting.

Over the course of the evening, Walter revisited his food, but wouldn’t actually eat it until I hand-fed him. By the time bedtime came around, there were no signs of bok choy left in the food dish, and when I woke up this morning, Walter had eaten the rest of his mustard greens.

I need to be better about getting Walter his three vegetables eat day. We’re usually stuck at two. Last night, he had three, if you count his carrot dessert – which is his favorite part of the day.

What should we try next? We’re very familiar with basil, parsley, cilantro, collard greens, mint, and dark-leaf lettuces. What greens does your rabbit like best?