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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > DIET & CARE > Seeking advice on starter veggies for a picky buns
Last Post by LBJ10 at 1/31/2012 3:27 PM (13 Replies)
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User is Offline Haré
2 posts Send Private Message
1/30/2012 8:00 AM

I have a picky rabbit who wasn't given vegetables during his first 5-6 months of life prior to adoption, and is therefor absolutely uninterested in any vegetables I have offered him.  I have had him for almost 1 full year now, and he still turns and runs away from vegetables.  I hate that his diet consists of only hay and pellets.  I want nothing more than to give him a plate full of fresh veggies and have him go crazy.  Could anyone suggest some good starter veggies that on average, MOST rabbits like the best?  I would be delighted if I could get him eating aaany vegetable and then slowly work my way up to adding more into his diet. 

Appreciate any advice! Thanks soo much

User is Offline Bumblebunny
135 posts Send Private Message
1/30/2012 8:13 AM
When mine first started veggies he took to cilantro and romaine lettuce immediately. Sometimes he would look at them and hop away, but after a while he would go back and start nibbling. You might have to try a few different ones, one at a time until he picks the ones he likes.

User is Offline Sam and Lady's Human
2007 posts Send Private Message
1/30/2012 8:25 AM
I'd start with romaine, but if thats a bust, herbs are usually a big hit. Parsley, mint, dill, any of those are really mild and my girls love them.

User is Offline Elrohwen
Hudson Valley, NY
7322 posts Send Private Message
1/30/2012 8:33 AM
What have you tried?

Otto is picky and will eat romaine and leaf lettuce. Some people recommend smelly veggies for a picky bunny, like herbs, but Otto doesn't like any herbs except for parsley (the only reason he eats that is that he saw Hannah eat it at least a dozen times and then he tried it - before Hannah he wouldn't touch it).
- Elrohwen

User is Offline Stickerbunny
4132 posts Send Private Message
1/30/2012 8:47 AM
I would suggest starting him with a treat food, like a sweet fruit, to get him used to "something other than hay can be tasty" and the difference in texture. When I first got Stickers, she didn't really eat the fresh foods I gave her, she was 6 months old an I don't think she'd had a veggie in her life. But she would take carrots (after a while), then apple, then I worked her up to a sweet/robust spring mix (enough smell to be enticing, but mild enough to not offend), now she eats Kale, Parsley, Cilantro, Celery, etc. I find animals much more likely to try new foods you give them if the first thing they try is VERY tasty.

User is Offline Elrohwen
Hudson Valley, NY
7322 posts Send Private Message
1/30/2012 8:52 AM
Sticker, I like that suggestion! Though Otto won't eat any of those foods :-P Picky jerk!
- Elrohwen

User is Offline Haré
2 posts Send Private Message
1/31/2012 6:48 AM
Thanks for the quick advice! Lets see, over the course of a year I have tried giving him fresh parsley, spinach, dandelion greens, basil, cilantro, broccoli leaves, a carrot slice, green pepper slice and apple slice. He kind of smells it, and then makes what I believe to be an intentional effort to not even step near it for the rest of the duration. If I leave it out before bed, in the morning it is wilted and untouched. I haven't tried romaine lettuce because I read that it could cause him diarrhea?

Would it be a good idea to just pick one vegetable to leave for him fresh daily for an entire week? If he sees that it isn't going away, maybe he would be more tempted to try eating it..?

Thanks everyone I appreciate the advice you've given

User is Offline LoveChaCha
Rabbit Warren
6655 posts Send Private Message
1/31/2012 10:15 AM
Like a child, bunnies will snub vegetables a lot before even trying one... I walked around and put the romaine in her face until she gave up and tried it. She gave me that "I HATE YOU BUT OOO THIS IS GOOD!" face and loved eating vegetables.

Keep in mind that some bunnies are absolutely picky. Mine won't even touch a carrot. She has taken a sliver of it and just runs off, footflicking me like the carrot is poison.

I would try one vegetable a week. Try out the leafy greens: romaine, green leaf, red leaf.

all bunnies are indeed different! Mine prefers the romaine first, and leaves the red leaf last, haha!

She became more interested when her pellet intake was lowered, and I've added more varieties.

Good luck!

User is Offline Elrohwen
Hudson Valley, NY
7322 posts Send Private Message
1/31/2012 10:21 AM
Romaine lettuce is perfectly safe. Are you thinking of iceberg? That one's a no-no, but romaine is great.

I would just buy a head of romaine and try leaving a leaf in there every night. Maybe put the leaf right on top of his pellets so he has to move it out of the way to get what he wants.

What quantity of pellets does he get? If he's getting too many he'll be less likely to try the veggies because he's not hungry.
- Elrohwen

User is Offline Isabelle
468 posts Send Private Message
1/31/2012 10:25 AM

Dutchess is wary of trying new foods, it will take me a few weeks to a few months before she'll trust the strange new 'poison'. I still can't get her into strawberries yet! Anyway, I put a little piece of whatever it is into her normal treat bowl and act like it's one of her usual treats. She'll sniff and turn tail, that's NOT a treat! Then I'll pull some of her already liked treats around/on top/partially in the new one, which of course she'll eat around. Usually it takes a few hours to a few days for her to try it, and sometimes I have to catch her when she's in a corner, and stick it right up in her nose like here, it's yummy! She'll sniff and before she tries to scamper away I'll try to rub a little bit of it (like mash a little touch of banana for instance) on her mouth so she'll have to lick it to get it off, thereby tasting it. I'm not sure how well that would work with greens, but you could try other things like that. Even some of the juice of the fruit like a strawberry, at least it'll give them a lick of it. You might try putting chopped pieces of the veggies mixed in with her hay and pellets, and then say "whoops, how'd that get in there?" and hope she munches some of it with her regular food.

I don't know if you've tried kale, but it is aboslutely Dutchess' favorite food, she will do ANYTHING for kale! She generally dives into her greens, I rotate every few days what she gets: cilantro, parsley, kale, romaine lettuce, italian parsley, italian cilantro. I'm looking into giving her some mint or dill soon and seeing how she likes those. Yummy fruit treats she loves are banana, craisins, raisins, and apples. Fruit should be given in very small amounts though


User is Offline Bunnies4ever
Hercules, California
368 posts Send Private Message
1/31/2012 10:34 AM
Try Basil. It's one of the most aromatic herbs around! Don't give up with the veggies. Like children, you have to keep trying and eventually they'll begin to love them. I have 5 bunnies and they ALL have veggies they like and hate. One won't eat curly parsley, but LOVES the flat italian parsley. One hates cilantro but LOVES dandalion leaves; one loves Dill and the others snub it. So it's all fun and games at dinner time in my house! In addition to the herbs they get romaine, green or red leaf lettuces. Thank goodness they all love the lettuce!

Like ChaCha's bunnies, mine won't eat carrots either! I gave up years ago! They will eat raisins and papaya; that's it for the treats!

User is Offline LoveChaCha
Rabbit Warren
6655 posts Send Private Message
1/31/2012 2:40 PM
^Haha. As I've said to people, Chacha has very refined, gourmet tastes!

User is Offline kinggoblin
415 posts Send Private Message
1/31/2012 2:55 PM
The first thing mine ate was basil & kale......there are some vegetables he wouldn't try but I rubbed some bene-bac on them and that made him want to take a bite and now he will eat nearly any vegetable.......except celery........celery is BLECH ( i don't blame him )

User is Offline LBJ10
Bunny Name Master
Forum Leader
12495 posts Send Private Message
1/31/2012 3:27 PM
Try baby lettuces instead of the adult ones. Mine will turn their noses up at adult lettuces, but if I give them the tender baby stuff they gobble it down like crazy. Mine are very picky and turn their noses up to most herbs. They don't like carrots or apple. They like banana, although it was difficult to get Wooly to try it at first. I think once he saw Leopold was eating it, he decided to try it. Now he loves it. I just get them the Oxbow Banana Treats though and give them tiny pieces. Leopold would eat fresh banana if I let him, but it's kinda messy.
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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > DIET & CARE > Seeking advice on starter veggies for a picky buns

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