I’ve lived with house rabbits for a decade and a half. I’ve spent years rescuing abandoned and unwanted bunnies from shelters where they were destined to live short lives, homes and backyards where they had been severely neglected once the novelty wore off, parks, and hoarding situations.
JD and I are exemplary bunny people. We do everything we can to provide the best care possible – excellent veterinarians, fresh, organic food, the best varieties of hay, toys, housing, etc.
When our vet’s office insisted that we try to supplement our bunnies’ diet with a botanical bed blend of herbs and other dried matter, I was skeptical. “They won’t eat this – it will just get vacuumed up,” I insisted. Visions of $20 whirring into the vacuum canister danced in my head.
It turns out I was wrong. Betty and Billy were slow to show interest in the herbs, but these days they enthusiastically gobble them up. I shouldn’t have been so surprised – while properly cared for rabbits typically live healthier, happier lives indoors, they also lose the ability to forage outdoors, nibbling on weeds, plants and twigs that provide important vitamins and minerals.
When I mentioned this to a gardener friend – who is becoming an accomplished herbalist and medicine woman – she invited us to visit her garden and take home some of the herbs that she grows. We brought home chickweed, purple dead nettle, yarrow, comfrey, lavender, thyme, and oregano. Once I dried the herbs in a closet, Betty and Billy were delighted to sample them.
So, the quest begins. I am going to try to grow herbs indoors. I’m not confident for a couple of reasons: 1) our air conditioned home, even in a sunny window with a southern exposure is not a garden; and 2) I have a blackish-brown thumb.