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Bunny in the coal mine for wild crafted foods..

 
William Bronson
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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Some wild crafted foods are of questionable edibility.
I have seen references to eating comfrey,sunflower greens,rose of Sharon greens, buckwheat greens,bindweed,daylillies,etc, all with caveats.
If they can be consumed by humans,then we have whole classes of easily grown and harvested foods opened up for us.
But being wrong can mean death or a life of disability.
We have now have pet rabbits. Some of the house rabbit websites treat them as if they might die from eating lettuce,but generally they seem to be able to eat any green that we can.
But, does it go both ways?
If it is safe for a rabbit, will it be safe for us?
Mind you, I know they can handle the fiber better than we can, and also the silica, but these obstacles can be overcome through tool use.
There are lots of pot herbs that would make a terrible salad, but fire and the knife make them delicious.

So, are rabbits immune to toxins we are not, or would they make excellent food testers?

Aside from the plants I listed above, Mimosa seeds come to mind.
There are Prairie Mimosa that do have edible seed, but the ones that grow like weeds in my yard are of a different sort, and the edibility of their seeds is an unknown.
Grinding and pelltizing the seed would be a way of testing their edibility on rabbits.

Now, the pet bunnies are on Timothy hay,lawn grass, jchoke greens, known quantities. The family worries about feeding too many carbs from fruit,too much protein from alfalfa ,etc.
They want their Bunnies to live forever, which is cool, but it means they will NOT be test subjects.
My test subjects will probably not live so long, but they will probably be fat and happy.
 
Tyler Ludens
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If a weed damages the liver, you may not know until the bunny dies of old age and you do an autopsy. Liver damage isn't something a human wants to have, just in case they're ingesting other potentially toxic agents such as booze. Personally I think it's a bad idea to use a non-human animal as a test subject to see what might be toxic to humans, unless you're operating like a toxicology lab and killing and autopsying your rabbits all the time. Sounds like a lot of trouble so you might want to stick to the plants which are generally accepted as safe to eat.

 
William Bronson
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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Damage to the internal organs did cross my mind. I am curious if there are tests for liver and kidney function in rabbits.
As to the trouble or difficulty, and sticking to known edibles, this method would be for foods on the edge of being confirmed as edible.
When I look at all of the sunchokes growing like mad, when I rip into the bind weed, or look longingly at the day lilies, it seems worth a try.
After all, we got to this point in our knowledge of edible plants,but how can we get any further ?
 
kadence blevins
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Location: SE Ohio
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for the most part humans can eat most of what rabbits can eat. of course lots of things rabbits eat that I wouldn't care to eat. and lots of things humans can eat that rabbits cant eat.

if your idea with them is just to test if plants are safe... that seems kind of pointless to me. the internet has vast quantities of information about wild edibles. no need to test them with the rabbits.
 
William Bronson
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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I was just reading up on the edibility of sunflower greens. Seems like they are edible, palatable even when cooked right.
But I have no sunflowers.
What I do have is a crapload of Jerusalem Artichokes. No word on the edibility of their greens, but given their relation to sunflowers, and the fact that their roots are edible, seems like a good bet.
Oh, and they are safe for rabbits.
A side note about sunflowers. Many sites that promote eating them also say that all their roots are edible. Eat The Weeds, which probably has the highest standards of any wildcrafting site I have read, says some of them are edible.
The proprietor of said site answered my question about eating J-choke greens with something like "No, they are not known to be edible, and why would you want to eat them anyway?"
Well, I did not have answer then but now I do-they smell delicious while roasting!
How do I know this? My wife was trying to dehydrate some stems in an ancient gas oven that doesn't go lower than 370F...Smelled like she was roasting the roots, so yummy!
The rabbits did not care fore the roasted stems, but i still might try them...
 
Liz Gattry
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Location: West Coast, USA Zone 10A
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William Bronson wrote: I am curious if there are tests for liver and kidney function in rabbits.


Absolutely yes there are. If you take one to a vet they can take a blood sample and send it to a lab.
 
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