Strawberry Leaves

curlykrish

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I still have lots of strawberry plants in my garden, full of green leaves, and some still in flower! Are strawberry leaves safe to give the guinea-pigs? I think i read somewhere that they were ok, but just wanted to double check. If they are, how often can they be fed? could i give one leaf daily at the same time i give them their grass?
 

LollyJJ

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I would be interested to know too, the strawberry plants in my garden look so lush and tasty!
 

Qualcast&Flymo

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I would be interested to know too, the strawberry plants in my garden look so lush and tasty!
Yes, strawberry leaves are safe for guinea pigs and most enjoy them as a bit of variety in their diet. A leaf or two , fresh or dried is good as part of their daily veg ration.
I have wild strawberry rampant in part of my garden so my piggies get a few leaves every few days and I'm drying some too for the winter. I always wash it to remove any earth or slug trails etc first.
 

Swissgreys

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My lot also love strawberry leaves and we feed both fresh and dried.
This year we only got 3 strawberries, but lots of leaves and I will start picking and drying them soon too.
 

LollyJJ

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Great, I'll get picking and the boys can have some fresh leaves and I will try drying some too. Funny but they wouldn't touch the strawberries at all, very suspicious of them they were....
 

LollyJJ

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Yes my two boys are great fans of strawberry leaves - while you’re drying those leaves it also worth drying rose petals and nettles to mix up for winter forage
Do you do anything special when drying, or do you just bung them in the airing cupboard, I have no idea🥴
 

Roselina

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I tend to tie long stemmed stuff like nettles and hang them up - I put petals and leaves on paper towels - you don’t have to put them in the airing cupboard just somewhere out of sunlight where they’re not disturbed and after about two weeks they are done ! I’ve also dried coriander to put in the winter forage mix - you can dry anything really
 

LollyJJ

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Love this idea, I like to forage and gather! I have a large crabapple tree and the piggies like the apples for treats but I could dry them sliced up and the leaves too I suppose. I have plum trees , always confused about whether leaves are safe or not as I assumed it was the chemical in the stone in the fruit that's unsafe but not the fruit itself?
 

Sparklepetal

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As I understand it, it's no leaves or twigs from the trees of stone fruit (cherries, plums etc) for piggies. Dried apple leaves are a favourite with our girls. They love strawberry leaves, but only from our alpine strawbs not the full size ones! Funny fussy creatures!
 

Piggies&buns

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Love this idea, I like to forage and gather! I have a large crabapple tree and the piggies like the apples for treats but I could dry them sliced up and the leaves too I suppose. I have plum trees , always confused about whether leaves are safe or not as I assumed it was the chemical in the stone in the fruit that's unsafe but not the fruit itself?
don’t feed any part of a tree which produces fruit with a stone - leaves, fruit, twigs to be avoided
apple (crab apple included) leaves can be fed but they are high in calcium so do so sparingly
 

LollyJJ

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Thank you, will definitely steer away from the plums then and keep the crab apples on the treats list.
 

Free Ranger

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I'm putting in a vote for the young raspberry leaves which mine prefer to strawberry. Rasps grow on a single cane that reaches 5 or 6 feet tall and each year can be cut back to the bottom 10 inch or so. They also spread by runners so get a couple of canes from someone with a patch and in the right conditions you'll end up with loads! My pigs don't eat the fruit so there's plenty for humans to forage. The little raspberry patch is in the piggie bit of my tiny garden. In spring they delight in munching new shoots and leaves coming up through the grass and try and reach the new shoots sprouting out the top of the old cane stumps. As the canes grow, cover with leaves and start to droop over they provide shade too. Old leaves feel a bit spikey on the underside so I suspect that's why these are not so popular but if a cane leans right over any leaf within reach is fair game for the more determined pig!
Ivy could sit straight up on her back legs like a meerkat (that was something to see!) but fat old George (pictured) was not so agile so he would wait for Ivy to stretch up and snaffle a leaf then he would try and eat it from her mouth... cue a ferocious chewing race! 😄
 

curlykrish

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I have an Aga now so I dry the strawberry leaves and anything else in the cooler oven for a few hours.
If you have a gas or electric oven that can be set really low, you can dry leaves etc there, on a baking tray in a single layer.
Thanks for the idea about drying in cool oven - I gave this a go with a few items yesterday and they turned out great! Time to go foraging for more! There lots of raspberry brambles in the field near us, so will go on the hunt for those out there too!
 

Free Ranger

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Good luck and remember to just check the leaves are not too spiky underneath! I think they can eat Blackberry leaves too but we don't do these as there are more spikes on the underside. You'd think the pigs would be selective but the greedier ones get carried away! 🌿
 
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