Hi PJ and
to Glider Central!
Have you tried any of these salad recipes?https://www.critterlove.com/salad-mixtures
I didn't have a lot of luck with the freeze dried salads. But I do keep them on hand (in an air tight jar) for emergencies.
When I make the fresh salads, I use #3 most of the time as the ingredients are readily available all year round.
So when I first tried CL, 4.5 years ago, mine didn't like much out of the salad mixtures at all. They only ate peas, corn and the green beans. But I stuck to the salads recommend. Every morning only the above veg's were gone. They only left the hulls, which is normal. I tried all 5 salads and they would pick it over.
Then I realized other f/v would disappear occasionally. My Fiona loves fresh melon/ cantaloupe, but wouldn't touch it in the salad. The same way with cucumber.
So I fast forward 2 years and decided to put my salad together differently. Same ingredients, but as I chopped it up, I tried freezing the kale and bok choy together but separate from all other ingredients. Everything else I froze together. Then once everything was completely frozen, I'd add the kale and bok choy, mix it all up and bag it up in gallon freezer bags. I push all the air out of them before closing.
Well, it worked. At least they would eat everything but carrots and kale. Fast forward today... Now they clean their plate!!! It took me 4 years and what I thought was tons of waste.
It was my fault. I gave too many treats during that time because I felt sorry for them.... So now, they are rewarded for clean plates.
Now having said all the above, over the years I did adjust portions. If they hardly touched their staple(gravy), I wouldn't leave as much the next night. I did the same with the salad .
What I learned: it's natural to pick over and eat what they like. But if they get hungry enough, they'll learn to like it all. Missing out on treats a few days helped too. It was tough on me, but a little tough love goes a long way...
As far as bonding
goes, they will learn to love you without treats over time. We have 3 opposites. My Fiona loves us unconditionally. We learned that Dot doesn't care to be handled but will tolerate it. Stewie who is the youngest will be 2 years old soon. He's hyper still and only tolerates being held when he's tired (but only briefly) as long as we aren't trying to clip nails...
Sorry for the long story, but mine didn't eat everything just because I sat it in front of them. The salads along with the nectar(gravy) work together to keep them as healthy as humanly possible. These combinations have been tested and are tried and true.
I'm looking forward to hearing your stories and experiences!