Much as guinea pigs love their carrots, they do sometimes get a bit finicky about them. This finickiness has less to do with boredom than it does with the quality of the carrots coming from a particular bag. With keen senses of smell and taste, they seem to detect something amiss with produce a couple of days before we can.
Regular Carrots. With carrots, you might have a batch that's tasting a bit old, perhaps dry, definitely not sweet. Or, perhaps, they've lost quite a bit of their crispness, still crisp in the thickest part but a bit soft and "bendy" in the thinnest part. In either case, guinea pigs will turn up their noses and wait for you to give them something better.
Rather than let these not-bad-but-not-great carrots go to waste, you can cook them for humans in ways that will let them pick up other flavors:
- throw them in soup
- oven-roast them with other vegetables in a mixture of barbecue sauce and honey
- cook them on the stove in orange juice and brown sugar
- cook them on the stove in butter and dill
Baby Carrots. With baby carrots, which typically come prewashed and peeled, over time they seem to acquire a coating that feels a bit slimy...the product of being sealed in bags without being dried well enough after washing. If caught soon enough, these carrots can be restored to their normal tastiness by washing them under warm water and being given a quick once-over with a vegetable brush.
All Carrots. In the case of regular and baby carrots, sometimes guinea pigs bite off and leave pieces of the outside of the carrot but finish the innermost part. When this happens:
- Give the outside of the carrots in the current bag a good scrubbing and/or peeling
- Run what's left across a grater (the same side you'd use for cheese) or through the chop cycle in your food processor
- Mix the shredded or chopped carrot into your guinea pig's daily "salad" (hiding the carrot will appeal to their foraging instincts)
If you have a food dehydrator, I know of a family that slices carrots and makes "carrot chips" (unseasoned!) for their guinea pigs and rabbits!