Treats are a great way to reward your rabbits and give them a special treat every now and then.
But: Please do not use ready-made treats from the pet store!
Healthy and nutritious rabbit treats can be made quickly and easily at home.
We’ll tell you how to do it now!
Why should you prepare treats for rabbits yourself?
It’s simple: the ready-made products on the market often contain preservatives, colorants or other ingredients that are not good for your animals and are not healthy in the long term.
In addition, it is fun and often unexpectedly easy to make treats yourself.
They can be easily adapted to the individual tastes of your rabbits and you can use leftovers or take advantage of special offers.
If you have no cooking or baking experience, this is no obstacle. With our simple instructions, anyone can make popular snacks for rabbits.
5 ingenious rabbit treats you can make yourself
Treat 1: Vegetable chips
Firm and comparatively low-water vegetables such as carrots, beet, parsnips or pumpkin are ideal for making healthy vegetable chips for your rabbit.
They wear down the teeth well, still contain all the minerals and a high amount of vitamins.
Plus, vegetable chips are a wonderful source of fiber.
Preparation is simple:
Slice vegetables as thinly as possible.
If necessary, squeeze a little first between layers of cellulose to absorb the juice.
Spread each slice out on a baking sheet.
Let dry in the oven at minimum temperature. Clamp a wooden spoon or other handle in the oven door while doing this so that it does not close completely. This will allow the moisture to escape.
The ideal setting is “circulating air”.
This circulates the air in the oven best and the pieces dry individually and more evenly. Turn the slices at least once every 30 minutes.
Treat 2: Fruit chips
Dried fruit should be fed sparingly because it is very high in sugar. However, this is precisely why it can be a super treat.
However, due to the higher water content, all types of fruit are better off in an automatic dehydrator.
Our tip: If you plan to prepare treats yourself in the long term, invest in an automatic dehydrator. It will make your work much easier and less risky. The presets are easier and you don’t have to spend so much time making them.
Treat 3: Herbs
One of the easiest treats for your rabbit are dried herbs or herbaceous plants.
Suitable for this are, for example:
Formed into a small bundle, you can hang them on a clothesline, for example, or spread the twigs and leaves individually on a grid and place them in the sun.
Flowers of rose or dandelion can also be preserved in this way.
The great advantage of this is that you can still offer green food even in winter. In addition, the herbs can be added to the hay and serve as a special treat.
Treat 4: Rabbit cookies
For this you need vegetable flakes and oat flakes as well as water.
Suitable are, among others, pea flakes or carrot flakes. A mixture is also possible.
You should also have a pair of cookie cutters available.
This is how you prepare the rabbit cookies:
- Let the selected vegetable flakes swell in lukewarm water. This will make them soft and easy to shape. This takes about 30 minutes.
- Add enough oat flakes to make the mixture malleable like a dough. It should be slightly moist but not dripping. To avoid adding too many oats, you can also mix them in first and wait a few minutes. They will swell and reduce the remaining water.
- Mix everything together well. Use a spoon or fork for this purpose.
- Prepare the baking tray and the oven. The oven should be on the convection setting and no warmer than 40 to 50 degrees maximum. Cover the baking tray with baking paper.
- Fill the mixture into cookie cutters with a spoon. Press the mixture down really hard until it completely fills the mold.
- Leave the oven open. After about an hour, the excess moisture should have escaped. You will still need to air dry the rabbit cookies for another two to three days before they are completely crisp and dried through. Only then can they be stored without the risk of mold.
Treat 5: Nuts and seeds as cookies
Just as with vegetable flakes, you can also process seeds, grains and nuts.
The procedure is identical.
However, you should use up the treats more quickly. This is because seeds and nuts containing oil go rancid more quickly.
Suitable are among others:
- Sunflower seeds
- Oats and oat flakes
- Rice, in husks or puffed
- Corn, also puffed
The basic ingredients are water and rolled oats. They allow the mixture to form and hold together.
Tip: Vary the treats
The basic recipes can be varied and combined with each other so that neither you nor your rabbits get bored.
- bake dried vegetable chips into a rabbit cookie
- use dried berries in the cookies
- add herbs to the mixture
- add flowers
You can also vary the shape and size of the cookies, coat them with hay while they are still wet and then dry them, or hide them in a food toy.
If you make larger rectangles, you can even build a house of treats that your rabbits can eat up little by little.
The sky’s the limit as long as you use appropriate feeders, maintain low temperatures, and store the treats properly.
Frequently asked questions
How should the storage be done?
The storage of the treats should be dark, dry and cool. Also suitable are containers that are airtight.
However, the treats should be as dry as possible.
The more oil or moisture they contain, the faster they will spoil. You should take this into account in any case.
What is the shelf life of homemade treats?
There is no general answer to this question. As with all other foods, the shelf life depends on the composition and storage conditions.
During preparation, make sure that as little moisture as possible remains in the treats. This may require a lot of patience, but it will extend the shelf life.
Also, store them in dark containers that you can easily control.
They should also not be exposed to large temperature fluctuations.
Why are homemade treats healthier?
Simply because you can tailor them to your pet.
Many rabbits do not tolerate certain additives. With homemade treats, however, you can make sure that only the celeriac you like or a few sunflower seeds are included per serving.
The rewards will not last as long, but they are individual.
Plus, you can experiment: Try lavender or milk thistle. Hide a single hazelnut in the middle or coat the snacks in small pieces of bark.
How big should the treats be?
It all depends on what you want to do with them. If it’s just a reward, the treats should be easy for you to grab, but still as small as possible.
If, on the other hand, you want them to be an activity and encourage your rabbits to work for their food:
Use a hollowed out branch to fill with various dry vegetable and fruit chips or squares. Close the openings with hay, stuffing it very tightly.
This will turn the simple ingredients into an intelligence toy that is completely edible and healthy for your rabbits.
My name is Mark and the senior editor
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