After the success of the Popcorn Kracker sticks I bought the fruit version thinking that it would be an instant hit. If you have both male and female cavys you know that the males can be a little bullish (no pun) when it comes to new food or treats. They want to make sure its safe to eat and that they get the first nibble of it. This treat stick is pretty average in what it offers your guinea pigs or other small animals; it is a chew stick that has various fruits and grains stuck to it. What’s the purpose of it? To let small animals have something slightly nutritious to snack on, something to help them wear down their teeth and indulge their desire to chew. Oh and believe me, guinea pigs are about as bad as rats and rabbits when it comes to chewing on things.
Vitakraft Fruit Kracker Sticks
Pros: Two treats per package, most pigs love them, helps with tooth overgrowth.
Cons: If they don’t like it from the start they’ll never warm up to it.
The Bottom Line: It could use a little more fruit variety but the females love them nonetheless.
When you read over the package for this you will let out a little chuckle as the only fruits that are adhered to the ‘kracker’ are apricots and figs. Sure they are semi exotic fruits but come on, there are only two of them so calling this a Fruit Cracker Stick is a real exaggeration. The rest of the ingredients are grains like wheat, millet, oat kernels and buckwheat as well as peanuts added for some crunch. As usual there are some pretty strange preservatives added to this but it is a necessity to kept it fresh and from getting soggy. Since there are two treat sticks per bag you will want to store the other one in an air safe bag until you need it. These can attract ants if you have it attached to the side of a cage even more so in the warmer summer months. If your pigs don’t finish this off in a few days remove it as well as any scraps that may have fallen off of it.
Why get this for your guinea pigs? First off it is something that will appeal to most pigs, even the super picky ones. So far only two of them have refused to even look at one of these and they are so stubborn. I even tried smearing some peanut butter on it to get them to take another sniff but it was a no-go. If they don’t like it the second they sniff it or give it a try, chances are they won’t like it at all and nothing you do will be able to change their mind. I really think that if this had more fruit on it that the two that didn’t like it would have gone for it. Sadly, no matter what I tried to beef it up, my efforts were never enough to get them to give it a second chance. You can use this for almost all types of small animals so just because it says that it is for guinea pigs doesn’t mean that they are the only ones that can enjoy it.
Under the layer of grains and fruits there is a clean bark-free piece of wood. Despite it saying that it is a ‘kracker’ it isn’t a human type of cracker hence the strange spelling of it. It is a little bit nicer than the ones that are actually made of a food product because there is less of a chance of them cracking or becoming broken in the package. Even if they are cracked they are still edible but you might end up with the bulls (males) dragging them into a corner or pet igloo and hoarding them. This could cause some fights between males or dominate females but if you clip it to the side of their cage or where ever you feed them that will cut down on some of the potential hogging issues.
These aren’t an expensive treat, the average price is in the $2.00 to $2.50 range but you can get them on sale from time to time. The biggest thing is that you don’t want to get old stock because the honey that’s used to ‘glue’ everything to the stick will start to get tacky then dry up and that means you will end up with a packet of treats and nothing on the stick. I don’t blame Vitakraft for this but rather stores that fail to rotate their merchandise to ensure that customers are always getting fresh product. While this is a great treat for small animals it shouldn’t be used to replace a solid diet of pellets and supplements or fresh fruit and vegetables.
The Bottom Line: If you have small animals that love to chew this is a nice thing to pick up for them. There is no guarantee that they will love them but as I said, you can generally tell if they are going to be into them or not within the first fifteen seconds of putting it in their cage or food area. Since my pigs are all free runners they have the ability to pick and choose the snacks that they want. I have snacks in a couple different spots for them and switch them around so they never get bored with them. The females always go crazy for any type of treat like this and most of the males will start chewing on the sides of them to get to the cracker / wood stick that’s under the fruits and grains. I like the fact that this helps them with their teeth and that they’ve never had any problems with splinters from the wood.