Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Good For Rabbit Nutrition, But If The Rabbit Won't Use The Salt & Trace Mineral Lick… How The Ware Salt Licks Failed Me.

The Good: Benefits rabbits nutritionally, inexpensive enough
The Bad: Rabbit doesn’t use, so it’s pretty much worthless.
The Basics: Despite the important health benefits, my experience shows that rabbits ignore the Salt & Trace Mineral Licks, essentially making them worthless.

Value factors into every review I write, especially in the Pets category. Pets are expensive enough without buying things that the animal does not need. In buying our new rabbit, Rowe, I have been getting quite an education on the little critters, but sometimes that education runs smack dab into experience. For example, a “necessary” component of a rabbit’s cage is supposed to be a salt lick. So, my wife and I purchased the Ware Salt & Trace Mineral Lick because we wanted to do right by Rowe.

She hasn’t touched it. As a result, we have broken it up, tried to trick her into using it, but she won’t go near it.

The Salt & Trace Mineral Lick is a two piece food toy for rabbits and small animals which is designed to meet the rabbits need for salt and thus trigger them to drink water, hydration being very important to rabbits, especially small rabbits. Ours seems fine with drinking from her waterbottle without the salt lick. Whatever nutrients the salt and trace mineral lick are supposed to be providing her, she seems to get from her food and fresh dandelions we bring her each day.

As it is, though, the salt and trace mineral lick is a pair of solid blocks (think sugarcubes, but made of salt and in shapes) one which resembles a green apple about ¾” thick and 1 ½” in diameter and the other resembles an orange carrot. The carrot is about 1 ½” long and as thick as the apple. Both treats come with a hole through them so they may be hung on a Treak-K-Bob (sold separately). We hung ours for about a week before we noticed Rowe was not eating them, licking them or otherwise paying attention to the licks and we took them down. Since then, she has been content to ignore them on the bottom of the cage.

The salt and trace mineral licks contain at least 96% (but not more than 99%) salt and fractions of percentages of nutrients and minerals that rabbits need. These include manganese, iron, magnesium, sulfur, copper, cobalt, zinc and iodine. Rowe refuses to gnaw on these like she is supposed to, but has suffered no ill health effects as a result.

Ultimately, the Salt & Trace Mineral Lick is well made, but not enticing enough to be at all useful to us as new rabbit owners. One surmises that older rabbits might actually enjoy them, but right now, this is just an overpriced cage toy that our bunny doesn’t play with. And she never did . . .

For other products for rabbits, please check out my reviews of:
Cozy ‘N Fresh Small Pet Litter
Super Pets Long John Litter Pan
Lixit Hay Rack


For other rabbit product reviews, please click over to my index page!

© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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