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When I first got my two Guinea pigs I went round Pets@Home religiously following the leaflet we had been given about Guinea pig care, collecting every item it had on the list of needed supplies. This included a mineral stone, so off we went to the health section to choose a one. There wasn't much of a choice so I opted for the Grape 'Happy Pet Fruity Mineral' stone, though it was also available in strawberry form and more recently there seems to be even more choice in flavours.
The 'Happy Pet Fruity Mineral' is a mineral rock meant for small animals to give them a variety of mineral we can't. Avaliable in a variety of shapes and sizes it is meant for use with: Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Hamsters, Gerbils, Rats and Mice and ranges from around £1 to £2, so relatively cheap.
When home I opened the stone. It looked quite pretty which was probably the thing that had attracted me to it over the other options, hoping that the colour and shape would be a good attraction to my new Guinea pigs. It was a light purple colour and had little bumps making it look like a grape branch to use an animals natural instinct of what they can eat. It was pretty light and only about two inches long so almost perfect to go in their cage without taking up a lot of room. It was hard but crumbled easily to help keep teeth short but also easy to get part off for eating. It also had to little wire strands coming from the back to help attach to the cage bars, these were easy to manoeuvre so strapping the stone onto the cage was pretty easy.
_How it Really Was_
Pretty happy with my decision on mineral stone I stuck it in their cage with the rest of their stuff expecting to see little nibble marks within the next couple of days. This didn't happen, though I assumed it was because they were in a totally new world and would try it eventually. They didn't. I left it in the cage for weeks (if not months) changing the position every so often to never see them touch it or any sign that they had tried it. The wires that had made it so easy to attach originally proved to not be as good as I had first thought as they were quite weak and flimsy so on a number of occasion I came home to it on the cage floor. Eventually it became covered in urine and very unsanitary so I took it out of the cage and didn't bother to find a replacement as although it had been pretty cheap it was just like throwing my money straight into the bin. Talking to some friends with a variety of small animals I found they all said the same thing, that their pet had little if any interest in the stone and they had ended up chucking it soon after they got it.
The mineral stone is advertised as being an essential part of a small pets diet containing: Contains Calcium Sulphate, Calcium Carbonate, Ground Limestone, Salt among other things. The things that we can't provide them easily in a domesticated living but after almost four years of only Cavies I haven't been effected by any problems related to a lack of these minerals, nor have I heard of anyone else (who feeds their pet an appropriate diet) having any problems.
All in all I've found this product to pretty much be a waste of money. Though a good idea on paper it seems to generate little interest from the animal and just ends up being left in the corner until it is it's time to meet Mr Bin. It's only cheap so you wouldn't be wasting a massive amount of money if you did want to try it but generally I'd say don't bother.
When I recently purchased two Russian dwarf hamsters and another Syrian after suddenly losing my Colin and only still having Trevor (though one of dwarves died in my hand suddenly last night after just two days of having her) I purchased lots of stuff for them all.
I own lots of pet products and spend a fortune as I feel health and hygeine to my pets is very, very important indeed as well as stuff to entertain and delight them with.
I bought a few minerals blocks after realising that none of my hamsters like the plain 'wheely' ones you can get that attach to a cage with ease and I got fed up with seeing them and so threw them out eventually. These Happy Pet Fruit Mineral blocks looked more interesting and bright to me and so I purchased a few of them.
This basically came encased in a see-through plastic with a green card backing and on that backing we are told that they are 'Small Animal' Fruity Minerals 'Tasty Essential Minerals' and that they are a healthy treat to lick of chew. On the back of the card other information listed includes being told a little more about the mineral block and how to use it, ingredients and contact details for Happy Pet Products are also given.
A Bit ABout The Product According To The Information Given On The Back Of The Card:
Our funky Fruity Mineral snacks will ensure that your small animal recieves all the salt and minerals essential for keeping your pet healthy.
Well as I stated already I bought a few of these blocks and did attach 4 in total to the 3 cages I had so that was for every one of my brood!
You can get a few shapes available within this range of mineral blocks and I opted for a light pink strawberry one and some grape shaped ones in a soft lilac sort of colour.
Made from ground limestone (as well of course as a few other things) these only contain natural colours and natural flavours and they basically already come with a white plastic tie on each so you can simply tie them around the rungs in the cage. They are of good size, quite wide and look like a fruity shape. They have no smell to them at all and are slightly rough and textured in places and that is that!
Meant for Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Gerbils, Hamsters, Mice And Rats the idea is that your pet licks or munch on them (According to again some information given on the back of the card) though although I sit and gaze at all of my hamsters I have never seen any of them sniff them or use them! Containing calcium, salts and everything a small pet needs plenty of, I had high hopes for them but none of my 4 hamsters have even investigated them and so for me I have no idea if they work however if I can't get my pets near them I guess I shall never know....and try as I may I can't entice them to get interested in these!
I bought mine in Pets at home at £1.25 a block though do google if interested you can get good deals online of these too.
R.I.P Edna Deidre 8 week old Russian Dwarf