What’s life without a tasty treat to brighten the day? This applies to both you and your family, including your rabbits, guinea pigs, or other herbivorous pets. Your furry pals can’t indulge in high-fat, sugary, or salty treats, though. Your precious pets might eat such things, but they shouldn’t. Foods like that are worse than empty calories for your furry friends, because such foods can cause medical problems.
Hey!Berries™ offer a healthy treat option with the bonus of foraging fun. The high-fiber, low-fat, and low-calcium treats are healthy because fiber helps keep the digestive system moving properly, low fat keeps the calories down, and low calcium minimizes the risk of urinary stones.
What’s foraging fun? Put simply, it means playing with the food. Boredom is an issue for many pets, so a treat like Hey!Berries™ that encourages play while eating feeds both the body and the mind.
Hey!Berries’™ first three ingredients — timothy grass, papaya, and mango — offer both nutrition and good taste. Hey!Berries™ also include other ingredients. In today’s world, people want to know what’s in the food that their furry companions eat as much as they want to know what’s in their own food. As specified by the FDA, the ingredient list names items in order, first listing those weighing the most before mixing. This means less of an ingredient by weight is included the farther it is down the list.
Timothy Grass, Papaya, Mango, Maltodextrin, Corn Syrup, Glycerin,
Agar Powder, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Choline Chloride, Iodized Salt,
DL-Methionine, Citric Acid, Manganese Proteinate,
Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate
Timothy Grass: The bulk, 70%, of Hey!Berries™ consist of timothy grass (Phleum pratense), which is low in energy and provides excellent nutrition. It adds much of the fiber to the treat. The fiber helps maintain a healthy digestive tract, and chewing hay helps rabbits to wear down their constantly growing teeth.
Papaya: The addition of human-grade, dried papaya dices to Hey!Berries™ boosts flavor, enrichment, and fiber, and includes trace amounts of potassium, sodium, calcium, and vitamins A and C. Papaya is associated with improved digestion in rabbits.
Mango: The dices of dried mango in Hey!Berries™ are human-grade and add flavor, enrichment, fiber, and trace amounts of potassium, and vitamins A and C. Rabbits and guinea pigs love the taste of mango.
Maltodextrin: The word sounds fancy, but this ingredient is simply a powdered form of complex carbohydrates. It has little to no taste and is easily digested. It’s included in Hey!Berries™ mainly to help hold the treat together in the berry shape, which is important for foraging.
Corn Syrup: Most people are familiar with the light or dark, thick liquid that is corn syrup and often used in baking and candy making. The corn syrup in Hey!Berries™ is low dextrose and has a long carbohydrate chain. This ingredient prevents the treat from getting too brittle, which is important for excellent foraging.
Glycerin: This carbohydrate is a colorless, odorless, thick liquid that mostly adds moisture to Hey!Berries™ and prevents the Hey!Berries™ from getting hard.
Agar Powder: This is sourced from algae and commonly used as a vegetarian substitute for gelatin. It helps bind together the Hey!Berries™, which is essential for a foraging treat.
Hydrolyzed Soy Protein: This is a source of highly digestible and essential amino acids, which are critical to the immune system, tendons, muscles, ligaments, organs, glands, hair, nails, and more.
Choline Chloride: This organic compound is an essential nutrient necessary for proper cell function, as choline is a required nutrient for most animals. It’s often classified as a B-complex vitamin.
Iodized Salt: All animals need salt. The basic salt mineral is fortified with the micronutrient mineral iodine. Both are necessary for the good health of animals. Besides adding to taste and nutrition, salt is a preservative.
DL-Methionine: This essential amino acid is necessary for good health for skin and coat condition, eye health, heart health, and more. Like many micronutrients, it’s best to have the right amount, as either too much or too little can cause problems. Hey!Berries™ contains trace amounts.
Citric Acid: This acid is a natural antioxidant that mainly comes from citrus fruit. It’s present in Hey!Berries™ to enhance flavor and extend shelf life.
Manganese Proteinate: This chelated form of manganese provides this antioxidant nutrient in a form easily absorbed by the body. Additionally, chelated minerals are less reactive, which gives the treat greater stability.
Zinc Proteinate: This chelated form of zinc provides this antioxidant nutrient in a form easily absorbed by the body. Additionally, chelated minerals are less reactive, which gives the treat greater stability.
Copper Proteinate: This chelated form of copper provides this antioxidant nutrient in a form easily absorbed by the body. Additionally, chelated minerals are less reactive, which gives the treat greater stability.
The guaranteed analysis of Hey!Berries™ ingredients confirms that they are great treats for herbivores like rabbits and guinea pigs.
|Crude Protein (Min.)||9.0%|
|Crude Fat (Min.)||2.0%|
|Crude Fiber (Min.)||22.0%|
|Crude Fiber (Max.)||26.0%|
The Why Behind Hey!Berries™
For years, Ted Lafeber, DVM, has wanted to make a treat for herbivores. He wanted it to be healthy, so that meant hay was a must-have ingredient.
“The difficult part of making Hey!Berries™ was getting the hay in there,” Lafeber says.
He also wanted the treat to be something pets would really enjoy eating that would encourage foraging. After several years of development, Hey!Berries™ brought together all the dreams.
“That’s why it’s called a fun foraging treat,” Lafeber says. “It’s going to provide more foraging than most treats out there. We’re combining the fun taste of the mango and papaya, which rabbits, guinea pigs, and other herbivores love, along with the hay. They’re having to chew it apart and eat hay at the same time, and it makes the whole thing really fun and tasty. Because it’s round, the rabbits and guinea pigs will actually roll it around or carry it around. They engage more with the food.”
How Hey!Berries™ Are Made
Hey!Berries™ are made at the Lafeber factory on Lafeber’s great grandfather’s farm in rural Illinois, which is in the farmlands of Illinois.
The process of making Hey!Berries™ is proprietary. If you ask Lafeber how they’re made, his cheeky response might involve elves and magic. Seriously, though, while he can’t reveal details about the process, he wants people to know some vital facts about the making of Hey!Berries™ and all Lafeber products.
“We put them together ourselves,” he says. “We’re so concerned about product quality control, that we make all of it at our plant. We don’t job it out to somebody else.”
As an example, he said that when mango and papaya come in, they are inspected for size, shape, and taste. It’s all human-grade, but it still gets rejected if the quality isn’t right.
Lafeber also noted that the production lines are sanitized and bacteria tested. Product is inspected during the manufacturing process. Every batch made is lab-tested.
“We make small batches because it allows us to control the quality better,” Lafeber says. “It’s more of an artisan way of making things. We’re a small company that makes everything internally. We have lots of specialized equipment for making small batches of very high-quality food.”
What does Lafeber want people to remember about how Lafeber Company treats and food are made? Two main things: All products are made in small batches by people who love animals.