One of a cat's favourite activities is getting snack treats, especially if the treats are chicken. However, with all the cost and chemical processing in a lot of cat treats, you may want to consider creating them at home. You can freeze-dry fresh chicken for your cat to have a healthy treat on demand. Once freeze-dried, your cat's chicken treats can be stored in the freezer and put in warm water for a few seconds to get them ready for consumption.
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Things you need
- Baking tray or dish
- Vacuum-seal bags
- Vacuum sealer
- Cooler with lid
- Dry ice
- Cooling rack or mesh rack
Bake fresh chicken at about 90.5 to 93.3 degrees C, with no spices or oils, on a baking tray or dish for a few hours.
Cut the chicken into thin strips. The thinner the meat, the faster the moisture dries out. You can cut the strips into smaller pieces for your cat now, or upon reconstitution when you add warm water for the treats to be consumed.
Place the chicken strips into vacuum-seal bags and seal them shut with a countertop vacuum sealer.
Place the sealed bags in a cooler with dry ice above and below the bags and put the lid on the cooler. Allow the meat to cool and dry for about an hour and then place the bags in your freezer until it's time for your cat to enjoy some treats.
Boil fresh chicken in a pot on the stove for about 45 minutes, without spices or oils.
Cut the chicken into small strips and pieces when it is completely cool.
Place the chicken on a cooling or mesh rack and put it inside the freezer to dry for five to seven days. You can use a baking tray, but the moisture may not leave as quickly or effectively.
Tips and warnings
- You can purchase prepackaged freeze-dried cat treats at many pet stores or online if you want to save the time and energy of making your own.
- Baking the chicken instead of boiling it creates jerkylike pieces that help with the sublimation, allowing the moisture to leave quickly and freeze-dry faster.
- Don't use regular ice; dry ice helps the moisture go straight to vapour and dries out the meat faster.
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