I've reviewed literally hundreds of things here at The Madhouse, including some items for the pets but this is the first time Charlie the rabbit has been recruited as Chief Tester. When I saw a tweet go by from @MonsterPetTeam asking for pet owners to get in touch, I said that we'd be happy to help out and awaited a delivery from the postman. I laughed out loud as I read the letter addressed to Charlie, "a rabbit with discerning tastes" who should give his "pet's-eye-view" of the products then "give his humans a few pointers" to write the review ! Well, Charlie is a bit of a character - he loves lying on his back with all four legs in the air, playing dead, until I give the cage a quick nudge to make sure he moves !! - so he rose to the challenge.
We received three products to review : Supreme Tumblefresh Bedding, Supreme Russel & Friends Crazy Carrot & Parsnip Crunchers and Supreme Science Selective Mature Rabbit Food.
The first product we (well yes, Charlie needed my help opening the packet !) decided to investigate was the Supreme Tumblefresh Bedding. This was the first time I'd come across a product like this because we usually use sawdust in the bottom of the cage. It looks like the dusty shredded paper you get inside some padded envelopes and has the colour of yellow-flecked ash but I wasn't really sure what it was made of so I checked the label, which says it is "a natural product made from surplus virgin wood pulp that makes great compost after use". Handy to know. I thought it would be really dusty and fly everywhere when I tipped it into the cage but it wasn't at all - the website explains that it is dust-extracted - and it is much easier and quicker to spread out than my usual sawdust, which comes tightly packed in a bale and needs to be broken apart by hand and spread out.
It feels lovely and soft and Charlie seemed to be intrigued because he jumped back into the cage before I'd finished getting it ready just to have a look ! The packaging promises that Tumblefresh helps to eradicate odours and lasts longer than traditional bedding, being 250% absorbent. I changed the cage a couple of days ago and I have to say, it does seem to help keep odours down because we can't smell him at all. The only slight negative is that when I came downstairs the day after changing his cage, there was only an extremely thin layer of bedding on the bottom of the cage. I'm not sure if Charlie had fun overnight throwing it all into the corners or if it was compacted down but I ended up topping it up with the rest of the bag, so the whole 8.5l bag was used for one cage change. It's lovely and soft, is hypoallergenic and is suitable for all small animals including rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, chinchillas, degus, mice, rats, ferrets, reptiles and birds. It's also an eco-friendly option, especially as it can be composted after use.
While I was busy putting new bedding in his cage, Charlie hopped over to check out the next bag - Supreme Science Selective Rabbit Food. Now, I must admit, I'd never really thought about different types/ages of rabbit needing different food (which is silly really, as I know dogs do) so I was interested to see the wide range of rabbit foods available on the Monster website, catering for junior rabbits, mature rabbits (like Charlie), weight-management rabbits, digestive health formula, urinary tract health care ...
To a human, the uniform, round pelletes look quite boring and unappealing - Charlie's usual food has lots of interesting colours and shapes in it - but he instantly hopped over to investigate so it must have looked nice to him !
According to the website, it is specially formulated for the changing nutritional requirements of rabbits aged 4-6 years plus. Monster explain : "This nutritionally complete and balanced food has higher levels of fibre (22%), to aid gut mobility and is also low in sugar and protein to avoid obesity in less active, more 'experienced' rabbits. It includes timothy hay and thyme to help stimulate the appetite, helping to avoid age-related reluctance to feed. Other antioxidant ingredients such as bilberry, ginkgo, and green tea provide complete nutritional support for the older rabbit. Hay and water should always be freely available." Wow, I'd never have thought of giving green tea to a rabbit ! I didn't know they were prone to middle-age spread either ! You learn something every day !
The key benefits of this food, according to the website are :
- Prevents selective feeding – a common problem for many rabbits
- Nutritionally complete
- High in fibre – 22%
- Added vitamin C – 500mg/kg
- With Timothy hay & thyme to help maintain appetite
- Contains linseed – an excellent source of Omega 3 & 6
- With carefully selected herbs to increase antioxidant levels in ageing rabbits
It looks nothing like his usual food but Charlie has swapped over to eating this with no fuss at all. Judging by how much his nose twitches when he eats it, I think he likes it !
The final product that we tried out was Supreme Russel & Friends Crazy Carrot & Parsnip Crunchers. The Madhouse Mini-testers loved the idea of these because, although we frequently give canine treats to the dogs, I never usually think about buying them for Charlie (although he does get the peelings from the carrots and the odd dandelion leaf that the kids pick on the way home from school !). Described as "healthy baked bites made with the finest ingredients, fresh from the Supreme bakery", they contain a blend of wheat flours, flaked oats, soybean oil, sugar, dried flaked carrots, dried flaked parsnips and colour added yellow 6. Charlie seemed to like them and the kids love giving them to him too !
Charlie had great fun being chief tester and accomplished his mission very successfully !
star rating : 4/5
RRP : Super Crunchers £1.86 (RRP £1.99) for 99g, Tumblefresh bedding £6 for 8.5l/£19.82 (RRP £19.99) for 23.5l, Supreme Science Selective Mature Rabbit Food £6.62 for1.5kg/£2.42 for 350g
for more information : http://www.monsterpetsupplies.co.uk
Disclosure : We received the products outlined above in order to write an honest review.
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