“ Brand: Friendship Estates / Type: Small Pet Food „
Readigrass is just that - grass that has been made ready for animal use by freeze drying. The drying process kills any nasties that would otherwise have been present, and leaves behind a product that has so many uses, stays fresh in storage and smells wonderful. It can be used for small furries as well as tortoises (off the top of my head, rabbits and Guinea pigs I think but don't quote me), but I am going to concentrate on my experiences using it with tortoises for this review. Despite having small furries, I've never tried it with them (yet).
So, when I first tried this, I bought it because I wanted to offer some different substrate in my indoor tortoise table. And because this is just composed of grass, it poses no risks if ingested. So anyway the day the parcel arrived I ripped it open excitedly and started rearranging my Hermanns tortoises' house. It looked brilliant and you could smell it as soon as you walked into the room. However, after a few days I found a lot of mould.
I deduced this to be due to placing a layer over their topsoil substrate, and after clearing it out I moved the soil and put a thick layer directly onto the floor. This worked much better! Every morning without fail I found one of my pair buried deep in the pile. The other wasn't fussed, although he did dig about in it. But that's tortoises for you, they all have distinct personalities and likes/dislikes.
Giving tortoises something to dig down into is pretty essential. Plain topsoil is the general best all-over substrate to use as it's natural and cheap, but it doesn't hurt to provide more interest for them, in fact you should. They are wandering animals and thrive on stimulation. They often like to dig down to sleep as they would in their natural habitat, for protection and they will also do this if they want to cool down for a little while. This dried grass is an excellent way to provide all these possibilities in a different way to soil.
When used directly on the floor, it lasts much much longer. It's easy to spot clean any patches that have been peed on, as it clumps together and you can see it's wet. This means you don't have to replace the whole lot at once. I bought a trial pack (I can't remember the weight) for about £2 + P&P but it was very decently sized and lasted me for ages. I am not currently using it, but I do plan to buy some more in the future. They'll be outside soon so it'll be time to remodel their indoors home.
This dried grass can also be used as part of the diet for tropical tortoises such as Sulcata, Leopard and Indian Star; these species need more fibre in their diet than Hermanns and other Mediterranean tortoises (though as said it won't hurt Med tortoises to eat this at all). This is a brilliant stand by as these tortoises also don't hibernate, and finding decent food throughout winter without relying on too much supermarket-bought stuff can pose a challenge.
So there you have it - a substrate that is edible, a suitable part of the diet for many species, long lasting (if used and stored properly) and smells wonderful and fresh. That's a truly multipurpose product!
I actually first heard about Readigrass on a forum I use, I emailed Friendship Estates asking for more information about the product and they very kindly offered to send me a sample of it.
When the sample arrived I gave my bunnies and guinea pigs a handful each of it, and when I checked back on them a few minutes later there was no sign that I had given them any. I took that to mean that they liked it so I bought them a larger pack of it.
So what is Readigrass?
Readigrass is natural pure dried grass which is 100% natural. The drying process used removes the water from the grass leaving the colour and nutritional value of fresh grass. This makes the grass better than hay nutritionally.
By drying the grass it sterilises the grass which reduces the risk of parasites that cann be found in hay such as lice, mites and fleas as well as fungal spores. It is also dust extracted
Why should I feed Readigrass?
Rabbit and guinea pig teeth are continuously growing, so they need to eat hay plenty of hay or grass to help wear their teeth down. A fully grown rabbit or guinea pig's diet should be made up of 80% hay. Readigrass falls into this category so feeding will reduce the risk of their teeth becoming overgrown.
Rabbits also need plenty of roughage and fibre in their diet which Readigrass can provide.
For guinea pigs who cannot produce their own vitamin C, Readigrass has 500mg of vitamic C per KG. Some commecial guinea pig mixes don't contain that much vitamin C.
How to feed Readigrass?
How much you feed is entirely up to you. You can feed adlib or mix it in with their usual hay.
I give my pets a handful each per day mixed in with their normal hay which is given ad lib.
Would I recommend Readigrass?
Yes most definitely, whenever I give this to my pets they manage to eat it first even though it is mixed in with their hay they somehow manage to pick it out.
I have had my bag for a month now and have used just over half (for four animals) so if it's not being fed in place of hay completely depending on how many animals you are giving it to it can last for a while.
Sounds good where can I buy it and how much does it cost?
Readigrass is available in 1kg bags as Friendly Readigrass for small animals or 15kg sacks for horses. The larger sacks are exactly the same product though, so if you have a menagerie then it's probably more economical to buy these.
A 1kg bag costs between £2 and £4 and the 15kg bags are about £12.
You can order directly from Friendship Estates (please note you can only buy 4 x 1kg bags from them and not individual 1kg bags) or check there website for local stockists.
Alternatively a few online pet shops stock it (Animal Magic Pet Supplies is the cheapest I have seen!!) .
If you are interested in this for your pets I would recommend emailing Friendship Estates as they may send you a sample, this way you can make sure your pets like it first.