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B.A.R.F. 101

Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 6:08 pm
by pblove
I did not see this ,. but would it be possible for experienced barfers to make a post on barf?
I mean, start from the very, very basic steps and tell what to do/use and how to do and use it all?
As basic as it can possbily be?
I see so many questions about it on here and this way it would be in front of us all, from the first basic steps.
Write it like you are speaking to grade school students. It is a scary first step after being told your whole life how is is so very bad to feed dogs people food, any kind of bones, raw meat, don;t need veggies nor fruit....
Plus all the foods that are acceptable and needed, the supplements, the probiotics etc., even down to the way to serve, grind, blend what ever??
How to wean a dog over form kibble, what equipment you will need, (blender, grinder, food processer??)
The best sources to purchase the itmes at the losest cost, what to steer clear of or look for....

Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 9:08 pm
by tjbsandy
Ah, this is going to be an excellent thread for those of us who are terrified to switch!

Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 9:25 pm
by barbponys
When I started it was in the beginning of feeding raw and there wasn't any help out there. I ground all the meat and veggies together, I used oatmeal and millet, I avoided chicken............. It was WAY harder than it had to be.

Now when a new dog comes in, foster or whatever, I hold out a chicken back(in a towel for better grip) and let them learn to chew. After the second or third time, they know what it's all about and I feed them what ever part I feel like. The cat took a little longer (like a YEAR) to figure out that eating bones was fun.........

A meal for Garion is usually a leg quarter and two wings, some cottage cheese and kelp. Sash usually gets a leg quarter and part of a breast, Goliath gets a few chunks of the breast and the neck. Fancy gets the majority of the chicken with cottage cheese. All get kelp daily and a fish oil supplement 4 times a week. Beef I cut up into hunks, when they RMB's I usually give them shoulder blades or ox tails. They have recreational bones available most of the time. It takes me 5 minutes to prepare a meal for them, cutting up the chicken is simple, turkeys take a little more time. They are big enough to feed my 5 straight raw for 4 days. I paid 6.30 for a 17# turkey during the Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday season.

Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 10:23 pm
by SunnyDays
I'm way too tired to write out a long post about the basics of it..
But for pricing, it's a heck of a lot cheaper than kibble-if you know where to look.
We order 40lb boxes of chicken from a large commercial chicken company here, averaging about $0.60/lb. I like this stuff, because you get it in bulk, it's carcasses so there's organ meat attached (for the about 3 times a week chicken is fed, it covers your organs for the week right there). I can get chicken necks, beef liver and beef bones for about 10 cents. I average about $1/lb CND. But, some more expensive meats- fish, elk, bison aren't fed as often because they cost a lot more, but with some expensive meats, and some dirt cheap meats, it all works out.

For what I buy in stores, anything on sale. Pork, beef, chicken and turkey, I won't buy unless it's less than $2/lb and that's pushing it. In fact, I won't buy chicken any more from stores because it's so expensive. When they drop the price on certain packages of meat, it's usually because it's nearing the expiry date. It's the same quality, and trust me, the dogs won't care.

I don't feed veggies, grains nor do I supplement. Grains are out of the question for me, but the veggies I would feed in moderation (aka not half the meal every day, but maybe a bit 3 times a week) IF my dog would eat it. He won't touch them. I'm working on getting some green tripe as an alternative, but it hasn't been successful yet. Heck, I might just end up buying patties from Urban Carnivore, it's such a small part of the diet it wouldn't bother me. If you feel you must supplement, kelp and alfalfa (especially together) are the way to go.

For how much to feed, take your dogs weight (I have a cocker that on his last weigh in, weighed 30lbs, he's lost weight since then, but we'll use that as an example.)

He would be fed about 3% of his body weight. Since he was slightly overweight at the time, I dropped it to 2%.

So 30x0.02 is 0.6lbs. Multiply that by 16 to get it into oz and you have approx what you need to see on your kitchen scale when cutting your meat. I usually stick with anywhere between one oz more or less than this amount. It doesn't have to be exact.

I don't grind anything. Well, I would blend if I fed veggies, but that's because it has to be, to mimic the partially digested vegetation found in the preys stomach. Otherwise, it can't be digested. I don't really see the point in grinding, but I respect those who do it. Shadow loves his bones. It excersises his jaw and neck muscles and best of all cleans his teeth. A dog with clean teeth, is a healthier dog. There's no yucky toxins from periodontal disease creating damage on their organs and destroying their teeth.

I think this is all I'm going to be typing tonight..I might add more in the next few days.

Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 8:20 am
by tjbsandy
What do others think about that 3% of the dogs weight ratio?
That puts Lilith at two pounds a day, which seems like a lot to me.
(I'm not questioning you, Sunny, just asking!)

Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 8:31 am
by SunnyDays
3% is for smaller dogs, the larger the dog, the smaller the percentage. For underweight dogs, you decrease the percentage, for overweight your increase it.

So for the average bully, I'd place it at about 2%, then for giant breeds or larger large breeds, even as low as 1%. You can increase or decrease based on activity level as well.

I don't even remember where I learned this, but it makes sense to me and helped my dog loose weight with no problem, after we pushed it back up to 3%, he maintained his weight.

Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 8:38 am
by barbponys
I feel that's an estimate. Garion gets about 2%, perhaps a little more. Sasha gets 2%, Fancy gets 3-4% and Goliath gets 2-21/2%. Funny thing is, I have never calculated percentages, I've always gone by body condition. Sash gets a little broad in the beam, I cut her back a bit, Garion starts to get a little too lean, he gets a touch more. I just calculated what I feed, interesting. Lilith is still a pup so the numbers are a starting point. I would really go by condition and energy levels. They tend to lean up pretty quick when you get rid of the grain and cooked fat. And it's harder to get weight on real thin dogs(Fancy is a prime example of that) though they are mega healthy. Another thing to remember, dogs get all their energy from fat. I don't trim meat, and they never get any type of cooked fat. I hope this makes sense I just woke up and am still working on my first cup of coffee. :coffee:

Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 8:53 am
by Chris
What about pre-package raw mix? Thay have that at the pet store I shop at.

Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 8:53 am
by Salival
I have always believed in fasting once a week as well, especially on the Raw diet. This day of digestive rest gives the body time flush itself and replenish the bacteria, as well as giving a probiotic weekly/every few days. On the day of fasting the dogs I give them a raw meaty bone for them to chew on and clean their teeth.

Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 9:00 am
by barbponys
Chris wrote:What about pre-package raw mix? Thay have that at the pet store I shop at.

The same rules apply to pre-made raw diets. I'm not a big fan of the high vegetable content diets. They charge a lot for them and when the meat content is only 65%, that's a lot of veggies to be feeding on a daily basis. That's one of the reasons I like the Nature's Variety, it's 95% meat, you can add more veggies on occasion if you like.

Bone needs to be supplemented regardless. There's some bone added to the mixes but not enough, in my opinion.

Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 9:41 am
by cheekymunkee
Thanks for this thread!!! I am giving some serious thought to feeding raw & this has helped answer some of my questions.


Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 9:46 am
by Chris
Ok, so if you feed a prepared mix, you have to suppliment with bone. Does this have to be bone meal or just give the dog bones to chew?

Again thanks for the info.

Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 9:58 am
by barbponys
Chris wrote:Ok, so if you feed a prepared mix, you have to suppliment with bone. Does this have to be bone meal or just give the dog bones to chew?

Again thanks for the info.

I wouldn't do bone meal since it's cooked. I would do raw bones that they chew on. Ox tails, neck bones and shoulder blades are soft and good for supplementing. Knuckles are good for recreational chewing.

Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 10:18 am
by Pitt-terra
I have researched RAW and my dogs eat RAW diets but I have never really looked into BARF, I have a question.

Is there a difference between RAW & BARF? Do you give veggies with BARF?

I feed raw; meats, bones, organs, muscles, tripe, eggs, yogurt and no veggies.

I don't feed veggies because this should be provided from the meat that ate the veggies that my dogs are now eating. I don't ever grind their meat, they get whole pieces, i feed off a model prey drive.

Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 10:29 am
by concreterose
I'm pretty lazy. I feed prepackaged raw (Nature's Variety and Bravo premixes). Partly because my old gal has to have meat w/no antibiotics or hormones, so I just started giving it to all the dogs. I do want to start giving RMB's in addition to the premixes though. The oxtails and neckbones look like something I will try. Should I decrease the amount of raw food they get when I give RMB's, or are they just mainly for teeth cleaning purposes?