Feeding Raw

Talk about diets, exercise, and disease.

Re: Feeding Raw

Postby Adrianne » Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:05 am

Personally I look at it as "it could be worse" and at least the dogs are adopted and being fed. Some people cannot afford raw (yes, I know the stats but places like vegas make life much harder to feed raw, much more expensive) or acana, etc, but that doesn't make them less than perfectly loving homes.
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Re: Feeding Raw

Postby ProudMommy77 » Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:52 pm

Adrianne wrote:Personally I look at it as "it could be worse" and at least the dogs are adopted and being fed. Some people cannot afford raw (yes, I know the stats but places like vegas make life much harder to feed raw, much more expensive) or acana, etc, but that doesn't make them less than perfectly loving homes.


:goodpost:

can we get back on topic with the raw feeding now...??? ;)


to be perfectly honest, we feed raw because it's much healthier for them, and it's cheaper, much cheaper, and the poop clean up is way less. With that being said, I am feeding six dogs on RAW, I spend anywhere from 170 to 250 about every three months for meat. Now, if I was going back to kibble, I would easily spend that a month on the dogs. :thumbsup:

There is nothing wrong with feeding kibble if you don't have the access to cheap meat sources, I don't mind doing a two hour drive for raw if I have too. But, I only have to drive fourteen miles to the next two over, or I can drive into Harrisburg, Quakertown, a wee little town five minutes away for leg quarters, or up to Hazelton to the Pork plant up there.
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Re: Feeding Raw

Postby Enamorada » Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:47 pm

@ lilangel: About how much are you spending each month on the organic/raw ingredients to feed them?

In Hawaii, it takes some digging around to find organic foods, especially at an affordable price! I've been curious about feeding raw for a while - it just seems daunting. :huh?:

ProudMommy77 - I guess I am not seeing that type of savings here. :( It may be that I'm not doing enough research.
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Re: Feeding Raw

Postby Megan » Fri Aug 05, 2011 2:37 pm

This was a good read, especially because I would really like to get Gavin on a raw based diet. I tried it a few years ago, but honestly did not have the time to prepare it. He did love what he was getting of the raw (legs/wings/necks/livers etc).

We have chickens here on the farm, and it would be great to put the extra roosters to use that we won't be able to eat our selves before going bad. We also have ducks, and I can easily let them hatch out eggs to use as well. It would be a lot less costly then feeding kibble, especially because other then the grain substances the poultry eat they do not cost much to feed.

I am toying about raising rabbits to feed as well, vs trying to find them for sale. For the most part, they should be able to sustain themselves off the land as well with minimal cost in feed.

I do need to do much more research on this though. Those of you that are feeding prey model- Have you noticed an increase with prey drive? Gavin already has a strong prey drive when it comes to the chickens on the farm, and I'm wondering if doing a prey model would make him see them as "food" and make the prey drive even worse.


This thread has been helpful, and has given me some ideas as to where to start. We also have a freezer full of meat... We just threw out half of the freezer- I'm wondering if perhaps I can keep back some of the meat that is only a few years old and feed him that. Some of it is freezer burnt, others seem to be in pretty decent shape...
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Re: Feeding Raw

Postby ProudMommy77 » Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:31 pm

Enamorada wrote:ProudMommy77 - I guess I am not seeing that type of savings here. :( It may be that I'm not doing enough research.


I am the queen of cheap....just start looking, and emailing, and asking places. Something will come threw. Just give it time, and keep searching.
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Re: Feeding Raw

Postby BrokenAquarian » Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:50 pm

Megan wrote: Those of you that are feeding prey model- Have you noticed an increase with prey drive? Gavin already has a strong prey drive when it comes to the chickens on the farm, and I'm wondering if doing a prey model would make him see them as "food" and make the prey drive even worse.


I've never had a live animal species that I've fed to my dogs. The only one was a couple of chickens that died and I tried to hide it from them when I killed/butchered/prepared it.
They knew what was happening and could smell it. Keela acts fine around the chickens, unless I'm holding one - then she gets all excited "Are we gonna eat it? Alright!"
She has very high prey drive, but is trained not to charge the chicken coop. I don't think they'd be safe if I just tossed them out in the yard.

I did not notice an increase in prey drive when I started feeding prey model. I believe there is a big difference in the hunt/kill and consumption of the animal. Killing and eating are not the same drives.

I think it should be ok as long as you're not letting him hunt his own food. :)
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Re: Feeding Raw

Postby lilangel » Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:03 pm

Ha! Guess what I found!?!? :nana:

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A bunch of big ole rabbits in the freezer! Tomorrow morning should be interesting ;)

I think Dashie-baby is excited. He was running around with the bag of frozen rabbit in his mouth lol

As for what I spend... I should make clear that I do not usually buy organic chicken as 1 small organic chicken costs $15.00 and my dogs eat more than one chicken amongst themselves each day. A local organic chicken from one of the many farms costs upwards of $22.00, so no can do. I go to Maines or Wegmans and buy chicken parts that the butchers department makes for .99/ lb or less. It is double bagged and ready to go in roughly 10lb bags. Occasionally I go to the local butcher and he boxes up beef parts for me by the 40 lb box and it costs me $5 per box. I supplement the daily feed with meaty bones from those butcher boxes.

We have raised up to 75 chickens at a time here. But we do not do that on the regular.

The veggies are all local and organic and are the same veggies we eat and we buy them approx. bi-weekly at our cooperative market. Fruits we try to get in season. Whatever is available locally, except citrus and bananas of course. They cost what they cost and we get a 17.5% discount. We eat most of the veggies and the dogs get maybe 1/4 of them.

A rough guess is that we spend less than $10 on veggies when we buy them and they last us at least 2 weeks. So we spend $20 per month to feed ourselves and the dogs local organic veggies. Keep in mind that we are vegetarians so we eat a lot of veggies :mmm: If you have one or two dogs the cost can be significantly less per month.

I will be happy to keep track of what we spend next time and I will even break down exactly how much I use and costs so we know a close approximation of the cost of a meal for a 50Lb dog. It is going to be low, I promise you.

The most expensive thing we use is the oils, but with the exception of the fish oils, we use those ourselves as well :)

Basically, it can be very inexpensive to feed raw. It just takes a little more planning at first.

So I don't have an exact breakdown yet, but I am interested in trying to get a number for you.
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Re: Feeding Raw

Postby FBODGRL » Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:30 pm

ProudMommy77 wrote:
Enamorada wrote:ProudMommy77 - I guess I am not seeing that type of savings here. :( It may be that I'm not doing enough research.


I am the queen of cheap....just start looking, and emailing, and asking places. Something will come threw. Just give it time, and keep searching.



I agree...check out yahoo and see if they have any raw feeding groups in your area. There are a couple in my area and several suppliers who deliver to the groups every 4-8 weeks depending on which supplier. I just bought 40lbs of white meat turkey chunks for .55lb. I usually get my turkey wings for 1.00 or under at the store by my house. Depending upon what you feed you can get prices better than that. I see chicken all the time for .39lb. Also check around and see if you have farmers markets in your area usually you can get good prices there (I have heard, but never been to one). Plus if you can get venison and other game for free that helps with cost.
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Re: Feeding Raw

Postby Flibgit » Sat Aug 06, 2011 7:34 am

Amazingly, I found my best prices by emailing the local meat markets. When I buy organ meat (not every time) I average about $1.09/lb. When I'm just stocking up on meat/bone I average about 80 cents per pound.

Our butcher likes us and would prefer to sell us top dollar miscellaneous cuts at $1.25/pound rather than throw it out when it nears the "sell by date". Andre and Amber routinely have porterhouse steaks that normally sell for $7.50/pound. Other than that their main staples are beef organ, pork ribs, chicken quarters and pork ribs.

We've also filled both our meat freezers twice with free meat from Craigslist. People are very generous with their scraps around hunting season.

(We switched to raw because Andre wasn't doing well on any of the "premium" foods we tried feeding him. He actually started eating poop when we changed him to Innova, so we tried raw. He loves it, Amber likes it as well as kibble and it's kinda fun to watch them carry whole chickens around the yard)
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Re: Feeding Raw

Postby lilangel » Sat Aug 06, 2011 11:02 am

Speaking of prices and real meat. I just got an email from a very well known local organic farm. They are doing a slaughter and will have a whole bunch of chicken and duck necks and meaty backs and organ meats for me at $2 a pound. They give me big boxes with portioned bags. Now I need to work this into our budget somehow. This is as fresh and local/ organic as it gets. It love this time of year:) All their animals are pastured in the fresh open air and eat mostly grass and bugs. They are slaughtered outside and sold right out of an ice water bath. :mmm:

I'll be posting pix of today's rabbit meal once my camera recharges. It was interesting. And the pix are sorta graphic. :twisted:
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Re: Feeding Raw

Postby ProudMommy77 » Sat Aug 06, 2011 11:29 am

this may be a little off topic...but, Vin you mentioned using coconut oil, and so have others. Would you mind sharing the advantages of using it? And where to get it?
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Re: Feeding Raw

Postby heartbullies » Sat Aug 06, 2011 11:41 am

I can't figure out how to post links from my phone, but if you google WDJ/Whole Dog Journal Coconut Oil you should be able to find a nice article about it. I know I have posted it on PBF in the past from my laptop, if that helps with the searching.

Make sure it is not the kind for beauty care, instead the kind for cooking. Here you can buy it in grocery stores and also more natural food type grocery stores. I have a brand called Tropical somethingorother, it is organic and in a darker glass jar.

Some people swear their dogs got fat on it but not on fish oil. The nutritional info IIRC is very similar to fish oil but maybe fifteen extra calories per Tbsp. so perhaps for some dogs it adds up?

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Re: Feeding Raw

Postby lilangel » Sat Aug 06, 2011 12:06 pm

ProudMommy77 wrote:this may be a little off topic...but, Vin you mentioned using coconut oil, and so have others. Would you mind sharing the advantages of using it? And where to get it?


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Coconut oil supports heart and thyroid health despite being a saturated fat. It is very high in Lauric acid which has anti-microbial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. It is also very good for the skin and coat. We use it to cook and also as a moisturizer. You can use the same oil to cook with that you put on your skin. It tastes SO good!! I gave the dogs each a glob of it with their bunny and they ate the coconut oil first!

I saw this link and thought it might help explain things better:
http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org/

We don't order it ourselves. Our friend who is a Veterinarian gets it for us and it costs, I think, $40 for a gallon jug and that lasts us for most of the year if not an entire year. I can get the info of where she orders and will post later.

Here is the link I found for a gallon that costa $49.00
http://www.greenpasture.org/public/Products/CoconutOil/index.cfm
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Re: Feeding Raw

Postby lilangel » Sat Aug 06, 2011 12:34 pm

Below you can see the pix I took this morning. I thawed a jumbo rabbit overnight and decided to cut it up before even attempting to feed it to the dogs. The rabbit was whole, meaning everything was left as it was the moment the rabbit was killed and exanguinated. There was food in the stomach and poop in the guts. :mmm:

It took me 6 minutes to part the rabbit into 5 portions. That is what the rabbit provided enough for. I can do a whole chicken in under a minute but I am not familiar with rabbit anatomy and where exactly to cut through joints etc. The bones are harder and more dense than a chicken's and the fur and skin is MUCH thicker and tougher than that of a chicken. With a sharp knife and some practice it will be a breeze to cut up a rabbit.

As you can see, I put some green tripe and a glob of organ mix (spleen, liver, lung, kidney) with some salmon oil and coconut oil in each bowl to get things going and to give the dogs an idea that they were supposed to eat these furry bits. I photographed each cut I made so you can see the whole thing. I did not clean up as I went. As you can see it is a pretty neat process if you make decent cuts. I removed the back legs and lower spine first and that was two meals. I pulled out the gut and divided that evenly among 5 bowls, (smelled like grassy bunny poop,) I cut off the head and the front legs which made one meal, I cut off the lower abdomen cavity right through the spine which was another meal and the upper thoracic cavity I emptied of organs, and cut in half for a final meal. I put the organs in a container with some cow tongue I have for later in the week.

The reactions I got were everything from WTF is this crap? To OMG OMG OMG!! Num Num NummY!

I had to peel off the skin for some dogs and others laid down and crunched and slurped away. Dashie-baby had the least qualms about eating and seemed very happy crunching and gnawing on the head. Of course he likes to throw his food all over the place and then lick it all up when he's done. eww. It took them all more than 15 minutes to finish as they all did eat the other stuff first and then poke at the furry rabbit for a while before gunning at it and then realizing they could eat it. They are all zonked out now.

Enjoy.

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Re: Feeding Raw

Postby Misskiwi67 » Sat Aug 06, 2011 12:46 pm

ProudMommy77 wrote:this may be a little off topic...but, Vin you mentioned using coconut oil, and so have others. Would you mind sharing the advantages of using it? And where to get it?


Ok, so I'm admitting to be a HUGE nerd here... but my radio station of choice is Dr. radio on Sirius, and last week on the nutrition show they were talking about coconut oil, and how medium chain fatty acids are really not any more nutritious than other vegetable oils, and omegas are still preferred. Did I hear them incorrectly, or is this a fad that will soon fall out of favor? Its totally new to me!!
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