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  1. #1
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    Default Spinoff—give me your raw food recipes (dog/cat)

    I have a cat who vomits three or four times a week and dog with siezures and sensitive skin, so I think it might be time to change my approach to feeding. I've been feeding a decent (not fabulous) kibble—for the cats, Kirkland Healthy Weight, not as a response to weight issues but in an attempt to control hairballs. For the dogs, Natures Domain grain-free salmon kibble, from Costco. It's manufactured by Diamond.

    I'm a vegetarianish—I eat fish if my husband can catch them and we keep laying hens. We raised meat birds last summer but killing and eating chicken didn't really work for me in terms of my ethics. Still, I think I'd rather raise birds for my little carnivores to eat than feed them factory-farmed poultry in kibble form.

    I've heard a lot of different approaches to home-made feeding—including vegetables and grains or not, adding vitamins and minerals or not, feeding raw or not, whole or ground, frozen/thawed or prepared fresh every day. What do you recommend? Can I start by just handing each of my pets a raw chicken wing or is it more complicated than that?

    I have two male DSH tabby boys, ages 6 and 4. The older one has a greasy coat and throws up, the younger one has a luxurious pelt and is in perfect health except for a neurological disorder since kittenhood which makes him wobbly.

    I have two dogs—a shiny, slightly plump chihuahua (age 2) and a 9 year-old Aussie with some chronic health issues including epilepsy.

    I have to feed them on a budget—neither we humans nor our pets can afford the very best of everything, unfortunately. We do grow a four-season garden, so we have plenty of fresh produce year-round.
    Last edited by didgery; Oct. 14, 2011 at 03:18 PM. Reason: three or four times a week, not three or four times a day
    My ears hear a symphony of two mules, trains, and rain. The best is always yet to come, that's what they explained to me. —Bob Dylan

    Fenway Bartholomule ♥ Arrietty G. Teaspoon Brays Of Our Lives



  2. #2
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    Jul. 17, 2006
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    Default

    This is a great site (page) to get you started:
    http://www.rawfedcats.org/practicalguide.htm

    Unless you can feed whole prey (i.e. pinkie mice, birds, etc), you want to follow the 80-10-10 model, 80% meat, 10% bone and 10% organ.

    I foudn it very hard to balance everything out, because i can't always get organ meat (i just went to the grocery store last night intending to buy some liver/gizzards, and there wasn't any - none at all!!), which is why I give at least one meal of canned (EVO) once a day, to make sure they get all the vitamins/minerals they need, since the canned is balanced already.
    EVO, Wellness, Natural Balance, Blue Buffalo, are all brands of good quality grain-free canned cat food.

    If you can't transition to an entirely raw/canned diet due to finances, the more you can give on a weekly basis, the better.

    ps - an average-sized chicken wing will probably be too big for a housecat. Think about the size of their natural prey - mice, rats, small birds, small fish.. the bones are tiny! I have found cornish game hens are best for getting bone content. I only buy those once a month or so, cuz they're expensive here.

    For chicken wings, the smaller bone of the wing and the tip should be ok, but I would cut them up anyway. You will start to get a feel for what they can chew and what is too much - when my cats encounter a piece of bone or cartilage that's too big they just leave it.

    This quote from the above site is sooooo true!!!
    "There’s something very compelling about seeing cats eating the kind of food they were born to eat, especially since so many of us have rarely witnessed such a thing. Not only can it be fascinating to watch, but it’s also very satisfying to feel that you’re really doing the right thing by your pet."

    GOOD LUCK!
    Last edited by ASBJumper; Oct. 14, 2011 at 02:54 PM.



  3. #3
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    Dec. 21, 2005
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    Luckily, I live in a rural valley with a vibrant agricultural community. I think I could probably find a beef heart or lamb liver just by standing on my porch and shouting. We raised meat chickens last year and tossed all the organs—now I wish I'd frozen them!

    I expirimented with my dogs and cats this afternoon—defrosted a raw chicken wing and offered everyone a chunk of meat. The dogs were STOKED. The cats sniffed it and ran fast the other direction. Perhaps they'll need a little tuna juice or something to get them on board.

    Is it REALLY safe to feed raw chicken bones? I couldn't bring myself to do it, but deboned the wing and let the dogs have the meat, tendons, and skin. They were voracious! I hope it IS safe, as it would be nice to throw down a whole leg and watch them go to town.

    I've done a lot of reading and I think I really want to try this. I have some recipes online, just need to order vitamin supplements and find few local sources for meat, bones, and organs. I have about 30 pounds of dog kibble and 15 pounds of cat kibble to use up and I hope they'll be my last bags!
    My ears hear a symphony of two mules, trains, and rain. The best is always yet to come, that's what they explained to me. —Bob Dylan

    Fenway Bartholomule ♥ Arrietty G. Teaspoon Brays Of Our Lives



  4. #4
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    Jul. 17, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by didgery View Post
    Luckily, I live in a rural valley with a vibrant agricultural community. I think I could probably find a beef heart or lamb liver just by standing on my porch and shouting. We raised meat chickens last year and tossed all the organs—now I wish I'd frozen them!

    I expirimented with my dogs and cats this afternoon—defrosted a raw chicken wing and offered everyone a chunk of meat. The dogs were STOKED. The cats sniffed it and ran fast the other direction. Perhaps they'll need a little tuna juice or something to get them on board.

    Is it REALLY safe to feed raw chicken bones? I couldn't bring myself to do it, but deboned the wing and let the dogs have the meat, tendons, and skin. They were voracious! I hope it IS safe, as it would be nice to throw down a whole leg and watch them go to town.

    I've done a lot of reading and I think I really want to try this. I have some recipes online, just need to order vitamin supplements and find few local sources for meat, bones, and organs. I have about 30 pounds of dog kibble and 15 pounds of cat kibble to use up and I hope they'll be my last bags!
    Lucky you!! I'm jealous you have such easy access to locally raised meat!

    Start slow - and do some reading up on feeding dogs vs cats, cuz the rules are slightly different. My friend got a purebred curly coated retriever bitch a little over a year ago and transitioned her to raw, so she would know more about the dog rules than I would. Apparently chicken backs are a good item to start with (if i recall correctly..). I will pick her brain and report back if you like.

    With cats, don't be surprised if they're finicky at first. Most of them don't even realize it's food, since it's practically odorless and doesn't come from a crinkly bag and doesn't crunch.

    You will have to switch them slowly, use some canned in the interim (will your cats eat canned..?), and then slowly start with small bits of chicken or beef, drizzled in salmon oil or tuna juice, or smeared with the canned stuff. Be patient, and persistent! It'll come!

    And YES it's ok to feed raw chicken bones, yes yes yes! Absolutely!!
    As far as cats go, though, that's the last thing to introduce. It's off-putting to have to crunch bones, and my 2 had to be on raw meat for at least a month before I started incorporating a bit of bone, at first small enough pieces that they didn't have to crunch, then gradually the pieces got bigger. It's been over 2 years, and it's only in the last 6 months that i've been brave enough to toss them each an entire cornish game hen wing and was absolutely ENTHRALLED watching them devour the.entire.thing.

    In fact i think the next time i do it i will film it and put it on YouTube.



  5. #5
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    Feb. 20, 2009
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    Would you like my step-by-step book or the Cliff Notes version?

    As ASBJumper said, you need to follow the 80/10/10 rule. That can be over the course of a week or on a daily basis. I do daily in the form of ground and whole prey with some occasional chunks or necks/wings thrown in for the cats. In the beginning, I just mixed a little bit of raw with canned until I felt it wasn't going to upset their system. When they were up to 50/50 I put canned and raw side by side on the plate until they started nibbling and then slowly phased out the canned. There were no real issues other than intolerance to some meats or just not liking certain things. Because I can't afford to play around with my old cat, their diet is pretty much 50% rabbit, 25% chicken and 25% quail and I order from Hare-Today.

    I'm sure the dog is going to be a lot easier but I'm taking it slow with her too. She is getting some ground chicken mixed with her canned and I gave her a meaty beef bone to chew on this morning. On the deck, of course.

    Most people use Zip Lock bags to portion out meals but I use (freezer safe) canning jars with the plastic lids you can buy separately. It's a bigger up-front expense but ends up costing less in the long run and you can feed out of them just like canned. I also find them easier to set out and fill than a bunch of floppy bags. We already had a toaster oven with a warming function so I pull breakfast/dinner out of the fridge, stick the jar in the oven at 120 degrees for about 20 minutes and dump it on a plate.

    If you have access to quality meat or can raise your own, that is fantastic! Other than the grocery store (which is hit or miss and I try to go more natural/humanely raised) I'd be paying $10-20 a pound for beef locally. My husband was not happy the time he picked up a $35 rabbit that was eaten in 3 days. He asked why I couldn't just get a freebie off craigslist and butcher it myself.

    Ground is actually the least preferable way to feed and creates a lot more work (if you do it yourself) so I wouldn't bother. Whole prey is ideal and super easy but most expensive and hardest to source. "Frankenprey" is piecing things together to end up with 80/10/10. It is usually cheaper and you have a lot more choices but my cats would just pick around the organs or my head would explode trying to do the calculations.

    That's kind of my Cliff Notes version. I would be happy to elaborate more or break down their diets (including getting started with the new dog) if you'd like.



  6. #6
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    Jan. 5, 2009
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    Umm I would never feed any animal raw chicken or ground beef from the grocery store. It is a nice concept but those chickens and cows are no where near germ free. The commercial way of raising and slaughtering meat is just not the cleanest process. If you are going to feed raw meat raise it yourself. Would you eat a raw chicken wing or egg? Or how about a raw hamburger. You are asking for salmonella or e.coli infections in your animals.

    FYI I have zero problems with the commercial meat, dairy, and poultry industry. I just cook it and buy pasteurized product. Yum yum.
    --Luck is what happens when preparedness meets opportunity--



  7. #7
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    Default

    I have a question....

    How many chickens will you need a week to feed your animals?



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justmyluck View Post
    Umm I would never feed any animal raw chicken or ground beef from the grocery store. It is a nice concept but those chickens and cows are no where near germ free. The commercial way of raising and slaughtering meat is just not the cleanest process. If you are going to feed raw meat raise it yourself. Would you eat a raw chicken wing or egg? Or how about a raw hamburger. You are asking for salmonella or e.coli infections in your animals.

    FYI I have zero problems with the commercial meat, dairy, and poultry industry. I just cook it and buy pasteurized product. Yum yum.
    I'll definitely be raising it myself or buying it from neighbors. I wouldn't touch factory farmed meat with a ten foot pole for my pets or myself!

    We raised 22 cornish cross chickens last year and we're going to try to raise 100 next year. They were 8-10 pound carcasses, so I think we can feed the dogs on that plus extra bones and organs from local farmers.

    I'm vegetarianish—I ate the birds we raised, but that's it—but I'd rather raise and kill birds myself than feed my dogs on tortured poultry.
    My ears hear a symphony of two mules, trains, and rain. The best is always yet to come, that's what they explained to me. —Bob Dylan

    Fenway Bartholomule ♥ Arrietty G. Teaspoon Brays Of Our Lives



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MunchingonHay View Post
    I have a question....

    How many chickens will you need a week to feed your animals?
    I'd like to know too. I'm hoping that I can feed my Aussie, my chihuahua, and two cats on two fat chickens a week plus veggies and a few eggs for the dogs and any organs and bones I can glean from neighbors' butchering.
    My ears hear a symphony of two mules, trains, and rain. The best is always yet to come, that's what they explained to me. —Bob Dylan

    Fenway Bartholomule ♥ Arrietty G. Teaspoon Brays Of Our Lives



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyGuineaPigLady View Post
    Other than the grocery store (which is hit or miss and I try to go more natural/humanely raised) I'd be paying $10-20 a pound for beef locally. My husband was not happy the time he picked up a $35 rabbit that was eaten in 3 days.

    Wow! I can't imagine. Luckily, we can raise chickens at home and we have neighbors butchering steers and hogs about now. I'm hoping to stock the freezer soon so that we don't have to pay out the nose for free-range meat down the road.
    My ears hear a symphony of two mules, trains, and rain. The best is always yet to come, that's what they explained to me. —Bob Dylan

    Fenway Bartholomule ♥ Arrietty G. Teaspoon Brays Of Our Lives



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MunchingonHay View Post
    I have a question....

    How many chickens will you need a week to feed your animals?
    Adult dogs and cats eat 2-3% of their ideal body weight. For my 25 lb dog, 10 lb cat and 8 lb cat, it comes out to roughly 1.25 pounds a day. There is a basic calculator at the bottom of this page and someone emailed me a fancy one that automatically sorts out the bone and organ to meat ratio. 43 pounds of animals at 3% need 16.5 ounces of meat, 2 ounces of bone, 1 ounce of liver and 1 ounce of other organ daily. Ten pounds a week so 40-ish a month.



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyGuineaPigLady View Post
    Adult dogs and cats eat 2-3% of their ideal body weight. For my 25 lb dog, 10 lb cat and 8 lb cat, it comes out to roughly 1.25 pounds a day. There is a basic calculator at the bottom of this page and someone emailed me a fancy one that automatically sorts out the bone and organ to meat ratio. 43 pounds of animals at 3% need 16.5 ounces of meat, 2 ounces of bone, 1 ounce of liver and 1 ounce of other organ daily. Ten pounds a week so 40-ish a month.
    That's helpful. I have 100 pounds of carnivores (a 65 pound dog, a 10 pound dog, a 13 pound cat, and a 12 pound cat, all healthy weights*) so my math should be easy!



    * I confess to a lie—my chi actually weighs 11.5 but she SHOULD weigh 10.
    My ears hear a symphony of two mules, trains, and rain. The best is always yet to come, that's what they explained to me. —Bob Dylan

    Fenway Bartholomule ♥ Arrietty G. Teaspoon Brays Of Our Lives



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justmyluck View Post
    Umm I would never feed any animal raw chicken or ground beef from the grocery store. It is a nice concept but those chickens and cows are no where near germ free. The commercial way of raising and slaughtering meat is just not the cleanest process. If you are going to feed raw meat raise it yourself. Would you eat a raw chicken wing or egg? Or how about a raw hamburger. You are asking for salmonella or e.coli infections in your animals.

    FYI I have zero problems with the commercial meat, dairy, and poultry industry. I just cook it and buy pasteurized product. Yum yum.
    Oh lord.. you need to go do some reading on an actual raw feeding forum LOL. I've been feeding one of my dogs *gasp* raw chicken, beef, AND pork from the grocery store for almost 3 months no, no e.coli or salmonella. I know people who have been feeding raw for years who have never had a case as well.
    -Kady



  14. #14
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    For anyone not ready to jump into making their own raw food, I found this stuff to be a really nice option as far as ingredients and costs go:

    http://www.naturesmenu.com/

    It was about $11 for 3 pounds at my local pet store, which made it about the same as feeding my cats an ultra-premium canned food.



  15. #15
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    I get chicken carcasses from my local butcher. I have him grind it for me, then I pack it into 1lb containers. I usually spend one afternoon a month grinding up vegetables and freezing them in ice cube trays. I freeze organ meat on a cookie sheet then put it it freezer bags so it is ready when I need it.
    I also raise sheep, so my dogs also get mutton. My geriatric husky's favorite meal is ground mutton with sardines and half a banana with a shank bone for dessert.

    When sardines are on sale, I will pick up a dozen or 2 cans. The dogs get sardines at least once a week. I add a probiotic as well.

    I do order a "commercial" raw diet to give my dogs variation. It also helps if hubby has to feed, as all he has to do is thaw out the appropriate number of pucks.



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by diffuse01 View Post
    Oh lord.. you need to go do some reading on an actual raw feeding forum LOL. I've been feeding one of my dogs *gasp* raw chicken, beef, AND pork from the grocery store for almost 3 months no, no e.coli or salmonella. I know people who have been feeding raw for years who have never had a case as well.
    Consider yourself VERY lucky! I have a question for you would you eat raw chicken?
    --Luck is what happens when preparedness meets opportunity--



  17. #17
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    Justmyluck,
    Please, if you are going to jump in on this thread and make silly comments and be argumentative, at the very least attempt to understand where others are coming from.

    The bacteria issue has already been discussed (in another, recent thread) - wild cats and dogs dine on fresh and sometimes even days-old carcasses in the wild. Their digestive systems are short and effective, and are very, very different from ours - there is no comparison.

    I clean my cats dishes and plastic mats *maaaybe* once every few weeks now, if that. My cats have been eating raw meat for over 2 years. No issues. Hell i've even left chicken out for a few hours (forgot about it, didn't realize they'd left any until they went back to munch while i was on the computer in the living room). No issues.

    However, when they were on commercial "vet-recommended" food? Barf piles EVERYWHERE, on an almost-daily basis.



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ASBJumper View Post
    Justmyluck,
    Please, if you are going to jump in on this thread and make silly comments and be argumentative, at the very least attempt to understand where others are coming from.

    The bacteria issue has already been discussed (in another, recent thread) - wild cats and dogs dine on fresh and sometimes even days-old carcasses in the wild. Their digestive systems are short and effective, and are very, very different from ours - there is no comparison.

    I clean my cats dishes and plastic mats *maaaybe* once every few weeks now, if that. My cats have been eating raw meat for over 2 years. No issues. Hell i've even left chicken out for a few hours (forgot about it, didn't realize they'd left any until they went back to munch while i was on the computer in the living room). No issues.

    However, when they were on commercial "vet-recommended" food? Barf piles EVERYWHERE, on an almost-daily basis.
    I'm not spewing anything. Your commercial vet-recommeneded diet works fantastic for so many animals yet you are spewing forth slander about these companies and such. However you don't like when someone states another opinion about these sent from heaven raw diets.

    Also people fail to realize that Fido and Kitty are so so so far removed from their wild ancestors. There digestive tracts are no where near that of wolves and lions. Then we have to think about the farms that our commercial meat is raised on. Which when you compare that wild turkey to farm raised ones you'll begin to see the difference. My original point was to not feed grocery purchased raw meat to anything. Raise it yourself and slaughter it is a whole 'nother ball game.

    Once again I have zero issue with these tortured soles of the commercial meat industry. Yum yum!
    --Luck is what happens when preparedness meets opportunity--



  19. #19
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    Uggghhhhh. Please find somewhere else to troll. I don't see "slander" anywhere. Science Diet utilizes corn, and all sorts of fillers which are not tummy friendly.

    Grain-free or raw (even better) are healthier choices which many dogs thrive on. I am not "slandering" Science Diet when I saw their Allergy line caused awful itching for my 2 wheaten terriers yet any grain-free diet produces immediate relief.

    You don't have a problem with the "tortured 'soles' (cough*souls*cough) of the commercial meat industry"? Seriously? You really find the commercial meat industry's standards of care laudable?



    Back to the Original Topic...


    http://www.naturesmenu.com/ looks like an awesome source. Right now my cat is eating 3 oz of canned and a sprinkle of dry per day (itty bitty full-grown kitty). Since 1/4 lb is 4 oz then a single patty would last just over a day. At $10 for 12 patties it would seem that several of their products would cost less than $19 a month for me to feed. Some one please correct me. That seems too great to be true?



  20. #20
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    Apr. 14, 2001
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    Minnesota
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraceLikeRain View Post
    http://www.naturesmenu.com/ looks like an awesome source. Right now my cat is eating 3 oz of canned and a sprinkle of dry per day (itty bitty full-grown kitty). Since 1/4 lb is 4 oz then a single patty would last just over a day. At $10 for 12 patties it would seem that several of their products would cost less than $19 a month for me to feed. Some one please correct me. That seems too great to be true?
    Well, you have to figure in shipping, if you can't get it locally. Shipping raw food is EXPENSIVE, especially if you are not ordering large amounts. The shop near me sells it for about $11 for the 12 patties, so it would be just shy of $30 for one cat for the month.

    The place that carries it near me is NOT listed on their retailers list (they don't list anything in CO at all) so if you don't see anything near you there, I would email them and ask about something in your area



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