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raw - an easy method

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hi all

With one of my dogs diagnosed with Cancer, and the others who have shown that they indeed would prefer this, I would like to come up with something that will work for all my dogs. My parameters are 1) safety- no choking or intestinal perforations, 2) covers all nutritional bases 3) affordable (within reason).


I tried patties with one dog, but they went over like a lead balloon- I think there were too many organ meats, and it was a bit ripe for her :rolleyes: I also had suffered a concussion right before I opened the tube, and that made me want to puke (again).


So, I have heard frames are too much bone. I have heard wings can be dangerous (and did have an issue with one dog after one of those). But, other than that I know nothing else to be wary of. I have Ian's book. Basically, those of you with numerous dogs- how do you do it. I am a scientist, so I am not good at just throwing things together :D




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i go shopping about once per month for meat for the dogs, i just did it yesterday in fact so i will run through what i bought and how i will divvy it up :D

i bought 10 small chickens

10lb of beef trim

a packet of ox liver

6lb of green tripe (thats imaginary at the moment as they didnt have any, but i will include it as it is a biggie in my lots diet)

some lamb neck and rib bones

a leg of pork

i will also include the 3 rabbits that are still in the freezer

3 sets of lambs lights and hearts

eggs, i get lots of free range eggs for free

this is for 2 bc's a terrier and 5 cats

last night was a lamb neck ribby thing which they had for a few hours, then i took up what was left to avoid squabbles. tikki ate all of his but the girls didnt finish. then they each got a pile of beef about a third the size of their own heads. tikki ate all of his, brighid ate about half and the same with squirrel. tikki finished the rest of theirs (piggy wiggy)

tonight they will have chicken. i will either give them one each and let them eat what they want, or the bc's will have half a chicky each (they are 2lb birds) and the terrier will have a quarter. if it has defrosted they will also have a blob of liver each too.

if they have a whole chicken tonight, tomorrow they will have nothing, or possibly and egg with a little tripe.

then they will have probably half a rabbit each the following night cept the terrier who gets less, i will split a rabbit between her and the cats.

the leg of pork will get split into 2 main part with the bone in, and i will cut some meat off for squirrel (the terrier) she will then have a piece of neck or summat to knaw on to replace the missing bone in her part.

possibly following that they will have some lights and heart

and so on etc etc

my shop yesterday including the imaginary tripe was around £35, and i will have to grab a few more bits through the month for them, depending on what i get given.

frames are too bony on their own, but i often get given big bags of the for free, so i top it up with beef trim :D i dont turn away freebies :rolleyes:

i find ian billinghursts book to be a headache, too much preparation to much species inappropriate stuff. tom lonsdales books, though not so easy reading i feel contains far more valuable advice! and is free to download!

as for the risks, you get risks whatever you feed. there are risks feeding bones, there are risks feeding ground bones, there are risks feeding kibble. i have fed raw for over a decade and all i can give you is my experience, none of my dogs has ever suffered with eating big food on the bone, except if i go overboard on the bone then tikki has had a little constipation. tikki always gets extra meat along side now.

i have no idea if this has helped or confused but if you want to feel free to pick my brains :D

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I have Ian's book. Basically, those of you with numerous dogs- how do you do it. I am a scientist, so I am not good at just throwing things together :rolleyes:





Definitely recommend you download Tom Lonsdale's book "Work Wonders" it is free at www.rawmeatybones.com . I've been feeding raw for almost 12 years. My dogs (and there are 11 of 'em ranging in age from 3 months to almost 14 years) eat a variety of chicken backs/necks/frames, turkey necks, meaty pork necks, meaty veal necks, beef ribs, beef organs and hearts, green tripe, ground mutton, occasional Bravo blends, and then any reasonably priced cuts I find at the grocery store. They also get fresh meaty beef knuckles for recreation and salmon oil a few times a week. I keep EVO on hand for emergency "forgot to thaw anything out" nights when I get home late. Sometimes in Winter they even get a serving of cooked oatmeal. I try to keep everything I feed below $1 per pound (much lower if possible). - This is easier if you feed things that are not prime for human consumption, and buy in bulk. (And make friends with a butcher, or a custom meat processor.) I stay away from the weight bearing bones of anything - beef marrow bones, and chicken legs, as I worry about about broken teeth and I've seen them poop whole chicken wing and drumstick bones. I'm probably the opposite personality as you - I appreciate science, but I'm more of a "seat of your pants" feeder - I feel the variety I feed will balance the nutritional requirements over time. I don't stress about amounts or ingredients, I just "eyeball" and touch my dogs every few days to decide what they need. To me, raw feeding is more of an "art form" than a science. Laurie

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Basically, those of you with numerous dogs- how do you do it. I am a scientist, so I am not good at just throwing things together :rolleyes:


I am feeding one Lab, two goldens, one cat and a border collie pup. The cat and the pup pretty much get the same food but in different sizes; the big dogs get more food and more complicated food. Beyond that, I don't think I've made things too awfully difficult for myself.


The big dogs get whole chicken, lamb breasts or legs, turkey quarters, whole rabbit, bone-in pork shoulder roast, "long" pig's feet, goat parts, whole raw sardines and mackerel, salmon heads, chicken backs that I feed with beef, pork, lamb and venison trim and heart; I also feed liver, kidney, spleen, lungs, trachea, green tripe. I sometimes give whole cow feet for amusement. I irregularly supplement with fish oil caps, right now that's my only supplement.


The pup gets smaller, easier portions and meaty bones that are too small for the big dogs, like lamb shanks, goat or lamb necks, beef gullet. Occasionally I will pop for a Cornish game hen to give pup and cat more challenging chicken parts. Oh, and when the pup was a wee bairn, a whole quail was a perfect size for a meal.


Generally I don't go so very far out of my way to make these foods happen. I do make a tripe run every other month for the buying group I belong to.


I think Donna F's purchasing accomplishments are outstanding--especially given how difficult it is for UK raw feeders to find affordable variety! She's a terrific role model (well, in more ways than one, actually).

Chris O

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**blushes** :rolleyes: :D

obsession can fuel the weirdest of things, in my case finding stuff for my doggies :D

make friends with farmers, stock keepers, hunters etc.

find out what they are being paid for cull animals then offer them a little more plus the abattoir's fee to have it slaughtered for you. i get my lamb lights/hearts from a friend cos i help out on the farm and find her customers for her meat. no one else wants the offal so i get it all!! she has also let me have half of her rams when they have reached the end of their days. not worth sending to market so she has them butchered for the dogs.

i have someone else who goes rabbiting and gives me them for free (still waiting on the next delivery....)

ask butchers, over here they have to pay to have scraps/waste/unwanted offals taken away, if you get there before it goes into the byproduct bins they give it away! woo hoo!

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Well, the science thing will drive you crazy. There really isn't any. There are lots of passionately held beliefs about the right way to feed your dog, and lots of them conflict with each other. You pretty much have to pick one, try it, and see if it works for you. The folks on the yahoo rawfeeding group will help you fine tune if your initial pick isn't working.


My mantra is this: we should all (dogs and humans alike) eat meals prepared from fresh ingredients, not processed in some factory somewhere. There's plenty of science to support that much. From there, you get to decide if you want to go prey model (just toss raw meat at your dog and be done with it) or concoct things with all sorts of veggies, maybe a little cooking, etc. The latter was too complicated for me, so I became a prey modeler by default. But as far as I know, there is no science-based rationale for deciding between these two approaches, just belief systems, so pick the one you prefer. Either way, you'll be better off than feeding "dog food" from a store.


What got me started was:


Bill Carnes' Raw Feeding 101.


I didn't actually end up following his advice that closely (couldn't get chicken frames no matter how hard I looked), but he laid out a simple way to break into raw feeding, and I needed simple to get started.


Both my BCs subsist mainly on chicken quarters (about 1 lb each). I buy whole frozen chickens, generally under $1.00/lb, and have the butcher saw them into quarters while still frozen. They started on chicken thighs, took a couple of days to get into the swing of things, and it's been quarters (which includes organ meat) since. I watched, made sure they were actually chewing the bones instead of swallowing them whole, and having established that much decided not to worry about perforations. I think the trick is to match the kind and size of bones to each dog's eating style.


All those other meats are fine too, and I vary the diet when I can, but you don't have to go overboard making sure your dogs get a different meat every day of the week. More importantly, as Bill Carnes points out, you want to start with one meat, and only introduce the next one once your dog is okay with the first. If something isn't working after a few days (choking, diarrhea, whatever), just skip that meat and try something else. Whenever I have a question about a cut I haven't fed before, I just search the yahoo rawfeeding group archives, and invariably I learn all I want to know.


I'm no expert, just a scientist who struggled with the raw food concept for a while before getting off the ground. It's really no different than cooking for the rest of your family. No one knows what a perfectly balanced diet looks like (just check the Wikipedia entries for Healthy Diet or Food Pyramid and you'll see that not only is the question under constant debate, but the answer is different for every individual). So yes, it's an art, and like art, some efforts are more successful than others, but there is no absolute perfect way to feed your dog. I take comfort knowing that at least I'm feeding my dogs a better diet than I do myself :rolleyes:

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