Jump to content
BC Boards

Raw feeding from "bulk" beef, lamb

Recommended Posts

Forgive me if this topic has been asked in a different form, but I haven't seen exactly this question asked, so here goes:


I'm in the final stages of selecting a farm from which to purchase half of a (grass-fed and finished) beef (to split with a coworker), as well as a lamb. As we're buying so much meat, we'll have our choice of how it's cut. (That in itself is going to be an education, but I'm assured that the meat processor and the farm will help walk us through it as newbies to the process - I've only ever bought meat from the supermarket or the farmer's market in the past).


My question is: are there parts (esp. those that would normally be discarded by the processor) that I should ask them to save for the dog? If so, which ones?


I don't normally feed "raw" (with the exception of frozen turkey necks for his teeth), but as I'm paying for the meat on the basis of "live weight", I hate to (essentially) give something away that I'm sure Duncan would enjoy.


Also, if there are any particular caveats I should be aware of - please let me know!



Link to comment
Share on other sites

A lot of what is "thrown out" may not be available to you, depending on how and where the animals are processed. If they're going to be USDA inspected, especially for beef, there are quite a few regulations that apply to what you can and can not resell. If the meat is going to be custom processed, you may be able to get more back.


Ask for any bones to be saved from boned out cuts. If not for the dogs, then for you for stock :) Have them save the organ meats- my dogs have to share those as I actually eat quite a few of them. Be warned that liver can cause GI upset in large quantities (for the dog, that is. It's never bothered me.) Beef heart and tongue are HUGE! My dogs love chewing on tracheae and hooves and some small bones from lambs, but as we do all on-farm processing, I can keep those pieces for my own use (the USDA says "no" to those parts for resale in our situation). You might be able to get them, though.


Don't let anyone talk you out of the lamb shanks! Whole, bone-in. They are delicious braised, or slow cooked in a crock pot. Perfect winter meal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, Ben! Exactly the info I was looking for. A question: do you feed the trachea fresh, or do you dry it (or freeze it) first?


The meat will, indeed, be processed (after dry hanging for ~ 3 weeks, flash-freezing, and vacuum sealing) at a USDA-inspected facility. But as I'm buying a side of beef and a whole lamb, it will be custom processed.


The co-worker I'm sharing the beef with is fond of beef tongue and heart (as am I: I just know it's a losing battle with the rest of my family). So we'll probably let him have it (unless the people buying the other 'half' of the beef claim it first). Thanks, especially, for the warning about the liver if fed in large quantities. That's another one I doubt I'd be able to convince my family to even try. (Heathens. My favorite section of the menu at a restaurant we used to frequent when we lived in Boston was the one labeled "Offal").


Just bought a copy of "The Grassfed Gourmet", as well as "The Farmer and the Grill", both by Shannon Hayes, and I'm not planning on letting any of the cheaper cuts (or bones!) go to waste. As most of our meats tend to be grilled, this adventure in "slow food" will be an education. But life would be boring if you never learned anything new, wouldn't it?

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...