Jump to content

Welcome to Prey Model Raw
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. This message will be removed once you have signed in.
Login to Account Create an Account

* * * * *

Common Cuts: A Guide To Raw Meaty Bones


So....what exactly do you feed your dog? I don't know how many times I've been asked this question. Not only from people who are skeptical of the raw feeding method, but from people who are interested but have no idea what to buy or look for to feed their dogs. It's not like you learn what cuts of meat there are in grade school, and unless you're a chef, food aficionado or a culinary mind you may not know what cuts are what. Let alone what cuts of meat are appropriate for your dog to eat.

It seems that a quick glance guide to the different cuts of meat available on the general market would be helpful. Below is a compilation of common cuts of the standard meats available on the market. Along with each cut is a guideline of what size dog can handle such foods.

CHICKEN

WHOLE BIRD

Posted Image
Whole birds typically weigh between 4-8 pounds a piece. Giant breed dogs can easily be fed a whole chicken for a meal! We feed whole chickens to our Great Danes all the time. Whole birds can be broken down into halves. We feed halved chickens to our 70-pounder dogs for a daily meal. Just take a sharp knife or pair of kitchen shears and split it right down the middle. Feeding larger meals once per day allows an owner to cut down on meat prep but also allows for larger chunks to be given. This has numerous advantages- increased chewing that keeps teeth cleaner, keeps a dog occupied longer and increases mental stimulation. In other words, dogs love to gnaw on large hunks of meat and bone.

32% BONE

Full nutrient profile:

http://ndb.nal.usda....rmat=Stats&new=





CHICKEN LEG QUARTER

Posted Image



The good ol' chicken leg quarter. This cut is the hind leg of a chicken, which includes the drumstick and thigh. They can be split into thigh and drumstick and fed separately to dogs that are smaller. These are a staple for a lot of raw feeders. These are great for dogs around 30+ pounds and can be a daily meal, or a part of a meal depending on the size of the dog. Our Danes routinely get 3-5 of these leg quarters in one sitting. Generally these weight 1-2 pounds each.

These are also a great place to start for a lot of dogs. Chicken backs can be hard to find sometimes, so leg quarters are a good substitute. They're slightly less boney compared to the back of a chicken but still lots of bone content for the cautious owner during transition to raw.

27% BONE

Full nutrient profile:

http://ndb.nal.usda....ormat=Full&new=





CHICKEN WING

Posted Image
Chicken wings are much smaller than leg quarters. They are much bonier as well. These work very well for smaller dogs and cats. It's generally not a good idea to give these to larger dogs that tend to gulp their food. Wings can also be a good thing to start young puppies out on as they're learning to chomp on raw meaty bones. These weigh around 1/4 pound each. These are also a good replacement RMB for a chicken back due to the high percentage of bone.

46% BONE

Full nutrient profile:

http://ndb.nal.usda....rmat=Stats&new=





CHICKEN BACK (OR FRAME)

Posted Image
Chicken backs can come in all shapes and sizes depending on where you get them. As you can see by the picture, they can include some of the ribcage and meat. Or they can have lots of skin and fat attached. Typically you'll get one or the other just depending on your supplier. Either one works. Weight also varies a lot based on source. They are also notorious for being high in fat because of the skin attached but also can have small amounts of organ meat still attached after butchering. If a dog is highly sensitive, it may be necessary to remove some of the fat/skin or organ meat during transition (later to be added back in). Backs are compatible with most dogs sizes and breeds based on their shape.

44% BONE

Full nutrient profile:

http://ndb.nal.usda....ormat=Full&new=





CHICKEN NECK

Posted Image
Chicken necks are also a great for bone content for smaller dogs. Necks aren't great for larger dogs as they can swallow these whole, which is a choking hazard. These rarely ever come with skin attached so they're especially great for transition periods with sensitive stomach dogs- there's hardly any fat on these and lots of bone content. It is never recommended to cut these up to make them smaller.

75% BONE

Full nutrient profile:

http://ndb.nal.usda....ormat=Full&new=





CHICKEN BREAST

Posted Image
Chicken breasts are typically sold boneless and skinless (in the USA). If you can find them with their skin on, that is more ideal. Fat is an important part of a well rounded raw diet. These are great for adding in boneless meat content to the diet, as while bone is equally important, most of the diet should consist of boneless meat! Depending on the size of the chunk, really dictates what size dog should be eating them whole. Using the rule of "if it's bigger than the dog's mouth" you should be safe feeding it. Make sure the dog chomps it a few times before swallowing.

20% BONE (if bone is included)

Full nutrient profile:

http://ndb.nal.usda....ormat=Full&new=



CHICKEN FEET

Posted Image

These are great for snacks for most dogs. They are also a great supplement for joint health and can be used to replace glucosamine/chondroitin supplements for dogs. There's not a whole lot to these things, but dogs love to crunch them! They're mostly bone, tendon and skin.

CHICKEN ORGANS or AKA "GIBLETS"

Posted Image

The picture to the side show all the organs separated from each other and the bird (we already covered the neck). Hearts and gizzards are NOT organ meat. They're considered a rich muscle meat and are a great addition to a well rounded raw diet. They are often found packaged together and are widely available for purchase.

Kidneys are rarely, if ever available for purchase separated from the carcass. They're very small and hard to detach from the chicken frame so usually these are fed unknowingly when you feed chicken backs or leg quarters.

Livers are widely available and easily found. They're a good source of organ meat and a good thing to start dogs out on when it comes to organs, considering chicken is an easy protein for most dogs to handle.

Gizzards:

http://ndb.nal.usda....chicken gizzard

Heart:

http://ndb.nal.usda....p=chicken heart

Liver:

http://ndb.nal.usda....p=chicken liver



TURKEY

WHOLE BIRD

Posted Image
Whole turkeys are a lot like whole chickens, but just larger. Turkey bones are more dense, and thus smaller dogs may have trouble crunching through the larger bones of the wings and legs. Whole birds can weigh anywhere from 5-25+ pounds depending on the age of the bird when it was butchered.

A few years ago, we shot a video on how to break down a whole turkey into usable parts:

Turkey Deconstruction Video

29% BONE

Full Nutrient Profile:

http://ndb.nal.usda....ormat=Full&new=



LEGS

Posted Image



Think of these as a larger chicken leg quarter, as it's the same cut taken from a turkey as you would for a chicken leg quarter. Typically turkey legs are sold with just the drumstick and no thigh. Either way they make a great meal for medium to large dogs. Again, the bones on these are far more dense than chicken so smaller dogs and gentle chewers may have issue getting through them.

17% BONE

Full Nutrient Profile:

http://ndb.nal.usda....ormat=Full&new=



WINGS

Posted Image
Turkey wings are actually pretty large. They weigh a good 0.5-1.5 pounds so they're not a great thing to feed smaller dogs. These have a ton of skin on them that is nearly impossible to remove. Despite them being high bone content, they may not be the best option for adding in turkey during the transition.

33% BONE

Full Nutrient Profile:

http://ndb.nal.usda....ormat=Full&new=



NECKS

Posted Image
Necks are often called a raw fed dog's "toothbrush" and for good reason too. These are great for cleaning teeth- probably the best RMB for cleaning teeth. They usually weigh anywhere from 0.5 pound up to 2 pounds each depending on the size. Because of this range, you have to be careful picking out the right size for your dog. Due to the shape of turkey necks, dogs can easily swallow them whole if they're too small, which may cause a choking hazard. Make sure your dog has to chew them at least a few times before swallowing them. Always monitor feeding times!

These are also the highest bone content RMB out there at a whopping 60% BONE! Great for transitioning from chicken to turkey, or starting out on raw from the very beginning.

Full Nutrient Profile:

http://ndb.nal.usda....ormat=Full&new=

FRAMES/BACKS

Posted Image
Backs or frames are also a great RMB, although they can be slightly fatty. The bones from these are fairly pliable and most dogs can eat through them.

40% BONE

Full Nutrient Profile:

http://ndb.nal.usda....ormat=Full&new=



BREAST

Posted Image
Typically turkey breasts aren't sold bone in, but this is where the bulk of the boneless meat is on this bird. The meat is lean, especially if you remove the skin prior to feeding. Although lots of good fat is ideal in a well rounded raw diet, so leaving most if not all the skin on is important once a dog is fully transitioned and adjusted to eating raw foods.

10% BONE

Full Nutrient Profile:

http://ndb.nal.usda....ormat=Full&new=

PORK

RIBS

Posted Image
Baby back ribs- EXPENSIVE!!! Usually you wont want to feed baby back ribs to your dogs due to the cost as well as the upset from BBQ experts. But they're a great source for bone in pork. These are good for most mid-sized dogs and larger.

Spare ribs, same as baby backs.

Riblets are a great source for bone in pork that are affordable.

Country style ribs are something to stay away from. The bones are cut cross sections of the shoulder blade and so the cut pieces of bone can be quite sharp. Use caution! You can get these and trim meat from the bone and toss the bone away.

APPROXIMATELY 20-35% BONE (depending on what kind of rib you have)

To read more on the anatomy of pork ribs, refer to the site below- even if it is a BBQ website!

http://www.amazingri.../pork_cuts.html

ROASTS

Posted Image
Shoulder, butt, Boston, picnic, blade, loin, sirloin, arm, etc roasts are all great. Sometimes they come bone in and sometimes not. Depending on the bone size and cut you may or may not want to feed it. Our Great Danes handle pork shoulder blades with ease, but smaller dogs may struggle. Depending on costs, usually shoulder, butt and picnic roasts are the most affordable for the average raw feeder. Great source of red meat!

APPROXIMATELY 0-25% BONE (depending on what kind of roast you have)

NECKS

Posted Image
Pork neck bones are a tough call. I've seen them come so many ways. Cut, whole, chunks, etc. The best advice I can offer is to use your best judgement. These are usually mostly bone, with little edible meat on them. So don't get too excited when you see pork neck bones for only $.20 per pound from a distributor. Heck, I wouldn't take them even if they were free! That said, some pork neck bones can have a lot of meat on them. So just look into what you buy and use good common sense when feeding them if the bones are cut at odd shapes and angles.



CHOPS

Posted Image

All a pork chop consists of is a single rib with the loin meat attached. The thing to be careful of here, is that single rib bone can be a choking hazard for gulper type dogs. Otherwise a great thing to feed to meticulous chewers. Another note to keep in mind is that certain bones that are mechanically cut can also pose potential risks for dogs, so keep a close eye out and monitor feeding times, while exercising good judgement skills on what to feed and what not to feed.

14% BONE

Full Nutrient Profile:

http://ndb.nal.usda....ormat=Full&new=


* * * MOST OTHER RED MEAT PROTEINS ARE VERY SIMILAR TO PORK CUTS SO REFER TO THOSE ABOVE * * *

FISH

Here's a list of things to ask yourself when deciding whether a certain variety of fish is worth feeding or not:

1) Where was it sourced from?

- Salmonoid fish species from the Pacific Northwest can carry a deadly parasite that causes salmon poisoning disease in dogs. Use good judgement on whether this is something you feel comfortable with.

- Fish from aqua-farms can be low in healthy fats and high in unhealthy fats. Keep in mind that quality is something to be concerned about when it comes to feeding fish.

- Is the fish from cold, deep seawaters? If so you will want to take into account the heavy metal content of the fish. Mercury levels of certain fish can be found here, fish with high levels of mercury should be fed in moderation, just like what you'd choose for yourself and your family.

2) What is the quality of the fish?

- This doesn't necessarily mean quality of how it was raised, or if it was wild caught. Some fish have more nutrition, or better nutrition than others. Taking into account the omega fatty acid profiles of common fishes is important. If the fish you feed is high in omega 6 fatty acids, you may want to consider omitting it from the diet because O6 fatty acids have been shown to cause inflammation. Tilapia and catfish are usually pretty cheap and easy to come by, but they're considered "low quality" based on their omega fatty acid profiles. While they can provide a good source a protein, fish like this should be fed in moderation.
  • flossboss and Dendef like this


13 Comments

Photo
naturalfeddogs
Sep 10 2013 04:05 AM

That's good to know about the pork chops. I see them on sale all the time but I've been leary of them because of the look of the bone in them. All of ours should be fine with them.  :thumbsu:

    • GimMom likes this
I think Gimli would be fine with pork chops, too. I can likely even get them in bulk at Costco once I get a membership. I'll still look into the affordable butchers, too. Never can have enough meat sources!

Thanks for that, Natalie. Helps a newb like me know which are the best cuts to get when we're shopping, and when adding a new protein. :D
    • Prey Model Raw and jovongsd like this

I hate how the pork shoulder/butt bones look so I always cut them out.  I bet Avery would be fine with them, but they make me nervous!

 

Now I need to get some riblets, didn't know they were an option.

 

The pork neck and lamb neck that I've seen around here is always chopped into 1-2 inch pieces..again I do not like the way they are cut.  When I bought lamb this way (when they said necks I was thinking I would get something more like a turkey neck) I would let Avery eat until the bone was nearly visible then I would take it away...So the only bones Avery gets are chicken and turkey.

    • naturalfeddogs and GimMom like this
Photo
naturalfeddogs
Sep 11 2013 04:20 AM

I hate how the pork shoulder/butt bones look so I always cut them out.  I bet Avery would be fine with them, but they make me nervous!

 

Now I need to get some riblets, didn't know they were an option.

 

The pork neck and lamb neck that I've seen around here is always chopped into 1-2 inch pieces..again I do not like the way they are cut.  When I bought lamb this way (when they said necks I was thinking I would get something more like a turkey neck) I would let Avery eat until the bone was nearly visible then I would take it away...So the only bones Avery gets are chicken and turkey.

 

 

Pork riblets are a favorite around here.

Photo
Prey Model Raw
Sep 11 2013 07:05 AM

Pork riblets are a favorite around here.

They were a favorite of ours while we lived in Denver. We can't find them locally here....like they don't exist LOL

 

But that's ok because I have taken up butchering hogs myself to provide the hound dogs meat!!!

    • naturalfeddogs, GimMom and Elise like this
Photo
OwnedBySilly
Oct 27 2013 09:40 PM

What about sirloin cut pork chops? Not even sure what "sirloin cut" means, but that seems to be what almost everyone here sells.

Photo
Prey Model Raw
Nov 03 2013 04:28 PM
It would completely depend on the shape of the cut bone. And also on what kind of chewer your dog is.

Does he gulp or does he meticulously chew his food?

what about pigs feet?

Photo
Prey Model Raw
Nov 07 2013 02:52 PM
Pigs feet aren't all that nutritious. They're mostly bone and connective tissue and if sold through a grocer then they were most likely bleached- you can imagine what pigs stand it all day.....

You can give them but they shouldn't be a part of a regular rotation. More like a goodie

hey Natalie, 

 

it says that most other red meats are similar to pork, so for beef are they named the same?  i'm almost ready to introduce either pork or beef but i'm feeling very lost with knowing what to look for in beef other than the premium cuts we eat ourselves!  Is pork generally most cost effective compared to beef?  if there's not much difference to the dogs health and needs (i would include beef organs eventually), could i mainly feed pork and chicken?

Photo
Prey Model Raw
Dec 06 2013 02:06 PM
The cuts of red meat are all fairly similar, and named the same or very similar.

Obviously the more variety the better- but mainly pork and chicken would be fine if your dog handles it fine. All dogs are different.

Do pork riblets come in different sizes? Or is there a pretty basic size. I have the chance to order them in a 30 pound box and I don't know if it will be a choking hazard for my big boys.

Photo
DappledDachsies
Apr 28 2014 02:22 PM

I've noticed that there seems to be a lot of confusion about different cuts not pictured here, so I thought I would help everyone out by providing a few "cut charts" for various animals. Enjoy!

 

Pork: http://img.docstoccd...g/150320917.png + http://www.johnstons.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Pork-Cut-Chart.jpg

Lamb: http://www.qualitybe.../lamb_chart.jpg (Goat cuts are VERY similar but, in my experience, tend to be even leaner than lamb.)

Beef: http://www.belangero...s/meatchart.jpg

Deer: http://nadiavanderdo...es/deermeat.jpg

We use this company for SEO