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Finally Taking The Plunge - 1St Raw Meal On Friday!


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37 replies to this topic

#1
arie

arie

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I bought 1.5lbs of chicken drumsticks and about 4lbs of chicken leg quarters a couple weeks ago and then got persuaded by my local raw feed store to get 6lbs of ground chicken necks/backs/gizzard/heart/liver - it was a slab, so I had to thaw enough to cut it up into daily portions. I also bought 3lbs of turkey necks and 1 lb of ground chicken hearts. I also have a whole frozen chicken that my mom gave me that she bought 2 years ago and was forgotten in the bottom of the freezer - $0.77/lb! :D

 

So....I have all this stocked up in my freezer and I can't decide what I should start out with first. Any advice? The sales rep at the raw feed store said to start 1st week on the ground food to transition her into raw and then alternated turkey neck, drumstick and then leg quarter for the next 3 meals after I use all the ground chicken. I am thinking that's too many different parts. He also told me to toss in an ounce of chicken heart per meal, but I've read enough on the forum to know better...that is being saved until next month!

 

Abby is currently on Orijen kibble so I am not too concerned about a rough transition, but I definitely don't have any RMBs with high bone content unless I cut off the meat from the drumsticks and give her just the bone from that...can't find chicken backs!

 

Also, forgive my newbie-ness...are poultry necks considered RMBs or mainly bone content? Can they be fed in a single meal and not be followed up with more muscle meat at the next meal? A list would be greatly appreciated.  :bow:


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#2
naturalfeddogs

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Just go straight to the chicken quarters. Nothing more for about two weeks. Assuming poops are good by then, move on to turkey then.  No organs yet, or hearts. Those will come, no rush. If you rush it, you risk digestive upset then you have to go back a step to fix it and start over.

 

Neck bones are mostly bone. Turkey necks are really big, and easy to chew. They make great bone in meals for larger dogs. All of ours love them.


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#3
Prey Model Raw

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I don't like feeding ground foods to newly transitioned dogs because it can harbor more bacteria than whole pieces of meat. 

 

Let us know how it goes!



#4
arie

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Thanks for the replies. I'm going around town after work these next few days to see if any grocery store meat departments will sell me chicken frames just so that I have some bony parts in case Abby gets rocket butt from too much meat on the quarters. My local grocery store said they don't have any, but asked me why...I fibbed and said I wanted frames to make chicken stock. Heh.

 

So...assuming I can get hold of chicken frames, should I alternate between frames and quarters for 2 weeks?



#5
Erica

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Yes..let the poops be your guide. Usually you want to alternate between the two but: Crumbly poop, feed quarters. If it softens up, go back to the backs.



#6
arie

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I am glad I work near the asian supermarkets. lol. Paid a pretty penny for about 3lbs of chicken frames today, so hopefully that will be enough during the transition period... Once Abby is good on the chicken, I have turkey necks, but cannot source other turkey parts without buying a whole turkey...can I alternate between turkey necks and chicken when I get to that point? Once she's good on turkey neck, what protein should I transition to next or would I try organ meats at this point (heart, gizzards)? 

 

I also want to feed chicken feet for some more glucosamine...would those be too small for a 50lb lab? I will have to wait until Black Friday sales to get me a crock pot for broths.



#7
arie

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We experienced some more 'first times' today... The bad: woke up to dog having hunger pukes - note I have WHITE carpet. The good: solid poo!



#8
naturalfeddogs

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Try chicken feet, and if your dog chews them you should be fine. You could also go with turkey feet if you can find them. Both are good evening snacks to help ease the hunger pukes. 



#9
arie

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I had forgotten to set my alarm clock, so I slept like the dead. She had dinner at 8pm last night and I didn't wake up until close to 12:30pm today. Should I be worried about a rumbly tummy? She's got some mad gas right now... brunch was chicken frame and that was about 2 hours ago.



#10
Prey Model Raw

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No, I would just give her a small meal the next time.

#11
arie

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Thanks for the tips. :) I am still alternating between drumsticks, frames and leg quarters each meal. Her poo was chalky this morning, so I gave her a leg quarter for breakfast. Should I give her some chicken breast meat only for dinner or breast meat and add in a small portion of frame?

#12
Prey Model Raw

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I would add extra meat to a bone in meal first before going to a boneless meal

#13
arie

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I have decreased the bone content in her last 2 meals...but I have not seen a significant difference in her poo, so I will continue to decrease the bone content per meal to see if she'll tolerate a boneless meal. I have some beautiful chicken breast meat waiting for her in the fridge - grandma (my mom) butchered a chicken for her grand-dog and put my butchering skills to shame... Heh. (not like Abby really cares...)

 

We tried chicken necks tonight and boy was I nervous! Abby was a kibble gulper and I was afraid she'd swallow the chicken necks whole. I am very glad to report that she chews her RMBs. :) Any boneless meats, she'll just swallow whole.  :rolleyes:

 

If I am gone for over 10 hours, would giving her a larger breakfast/dinner help prevent possible hunger pukes? I don't have anyone available to stop by to give her a mid-day snack...mainly bc I can't afford a petsitter. lol.


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#14
Jordann

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I don't see what it would hurt. Have you tried feeding her normal amounts in the morning and night, and seeing if she gets hunger pukes? My boys eat once a day (easier for me and they get larger pieces to eat). One is fine to eat at any time of the day, but the other will puke if he doesn't eat around lunch time (that's when the kids nap, so I run out and feed the dogs).

You could always feed her a fully or partially frozen meal, if you're worried about gulping. I feed my boys lots of frozen meals and they take longer ... Thawed Tom turkey necks are gone in less than 4 minutes, but frozen they take almost 8 minutes. I also like that they have to work for their meals, seems to mentally exercise them, which I love. :)

#15
arie

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Abby was doing good and chewing her food thoroughly like a good girl up until about a week ago, she started gulping her RMBs. Even tried to swallow a leg quarter whole! Silly dog. partially thawed food doesn't deter her from gulping. What I'm doing now is deboning her RMBs and chopping up the meat into cubes. So far, she's chewing the bones this way, but just a couple crunches. Is this OK? With her gulping, I have stopped giving her chicken necks...just can't risk it.

 

She is fine with half the skin on drumsticks and had a bit of soft serve poo today from the half a heart and gizzard (still chicken). I am slowly leaving more and more fat on the chicken and no issues there yet.

 

Should I try to feed her a whole chicken heart and gizzard before moving onto turkey necks?



#16
Jordann

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Have you tried feeding entirely frozen? It takes so much longer for my boys to chew fully frozen foods - they aren't gulpers, makes my wallet feel better if they take longer to eat. lol

A few chomps is normal. In the beginning if mine didn't chew something enough, they hacked it back up and chewed more. Some dogs will chew the food enough to get it down their throats and they are fine. My boys will chomp leg quarters a few times and swallow huge chunks. Scares my friends who watch, but hubby and I explain to them that the boys know what they are doing and if it doesn't fit, it'll come back up. :) If she is having soft serve poops, I would stay on chicken until she has good poops. Best not to rush things in the beginning. :)

That's great she is handing the skin and fat so well! Great job!

#17
arie

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I gave her a partially thawed drumstick before. She chomped on the meaty part a couple times, no crunch and swallowed. Freaked me out...but I figured if it didn't go down right, she'd hack it back up on my kitchen floor. lol.

 

I guess in the beginning, she was getting used to the bones so she crunched thoroughly. Now that she's more comfortable, she's gotten greedy again and will eat as fast as possible. I have not tried completely frozen yet because I was afraid it'll make the chicken bones too brittle, especially the little ones on the chicken backs.

 

Tonight, she ate a fully thawed chicken back...practically swallowed it whole. Crunch in half and down the hatch it went.


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#18
Jordann

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It's all in what you're comfortable doing. :)

If she lets you take food away, you could always try giving her a whole chicken to work on over a few days. :)

#19
arie

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The respect only goes so far as until she takes it from my hand with permission. Once it's in her mouth, there's no taking it back if it's high value. :( And this dog, I swear, will eat the whole chicken if I give her one. lol.

 

I will try frozen thigh later this week to see if that makes a difference. But for now, I guess I'll continue deboning chicken for her. 



#20
Jordann

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Hey, if pulling the meat off works for you, stick with it! :)




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