I've always intended to get Indy onto a "home made" raw diet. We were using Nature's Variety for convenience and because like most people I'm a bit of a wuss about making sure his diet is balanced, especially since he's still a puppy (he's 7 months old now).
Well, I just ran out of NV raw, and last night when I was at walmart, I saw they had whole chickens on sale for 67 cents per pound, so I bought every last one of them ;D
By the way, I noticed that the Super Wal Mart here has all kinds of odd things for sale, all the beef organs, pig feet, chicken livers etc, they had a whole section, and it was all cheap! I don't like shopping at WalMart, but cost is an issue. If it wasn't, we'd all eat locally grown/raised organic everything, but I'm too poor for that right now. I was wondering if anyone here has an opinion on the quality of walmart's meat? I'm guessing it's pretty much like what you'd find at a grocery store. But if there's some reason I should be cautious, I will.
I gave Indy a leg last night just to see what he would do with it, he showed strong interest in the chicken, but just licked it and looked at me over and over, like he wasn't quite sure, then he gave up and just layed down and chewed on a toy. So I put it back in the fridge. This morning I offered it and he went to town on it, crunch, crunch, gulp and he was asking for more. So like a good push over I gave him a wing, which disappeared just as fast.
I wasn't concerned about him getting too much bone in one or two meals, but I was wondering, long term, for a puppy his age, does a whole chicken contain too much bone? (Of course calcium is what I'm worried about)
Also, I'm assuming that I don't have to carefully formulate each meal to make sure that he is getting so many ounces of meat, so many of bone so many of organ, but that in the course of a couple days, by eating the whole bird, he'll get what he needs. Is that correct? I also picked up a tub of chicken livers for only a $1 something, I'm going to make dried treats from some of it, and freeze the rest for when I introduce organs into his meals. Am I correct in assuming that I should let him get used to the meat and bones, then introduce the organs?
I think he's still going to get a cup of NV kibble for lunch, because the significant other feeds that meal and he won't touch raw with a ten foot pole. In fact I've encountered a lot of groaning and rolling eyes and comments about how the pets get more meat than he does, blah blah blah : Anyway, I feel like the kibble is kind of a cushion to prevent defficencies. It's also good in a pinch, when for some reason you can't feed raw.
I have read, almost every post in this forum, and you guys are so knowledgeable. It's just a lot to take in. I've also joined several raw feeding groups on yahoo, which are informative ... but their style is very, um, strict. Any mention of kibble is strictly forbidden. There's also flood of information and I find it difficult to know what's reliable. I also sense in a lot of the active people a very strong bias ... too strong maybe. Anyhow, that's neither here nor there, I just really like getting information from and sharing information with other people who have labs ;D
Well, this post has gone on long enough, but I'm gonna hijack it anyway and ask one more question What do you guys think of pig skin chewies, like the ears or the rolls? I have read that pig skin is much safer than rawhide because it is easily digestible, and it sounds like they don't treat it with all the nasty chemicals or add other ingredients. I did pick up a few to try them out, and it was like all of a sudden I had a little yellow angel I have given him marrow bones, oxtails, beef knuckles and kongs for chewing, but it would be nice to have something other than my furniture that I can give him all the time and not worry about him loading up on calories, then I could reserve those other things as special treats.
I started Caleb on the raw diet when he was just 6 months old. Started with chicken backs, beef neck bones for recreation and vegie mixture using salmon. Never have worried about it. Took him to a holistic vet and she was impressed with him. All she added was another type of vitamin c that his system could absorb better.
Susan UCDX GRCH Dunn's Marsh Caleb of Waltona UDX3, OM3, RAE Canadian UD, RE FallRiver's Micah of Waltona GN RAE, Canadian CD, RN
the only thing i've heard about walmart chicken is to make sure its not enhanced or butter basted. Other than that imo whole chicken is great. Bone content should be good because if you think about it, it about one of the whole-est prey you can find at a regular grocery store, just add a few bits of organ and your good to go. I started gus with chicken either backs, leg quarters, or whole cut into meal sized portions. Go very easy on organ till he's accustomed and i would suggest weighing the meals till your used to it and he's older. (feeding too much at once can cause soft stools)
i know what your saying about information overload, there's a ton of good info out there, and some not so good. i would suggest you read "Work Wonders" from www.rawmeatybones.com if yoo haven't yet its a great read.
i haven't tried any pig skin anything as i have heard nasty things about them (much the same as rawhide) but i think if your dog is fine with them why not (i would make sure there made in north america though) if your pup eats large chunks without knawing i don't think i'd give them. Gus has a large bully stick he drags around and knaws on from time to time too.