Well, after many phone calls, visit etc, I found a small meat processing farm that processes a lot of organic meats that is willing to sell me some of the “off casts”. The items I specifically asked for were Chicken necks, hearts/livers/gizzards, Beef heart, liver, etc. I am sure they will save any of the organs that I ask for though. Also, they process vension and can get me some of that as well, though I am assuming that will mostly be organs. We did not discuss pork etc as of yet-waiting until I pick up my first grouping to discuss further. I like to have everything here when I start a project so, if any one sees something I am missing, please let me know!
Are there any other type of meat/parts I should ask them to save? They did ask if I wanted chicken feet, but I said “not yet” as the thought just grosses me out, lol. The pricing is amazing imo, and it makes it well worth giving this a go, if if for just half their meals.
I have so far- 1) Basic meat source 2) Ordering the two books mentioned several times on this forum 3) Ordering a Tassan something or other grinder to get started. I know it says it will not do turkey bones, but I figure that is a trade off for not wanting to invest $500 plus into a grinder until I am sure I have the time and dedication to do it long term, as well as being sure it works for my crew before investing that much. 4)I do have an older chest freezer that still works, but will need to be upgraded if it pans out. 5) Plenty of fish oil on hand
6) Does any one know if “Nupro” will work for the daily vitamin/mineral source for the time being to balance everything out? While its a bit pricier, its probably cheaper than ending up with a bunch of separate ingredients if this does not work.
Please and thank you for ALL responses and suggestions!
Wow Melissa, I’m so happy to hear you’re going the homemade raw route! I don’t think you’ll be disappointed in the results. 🙂
I would suggest getting as many different varieties of organ meat as possible (remember, hearts and gizzards are considered muscle meat not organ meat). Liver should only comprise 5% of the diet and 5% should be “other” organs – the more organs you can get to make up the “other” portion the better. Ask for items like kidneys, lungs, spleen, pancreas, brain, etc. If you can get gullet and trachea these are a great source of naturally occurring chondroitin (good for the seniors’ joints) – not organ meat though. Obviously if you can get green tripe go for it (muscle meat).
The Nupro would be okay to use for a trace nutrient supply but it wouldn’t completely balance the meals. You’re going to want to be sure to add a source of vitamin e and vitamin d (I use cod liver oil for vitamin d). You’re going to want to add some ground nuts/seeds for manganese (I use a combination of sprouted pumpkin seeds/sunflower seeds/flax/chia). I think it’s a good idea to feed tinned oysters once in awhile as they’re a great source of trace minerals like zinc, copper and selenium. I’m also an advocate of small amounts (10% – 20%) of fruits and veggies (I most often use organic greens, butternut squash, broccoli, cauliflower and berries – be sure to puree) for antioxidants and kefir or yogurt for probiotics. Cage-free eggs are a great source of omega 3’s, have a great amino acid profile and will contain some of the b vitamins, vitamin d and vitamin e – I recommend feeding eggs at least once a week. I mix in various fresh herbs like parsley, garlic and cilantro. I also add coconut oil and apple cider vinegar to every batch. The most important thing to keep in mind is that variety is key!
If you are looking for a supplement to “balance” the diets, I’d recommend Steve Brown’s See Spot Live Longer Dinner Mix. It makes AAFCO compliant meals and it’s really cheap in comparison to other pre-mixes plus there’s a quantity discount when you order several bags at one. I don’t use pre-mixes too often but it’s my favorite to use when I do. He also advocates adding various fresh ingredients (up to 20%) so you have the freedom to customize a bit while being assured that the dogs are getting a balanced meal. If you want to make your own supplement – buying the ingredients separately definitely is the cheapest route. The pre-made supplements like Nupro are much more expensive. Check out Swanson’s, they sell all the ingredients you’d need and everything is super cheap and you can often get bulk packages (I use a lot of the Starwest Botanicals items in my whole food supplement).
- This reply was modified 6 years ago by Hound Dog Mom.
Thanks! I am going to try the recipe Sandy posted as a starter, so bones etc will be included. I know many say to add a daily multi vitamin/trace mineral, hence I am wondering if the Nupro(or something similar would work) My dogs are “pill pickers” so cutting a human “one a day” type pill will not work. Its got to be mixed in the bowl when I add the oils etc. Would the Nupro suffice as a replacement for the human multivitamin?
And, do you sprout all those seeds you listed or just the pumpkin aand sunflower? We grow pumpkins for fun/decorations and then feed them to the goats-they love them, I can steal some of those seeds, lol.
- This reply was modified 6 years ago by Melissaandcrew.
Do you have a mortar and pestal? Gertie is a pill picker so if I ever have to feed her a pill I just grind it up first, I also use to to grind up nuts and seeds. If you’re going to balance the recipe with the appropriate whole foods (i.e. including cod liver oil, oysters, nuts, seeds, eggs, vitamin e, etc.) the Nupro should be okay for a trace nutrient supplement but it wouldn’t substitute for a one a day type multivitamin if you were planning on relying on that to balance an unbalanced recipe.
I don’t sprout my own nuts and seeds. I have a sprouter but it’s on full time alfalfa sprouting duty for my sandwiches lol. I buy sprouted sunflower seeds and sprouted pumpkin seeds from nuts.com and I buy Nativas Naturals brand sprouted flax and chia from Swanson’s. If you bought a sprouter you certainly could sprout your own though.
I use a coffee grinder for pills, flax, chia, pumpkin seeds.
I should try a coffee grinder, I’ve heard that they work well. I’ve tried my food processor but that didn’t work and I bought this mini spice grinder (hand powered) which didn’t work either. I keep going back to the mortar and pestal. I guess I’m old fashioned. I should mention after all the time I’ve been feeding raw I still use a hand crank grinder for meat too lol. At least I get a good upper body workout when I’m making dog food.
- This reply was modified 6 years ago by Hound Dog Mom.
Well, I haven’t gotten my books yet, so not sure what is presented in the two books, but since they are supposed to be AAFCO compliant recipes, I am assuming that once I start those, I should be okay. ; ) I do plan on rotating proteins, and still feeding at least partial dry for now, etc etc, so I am just talking about the short term-btw, if I use your recipe that you posted for kelp alfalfa etc, would I also still need a vitamin? I am just looking to avoid buying vitamins etc in bulk until I am sure this is something that is working for the crew.
Love Patty’s coffee grinder idea. I just can’t see myself smashing up 15 doses of vitamins with a mortar/pestal, lol.
I’ve been using my coffee grinder for years, I love it.
Hound dog mom, do the hand grinders work for bone? We have one that we use to grind venison, I’m wondering if it could handle a chick neck?
I have to say that I have was surprised when I did a cost analysis. Granted the farm I am going to be buying from is very reasonable-less than a $1 per lb for the items I am looking for. I based my figures on two weeks of Acana/Nutrisource Vs two weeks of homemade raw. I did not figure in supplements as I already buy Fish oil, kefir, yogurt mackerel and sardines and eggs.. I did figure in the canned, Grandma Lucy’s and premade commercial raw that I buy now. I will save for each 15 days between $221 and $277.
Hubby was a “naysayer” in attempting this(too much work, clean up, bacteria etc) but he heard that and he asked if I woud like him to order a new freezer now, or should he wait a month or two? LOL. I have to tell you, I can’t wait to start grinding something..anything..if this doesn’t work out for the dogs, I may have to take up sausage making, lol.
I don’t grind my RMBs, but think that a heavy duty hand grinder could probably handle a small RMB like a chicken neck.
The savings is going to be awesome with all the dogs you have. With my grinder, grinding over 100 lbs takes 10 or 15 minutes. It’s the packaging that is time consuming. Best to do that with a helper or 2. And get that freezer!
- This reply was modified 6 years ago by pugmomsandy.
Your savings would almost feed my dogs.
Sandy-Which book did you get that first recipe you ever made from? the one that is 5.25 chicken with bone, 3.25 lb boneless? I want to be sure I get recipe books with bone in recipes that can be ground. Thanks!
Dr Becker’s book. “Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats” 3rd Edition. It also has some organ meat and some liver in there too, along with the necks and boneless meat. Can’t find it right now. It’s like a scavenger hunt around here after the cleaning ladies come! I just used it a two weeks ago.
Well, I ordered that book and the Sfeve Brown book to start with. I have been unable to locate s source as of yet for bulk rabbit, venison(the other will not be able to provide as much as I would need to do all venison meals) and other unique proteins. So, does any one see a problem with mixing the protein sources? For example, if I used the balanced chicken recipe, is there a reason I could not say add in a balanced premade? For example. 2 ounces home made chicken 2 ounces premade in order to offer more variety? In other words, freeze each recipe separately and at feeding time scoop 2 ounces of eah into the bowl?
Or, for that matter, if the recipe is based on chicken,(referring to the Becker one that is balanced) is there any reason I should not use the 5.25 chicken necks, but substitute the 3.25lbs boneless chicken for say 3.25# rabbit or venison etc? Would this unbalance the initial recipe?
I think swapping the muscle meats and necks will be ok. Since I have beef and chicken heart, I mix those up too, and I use tripe for muscle meat too. I use chicken or duck necks in all the recipes. I don’t think it would unbalance the calcium/phosphorus. My last batch was duck neck, tripe, duck gizzard, chicken heart.
Yes, you can mix things up. That’s where the term Frankenprey comes from. I might substitute a grind from Hare Today for all the bone in and boneless meat. And if it was a whole prey grind, I’d sub it for the organs too, just to get more variety in protein sources.
Awesome. And, I love the term Frankenprey, lol. I ama hoping to source the vast majority of ingredients locally, but figure worst case basis, I will get some of the prepackaged type stuff the local boutique pet store carries, or order online. I normally would not order online, but winter time “is a coming” so I will feel better about the shipping.
According to the processor, things are “seasonal”-meaning right now, there is more beef then anything being processed. In the spring/summer months its poultry, and of course pork year round. I am planning on stocking up during each” season”. Since beef heart is a muscle meat, is there a limit on how much I can use? My thought process is to use the chicken/duck necks, and then use the heart ground up as the boneless portion of one of the mixes(it dirt cheap and readily available from what the processor said)
Beef heart is a dense low fat muscle, so adding it by weight, not volume is important, but just use it like a low fat meat.
As far as stocking up, the most important thing for storing meat longer in the freezer is that it be well wrapped. I like to double wrap when I expect stuff to be in the freezer more than 2 or 3 months. I’ve had double wrapped stuff stay very fresh for at least 8 months.
Thanks Patty! I am trying to use as low fat ingredients as I can because of the schnauzers, within reason of course. Great point on the double wrapping. I will have to look into how to best store everything. the problem I see is the volume I will have to use every day, so trying to figure out how best to store it, taking up the least amount of space.
I know what you mean. Certain shaped packages store tighter and with less wasted space. It can make a huge difference in how much you can put in a freezer.
Just wanted to throw this out there for others who might be wanting a reasonable grinder. I got the Tasan TS 108 from One stop jerky for $150 plus shipping. Since my books are not here yet, and I was dying to try it, I ground up a bunch of stuff to use as an unbalanced topper. The grinder had no problems with chicken leg quarters and necks. I did whack the quarters with a cleaver to make them smaller of course. With the medium plate, there was no bone to be felt in the final products, which made me very happy as that was a concern of mine. Grinder did not jam etc either. I m surprised, as I was not expecting it to work this well. Hubby came out and helped which was even more surprising, lol.
Alright, need more help!! Picked up the first order from the processor(basically told her what ever she could save) and ended up with mish mosh of supplies. She used to toss everything so its going to take a while for her to “build up” a bit of variety.
I got(approx.) 12 lbs beef heart, waaayyy to much beef liver, lol(30lbs) 4 chicken carcasses, 10 lbs beef kidney, and a bag of misc beef/vension-about 15 lbs. I then got two bags full of pork heart and kidney(did not weigh it yet as I know it needs to be frozenfor 3 weeks). Total of products(and some recreational bone for bigger dogs) about 100lbs.
As you can see, I sm sorely lacking in the RMB category(no chicken necks). The recipe I am going to make(from the book) is the on Sandy mentioned. Amongst other things, it alls for 5.25 lb chicken neck, 3.25 boneless. I know someone mentioned “frankenprey”, o here is my question.
I am willing to do mix protein batches until I get enough supplies, but want to buy the minimum from market that I have to. I am assuming I can use the carcasses in place of the necks for a batch or two, and then thinking I can use chicken leg quarters for a few more batches with the heart and venison/beef boneless. Will this provide the proper bone in and boneless requirements? I am just going by what I googled, that quarters are RMB and assuming I can interchange those and necks..help!
Just wanted to update this. Have been grinding raw components since Oct and MOSt do well with it. However, I do have two 14 yr olds and a 16 yr old who do NOT do well with raw-They lost a bunch of weight which was quickly regained once they went back on dry. No way would they eat the volume in raw to keep weight on. Lesson confirmed-raw does NOT work for all dogs.
Secondly, Hubby helped me grind my chicken pieces the other night-it will be at least a week for it to be shipped to the company, have gears replaced and get it back. Thankfully its under warranty and the company I bought the Tassan from does not void the warranty for grinding chicken bones in the Tassan.
On the bright side, Hubby thought the food making was taking way too much time away from other things we need to do, so he just ordered a new one. After watching some videos of the Wesson’s grinding, he ordered the Wesson 32 since it said it was good for large volumes. His thought is we can process en masse once a month or every other and save a bunch of time!
I still recc the Tassan for those grinding a small amount, or those looking to try a grinder out before committing to an expensive purchase. I figure with this one I can grind whole turkeys without worrying about damage.
That’s awesome! A new grinder!! I’d like to get the 1.75 HP one but it’s around $1200!! But my Weston 22 does great anyways. I’ve done over 100 lbs in less than 20 minutes.
Grinder envy again!! Thanks. 🙁 I think I’ll have to wait until the kids get out of college before I can get the grinder I want.
1200?!?!? OUCH!!! and double Ouch! I just could not justify that, but its nice to think about! I suggested the 22 that you have Sandy as I think its awesome but not something I was willing to commit to for the $$, in the beginning. I would have felt obligated to grind, lol. The Wesson 32 was hubby’s idea-he figured for the extra $150, it has the extra 1/2 horse power for the amount of grinding we will do.
The Tassan worked great, but it felt like we were spending hours upon hours not only grinding, but prepping it. You really had to cut the pieces small to fit them in, and feed it slowly. It got the job done, but it took time. The Tassan is getting fixed( I have to ship it back mon) and I will keep it as a back up machine “just in case”.
Patty-do you grind that much with just the three dogs?
I don’t grind at all. I pay for grinds. I really want the 22. Ahh, some day.
Check out ebay. I saw a bunch of grinders including the 22-new- but we didn’t have the time to wait for the auctions to end. The current bids were rather low.
OK – so have been doing some reading etc. about RMB and feeding to my two Labs who presently eat a commercial raw diet. I am looking to start making my own and am fearful of smaller RMB. They eat beef shank/marrow bones regularly with no issue – the older boy is more aggressive w his bones (typical Lab) and the pup is more mellow with his. So… are chicken & turkey necks safe for Labs? What about chicken feet – found them at a market the other day. I had read somewhere that I should avoid wings as they are too small. My market often times has frozen organic chicken bones. Can I feed them? I guess Thanks loads for your feedback!!
The turkey necks I get are definitely big enough for a lab, about 1 1/2 lbs each. Chicken neck are small enough that they could be swallowed whole. I suspect that a dog as big as a Lab would just pass them with out any difficulty, but I wouldn’t let my Border Collies have them if they were gulpers. I would give a half chicken, or a whole leg quarter to a Lab, just so he gets plenty of chewing satisfaction. I like to give ribs to good chewers, and chichen and turkey back are good too. Chicken feet are fine for any size dog, cut the nails off first if you are worried, but that shouldn’t be an issue for a large dog.
If you don’t have a need for increasing calcium in your dogs, I wouldn’t feed chicken bones except inside the chicken I’m feeding.
Melissa, I wouldn’t want chicken feet either, too difficult and expensive to buy shoes!
I used a 3/4 HP meat grinder, fed raw chicken otb into it, easily chewing up 40 lbs. I would then add garlic, E, spinach and mackerel, place it in my Kichenaide mixer a few pounds at a time until all has been well. Then I use a digital scale to weigh each log for the dog. I changed main meats often.
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