Homemade Chicken and Fish Jerky

Dog Food Advisor Forums Dog Treats Homemade Chicken and Fish Jerky

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  • #11753 Report Abuse

    Hi Guys and gals

    I wanted to start a topic about the jerky I make which is now available for sale.

    I believe in transparency. I think the right of the consumer to know everything about what they are buying outweighs the manufacturers right to keep things secret. Since I am now a manufacturer of Chicken and Fish Jerky for dogs and cats I would like to set an example that I hope manufacturers begin to follow and consumers begin to expect.

    For the chicken jerky I use Foster farms boneless skinless chicken breasts. For the fish jerky I use either Seamazz Swai fillets or Seamazz Tilapia fillets. I buy my meats at Costco. All the meats are regular human grade meats that are intended for human consumption. This is the same chicken and fish you would buy for yourselves and your families!

    My chicken and whitefish jerky are made exactly the same so these are the manufacturing process for both:

    The meats are washed and then sliced into thin strips. They are seasoned with garlic salt using approximately 1 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of fresh meat. The meats are then dehydrated at 145 degrees F for 6 to 12 hours. The reason there is variation in the cooking time is because the first dehydrators I bought were smaller home based type of machines while the newer dehydrators I bought are commercial type machines.

    The meats are about 8% moisture when they are finished. This ensures that they are stable and can be kept for long periods of time and maintain their freshness. The jerky is put in 6 oz and 16 oz vacuum sealed bags along with an oxygen absorber.

    These treats can be fed to cats or dogs. For pets who require a softer treat or who need a moister treat you can just soak the treats in water until they reach your desired softness.

    The prices are:
    6 oz $10.99
    16 oz $24.99

    6 oz $11.99
    16 oz $26.99

    Of course there will be a 10% discount for my friends from DFA.

    10% of all sales will be donated to local rescues and foster dogs.

    Any Questions?
    Please feel free to ask away or you can contact me at james at freeplay dot org.

    • This topic was modified 11 years ago by soho.
    #11806 Report Abuse

    Hi James,

    The fish you are using for your jerky appear to be farm-raised, which I won’t eat or feed to my dog. The Foster Farms chicken seems to be a step above standard factory farmed chickens, including prudent use of antibiotics.

    But your price is steep compared to organic chicken jerky (USDA Certified) at k9cuisine.com –
    Plato Dog Treats – Organic Chicken Strips – 1 lb bag $12.99

    Plato organic chicken strips are also available on Amazon as a 3-pack for $10 per 1 lb. That is less than half the cost of yours.

    #11809 Report Abuse


    I don’t see that price comparison as being valid. The Plato product is a chicken and rice product with 30 % protein and 30% fat and likely 25% carbs. From my standpoint the organic chicken used in the Plato product must include a lot of organic chicken fat : ) I think the price difference of the Plato product is a reflection of the fat and carb content in that product. Dehydrated chicken breast should be about 80 % protein and only 10% fat.

    #11811 Report Abuse

    Hi i8ok

    Thank you for your reply! Let’s take a closer look at the Plato Organic Chicken strips.
    First the marketing claims:
    Over 90% organic chicken
    Natural ingredients, fortified with antioxidant vitamins, and zinc
    No artificial colors, flavors, synthetic preservatives, or GMO’s (genetically modified organisms)
    Naturally preserved.
    Antioxidant vitamins E and С
    No meat by-products or meals

    Second the Actual Numbers and ingredients:
    Crude protein: 30% min
    (How in the world are these treats over 90% chicken and only 30% protein?)
    Crude fat: 30% min
    (Where did all this fat come from if the treats are over 90% chicken?)
    Crude fiber: 1% max
    Moisture: 15% max
    (This moisture level is a little too high in my opinion to guarantee against spoilage.)
    Zinc: 180mg/kg min
    Vitamin E: 101 lU/kg min
    Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) 50mg/kg min*
    Omega 6 Fatty Acids –
    Omega 3 Fatty Acids –
    Iron –

    Organic chicken, organic brown rice, salt, zinc propionate, vitamin E supplement, L-ascorbyl-2phosphate (a source of vitamin C), mixed tocopherols (a natural preservative), rosemary extract.


    Now lets take a look at the facts about my chicken jerky:
    Made from boneless, skinless chicken breasts bought at the deli section of Costco. This is not pet grade chicken. I know that there are a million marketing claims concerning the chicken in pet foods and treats but not one of the commercial brands are made using supermarket meat like I use. This is the same meat that you and your family eat.

    You say you wont eat farm raised fish or feed it to your dog. I respect you for that. But why would you feed your dog pet grade chicken which is a by product of the human grade food business? Pet grade chicken (or any other pet grade meat for that matter) is what is left over after everything that can be used for human grade chicken is removed! And that’s the good stuff. The bad pet grade meats are the Dead, Dying, Downed or Diseased meats that never made into the human food chain in the first place!

    Ingredients: 99.8% boneless skinless chicken breasts, salt, garlic. The only thing added to my chicken jerky is 0.2% spices (salt and garlic).

    Guaranteed analysis as fed:
    Protein 87%
    (You read that right 87% now what treat could be better for a meat eater)
    Fat 4.5%
    (This is what the fat could be in other products if they used the same chicken breasts that I do)
    Carbohydrate 0%
    (Remember dogs have no biological need for carbs)
    Minerals 3.5%
    (This is what ash is)
    Fiber 0%
    Moisture 5%
    (5% moisture is low enough to ensure against spoilage)

    The chicken I use is Whole Chicken Breasts intended FOR human consumption. Not ground pet grade chicken (Plato)

    My chicken jerky is JUST chicken and 0.2% spices. Plato uses brown rice as a filler.

    When you look at the facts my jerky is a great value. Compare my jerky to other human grade jerky products sold for human consumption and you will see that my jerky is an OUTSTANDING value!

    Thank you aimee

    #11814 Report Abuse

    James and aimee – good points!
    But James, I think you assumed that I feed my dog Plato organic chicken strips. My dog has never eaten Plato organic chicken strips. I had recently seen them online and was curious that a company would bother to go to the effort of getting their product USDA Certified Organic. The price seemed fair, or at least not outrageous.
    I agree that there must be an error in Plato’s marketing claim of 90% chicken when their resulting product is 30% protein and 30% fat. We consumers can’t trust those marketing claims!
    I disagree with your claim that Plato uses pet grade chicken from dead, dying, diseased animals. I didn’t look up the criteria, but I recall that USDA Organic Certification requires human grade ingredients. No?

    #11823 Report Abuse

    Hi i8ok

    I actually said that pet grade chicken (or any other pet grade meat for that matter) is :

    Choice 1
    “what is left over after everything that can be used for human grade chicken is removed! And that’s the good stuff.”

    Choice 2
    “The bad pet grade meats are the Dead, Dying, Downed or Diseased meats that never made into the human food chain in the first place!”

    So I guess because plato’s chicken is certified organic then it is choice one instead of choice two.

    Thanks i8ok!

    #11847 Report Abuse

    I believe all certified organic food ingredients must be human-grade, even if those ingredients are used for pet food. So Plato’s chicken wouldn’t be either of your choices 1 or 2. Correct me if I’m wrong. I don’t know all the regs.

    #11861 Report Abuse

    Hi i8ok

    I think we’re getting stuck on “pet grade” vs “human grade”. Let’s say you start with a human grade certified organic chicken. You remove all the parts that humans eat; the legs, breasts, wings etc. After you remove all the meat that humans eat you are let with the frame, the little pieces of fatty meat and skin that are stuck to the frame and the bottom of the bird etc. Now you grind that all up and make it into a certified organic pet treat. I call this pet grade meat and I believe it falls into “Choice 1”.

    But before we go any further with this discussion let me say that we could probably debate this forever without ever coming to a definitive conclusion. That is one of the biggest issues I have with the pet food industry. There is no real transparency. There is a lot of “creative marketing”.
    No pet food company discloses everything. They use terms like “Trade secret” and “Proprietary information” and the consumers go along with it. I think the consumer has the right to know EVERYTHING about the food they feed their dogs and cats. That is why I am practicing what I preach.

    In the opening post of this thread you were told more about my treats then you will ever know about 99% of the other treats out there. You know the actual cut of meats I use (boneless skinless chicken breasts or fish fillets). You know where I buy them (Costco). You know the companies that the meat comes from (foster farms or seamazz). You know the spices I use (garlic salt) and the temperature I dehydrate the meats at (145 degrees F). If there is something you would like to know about my treats just ask. I will answer you promptly and publicly. I believe this kind of transparency is very rare and I believe it is priceless!


    #11937 Report Abuse

    Hi, I was reading what you all were saying. Is there anything better then me buying boneless organic chicken from a organic processing plant and boiling the chicken,chopping it up,I can nibble on it my self or fix a chicken salad sandwich but I have fixed Dixie frozen cookies using the chicken,sweet potatos,carrots and making little round balls,flatten them out and place them on a metel cookies sheet in the freezer. Dixie loved them as a treet. After they froze, I would place them into a baggy and kept them in the freezer. she liked the crunch and she coulnt just swollow the treet, she had to chew it instead. We all love our babies and just like our own children, we all want what is the best for them. Please say a little prayer for my Dixie

    #11959 Report Abuse

    Hi James,

    Even though Plato obviously has dubious marketing claims, I’m still not able to wrap my head around your suggestion that the organic chicken used by Plato is only “the frame, the little pieces of fatty meat and skin that are stuck to the frame and the bottom of the bird”. Where would 30% protein come from if their recipe used so little meat?

    I like your transparency. I do have questions:
    How many pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts are used to make 1 pound of jerky?
    What type of oxygen absorber do you use?

    #11960 Report Abuse
    Hound Dog Mom

    i8ok –

    I think Plato probably does use quite a bit of meat, just fatty meat. For example, if you look at their chicken jerky strips they have 30% protein and 25% fat – boneless, skinless chicken breast is only 10% fat (http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/poultry-products/701/2). If they were using organic boneless skinless chicken breast the product would likely be very very expensive and also much lower in fat. Personally, the higher fat content wouldn’t bother me – I typically feed my dogs higher fat foods anyways. If you’re getting a dog treat, especially at the price Plato’s treats are sold for, you’re not going to be getting boneless skinless chicken breast. I’ve never used the strips before, but I have used the Plato’s Farmer’s Market treats and I don’t have an issue with any of their grain-free treats.

    #11994 Report Abuse

    Hey Mike, I thought the forum was the same as DFA and there’s not advertising products; what gives?

    #12000 Report Abuse

    Hi Guys and Gals

    Regretfully not everyone appreciates my posts. This will be my last post on DFA. If anyone has any more questions about my jerky treats please contact me at [email address removed by the moderator at users request]

    Thank you everyone,

    • This reply was modified 10 years, 8 months ago by Mike Sagman.
    #12006 Report Abuse

    It has nothing to do with you. I am pretty sure that there is to be no advertising anymore of pet products that people have on either DFA or the dfa forum. If you can post yours, then others should be able to post theirs.

    #12327 Report Abuse

    I would like to thank everyone who reached out to let me know they appreciate my posts!

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