Hey everyone, I’ve been feeding raw for a few months now and shadows doing great, the only thing that is the downfall is the prep time. What I’ve been doing is getting freezer bags and making meal sized portions for about a months worse and then thawing ad needed. It just makes such a mess in the kitchen and the prep and clean up time take about two hours together. Does anybody have any advice or tips on how to make prep time faster and less messy? Thanks!
Invest in a commercial grinder. I can grind almost 100 lbs in 15 minutes. I usually buy body parts instead of whole birds also and just drop them down the grinder chute. It will pay for itself in time saved and you can also buy bone-in meats. Then I just pack it in containers or baggies. Depending on your size dog, a gallon ziplock will hold 6-7 lbs instead of packing individual servings. Pack what you can use in 3 days. I already had 16 oz Solo containers that I was using. You can get a roll of 25 or 50 at a restaurant supply store and of course they have different sizes. They are re-usable and are ok in the dishwasher top rack. I get mine at AceMart Restaurant Supply.
I grind into a large gray tub like restaurants use for bussing tables. Can be found at SamsClub or other stores or restaurant supply stores. That way I have room to mix the grind up with my hands then I use a big ice cream scoop for portioning. There are various sizes at a restaurant supply store. I only have to clean the grinder parts, the big tub and utensils.
Having a buddy helping makes it quick and easy too. We made 130 lb batch from start to finish in 1 hour.
Grinder envy is rearing it’s ugly head…
LOL! I just got a larger plate for the grinder. It’s more “chili-size”. I like it better than the smaller plate that the machine comes with. I’m saving lots of $$ by buying from a local supplier and also making my own grinds! Have you joined the yahoo group: carnivorefeed-supplier? There’s alot of raw food options out there.
I’m in raw4pets. I’m finding more and more options every day. I have got to get a new freezer!!
Lol@grinder envy. I’m not sure if it’d be cheaper to buy my own, non grocery store meat, bags to put it in, the grinder or not.
I buy from Sprouts, Bone-affied Nutrition and texastripe. Can get unenhanced products from all three and then the local BARF group will order bulk from other places like greentripe .com and Medford Meats. Just have to buy bulk to get the best deals hence the large dog freezer! They’re actually using 2 freezers! Have about 30 lbs in another freezer of homemade ground food.
Sandy, about how much raw do you feed in a day?
It varies. Tonight they are getting a sardine each. If they were eating only raw it would be about 19 ounces a day! BUT they eat kibble, canned, and freeze dried too. Those tubes in the freezer are 2 lbs each. I bought 180 lbs of tubes of tripe/tripe blend/beef blend/wild boar/organs.
So your freezer holds six months worth or more? Nice!! I have room for about two months worth. It’s hard to become a hoarder with such limited space. So do you have a system in your dog food pantry to make sure you rotate out older food? I think I would keep finding outdated stuff that got pushed to the back, then my husband would kill me…
Probably more than 6 months. The top shelf is just random bones. The very bottom drawer is 36 lb of pork. The next shelf up is 100 lbs of tripe/tripe blend in the laundry basket. The next shelf up is 20 lbs of chicken hearts in the blue bag and 50 lbs of beef blend in the brown box. The next shelf up is homemade 16 oz containers and 20 lbs of beef heart. The door has bags of kidneys and some other random bones. That photo was from November 2012 when I got my first order of texastripe products (250 lbs) and filled the freezer up with the new products and what was in the freezer already . I rotate my homemade containers or put them across from the old ones. And when the tubes get low then I order some more and just put the few old tubes on top or move them to the door.
My freezer is a deep chest freezer, impossible to change position to rotate foods. I have to use it down to where all of it fits in the little basket before I can refill the 1/3 of the bottom that is dedicated space for dog food. It holds about 60 lbs. so you can easily understand why I need more freezer space. Badly.
How envious would you be if I told you hubby was getting me a restaurant size walk-in freezer/frig combo this fall?? LOL!
Sandy if you get a walk in freezer don’t even talk about it on dfa – I would not be able to contain my jealousy. I have two stand up freezers that are older than the hills, they are huge though (got them off craigslist for cheap) and a new, but dinky, chest freezer I got on clearance at Home Depot. My boyfriend and I went “window shopping” at an appliance store a few weeks ago and when I saw all those beautiful freezers I was so sad I couldn’t afford any of them. 🙁
As far as prepping meals efficiently – I make two batches per week. I mix up breakfast for Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday on Sunday night (take the meat out of the freezer Saturday night) and divide it into 9 tupperware containers (3 per dog) and I make up breakfast for Thursday/Friday/Saturday on Wednesday night (I take the meat out of the freezer on Tuesday night) and do the same. For dinner they basically just get RMB’s and gizzards/hearts/etc. or Pork Necks so I don’t have to do much for that, I just have to remember to take their RMBs out of the freezer the night before. The only time consuming part of the prep process for me is meat delivery day – UGH I’m cringing just thinking about it because I’m going to have to place an order in a few weeks. I get most of my meat from a wholesale distributor for extremely cheap, but in exchange for the cheap prices I have to buy in bulk (minimum 300 lbs. per order) and all the meat comes in 40 lb. cases. So I have to separate it all into smaller portions on delivery day – I use freezer bags for the ground meat/organ meat and wrap the RMBs in freezer wrap. It’s an all day process and I usually enlist the whole family. Luckily I order enough to last about 4 months so I only have to do this a few times a year! The longer you feed raw the more efficient you’ll get. It only takes me about 20 min. to mix up a three day batch of food.
Hubby works in the restaurant biz and he’s building a new one right now. Just broke ground about 2 weeks ago so I told him to just tack on a freezer for me when they make the equipment order. I’m paying for mine of course. I got the dog freezer on sale for 40% off since it had the front panel replaced and there was a scratch on it somewhere I think. Just happened to be at Lowe’s looking for light bulbs or something – right place, right time. There were a couple of other refurbished items on sale too. There’s actually a store here that sells dented/scratched appliances at discounted prices.
Sandy, don’t you dare show us picture of a walk in freezer!!
Sandy, I just don’t even know what to say, I don’t even know…
I don’t know how all that will stay good until you feed it? I was told that after 3 months do not use Raw when it is frozen because of ice crystals forming? I am afraid to over do it because of this and I have thrown out meat in my own freezer for us ( For My husband and myself) because of this.
What people don’t say is why it matters if ice crystals form. The only thing I have been able to find is that water soluble vitamins may be lost in the ice crystals. I feed the ice, melted ice, fluids, whatever. Also a deep freeze is supposed to keep food good longer, ice crystals form when something is cooled to just below freezing and opening and closing the freezer door warms it’s surface slightly.
Hdm- yeah I think once I do raw longer I will find easier strategies. As of now his breakfast is a boneless meal of either green tripe, ground beef, chicken gizzards, turkey, or natural mix from blue ridge which contains tripe beef chicken liver and hearts. He also gets his veggie mix in the morning for breakfast which contains a mixture of veggies, and boiled eggs. At dinner he gets rmbs such as leg quarters, turkey necks, wings, pork necks, and other chicken parts. He also gets a fish meal once a week. I’ve been using the quart size ziplock bags and usually fill them half way up (meal portion sizes) I think I’m going to start buying the gallon size bags. When you freeze your rmbs, how do you separate them at meal time if they are frozen? How do you store them? Also, it’s been hard for me to find a co op in my area. How much do you think you spend monthly for one of your dogs?
I might sound ignorant here but does Tripe have bones mixed in it and is it high in fat? I have heard so much about it being great for luxating patella that now I am curious.
Nectar mom, no there are no bones in tripe. I’m not sure if the fat levels but I do know that it is completely nutritionally complete and has a 1:1 phosphorus ratio
Meat is good for longer than 3months. I know people who give their dogs freezer burnt meat, meat that has gone bad….dogs can handle more than we can. I wouldn’t feed bad meat but I do know people who do.
NectarMom – Green Tripe is about 48% protein and 46% fat on a dry matter basis. High fat and high protein.
Weimlove – I wrap pork necks in freezer wrap – I can’t think of exactly what it’s called but it’s like saran wrap but thicker and for the freezer. I wrap them individually. For turkey necks and chicken backs I get the big freezer bags and put three backs to a bag or 6 necks (enough for one dinner for three dogs). That way everything is easy to pull out of the freezer. Meat/extras/supplements together I’m currently spending about $300 – $350 a month – so roughly $100 per month per dog. I was able to cut my costs significantly after finding the wholesale supplier. I used to pretty much only feed Hare Today, My Pet Carnivore and meat from the grocery and I’d buy pre-mixed supplements which got ridiculously expensive (before I got my new pup I was spending more on feeding only two dogs than I’m now spending on feeding three dogs!). It’s so much cheaper to buy in bulk and make everything from scratch (including supplements).
Hdm- ok great I will definitely look into those bags! Zip lock bags add up especially when your using sixty a month. Sometime this summer I plan on adding another pup to my family. I am either getting a female Weimaraner or a female vizsla so I will definitely need to buy in bulk. Right now I’m spending around 70.00 a month to feed shadow.
I use a vacuum sealer for my Parrots cooked bird bread and it works perfect but of course the higher end sealer you buy the better results. I also use it to vacuum seal our meats and none ever get freezer burn. I am more protective over what my animals eat more than myself so if the food I am feeding them has any signs of freezer burn it would get tossed out.
Freezer burn affects the taste, but the meat is just fine to feed.
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