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  #1  
Old March 5th, 2008, 06:35 PM
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Begining to consider RAW, unsure and lots of questions.

Hmm - lets start with the facts :
  • We have one cat (8 years old) and one dog (10 months old).
  • We are dairy and egg free due to severe, anaphylactic allergies.
  • Butterscotch is eating a mix of Wellness and Orijen kibbles in the AM, and a can of gluten-free Fancy Feast in the evening.
  • Pugsley is eating a mix of Wellness and Orijen kibbles, and whatever the kids drop on the floor, or the occasional bit of cooked meat.
  • I am a stay-at-home mom with 3 children under 6.
  • We do *not* own a meat grinder.
  • I am 100% completely NOT willing to allow either animal to drag raw meat or bones around.

Basically I would ideally like to be able to - cheaply - make some kind of food 'patty' that I could freeze in bulk, and just thaw out as needed.

Also - I need to keep Butterscotch eating at least some kibble, as she will be staying home during our camping trips (generally 4-ish days). In the past, she has been left with her normal ration of dry kibble, and a little extra as well. And someone to come in and snuggle her and clean up litter every 2 or 3 days.

Hold my hand here, ladies and gents - how can I do this, or CAN I even do this ?
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  #2  
Old March 5th, 2008, 10:12 PM
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luckypenny luckypenny is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kashi View Post
Hold my hand here, ladies and gents - how can I do this, or CAN I even do this ?
Absolutely but you need to research as much as possible before beginning. May I ask why you're considering a switch? Orijen is one of the best foods out there and Wellness seems good as well. How about just supplementing with raw (as you research) and you'll get a feel if you'd want to make a complete switch? We supplemented for 6 months before I felt confident enough to go raw. I'm satisfied with it but disagree somewhat when ppl say it's so easy. Maybe I'm just a slow learner . Have you found some good reading material for raw feeding dogs? If you need references, just ask.

As for Butterscotch, I guess supplementing with raw would be the way to go. Here's a link Growler provided in another thread that you'll find extremely useful...

http://rawfedcats.org/

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[*]I am a stay-at-home mom with 3 children under 6.
Wow, you have my admiration for being able to do that .
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Old March 5th, 2008, 11:06 PM
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hi Kashi! im also a stay at home mom, i have an 8yo and a 2yo and feed raw. the cats eat on the floor in the kitchen, i mop up with vinegar afterwards and wipe down concerned surfaces with thymol. Mister either eats outside or in his kennel, depends on when we actually get aroudn to feeding him. we feed whole meats, sometimes two meals in a day (because thats how the chicken chopped!!) and the skip a day... we have had a few issues with the cats wandering with food but you know what?? stick a dog on the other side of the gate and for some reason, they are less inclined to go roaming.

i would not feed raw in a patty. for starters, you grind it up and you miss the teeth cleaning aspect of it. secondly, raw feeding is so easy when you feed the whole meat, on the bone. a quick cut and youre done. you can dress a whole 6lb chicken in less than 5 minutes and most other cuts come in meal sized portions unless you are feeding a mouse.

we have just made some changes in how we feed our pets to include some dry food as an option for when we travel. unfortunately Frances and Baby Girl are just not interested!!! boy, if we could have just two cats alike... it sure would uncomplicate things.

what sort of things are you bothered by?? im sure we can come up with solutions for all of them. raw feeding is so easy and simple, all it requires is some basic knowledge and a bit of doggy/kitty thinking. as Merlin always says.... what would they have caught today??? as we have done and are working on (speaking of which.... gotta email him back!!), find yourself a local supplier of whole rabbit and chicken. you should be able to ahve them butcher it into meal sized portions since they dont even have to be careful of what they parts look like.

you know what else is really great about homemade pet food or raw?? all that stuff they drop on the floor just becomes a part of their diet instead of a concern for adult weight gain.

please, any questions, logistical concerns, germ concerns.... dont hesitate to ask. im in much of the same boat as you are and so far, we have found some clever solutions for the situations weve come up against!!! i totally applaud you for taking the first steps in considering raw for your handsome photogenic fur babies.

-ashley
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  #4  
Old March 6th, 2008, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckypenny View Post
May I ask why you're considering a switch?
After coming to this site, I made a 50% switch for Butterscotch to tinned food.
And the visible difference in her - her coat is so much fuller, smoother and softer - her eyes are much brighter - it is amazing.

And that's feeding her Fancy Feast ! Not a "premium" brand even, just Fancy Feast.

If moving to tinned food has made that kind of difference, I can only imagine what a raw diet could do.

And, honestly, tinned food gets expensive !
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  #5  
Old March 6th, 2008, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by want4rain View Post
please, any questions, logistical concerns, germ concerns.... dont hesitate to ask. im in much of the same boat as you are and so far, we have found some clever solutions for the situations weve come up against!!! i totally applaud you for taking the first steps in considering raw for your handsome photogenic fur babies.

-ashley

My main concerns :

- germs / bacteria control. I'm *not* a germaphobe, but I don't want my little kids getting into raw meat juices.

- nutrition. How can I be sure that my animals are getting enough of what they need ?

- cost. We are not a "well off" family, so need to feed the best we can as cheaply as we can - humans and animals alike.
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  #6  
Old March 6th, 2008, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Kashi View Post
My main concerns :

- germs / bacteria control. I'm *not* a germaphobe, but I don't want my little kids getting into raw meat juices.
some things we do that make me feel better are this-
we prep their food no differently than we would our own food. we use a 'raw meat only' cutting board, we are careful to wash up with vinegar when we are done. dont wipe it dry, wipe it clean, respray with a 50/50 vinegar/water and let dry. from there, everything has its own containerback door handles, fridge door handles, floor, counter tops, faucet handles are all things that commonly disinfected with vinegar or thymol. we have pergo flooring so the floor is very very flat. i can SEE if there is any left over meat and easily mop it up with a swiffer. we rinse the usual stuff out of them and mop up with vinegar and when we are done we rinse it well and reuse it the next day. get perhaps a week out of each of them?? they hold up remarkably well!!! we also only feed very late at night or at nap time ti give the dog and cats a chance to clean up before Jeffrey sticks his fingers in their mouth. do you ever keep Pugsley separated by a gate?? i know baby gates are a life saver for our family but i recently discovered some parents dont use them!!!

im fully aware the cats use their paws to pull the meat apart, as does the dog.... then they come in side and walk all over my house. they also scratcha round in their own poop (of which is nastier than raw meat) and then walk all over the house. im not much more concerned about that than i am the litter and poop. i figured if something would make them sick, it owuld be the poo from the litter boxes.

im also aware that dogs shed yuckies in their poop. the kids just dont play out in his yard. it wouild be different if i could get a clear cut image of where all his poop is but frankly, its wood chips and leaves out there. i do my best, try to get it when i see it but honestly.... im just that sure i miss some so the kids find other places to play. if i had a nice bright sunny grassy yard or had to walk him out there and he had to poo when i could see, that would be different. i dont think i would have a problem with the kids playing out there.

Quote:
- nutrition. How can I be sure that my animals are getting enough of what they need ?
variety. if you feed a variety of meats and organs and aim for the WHOLE animal you will be just fine.

Quote:
- cost. We are not a "well off" family, so need to feed the best we can as cheaply as we can - humans and animals alike.
this is a really tough question. the cheapest way to go would be to find a whole animal supplier and get it butchered and put it in a really big freezer in meal sized portions. we can get (here in NC USA) whole rabbit($0.74), whole chicken($0.52), whole cow(depends on age), whole lamb($0.80) and whole goat($1.02) for sure here, all (organs and all) for under/at $1.00 per pound which is a fantastic deal. we just havent had the money to spring for a freezer nor the space to put it. as is we get chicken (meat and bones only) for $0.81 per pound, lamb meat and bone runs us $3.00/lb... turkey is about $1.20 per pound, inexpensive pork cuts are usually $2.00 per pound... so it gets expensive if you cant butcher your own meat. our future rabbit supplier will butcher them for us into meal sized portions, he said we should be able to fit 4 or 5 in our fridge. if we supplement with maybe 1/4 of their meals being chicken, that should last us 2-3 weeks.

when money is exceptionally tight we feed mostly chicken products and egg and fish because its the least expensive things we can find. when money is good Mister eats lamb and beef, maybe some other exotic meats. i ran across ostrich eggs once. the cats get more expensive birds like duck and corning game hens. they can still chew the bones of those.

when we first started feeding raw we were probably paying as much as $4-5 per pound until we learned how to keep an eye out for good deals.

for now, we are going to try feeding Evo to the cats and dogs in the mornings now that we have established the psychological YAY!! of feeding raw in the evenings.

my suggestion is to go complete raw for both of them, stay that way for as long as possible (to build up the habit of eating it and looking forward to it) and then reintroduce kibble of you want to. its a hard task with older cats but your Pugsley should take right to it. have you fed anything raw yet?? Mister took to it like a duck to water! but all of the cats (but for Frances because she was so young) fought us. as of now Shadow still thinks kibble is crack, Hunter is either/or and Baby Girl turns her nose up at anythign but raw. Frances.... she is unique in that she would probably eat anything although so far in our reintroduction of kibble she hasnt been interested.

what kind of floor do you have in the kitchen? how accessible is it to the kids? are you able to feed in a kennel or outside? feed early morning and late evening?? are you willing, if you decide to feed on the floor, to clean with vinegar?? its a safe, nontoxic, edible disinfectant because you dont want your pets ingesting Pinesol/Lysol. another disinfectant (a better one) is thymol. you can probably get it from your local health food store or i believe Melaluca sells some. the thymol is from the thyme plant.

does any of that help some???

-ashley
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  #7  
Old March 6th, 2008, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Kashi View Post
My main concerns :

- germs / bacteria control. I'm *not* a germaphobe, but I don't want my little kids getting into raw meat juices.
As you would do when preparing meat for your family, wash surfaces afterwards with hot soapy water and rinse. I put 3% peroxide in a spray bottle and mist over counters and cutting boards and wipe. If pieces of meat are smaller, my guys eat out of their bowls. If larger cuts, then I either feed them outdoors or in their crates. I simply wash their crates down and wipe peroxide on the floors of them as well. I wipe their paws off or send them outdoors in the snow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kashi View Post
- nutrition. How can I be sure that my animals are getting enough of what they need ?
The goal is 80% meat, 10% offal/organs, and 10% bone. Feed 1.5-2% of body weight. For example, my pups all weigh around 60lbs but are very active. I feed approximately 1 3/4 to 2 lbs daily. If you notice either weight gain or weight loss, adjust the amounts you feed. A variety is important. We mainly feed chicken, beef, pork, and fish such as sardines and mackerel. Occasionally, they get rabbit, duck, turkey, quail, if I can find it at a good price. We don't feed lamb because all of our three dogs get extemely ill with it but that is not the case with all dogs. Green tripe in small amounts is also fed a few times per week. I choose to supplement a couple of days a week with vitamins B-complex, E, alfalfa, kelp, a variety of herbs, and some juiced fruits and veggies in minute amounts. Probably not necessary but I feel more comfortable doing it this way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kashi View Post
- cost. We are not a "well off" family, so need to feed the best we can as cheaply as we can - humans and animals alike.
Pugsley and Butterscotch are small so I don't see it costing you very much at all. Scan grocery store flyers for specials and stock up when you find a good deal. If you have a good butcher or if you can make friends with one, ask for trimmings and bones he would normally not be able to use. You may even get it for free or next to nothing. The same goes for small poultry stores. Because we have three dogs who eat a combined amount of almost 6 lbs daily, we usually end up ordering large quantities directly from a distributor/wholesaler. If you can find a raw-feeding group in your area, perhaps they jointly order meat from farms and distributors at low cost. It might be something worth looking into.
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Last edited by luckypenny; March 6th, 2008 at 10:51 AM.
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  #8  
Old March 7th, 2008, 09:25 PM
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Thank you.

I've got lots to think about here - and to help me convince hubby too (which is admittedly something of a minor roadblock).

On the up side - both animals had vet checks today, and apparently look great. Aside from some build up on Butterscotch's teeth that is.
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Old March 7th, 2008, 09:55 PM
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anyone here to answer a "raw" question tonight?? Rockys hungry!

Hey guys, Rocky has switched to Raw and is doing very well on it.. however, tonight I have a dilemna so Im hoping someone is online!

I know your not supposed to feed raw and cooked together but he just got into the garbage and ate a cooked sirloin burger, it had a bit of garlic seasoning on it.... Im sure that would be okay BUT its time for his late meal and hes hungry..!!!! so I don't know if I should give him his usual raw chicken dinner as he got into the cooked burger only an hour or so ago????
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Old March 7th, 2008, 10:02 PM
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babyrocky1- start your own thread??? if it had been my dog, i wouldnt sweat it. he has a cast iron stomach and we dont make it a habit of feeding raw and cooked together, once wont hurt anything by any stretch of the imagination.

Kashi- take your time with it. get yourself a whole chicken and try feeding little pieces as treats. if your cat really digs his heels in, REALLY take your time. i betcha Pugsley would appreciate the evening treat. its a nice easy way for you to dip your toe in without having to commit to it.

-ashley
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Old March 7th, 2008, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by want4rain View Post
babyrocky1- start your own thread??? if it had been my dog, i wouldnt sweat it. he has a cast iron stomach and we dont make it a habit of feeding raw and cooked together, once wont hurt anything by any stretch of the imagination.

Kashi- take your time with it. get yourself a whole chicken and try feeding little pieces as treats. if your cat really digs his heels in, REALLY take your time. i betcha Pugsley would appreciate the evening treat. its a nice easy way for you to dip your toe in without having to commit to it.

-ashley
sorry bout that, didn't mean to hijack.. its hard to concentrate with a wining dog in the background...LOL
I"ll go give him his raw chicken now.. just needed some moral support lol
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Old March 7th, 2008, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by babyrocky1 View Post
sorry bout that, didn't mean to hijack.. its hard to concentrate with a wining dog in the background...LOL
I"ll go give him his raw chicken now.. just needed some moral support lol
i know how that feels!!

-ash
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Old March 8th, 2008, 05:07 PM
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Okay - so we get 1 whole chicken. That's what - 6 lbs ? it's been a LONG time since I bought a whole chicken.


What about getting bags of legs or wings ? Some stores have them on sale fairly often.


What pieces should I give to which animal ?


Do I need to take the skin off ?


And - WHY am I so stinking confused about all of this ??
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  #14  
Old March 23rd, 2008, 09:46 AM
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Elizabeth Ann Elizabeth Ann is offline
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My main concerns :
- cost. We are not a "well off" family, so need to feed the best we can as cheaply as we can - humans and animals alike.
We go to a place called Sargent Farms in Milton and get 50 lbs of chicken backs for $16.40. Then every other or every third day we feed the store bought raw "stew".

I take the 50lbs and divide it into meal size proportions and then put it into the freezer. I use large freezer bags that I get at price choppers when they have their $1 days.

It's only costing us around $20 more then where we were feeding dry kibble.
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Old March 23rd, 2008, 02:09 PM
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Wow that's cheap,I need to get a big freezer.
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Old March 25th, 2008, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Elizabeth Ann View Post
We go to a place called Sargent Farms in Milton and get 50 lbs of chicken backs for $16.40. Then every other or every third day we feed the store bought raw "stew".

I take the 50lbs and divide it into meal size proportions and then put it into the freezer. I use large freezer bags that I get at price choppers when they have their $1 days.

It's only costing us around $20 more then where we were feeding dry kibble.
WOW !! That is super cheap.
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Old March 25th, 2008, 10:13 PM
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oh my gosh! i never responded to that March 8th post you made?!?! im sorry! i could have swore i wrote something up!! how did the chicken go??

-ashley
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Old March 31st, 2008, 09:32 PM
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Kashi - as for a place to feed - I feed Susie on some bed wetter pads I have. They are fabric with a waterproof backing - then I'll just toss it in the wash.
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Old April 1st, 2008, 10:08 AM
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I've just been tossing Pugsley's morning food outside with him. Gets him away from the kidlets while he eats that way, and no worry about clean up - he doesn't leave anything, and the sun and rain will take care of any residue.
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