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Old November 12th, 2017, 08:44 AM
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Can I feed turkey neck to JD?

He's only 6 pounds. Would a turkey vertebra be too large for him? I'm not so interested in using it for food, but he has bad teeth and gnawing seems to help him. With Thanksgiving coming up, I was thinking about saving out the neck, or part of it, for his chewing pleasure...but is he likely to hurt his jaw, or maybe get too much bone from something the size of a turkey vertebra?
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Old November 12th, 2017, 11:44 AM
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Good morning Hazel:

I would be trying the turkey neck to see if he'll eat it. What I would do is cut the neck into 3 or 4 pieces - depending on how long it is - and put each piece into a small zip lock bag, so they can be either refrigerated or frozen for future use.

When it comes time to give him a piece, thaw it out and then place the bag with the neck piece in it, into a container of hot tap water to warm it up to body temperature. "Do not use microwave". It's too hard to control the heat and it also starts the cooking which destroys the nutritional value of the neck.

I use chicken necks when I can get them. I use the necks out of Cornish Hens because they come with the bird still. Chicken necks don't come with the birds anymore, neither do the giblets. BB loves the necks from Cornish hens. I think they might be a little softer than chicken and smaller.

BB, our Manx kitty cat, is the only one of our three who eats them anyway.
We had a vet years and years ago who believed in feeding necks of birds to cats, and oxtails to dogs, 2 or three times a week, under supervision. This was for teeth maintenance and a well deserved treat. The sinews and the bone have the effect of a toothbrush to remove plaque and clean the teeth similar to flossing.

Our turkey necks end up going into broth to be mixed into the cat food when I make it. I think I'll try the turkey necks one of these days. I have to make up food in the next week or so, and it will be turkey.

Hope this helps a bit.
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Old November 12th, 2017, 11:59 AM
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I wonder why the giblets don't come with the birds anymore , was going to give the heart and liver to my dogs . I was thinking the same about cutting the turkey neck into pieces too. Reg.
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Old November 12th, 2017, 06:22 PM
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So I won't need to smash or cut each vertebra into smaller pieces, Reg? Just let him gnaw on it like with chicken neck pieces? I suspect one turkey vertebra at a time would be more than plenty, and I'm hoping he likes it, cuz then we'll have lots of chewing material

I wish giblets came with chickens--but as it is, I satisfy my craving for organ meats by buying the occasional package of chicken livers. Wish I could get hearts and gizzards, too, but that's a turkey sort of treat these days...so once or twice a year.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 12:03 AM
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Hazel:

Been giving your situation some more thought. Because JD is only 6 pounds - didn't realize he was that small - maybe it would be best to give him 2 vertebra at a time to start and see how he handles it.

Basically what you're wanting to do is stimulate the chewing action on the meat and sinews that connect the bone, to help clean the teeth, exercise the jaw, and stimulate the blood flow through the gums. This in turn will help to relieve infection around the teeth and strengthen his gums.

You really don't want him to be over indulging on bone because it will have a tendency to harden up the stool when he has a bowel movement due to the Calcium content.

I will be making turkey later this week and I will try a turkey neck as well with BB.

I'm going to check with our butcher to find out why they have quit including the giblets with the chickens. I did ask this question a few years back, but I can't remember what the answer was for sure. I think it is a health issue, but not sure. But we do have the ability to buy heart, liver, and gizzards separately in the stores here.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 08:51 AM
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You can get chicken heart and gizzards separately? I'm envious! They only sell the chicken livers here as far as I know--but I'll have hubby check on his next grocery run.

Yeah, JD is a little runt. We did up his food a bit, so he's usually 6 to 6.2 pounds (he used to be about 5.8 or 5.9). That seemed to help both is overall health and the quality of his fur. If I let him get more than 6.2, though, he starts getting sort of paunchy... So he's just a little guy.

If he does get too much bone the first time and his stool hardens up, can I give him a little pumpkin for a day or so to help him out? Or is pumpkin something that cats can't handle well?
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Old November 13th, 2017, 11:19 AM
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I did not realize JD was that small either. What about chicken necks? I buy them in a bag at my raw food supplier. I keep them in the freezer. My supplier just lives down the road. The turkey necks he has are HUGE but I know the necks from the grocery store turkeys meant for MY table are much smaller.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 05:46 PM
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You're on the right track with his teeth, nothing like raw bones as a toothbrush. Don't worry, give the turkey neck and let him have at it. My minpin is raw fed, and eats pretty much anything now, bones small and large. Pork ribs are great, I'll buy a rack at a time, cut them up and freeze - feed as needed. Chicken feet are a good chew, any chicken bone actaully. Do not cook them, tho mine has gotten into cooked bones and it did no harm.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 06:51 PM
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I wish I had a supplier just down the road, Longblades!! As it is, even chicken necks are hard to get here--so I was hoping I could utilize the turkey neck from our Thanksgiving Dinner as chews for the cat.

Do I take the skin off it, do you think? It's a lot thicker and fattier than on chicken necks...
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Old November 13th, 2017, 11:34 PM
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I don't think you can go too far wrong with having a small can of pumpkin puree on hand - which is the pure pumpkin. Just in case you have issues with constipation. What you can do is freeze it in zip lock baggies in small amounts once it has been opened.

I use it in the food when I'm making it up. I use between 1 and 2 tablespoons per pound of meat.

Usually the skin is already off the neck due to the way they are butchered.

Hopefully my turkey is thawed out enough by tomorrow that I can get the neck out of the bird and see what the results are of introducing BB to the turkey neck.

I don't think you will have too much trouble with JD and the turkey neck as long as it is used as a treat 2 or maybe 3 times a week in small amounts.

I also get my chicken heart, livers, and gizzards all fresh. The odd time they may be frozen if I get them locally - but into TB they are usually fresh.
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Old November 14th, 2017, 09:02 AM
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Oh, yeah--come to think of it, they usually are skinless these days. That's good--less work for me!

Our 'local' stores are small shops and don't have a lot available in the way of organs and necks. I had a thought, though--lots of Amish in the area that sell fryer chickens... Hmmmm...
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Old November 14th, 2017, 09:51 AM
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I can buy some gizzards separately too and I think the stores are removing the gizzards and selling them separately to made more $$$ ! Some people like to add the gizzards when making gravy for more flavor . Marty teeth are getting dirty but I not sure I dare to give him any turkey necks , he'll want to eat it on my w/w rug
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Old November 14th, 2017, 11:48 PM
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Got my turkey thawed out and got the neck out. Cut it into pieces about an inch and half long with my meat cleaver. Gave BB a piece after supper tonight. It was an inopportune time to give it to her because she had just had her supper. But for the short time she was at it , she ate quite a bit of the meat.

Try JD on the same amount and see how he makes out. The size in diameter doesn't mean that much - they turn their head sideways to the meat and chew into it with their molars.

All you can do is watch and see how he handles it, and make any changes necessary. like splitting the piece in half lengthwise.

I talked to the meat department people today - the manager wasn't in - and they more or less agreed with what Barkingdog suggested - that it's a way to make more $$$$.

But it seems to me that I sort of remember that the reason they remove the giblets from the bird if its fresh, is because they tend to spoil quicker than the regular meat of the bird. So if they're left in the cavity and spoil, it contaminates the bird and this can be a health problem. Birds that are slaughtered and then fast frozen can have the giblets left in, like the way we buy turkeys. But I'm still checking to find out if that's what it is.
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Old November 15th, 2017, 08:44 AM
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The spoilage issue does make sense. Most whole chickens I see in the store are not frozen.

I'll be taking my turkey out this weekend, so by Wednesday, I'll be able to extract the neck. I'm actually excited about seeing what JD makes of it. I've never been so excited about raw giblets before!
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Old November 15th, 2017, 05:40 PM
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Hazel you should take some photos of JD eating his first turkey neck ! I wonder if the frozen cornish hens have their gizzards inside of them . I would like to give Marty a taste for a treat.
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Old November 15th, 2017, 06:22 PM
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I'll try to get some pics--but pray for a sunny day, cuz otherwise it's too dark in his eating area to get a decent shot!
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Old November 15th, 2017, 11:22 PM
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Well Barkingdog, the Cornish Hens we get don't have gizzards in them - in fact, we're lucky if they have a neck inside them. They don't have hearts or liver either.

Glad you brought up the idea of taking a pic of JD enjoying his first turkey neck. That would be nice.
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Old November 16th, 2017, 09:14 AM
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I haven't bought Cornish Hens for so long...but if I ever switch JD totally over to raw, I suspect one Cornish Hen might do for a fair amount of meals. Sort of more his size than a whole turkey!
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Old November 16th, 2017, 02:18 PM
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Yeah JD could have leftovers from his Thanksgiving meal if he had a whole Cornish hen for himself ! It been awhile since I had one so I can't remember if it came with any gizzards .
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Old November 16th, 2017, 11:02 PM
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I suspect he'd have a week's worth of meals from a Cornish hen, Barkingdog!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhynes View Post
Y Pork ribs are great, I'll buy a rack at a time, cut them up and freeze - feed as needed. Chicken feet are a good chew, any chicken bone actually.
rhynes, are these the narrow ribs? I saw some thin ones in a rack but there were also some thicker cuts. Where the heck do you get chicken feet? I think the dogs might enjoy those, too!
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Old November 16th, 2017, 11:23 PM
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rhynes, are these the narrow ribs? I saw some thin ones in a rack but there were also some thicker cuts. Where the heck do you get chicken feet? I think the dogs might enjoy those, too!
I buy whatever I can get to be honest, feeding a small dog raw anything can be a pain.

I'll buy full pork rib racks, cut them up, leave some meat on and it's a meal for him. There is nothing left when he's done. sometimes the short ribs. As long as the dog is a good chewer, anything goes. I'll buy chicken wings, give him a section - removing the skin. Oxtail isn't cheap, but it's a good chew as well, acts like a dental floss - but beef is pretty rich if your dog isn't raw fed. I'll debone chicken legs, freeze the bones for snacks for him.

My Pin is 9 pounds, hard to find a good selection of bones that he can eat. I buy chicken feet at local asian market - TNT. I have to say, it still grosses me out to watch him eat a chicken foot, he nips the nails off and eats the rest.
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Old November 17th, 2017, 08:52 AM
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I think our nearest asian market (if we have one) is at least 50 miles away... But I still haven't talked to any of the Amish farmers who sell chickens... They sell them whole (and usually living, but I suspect they'd butcher one for me for a price...)

JD is a cat, and only 6 pounds--do you think a rib bone is too hard for him?
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Old November 18th, 2017, 12:39 AM
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I think our nearest asian market (if we have one) is at least 50 miles away... But I still haven't talked to any of the Amish farmers who sell chickens... They sell them whole (and usually living, but I suspect they'd butcher one for me for a price...)

JD is a cat, and only 6 pounds--do you think a rib bone is too hard for him?
I have to apologize, I missed the part where JD is a cat, I was thinking small dog. Ribs probably wouldn't be a good thing.
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Old November 18th, 2017, 09:37 AM
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I should have put that in the first post. So a pork rib would be too hard for him to chew on? I'm not looking for a meal suggestion, since he eats primarily canned at this point--just something to help his teeth. (His teeth have been very yellow since he arrived--the vet thinks it might have something to do with his mother's poor nutrition, which is a conjecture since JD was a stray and we really don't know the history of his family. We get them checked and cleaned every 6 months--he's had 4 pulled, 2 incisors because they cracked, 1 incisor because of bone loss and one upper back tooth because it was being resorbed. )
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Old November 23rd, 2017, 06:22 PM
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The turkey neck was a big hit! I shot some video and put it out on Facebook. Supposedly, this link should take you to it, whether or not you have a FB account:

https://www.facebook.com/hazelrunpac...96689958609864

I still have 4 or 5 sections of neck left. I was thinking maybe offering it once a week?
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Old November 23rd, 2017, 07:14 PM
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OMG ! hazel that was so cute the way JD looked for the rest of the neck ! You should freeze the rest of the piece , once a week sounds fine to me but I bet JD would disagree and want it everyday !
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Old November 23rd, 2017, 11:25 PM
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I wrapped them all separately and threw them in the freezer, so I can thaw and serve whenever... And, yeah, he was already looking for another piece tonight, I think! He's definitely not a fussy eater. I keep telling hubby how we lucked out and had the perfect Starter Kitty adopt us!
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Old November 24th, 2017, 12:14 AM
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Nice to see JD making short work of the turkey neck. He sure seemed to be enjoying it. I think if you offer it once a week for now to see how things go, that would be fine. It will be interesting to see how he handles the larger end of the neck. I know with BB - she demolishes the small end pretty well the same as JD did - but when it comes to the larger end of the neck, basically all she does is remove the meat and maybe a tiny bit of bone, and then leaves it.

Yogi usually takes over then and practices his footwork from one end of the kitchen to the other as if getting ready for a soccer tournament, batting it with his front paws all over the place. It seems to be beneath him to chew on it.

Interesting thing would be to watch JD's teeth and gums to see the effect of the chewing action on them.
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Old November 24th, 2017, 08:42 AM
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I tried to cut the larger end into smaller pieces, but the vertebrae cling to one another more strongly on that end! Holy catz! Even with the game sheers, it was a struggle! (I'm getting weaker in my old age--foiled by a turkey neck! )

about improvement to his teeth! I figure the minerals he's getting from the bone can't hurt, either.

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Yogi usually takes over then and practices his footwork from one end of the kitchen to the other as if getting ready for a soccer tournament, batting it with his front paws all over the place. It seems to be beneath him to chew on it.
You made me snort my coffee!
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Old November 24th, 2017, 12:59 PM
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I assume you feed the cat commercial products? If that's the case, the only concern with feeding bone would be to check the poop. I feed my dog raw exclusively, I add bone to firm up the poop, if the poop is too hard, then reduce. Just be careful the cat doesn't get bunged up.

Chicken wingettes or tips would be another good source of chewable and edible bone, just remove the skin.
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