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Old May 11th, 2017, 11:51 AM
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Can I add small pieces of chicken neck to JD's canned food diet?

JD evidently had a bad start in life--his teeth are already discolored and two of his incisors were removed last month because they were loose. He's probably about a year and a couple months old. Would it help to add some chicken neck to his diet to give him something harder to gnaw on? And if so, how much can I add without screwing up the nutrition mix? Right now he's on canned food--a mix of varieties from Merrick and Blue. At some point, I may look into switching him over to raw entirely, but I need to research it for a while longer before I'm comfortable with it. And I've found nothing about whether bone can be added this way to a canned diet...so I thought I'd ask for some opinions.
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Old May 11th, 2017, 02:42 PM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
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How does the rest of JD teeth look does he have and chipped teeth that could get broken while chewing on bones ? How about adding supplement to his food? I would try very small pieces of raw chicken and watch JD while eating it . I bet your dogs are going to want some too ! I am glad JD has a good home now.
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Old May 11th, 2017, 04:30 PM
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Our dogs have been known to steal whole chicken breasts off the counter and leave no evidence! So, yeah, they'll be jealous!

No chipped teeth--whatever is happening in there is physiological, not mechanical. The rest of his teeth were perfect except for the yellow staining. The two incisors were loose due to bone loss

I'm hoping that if he gets something to chew (which he doesn't have now) that it'll somehow improve the situation.
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Old May 11th, 2017, 10:05 PM
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Hi Hazel:

You're right. Chewing will help to strengthen the teeth and gums. Years ago I had 2 Abbys that had Gingivitis and dental issues. It was recommended that I start them off with small amounts of raw meat - chicken, lamb, beef, whatever was at hand at the time - as well as to do a light massage on the gums with a finger to help stimulate blood flow in the gum area. This helped to relieve any inflammation. As time went on, give small pieces of raw chicken necks 2 or 3 times a week. I started by cutting the neck into quarter pieces and today I've upped it to into three pieces.

Something to remember is to warm the pieces up. Put them into a plastic poly bag in some warm water - it enhances the flavour and makes it more palatable for them. Do not use microwave for heating any animal food.

I was told years ago by one of our vets that using a microwave to warm or heat anything - even for humans - destroys the nutritional value of the food from the radiation.

We still have one kitty cat who loves to get her chicken neck pieces when we have them, and she is 9 years now. The bones are soft and you don't have to worry about there being any damage to the teeth, and the sinew works like floss to clean between the teeth. It's like giving dogs ox tails for their teeth for the same reason.
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Old May 12th, 2017, 11:45 AM
Longblades Longblades is offline
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Mine love a chicken neck every now and then. I got such a kick out of hearing the kittens growl at each other the first time. Ditto Reg on chewing and my Vet feels the same way about the microwave. LOL, it's much more rewarding to give a whole chicken neck to my cats. With the dog it's Gulp, Gone.
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Old May 12th, 2017, 03:33 PM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
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I read it best not to feed a whole chicken neck to a pet they could choke on it . My dog would be wanting to eat it on my rug so I don't give any raw food . I was going to cook some of the chicken gizzard from a whole chicken I brought and there was no chicken gizzard in the chicken to give to Marty . I thought the chicken gizzard was part of the chicken .
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Old May 12th, 2017, 04:43 PM
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Do you feed the neck with the skin on or do you strip it, first?

Barkingdog, JD is so small (less than 6 lbs) that I doubt he could fit a big enough piece in his mouth, much less swallow it far enough to choke on it--but I'll watch him when I give him neck to chew on to make sure he has no problems. Most of the basement is linoleum floor and likely, he'll eat it in his kennel, anyway, so at least I won't have to clean up the slime on the carpet! Well, unless he barfs it back up, of course....
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Old May 12th, 2017, 05:47 PM
Longblades Longblades is offline
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The chicken necks I bought didn't have any skin on them. Neither did the turkey necks I got for the dog. Yes, for my cats, the chicken necks were big enough they had to gnaw at them to break them up. They were about 7 months old with their first ones, so about JD's weight then, and the chicken necks looked a good size next to them. I guess it depends on where the necks are sourced from, they vary in size. Of course I supervise them.
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Old May 12th, 2017, 09:40 PM
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Hi Hazel:

We have the same situation here as Longblades has. If and when the chicken neck is actually with the chicken, there is no skin on it, the skin is still on the bird though.

We have the same problem here as well as Barkingdog has when it comes to chickens. We used to get the innards with them - heart, gizzard, and neck - but quite often none of these are included with the bird. The same is sort of true with the turkeys.

We have noticed in the past couple of years that we have had to purchase chicken hearts, livers and necks separately, and only certain of our food stores carry them fresh. Our local store will bring them in but they are usually frozen because we live in a small town and they are not on the priority list for the store - not high demand.

Even buying organic chicken, they don't have these items tucked inside.

We don't think there is the hazard with choking with cats as there might be with dogs - simply because of the way they eat. Just make sure you are in supervisory atmosphere when they are offered to the kitty, until you feel comfortable with the kitty being on its own when eating them.
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Old May 12th, 2017, 09:53 PM
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It's been so long since I've bought a whole chicken that I'm not sure if they still include the necks. They used to leave the skin on the necks, but things may have changed. I hope one of the small local butchers will be able to get me some. Will have to ask next time I'm up in Thorp.
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Old May 13th, 2017, 07:19 AM
Longblades Longblades is offline
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I buy my chicken and turkey necks from a raw dog food supplier who is conveniently close to me. 10 or 20 necks in a bag for the chicken. I keep frozen. A local dog training place has them too but way, way, way more expensive at the dog training place.
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Old May 13th, 2017, 09:11 AM
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A neighbor just donated a vacuum-packed, frozen pheasant carcass--it's about 3 years old, but vacuum-packed and frozen, it should still be good. Is pheasant a good meat for cats? It has part of the neck on it, and the wing tips and ribs would be good for JD, too, wouldn't they?
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Old May 13th, 2017, 09:58 AM
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Hazel - the pheasant is an excellent meat for cats - lucky you, you have some. Our neighbour doesn't throw goodies over our fence for the cats.

I'd be starting to try to get a neck or 2 to test him on before thawing the whole bird out - to see if he'll eat it. Cats really are not fussy or don't like a change in food normally. Switching from commercial to anything raw could be quite a chore. But then, he might just like it and figure - Wow, this is something I could get used to.

If you are going to get into raw, suggestion that you use a really good recipe.

The problem you have is with JD being so small, you're only looking at about 50 to 60 gm for a full meal. So the pheasant would be pretty much a really really good supply of meat. Unless you can cut it up frozen and use it over a period of time for treats as well as the odd main meal. Thawing the whole carcass out at once, you'd be wasting a lot of good meat.

Due to the fact that at the present time he is having mouth issues, I'd be just using it as a treat or just sticking to the chicken necks, until the situation improves.
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Old May 13th, 2017, 03:43 PM
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I think I'll be able to partially thaw it enough to cut it up with game scissors, and it should still be frozen enough to safely refreeze. But you make a good point about waiting to see if he likes the chicken necks before committing to the whole pheasant. It's been frozen a while now--I don't think a few more weeks or months will make a big difference!
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