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Old 11-07-2010, 12:47 PM
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Raw Feeding: everything you need to know!

update 25/11/2010 - unfortunately, despite the explanation below and the fact that it has been live for almost 5 months, this week I have been told that it is unclear as to the intention of this thread from the title.

Therefore to avoid any confusion, this thread is intended as a resource for those who want to feed a raw diet - simple as that. It has a lot of information collated into one place to make it less confusing to newbies and also discussion on feeding a raw diet including problems encountered and resolutions to these. Those who are making up their minds are welcome also.

I ask everyone to please keep on topic, as we are now on almost 600 posts and those people who are using this as a resource, as per the original intention, are now finding it difficult to wade through the off topic posts and find the information they need. Their questions are also getting lost and going unanswered because of this.

I hope that is clear - happy feeding!

------------------

I have found myself answering lots of threads on raw feeding lately, so thought I would put together some of the basics for people – hope its useful
If anyone else would like to add more, please do...also if you have any specific questions not answered here, please post and one of us will answer!

I have posted a series of posts here, so scroll down to see:
- 'The Basics'
- 'Switching to a raw diet'
- 'Pros and cons of feeding raw' Updated Links
- 'Where to buy supplies' & 'Further info' & 'Precautions' Updated Links
- 'Sample 2 week meal plan' to give you some ideas
- 'Pictures & preparation tips' Lots of pictures of the kinds of things you will be feeding and info on preparing meals (Incl. Sleeping Lion's thread)
- 'What about cats?' please see hobbs2004 great thread for feeding cats a raw diet: http://www.petforums.co.uk/cat-healt...eding-raw.html

- By request 'Feeding puppies' section coming soon!

Ok so the basics are as follows:

Model: I feed a raw diet originally based on Tom Lonsdale’s ‘Raw Meaty Bones (RMB)’ or prey model style feeding (see resources below for links to websites and books). This means that you feed as close as possible to a wild diet or whole raw prey (but most make this up with parts of the animals).

Some feed veggies, some feed fruit, some feed table scraps...in moderation, most fruit and veg will not harm your dog - but they are not a NECESSARY part of the diet, and there is currently no known nutritional requirement for them, as everything can be found within the raw meat/bones/offal etc components.

If you DO choose to feed veggies and fruit, please be aware that some of these items fed in excess can be harmful. For those who would like to feed veggies as well, see sleeping lions post quoted below with some great piccies of the food and nutritional breakdowns, further down in this series.

How much: You need to feed approx 2-3% of their expected adult body weight (if still growing) per day, or of their ideal adult body weight (if they have stopped growing) per day.

2% would perhaps be for a dog with low exercise or overweight. 3%+ would be for a dog with high exercise daily, perhaps sports dogs and also puppies. Somewhere around 2.5% suits most average adult dogs. Large breeds have slower metabolisms so they tend to need the lower % and small breeds have a high metabolism so often need far more than 3% even.

What? Remember the roughly 80:10:10 ratio – which is approx 70-80% muscle meat (incl. heart, tripe and oily fish), 10-20% bone (within some of that meat), 10% offal (this should be liver and half other offal such as kidney, spleen etc). However, this is a very rough guideline and should be tweaked to suit the dog - for instance many feed more like 15-20% bone and as little as 5% offal. Either way it usually equates to somewhere in the region of 50-70% of the diet as lumps of meat with bone in...the remainder of the diet being made up of boneless chunks of muscle meat, incl heart/tripe etc, plus a small amount of offal like liver & kidney. On top of this, many feed a couple of eggs a week (whole and raw).
(see next post below about switching to raw)

NOTE: None of this has to be religiously stuck to on a daily basis – as long as over a period of weeks this adds up to roughly the correct amounts – and each dog is different, so some may need slightly lower bone, some might not be able to tolerate that much offal etc etc, hence the variable % stated above too.
Additional info: if you would like to feed veggies/fruit also in 'Pictures & Preparation Tips' post below.

Some ideas for meals: could be a chunk of meat of beef, lamb, pork, chicken, rabbit, turkey, venison, oily fish such as salmon, mackeral, herring, sardines, a bone-in meal of rabbit/chicken quarter or pork/lamb ribs etc...heart from any of the above animals, beef/venison tripe...the list is endless!

Size of pieces: The size of the pieces should always be appropriate to the size of the dog and the bigger the better! For instance, I would not personally recommend feeding something like a chicken wing to anything larger than a small breed, as this could easily be ‘inhaled’ and swallowed whole...instead a chicken breast and wing quarter or even a half chicken is much better for medium + breeds.

Type of bones: You should preferably avoid any weight-bearing bones of the large ungulates (i.e. avoid leg bones of cows etc) as they are so dense that they can chip the enamel of a dogs teeth. My rule of thumb is that if I can stick a knife in the bone, then it is soft enough to feed (think pork/lamb rib bones, chicken/duck/rabbit bones etc)...

When? Feed whenever it is suitable to you – obviously with a puppy they would need a number of feeds per day, but by the time they are 6 months you would normally move them onto 2 meals a day and then once they have stopped growing many raw feeders put them onto 1 meal a day, often in the evening as it is most convenient. However, I personally feed twice a day still as this works for me and Maggie & the cats.

RESOURCES:
Ok so for a good overview of this, take a look at Tom Lonsdale’s site and books (PM me if you would like a copy): Raw Meaty Bones and the UK RMB Lobby: United Kingdom Raw Meaty Bones Support & Action Group

Some good info explaining the basics and answering common questions:
Difference between prey model & BARF
Answers to common questions

Worried about things like bacteria, frightened your dog might choke on a bone? – take a look at these common raw feeding myths and worries here for some answers to your fears: The Many Myths of Raw Feeding

Useful article here also: Removing the Fears Associated with Raw Feeding

Want some support from a massive worldwide group of like-minded people? Join the Yahoo lists below:
RawMeatyBones : RawMeatyBones
rawfeeding : Raw Feeding for dogs and cats!
RawPup : Rawfed Pups
Raw K9s (you can even ask to be assigned a mentor for this one who will help you through raw feeding every step of the way )

Also see the post a few below with 'Links to further information'.

Last edited by katiefranke; 25-11-2010 at 07:36 PM..
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Old 11-07-2010, 12:48 PM
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Re: Raw Feeding: everything you need to know!

Switching to a raw diet:

Some guidelines from my own experience and research would be:
Take it slow...there is no rush to get your dog eating everything all in one go!
Most people start with one protein source, such as chicken, and get their dogs on this for a week or so. Then add another protein source, ie rabbit or beef etc (so your dog is now eating chicken plus rabbit) for another week or so. If everything seems good, introduce another etc etc... I switched cold turkey so to speak – one day kibble, next day straight to raw and no looking back! But some like to introduce gradually – whichever you prefer – but if you do introduce gradually, then I would suggest keeping the kibble and raw meals separate as they digest at different rates.

I started with raw chicken breast (no bone) for the first couple of meals and then went to chicken breast & wing, and leg & thigh quarters (bone in). I took the skin off so she could tell it was meat and just let her eat it in her own time. She initially took a VERY long time to eat her first couple of meals, spending a lot of time licking it and not actually eating it! But now she chomps away quite happily. You may want to hold the food for your dog to eat with its first bone-in meal if you are worried. You will soon find that they can eat it quite happily on their own though

Once your dog seems settled on completely raw food for a couple of weeks, start introducing VERY small amounts of liver and offal at a time – so a tiny weeny bit as small as a little finger nail to start. Some dogs are not affected by liver & offal and can quickly build up to the right amount and can have a chunk every few days for their allowance eventually, whilst some never do too well on much liver and offal and may need to have tiny bits every day or so – as with everything, feed to your dogs tolerance.

I initially kept a drawer in my freezer and the bottom meat drawer in my fridge to store the food – but after a couple of months got a second-hand under counter freezer to keep everything in. I will have a utility soon so am going to have a tall freezer for all their food

Lots more tips here:
RawMeatyBones : RawMeatyBones
rawfeeding : Raw Feeding for dogs and cats!
RawPup : Rawfed Pups
Raw K9s (you can even ask to be assigned a mentor for this one who will help you through raw feeding every step of the way)
Switching to a Raw Diet

Last edited by katiefranke; 25-11-2010 at 07:37 PM..
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Old 11-07-2010, 12:50 PM
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Re: Raw Feeding: everything you need to know!

Pros and Cons of raw feeding:

I can honestly say I would never go back now out of choice - I feed the dog and both cats on a full raw diet...I do think that they need to be on it for a few months before you see the full benefits but also for me it is about long-term health, not just immediate visible benefits or cost.

So you know my comparison, I was feeding both dog and cats on a grain-free premium kibble (Orijen) prior to switching.

Ok so downsides:
Shopping/portioning: It’s a pain in the arse doing the initial shop every few weeks and then spending a good couple of hours cutting everything up and bagging it and arranging the freezer!
Cleaning: It also means I have to be slightly more conscientious with cleaning up after meal time, however, I must say that now we have been feeding like this for quite some time I am a bit lazy about it and none of us have had any ill effects from it.
Starting out: it is slightly confusing starting out and you do have to do a bit of research to understand what to feed - but there is so much info out there and once you start feeding like this you realise how simple it is! (assuming 'Raw Meaty Bones'/prey model, as from experience some other methods over-complicate it by insisting on all sorts of supplements)
Cost: when starting out it can be more expensive, but if you can build up relationships with butchers etc or buy from farmers markets and in bulk, you can get the costs right down. I could easily get mine lower in cost if I could be bothered to shop around a bit, but currently the cats are costing 1/2 the price per day they did on Orijen and the dog is very slightly more per day - but instead they are getting all free-range fresh meat!

But the benefits far outweigh the above:
Coats & skin: Everyone has beautiful glossy coats, lovely skin, bright eyes
Teeth & gums: Their teeth are amazing, seriously - maggies were not bad anyway so not a huge change there, but the cats - even I am amazed with the change - they were only about 18 months old when I put them on it and I didnt feed them a bad diet before, but their teeth were yellow and the back ones were slightly mushy and horrid and their gumline was all red and inflamed. All their teeth are now absolutely perfectly gleaming white and their gums are lovely and tight and the right colour! I am convinced to keep them on this diet with this change alone!
Allergies & sensitive tums: Maggie has allergies and this way I can control them much easier as I know exactly what I am feeding them all. Kittens used to have dodgy tums on any dry brand i tried but since feeding raw have really settled
Smaller/less frequent poops! All of them have much smaller, less frequent and less smelly poos. They are seriously smaller than kibble-fed dogs & cats as they can use more of the food and have less waste. Also, if for any reason you cant pick it up immediately (i.e. let out at 2am and in your PJs!) when you go to pick it up the sunlight has turned it to chalkyness - its not rank to pick up!
Never bored/fussy: They never seem to be bored or picky/fussy with their food - they love every single meal I give them and as it is a great variety they cant really get bored.
Enjoyment of food: They look like they are enjoying their food - really enjoying it - and it doesnt just get inhaled in 30 seconds, they have to work at it and take a bit of time to eat it all. It is great watching them enjoy crunching through their bone meals especially
Behaviour/Energy levels: I never have hyperactive times with any of them - but they still have a healthy amount of energy - especially noticeable with maggie being a BC (she is proving very fast at agility). I also know a number of people who were having real behaviour problems with adolescents and after switching to raw found it much easier to solve the issues
Long-term health benefits: I feel that by feeding this way for their lives I am going to be increasing the quality of their lives and health when they start getting old

One thing to add is that I do really think it depends on whether you add veg or grains, or feed part kibble etc, as my friends who feed with veg and also feed minces do not see quite the same benefits re teeth cleaning, smaller poops and behaviour. That could just be their individual circumstances though - would be interesting to know what others have found re these benefits if feeding veg/half and half etc...?


Some have asked, but what about bacteria/parasites? and wont my dog be bloodthirsty if I feed raw? how about bones being a choking hazard? However, a raw feeders view is that these are not 'cons' of raw feeding (hence why I dont list them above as such) but rather 'perceived' cons of raw feeding, or myths if you like. Whilst the following site is a little dated, most of the information is still relevant - so take a look and it should answer the questions above and more: The Many Myths of Raw Feeding

MYTH: Bacteria in raw meat is dangerous to my pet: http://rawfed.com/myths/bacteria.html
- Detailed article on The question of bacteria
MYTH: My pet will get parasites from the raw meat: http://rawfed.com/myths/parasites.html
MYTH: Raw-fed dogs pose a serious health risk to humans: http://rawfed.com/myths/zoonotic.html
MYTH: Feeding raw meat makes a dog bloodthirsty: http://rawfed.com/myths/bloodthirsty.html
- Raw feeding does NOT make your dog aggressive!
MYTH: Because of the risks of bones, ground raw diets are better: http://rawfed.com/myths/ground.html
MYTH: Raw meat diets are not balanced: http://rawfed.com/myths/balance.html
- More info on the question of balance: http://www.thewholedog.org/balance.html

Also take a look at this article: Removing the Fears Associated with Raw Feeding

Please also read Tom Lonsdales books (mentioned in post below) to find out more on each of these - he cites many articles in each chapter which provide further information also.

I would obviously encourage you to do further reading on these topics and carry out your own research to come to a point where you are comfortable with these things, but the above at least gives you a starting point to understand a raw feeders view on this... Please see links to further information at the bottom of the first post and also in the post below.

Last edited by katiefranke; 25-11-2010 at 07:41 PM..
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Old 11-07-2010, 12:51 PM
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Re: Raw Feeding: everything you need to know!

Where to buy supplies

I personally buy from my local butchers and supermarkets...however, there are loads of places you can buy from, just do a little digging!

Butchers & fresh counters at supermarkets at the very end of the day as they sometimes sell off cheaper and in bulk
Farm shops
Farmers markets
Ethnic markets often have the less common offal items
Online butchers & suppliers
Suppliers such as:
Woldsway Rabbit
The Dogfood Company - a review and info on this company in another thread on this forum: http://www.petforums.co.uk/dog-healt...d-company.html thread
http://www.petforums.co.uk/dog-healt...lier-list.html


Links to further information

A brilliant resource for understanding more about raw feeding: Jane Anderson's Raw Learning Site

Some answers to a lot of common questions and worries about raw, including dispelling some myths about raw feeding: The Many Myths of Raw Feeding

Another interesting article on Removing the Fears Associated with Raw Feeding

Great and informative Yahoo Lists on raw feeding - loads of very experienced members, great for starting out and troubleshooting:
RawMeatyBones : RawMeatyBones (mainly UK)

rawfeeding list (mainly US but thousands of members! – they also have many sister lists such as RawPup, RawChat etc)

Raw K9s (you can even ask to be assigned a mentor for this one who will help you through raw feeding every step of the way)

Ideas for ‘recipes’ with pictures!

B-Naturals Newsletter - Lew Olson, PhD Natural Nutrition - great site with a load of information and linked articles about canine nutrition, digestion etc. Explains the workings of digestion and how nutrients and component parts of the diet are utilised. Also info on feeding for paricular conditions and life stages etc.

Feeding a species appropriate diet: Home (includes a lot more info too on the related aspects of natural rearing in general)

SARF - Species Appropriate/Specific Nutrition: Species Specific Nutrition

Guide to raw feeding: Krisannrio's Raw feeding site - Home (good links page)

Feeding a raw diet – breeders thoughts: Leerburg | Feeding a Raw Diet

Optimum Pet Nutrition: Optimum Pet Nutrition

Articles of Interest regarding Diet & Nutrition: Articles Of Interest

A whole host of different information on raw feeding – links to video, audio & articles/sites: Raw Feeding Information | Aspenbloom Pet Care

Australian RMB Group: Aussie Raw Meaty Bones - Support & Action Group
US RMB Group: United States Raw Meaty Bones

Meat cuts - a great resource to help you understand where various cuts of meat are located on the animal: Meat Charts - The Virtual Weber Bullet

Dogs: The Omnivore-Carnivore Question, by Dr. Jeannie Thomason & Dr. Kim Bloomer: http://aspenbloompetcare.com/Dogs_Th...e_Question.pdf

Do Wolves/Dogs Eat the Vegetable Contents of Herbivores' Stomachs? : Raw Meaty Bones For Healthy Pets: Do Wolves/Dogs Eat the Vegetable Contents of Herbivores' Stomachs?

How to safely clean up after your pets and around the home in general without using harmful chemicals: Home

Dr Tom Lonsdales books:
Raw Meaty Bones: Promote Health - Raw Meaty Bones
"389 pages of peer-reviewed fully referenced information for pet owners, veterinarians, medical and dental researchers, teachers, journalists, regulators and anyone who cares about animals, the human economy and natural environment. For less than the price of a consultation with your vet learn how prevention not treatment leads to vital health benefits and cost savings."

Work Wonders: Feed your dog Raw Meaty Bones - Raw Meaty Bones
"Dr Tom Lonsdale inspires us to see a dog's dietary needs from a dog's perspective taking account of Nature's teachings, easily understood science and sound common sense.

Eight easy-to-read chapters lead us through the practical essentials of dog feeding including how to source, store and prepare raw food. Risk management is dealt with in Chapter 5. In Chapter 6 we learn about the junk-food induced diseases afflicting modern pets and in Chapter 7 the epidemic of canine oral disease and 'dog breath' is explained."



Precautions
More info on the RMB & rawfeeding Yahoo lists:

PORK: If you feed raw pork it is best to freeze it for at least 48 hours-1 week, but some suggest up to 3 weeks. The action of freezing kills the parasites as they need water to stay alive.

If you are not in the UK, you will also need to check if Aujeszky's Disease is a problem in your country: Defra, UK - Error page Luckily we do not have this in the UK - but always check the source of the pork to make sure it comes from within the UK.

BEEF: If feeding beef, some like to freeze for 48 hours-1 week, as it can carry a parasite called neospora caninum Neospora caninum - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

SALMON & TROUT: If feeding salmon (or trout) from the west coast of North America, from San Francisco to Alaska, they can potentially carry a deadly parasite - the microbe Neorickettsia helminthoeca lives in parasites which live in the fish. If dogs eat fresh, unfrozen fish they may develop salmon poisoning.

However, following the FDA guidelines for freezing will kill the parasite:
- Freeze and store at (-20C) or below for 7 days (total time) or;
- Freeze at (-35C) or below until solid and store at (-35C) or below for 15 hours or;
- Freeze at (-35C) or below until solid and store at (-20C) or below for 24 hours.
Note: these conditions may not be suitable for freezing particularly large fish (e.g. thicker than six inches) (FDA, 2001)

WILD GAME: if feeding wild game, please ensure all shot has been removed. Again, many like to freeze prior to feeding as they can carry parasites - freeze as per the freezing guidelines above...

Last edited by Tanya1989; 27-11-2011 at 03:40 PM..
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Old 11-07-2010, 12:52 PM
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Re: Raw Feeding: everything you need to know!

Sample 2 week meal plan

I have been asked a lot for a menu or my typical meal plan, so by popular demand, here is just a sample of a 2 week meal plan - this is by no means an exhaustive list of items and you will also find that you need to tailor to your dogs size, weight, exercise levels & bowel tolerance! Please remember that each new food should be introduced gradually!

At the time of writing, Maggie weighs 16.5kg and is an 18 month old Border Collie with moderate-high physical exercise (mix of play, free running, lead walks & agility).

We have adjusted the amount we feed her over the months as she has got older and judged whether we need to increase or decrease the amount by how she looks & feels – so I don’t want to see her ribs, but I want to be able to feel the individual ribs if I press my fingers lightly over them. A BC should be lean, but preferably not ‘skinny’ once past the leggy growth stage. We currently feed her approx 480-500g per day, which is a full 3% of her body weight.

I generally feed twice a day and usually give a meat-only meal in the AM and a bonier meal in the PM. If I give something with a high bone content like pork/lamb ribs, turkey neck, then I would try and feed meatier meals the following day to balance out.

As I don’t feed that much in the way of oily fish I add a small amount of cold-pressed salmon body oil or I have just started adding some good quality organic butter instead now it is getting colder and I want to keep her energy up for agility etc (dogs obtain their energy needs from animal proteins, fat and water – as opposed to carbs).

I also give cheese (another source of animal protein) cut into very small cubes, chicken/turkey (cooked for ease of handling), or cooked liver (again in very small cubes) for training treats pretty much daily.

Week 1 -

Day 1
Breakfast: turkey steak
Dinner: skin-on duck leg & thigh quarter
Day 2
Breakfast: lump of pork meat
Dinner: skin-on duck breast & wing quarter + a raw egg
Day 3
Breakfast: whole lambs heart
Dinner: slab of meaty pork ribs + a small amount of kidney/pancreas/lungs
Day 4
Breakfast: lump of beef meat (usually brisket)
Dinner: skin-on chicken breast & wing quarter
Day 5
Breakfast: chunks/strips of tripe + a raw egg (shell and all)
Dinner: slab of lamb ribs
Day 6
Breakfast: turkey steak
Dinner: skin-on chicken breast & wing quarter
Day 7
Breakfast: lump of beef meat
Dinner: slab of meaty pork ribs + a small amount of lamb or ox liver

Week 2 -

Day 1
Breakfast: piece of ox tongue
Dinner: skin-on chicken leg & thigh quarter
Day 2
Breakfast: lump of pork meat + chunks of tripe
Dinner: skin-on chicken breast & wing quarter + a raw egg (shell and all)
Day 3
Breakfast: ox heart
Dinner: slab of meaty pork ribs + a small amount of kidney/pancreas/lungs
Day 4
Breakfast:
Dinner: half a rabbit + a chicken liver
Day 5
Breakfast: chunks/strips of tripe + a raw egg (shell and all)
Dinner: chicken carcass
Day 6
Breakfast: venison meat (special treat)
Dinner: big turkey necks (quite boney meal as venison quite rich)
Day 7
Breakfast: a handful of sardines or other oily fish
Dinner: slab of meaty pork ribs, plus a small amount of kidney/pancreas/lungs

Last edited by katiefranke; 29-09-2010 at 11:10 PM..
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Old 11-07-2010, 12:53 PM
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Re: Raw Feeding: everything you need to know!

Pictures and preparation tips

Ok some piccies of typical meals in my house!

Take one whole chicken:


and cut off leg & thigh 1/4 and wing with some breast 1/4:


then if it is a decent size chicken you can get some meat off the breast for a meal too:


I cut off the wing tips for a treat for the cats!


And the meaty carcass can make a decent boney meal too;


So you get 4 chicken 1/4, some breast meat and a carcass out of chicken - for a larger dog you could just cut in half!


Heres a nice meaty meal - beef brisket - cut in half or appropriate meal sizes, or just feed as a whole lump - nice and tough to give a real good chewy workout:


Lump of lamb leg - again cut into half or appropriate portion sizes, or just feed as a whole lump:


Slabs of pork ribs:


and some ox heart in slices - I usually give whole but was cutting this for the cats too, so i would give a slice of this along with something else for maggie:


More ideas:
Sleeping Lion's thread with some great pictures of the kinds of things you will be feeding on a raw diet - including tips on how to prepare! To view the full thread conversation view here: http://www.petforums.co.uk/dog-healt...ml#post1616712

WARNING, GORY PICCIES OF RAW MEAT

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleeping_Lion View Post
Raw feeding isn't for everyone, but following on from the veggie bit I did a while back, I thought I'd do the equivalent post for meat, and try and explain a bit about what I include in their diet, and why. I've included photographs so people can see what the meats look like, not everyone has seen a beast (beef) heart for example, and some might not know the easiest way to take apart a lamb rib cage, so if you're squeamish, please be aware I've included photographs giving examples of these sorts of things.

I have only put in a bit of information about tripe from a useful tripe website, as I have included a link at the end, where you can read in full about the nutritional value of each of the raw meats, and the link also contains a very useful table showing how the vitamins and minerals are used.

First up is tripe, which mine get for breakfast approximately five times a week.

Green Tripe (not the bleached white stuff from the butchers)


Tripe is the stomach of ruminating animals. These animals (i.e. cattle, buffalo, sheep, deer, goats, antelope, etc.) are classified as being four-footed, hooved, cud chewing mamals with a stomach that consists of four chambers. The four chambers of such a stomach are known as the rumen, reticulum, omasum and the abomasum. The food the animal eats (i.e. grass, hay) is swallowed unchewed and passes into the rumen and reticulum where it is then regurgitated, chewed and mixed with saliva. It is again swallowed and then passed through the reticulum and omasum into the abomasum, where it is then further broken down by the gastric juices, amino acids and other digestive enzymes.

In an analysis of a sample of green tripe by a Woodson-Tenant Lab in Atlanta, Georgia, it was discovered that the calciumhosphorous ratio is 1:1, the overall pH is on the acidic side which is better for digestion, protein is 15.1, fat 11.7 and it contained the essential fatty acids, Linoleic and Linolenic, in their recommended proportions. Also discovered, was the presence of Lactic Acid Bacteria. Lactic Acid Bacteria, also known as Lactobacillus Acidophilus, is the good intestinal bacteria. It is the main ingredient in probiotics.

The tripe I get comes in 2lb bags, which I split between my two for breakfast, and mix in their blended veggies.


Raw Heart (Lamb or Beast (Beef))

I buy a mix of beast and lambs hearts, and chop it up and bag in portion sizes. They either get it as a meal on it’s own, or I use it over a couple of days adding bits in to their other food. The meat has a texture like steak, and it doesn’t smell like liver, kidneys or other offal.

A whole heart


This shows the texture of the meat


And here it is bagged up and frozen



Raw Lamb Bones

I get free bones from my local butchers, and they usually come supplied as whole rib cages. If you’re squeamish, and don’t like seeing how to take apart a carcass, don’t scroll down.





You will need a good pair of poultry shears and a sharp, small knife to make it easy to take the carcasses apart, first off, use the poultry shears to cut along the bottom of the ribs, about 2-3 inches in width.


From the back of the rib cage, where the ribs are longest, count two or three ribs in (depending on the size, for larger count three ribs in) and slide a knife down inbetween the third and fourth rib, making sure you cut right down to the backbone. Hold down the other rib cage from inside, and pull the three ribs back from the carcass, they should dislocate and tear away fairly easily. Do the same for the other side, although it isn’t as easy without having the full rib cage to pull against, it shouldn’t be too difficult.


Using the sharp knife, place the lamb bones resting upright on the ribs that are left, with the neck in your left hand, and cut down in front of the first dorsal bone on the rib cage. Then push down hard so that the neck part separates from the back, cut around the sides and base to separate any muscle tissue left on there, and pull apart.


From one rib cage you should end up with nice neat pieces like this.


I would feed the neck/back parts each as one meal, and depending on the size fatty rib cage bottom, possibly include the ribs broken away as one meal – so out of that one rib cage there should be enough for four meals as follows – neck; back with small ribs; fatty rib cage with three ribs x 2

I use bones mainly for their evening meal, which they get at around 5pm, and they absolutely love them!!

The chicken they get is either chicken carcasses stripped of most of the meat, one and a half carcasses, which has the breast and about half of the backbones is enough for one meal; or else I get chicken wings, the last two digits, six of which make enough for one meal. Fortunately I don’t have to chop chicken up, but do usually have to pay for it, and depending on whether I get it from the butchers or another supplier, there is more meat on the carcasses, and so the price varies between approx 2.50 to 5 for a large box.

Liver

I use lambs liver, and along with tinned fish, this is the only meat I don’t feed raw. Liver can be high in vitamin A, and I have found in the past it can make mine loose, and so I cook the liver, either in water, or in goats milk. They still absolutely love it, and it has good nutritional value for them.


Tubbed up and ready to freeze, one tub is fine split between two, and if needs be, I’ll add a bit of something else if I think it isn’t quite enough


I also feed mine tinned fish in tomato sauce, or oil, simply adding a 125g tin shared between the two, once or twice a week. You can feed fish raw, but I have found with my two that it doesn’t always suit them, and they end up bringing it back up half the time.

I also give them lambs kidneys, which I have found fine to feed raw, and I add them as part of a meal, usually with something like beast heart.

They get a whole raw egg, once or twice a week, shell and all, and they also get any shells left over from cooking.

I don't use pork bones, because you need to be sure of the source so that they are free from internal parasites. Nor do I feed many beef bones, just the occasional marrow bone as a treat for half an hour or so, because they are much more dense, and wear the teeth down that much quicker.

This link saves me quite a bit of typing, and gives the nutritional values for a variety of raw meats, and shows the vitamins and minerals they provide, as well as telling you how they are used.

Useful articles about the nutritional value of raw meats

That's how I use the meat part of the BARF diet, I know others might do it differently, but after feeding my two from pups, and making a few additions and changes along the way, I'm happy with the variety and amounts they get and am glad I don't feel the need to use any fillers. As before, if anyone wants a copy of the BARF sheet I use, please feel free to pm me and ask, it's drawn up from what I've read and experienced. It would be good if others who feed can add bits about their experiences as well, and any thing they do differently.

Typical menu for my Labradors:

For adult Labs:

Monday
Breakfast - 1lb green tripe, 40g blended veggies
Tea - 300-400g chicken carcasses & 125g tinned sardines

Tuesday
Breakfast - 1lb green tripe, 40g blended veggies
Tea - 300-400g chicken carcasses

Wednesday
Breakfast - 250-400g chicken carcasses, 40g blended veggies
Tea - 250g liver cooked in goats milk, 150g chicken carcasses

Thursday
Breakfast - 1lb green tripe, 40g blended veggies
Tea - 300-400g chicken carcasses

Friday
Breakfast - 1lb green tripe, 40g blended veggies
Tea - 300-400g chicken carcasses

Saturday
Breakfast - 250-400g chicken carcasses, 40g blended veggies
Tea - 250g beef/lambs heart

Sunday
Breakfast - 1lb green tripe, 40g blended veggies
Tea - 300-400g chicken carcasses


Where ever I use chicken carcasses, I interchange with lamb bones as well. I also give other food regularly, such as a whole raw egg, cottage cheese, natural yoghurt, and any appropriate left overs. Mine aren't wheat intolerant, so anything like the odd bit of stale bread, left over pasta etc gets thrown their way, not that there's much in my house!
Some more great piccies of 'Logan/Matrix's boys eating their first bones!
The boys gnashing their first bone!!! chomp,chomp,chomp!


And for anyone who would like to make up their own veggie mixes, here are some great preparation tips:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleeping_Lion View Post
I get asked, and see people post asking the question about what blended veg to feed, how much to feed etc. So whilst preparing a batch of veggies over the last day, I've even taken photos, to help people see clearly how I go about it, and hopefully other barf/raw feeders will add in their bits, for anyone who searches for info about it on the forum.

First up is the selection of vegetables, which can be anything really, with a mix across the range of root, leaf and pulse. I was outside doing this yesterday as it was warm enough, and Indie and Tau got the occasional treats chucked their way. The only couple of things to avoid are broccolli and onions, although mine do occasionally get bits of broccolli that are left over, I don't buy it specifically to put in their veg mix.



Carrots are a useful source of vitamins A, B1, B6, C and K.
Cabbage (dark green like savoy) are a useful source of vitamins B1, Folate and C, along with Sulphur.
Swede is a useful source of vitamins B1, B6, Folate and C.
Parsnips are a useful source of vitamins B1, B6, Folate, C, along with Potassium and Phosphorus.
Green beans are a useful source of vitamins A, Folate and C.

Other things I put in there are:

Cauliflower is a useful source of vitamins B1, B6, C and K, along with Potassium.
Spinach is a useful source of vitamins A, B6, Folate, C and K, along with Calcium, Iron, Phosphorus, and Magnesium.
Sweet Potato is a useful source of vitamins A, B1, B6, C and E, along with Potassium.
Tomato is a useful source of vitamins A, B6 and C.

I do sometimes put apple, banana or pear into their veg mix, and are good sources of vitamin C, B6 and C, along with Potassium and Magnesium.

I chop them all up and put them into one of those hessian bags ready to blend:



The nuts are in there because they have a good mix of vitamins and minerals, so I put a good size handful in there (along with a couple of cloves of garlic):



Almonds - B vitamins, E / Calcium, Copper, Iron, Potassium, Magnesium, Phosophorus and Zinc
Brazils - B1, B6 / Calcium, Copper, Potassium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Sulphur, Selenium and Zinc
Cashews - B1, B6 / Copper, Iron, Potassium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Sulphur, Selenium and Zinc
Hazelnuts - B1, B6 / Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Sulphur and Zinc
Peanuts - B1, B6, Folate and Niacin / Copper, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Sulphur and Zinc
Pecans - B1 / Copper, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Sulphur and Zinc
Walnuts - B6 / Copper, Magnesium and Phosphorus

Garlic has two ‘medicinal’ ingredients, Allicin and Diallyl Sulphides. Allicin is active once garlic is chopped or crushed, and is linked to anti biotic and anti fungal properties. Diallyl Sulphides is linked to improving blood and circulation, again, it is more effective when chopped/crushed.

The other things that go into their food are one capful of apple cider vinegar, and a level teaspoon of turmeric. Apple cider vinegar is linked to healthy bones, and helps fight against osteoperosis, containing manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and silicon. It is also an anti-cancer agent containing beta carotene and phytochemicals that help in cancer prevention. Turmeric has been linked to anti inflammatory, anti bacterial, and liver and heart protecting effects. It is used to used to ease joint pain, and inflammation associated with arthritis, and is a good source of antioxidants.



Finally, they also get a couple of tablespoons of oil mixed in, in this case, I’ve reserved oil that I used to make a confit previously, so it’s got bits of meat in there, yum!!



So this is it, all in a mixing bowl…



And once it’s all blended, and mixed in, I use left over plastic take away tubs, and freeze it. Then I cut off approx one quarter to mix in with their breakfast, and leave it to defrost while I take the girls on their morning walk.



So what do these vitamins do?

Vitamin A – vision, bone growth, reproduction and health of skin, also acts as an antioxidant.
Vitamin B1 – also known as thiamin, helps convert carbohydrates and fats into energy. Cannot be stored in the body, but once absorbed, it is concentrated in muscle tissue.
Vitamin B2 – also known as riboflavin, necessary for the release of energy from carbohydrates, and for normal growth and development.
Niacin – necessary for production and breakdown of glucose, fats and amino acids, development, maintenance and function of the skin, intestine and stomach, as well as the nervous system, and in manufacturing dna.
Pantothenic acid – a b-complex vitamin, also known as B5, helps break down proteins, and their amino acids, fats and carbohydrates enabling the production of energy.
B6 – also known as pyridoxine, involved in the production and digestion of amino acids, and helps the body manufacture the hormone insulin. It is involved with anti bodies that fight infection, and certain chemicals that send messages between nerve cells, as well as in the production of histamine.
Vitamin B12 – also known as cyanocobalamin or cobalamin, I sreleased from food in the stomach, and has to bind with a protein called intrinsic factor to be able to be absorbed by the body. It is necessary for normal growth and development.
Biotin – a b-complex vitamin, essential for converting proteins, carbohydrates and fats into forms the body can use.
Folate – another b-complex vitamins, plays a vital role in the substance that makes up our genes, working with vitamin B12 to form haemoglobin, and converting the amino acid homocysteine to methionine.
Vitamin C – also known as ascorbic acid, is the least stable of vitamins and destroyed by processing, essential for the formation of collagen, an important structural protein that strengthens bones and blood vessels.
Vitamin D – a fat soluble vitamin that has an essential role in the absorbption and use of calcium.
Vitamin E – one of natures most effective antioxidants, and protects the body against free radicals.
Vitamin K – an essential component in the body’s normal blood clotting process.

Calcium – the main mineral present in bones and teeth.
Magnesium – plays a vital role in the formation of bones, teeth, and with the minerals calcium, sodium and potassium, is involved in transmitting nerve signals.
Phosphorus – essential for bones and teeth.
Potassium – together with sodium and chloride potassium is involved in controlling the amount of water and maintaining the correct acid-alkali balance in the body.
Sodium – vital for controlling the amount of water in the body, maintaining normal pH of blood, transmitting nerve signals and helping in muscular contraction.
Sulphur – plays a key role in the manufacture of amino acids and in the conversion of carbohydrates to a form that the body can use.
Chromium – works with insulin to help bind it to it’s receptors.
Copper – plays a key role in several body function, including production of pigment in skin, hair and eyes, production of healthy bones, teeth and heart, and the protection of body cells from chemical damage.
Iodine – associated with thyroid function.
Iron – an essential mineral in all cells, although only needed in small quantities, is a component of haemoglobin, the oxygen carrying protein in red blood cells.
Selenium – is an antioxidant and part of an enzyme that protects cells from the damaging effects of free radicals.
Zinc – needed in minute amounts, essential for the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, in normal cell division, growth and repair.


Hope that helps explain the role of the veggies, and in combination with the meat and offal, it provides an important role I feel in a BARF diet.

Last edited by katiefranke; 13-09-2010 at 06:35 PM..
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Old 11-07-2010, 12:57 PM
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Re: Raw Feeding: everything you need to know!

Wow fantastic info I haven't read it all yet, but wondering if this should be made a sticky? So many people (myself included) have asked for info in one place
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Old 11-07-2010, 01:02 PM
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Re: Raw Feeding: everything you need to know!

Oooo definately needs to be a sticky!

Thank you so much, I've been thinking about looking into raw feeding so this is going to be a great starting point for me. I've actually only just asked my OH what he thinks about it and he seems really keen. We wont be getting a dog for a while yet but that just gives me plenty of time to do research
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Old 11-07-2010, 01:15 PM
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Re: Raw Feeding: everything you need to know!

Glad it is useful!! I have posted loads over the last 6 months, so thought it would be good if i put everything in once place for people to read through

Now if anyone asks we can point them at this thread

I am sure I havent covered everything though, so if anyone wants to know anything else or thinks I have left anything out, then please just say and I will add stuff to it.
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Old 11-07-2010, 05:01 PM
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Re: Raw Feeding: everything you need to know!

Quote:
Originally Posted by katiefranke View Post
What about cats?

So as you know I feed my cats this way too they have exactly the same kinds of things and proportions as Maggie (but obviously appropriately manageable pieces).

Cats can be much more difficult to switch over though, especially if they have been used to dry kibble being left out all day for them...so sometimes tricks have to be used in the switch!!

And one specific difference you must bear in mind is their need for taurine rich foods, as cats cannot produce their own taurine.

'Hobbs2004 has created a similar thread in the Cat section of PF for more info on feeding cats raw, so check that out too! Please see hobbs2004 thread for feeding cats: http://www.petforums.co.uk/cat-healt...eding-raw.html

And some great info on the following links too:
Raw Fed Cats specifically the Feeding Raw and Practical Guide pages

Raw Feeding Felines - Home Page - this is a great site of one of the members of the Raw Meaty Bones Yahoo List Lise gives lots of details about the switch to raw for her own cats and hints and tips on how to go about it...

How to feed cats raw

Raw Cat Yahoo list
I had to give up with my cat. He is 7 and has always been spoilt rotten with his meals. He eats meaty food once a day, (usually something like Applaws, or something homemade), and grazes from kibbles throughout the day and night.

Tried switching him to raw slowly, and I really did persevere, but he is one stubborn cat. If he caught so much as a whiff of raw meat mixed with his usual stuff, he would refuse to eat it. I tried to call his bluff at one point, thinking surely he would eat when he was hungry enough, but after two days I had to back down!

He hunts mice and frogs, but never seems interested in eating them, it's like he doesn't make the connection!

Seeing as our puppy is so young, I think switching him will be much easier!
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