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Getting a freezer! Where to get meat? And more questions!

This is a dedicated place for all of your questions and answers about Raw Diets. There are also some really cool groups like "Raw Fed" on the topic you can join. This forum is for people who already know they like the raw diet or sincerely want to learn more. Please remember that you are receiving advice from peers and not professionals. If you have specific health-related questions about your cat's diet, please contact your vet!

  
Kaylee &- Amelia

Snuggly Sisters!
 
 
Purred: Thu Nov 21, '13 7:32am PST 
*Happy dance* We will be getting a free chest freezer from my sister within the next few weeks! We are thinking it may be time to transition from a commercial raw diet to a home-made prey-model raw diet! So my question is does anyone know of a website similar to Hare Today that ships to Canada or is Canadian? I know I can get all the regular beef, pork, fish and chicken (bone in and boneless) as well as the organs I need from grocery stores and ethnic markets, but I don't have a way to get whole rabbit or pheasant or cuts like chicken feet and necks. Any suggestions? The kittens have had several types of raw meat but nothing with raw meaty bones (they have had ground bones in their pre-made raw).

My plan is to start with boneless chicken for a few days, and then start adding in bone-in chicken, but what would the best cuts be? I am assuming something small like wings? I will gradually "wean" them off the pre-made raw, but I'm obviously not going to waste it. What % should I feed as they are only around 7 months old now. They are used to having a bowl of Stella & Chewy's freeze-dried with no water added out during the day. I also feed them three meals a day. So, basically just looking for any help and maybe a sample diet?

I have fed a prey-model raw diet to my dog (no longer with me), I am aware of most of the stuff I need to know. Just wanting any tips or advice since this will be the first time I have done home-made raw with cats. Also, what do people supplement with, if anything? I currently use coconut oil, krill oil, digestive enzymes and Cranimals.

Edited by author Thu Nov 21, '13 7:35am PST

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BK

Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
 
 
Purred: Thu Nov 21, '13 1:45pm PST 
Congrats on the freezer! Now you're ready to start. You've got the basics - start with chunks and try things like chicken ribs, small wings or Cornish hens. Your cats are so young that they might take to it immediately - I find that my foster kittens understand raw completely, where many of the older cats don't get it at all.

Things like rabbit and pheasant aren't necessities, although you want to get as much variety as possible. I don't know about a place like Hare-Today in Canada but try any ethnic markets and farmer's markets for both variety and things that you might not see in the grocery store. Or if you have a place like Whole Foods, I recently discovered that they sell chicken necks. Other possible meats are lamb, venison, turkey, duck, etc. Maybe these would be easier to find than rabbit, although again, my farmer's market has an amazing variety of meats (although they can be expensive).

Since they're so young I would feed them as much and as often as they want. Just keep your percentages (80% muscle meat/10% bone/5% liver/5% other secreting organ) as best you can. Personally I don't supplement prey model raw for BK, although I do supplement the ground raw for Callie. I don't believe supplements are necessary with prey model but if they make you feel better then by all means, add them. That said, it's difficult to "add" anything to prey model - what would you put it in? laugh out loud

Please let us know how it goes and feel free to come back and ask as many questions as you want!
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Merlin - An Angel- Forever

*Poof*
 
 
Purred: Thu Nov 21, '13 6:34pm PST 
Try these Canadian sources: http://www.thecatsite.com/t/248687/canadian-raw-food-suppliers
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Kaylee &- Amelia

Snuggly Sisters!
 
 
Purred: Mon Dec 2, '13 8:33pm PST 
Thanks you two! Merlin, that site is great! We (the humans) are very excited about this change, but we aren't sure the felines are going to like it. They're still adjusting to being on all commercially prepared raw. They miss the free-fed S&C freeze-dried food. Plus we still have a bunch of commercial food to feed, and we haven't received the freezer yet. Hopefully in the next week or so.

I have purchased chicken gizzards and hearts and cut them up and the cats ate them mixed into their food. They also like liver, but we haven't tried any other secreting organ yet. Today they had a bit of lean ground beef which they loved. We haven't tried any bone-in meats yet as I haven't seen any for a good price.

How do I calculate the amount of organ so I can feed it twice a week? Do you feed both the liver and other organs in one meal twice a week or what?

Edited by author Mon Dec 2, '13 8:36pm PST

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BK

Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
 
 
Purred: Tue Dec 3, '13 4:36am PST 
Everybody does it their own way, but yes, I feed liver and organ as one meal twice a week. I multiplied the amount BK eats per meal by 14 (# of meals in a week) and figured 5% of that. Then I divide that amount into two meals. It works out well for us. The only secreting organs I've been able to source locally are kidney and sweetbreads.

I would start testing out meats with bone to see what they'll eat. Pick up a Cornish hen or a chicken breast that hasn't been deboned and see what happens!
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Kaylee &- Amelia

Snuggly Sisters!
 
 
Purred: Tue Dec 3, '13 2:58pm PST 
Thanks BK! Should I separate them when they eat the raw bone-in? Kaylee has occasionally hissed at Amelia when I have fed them organs in the past. I have a cornish hen in the freezer: should I be dividing it up or in half or what?
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BK

Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
 
 
Purred: Wed Dec 4, '13 3:59am PST 
A lot of the procedure is trial and error. I would start small - give them each a wing tip from the hen. Try them together and see what happens. I've had kittens growl while they were eating raw - just warning everyone they weren't sharing! But I've never had an actual fight break out. They were too busy eating!
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