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Discussion Starter #1
So...where to begin?

My name is Amanda, and I'm the proud mama of two gorgeous, loving, happy, monsters, Ryou and Amaya, seven month old and eight month old Siberian Huskies. They are the loves of my life, so I want nothing more than the best for them.

I heard about raw diets when I was researching the breed, and as much as I wished to put them on a raw diet, I didn't think it possibly with my current income, because I work as a server and make, maybe, $1600 a month. So I settled for the next best thing, holistic kibble. Well, Amaya, being a very picky eater, has decided that she doesn't want to eat the Solid Gold and Taste of the Wild foods that I give her, so I set out on a quest to find something that is still affordable, but better to her tastes. I was referred here by a really nice lady at the pet store, who said that I can actually feed them a raw diet for just about as much as I'm spending on their high quality, unappetizing kibble.

So now...I'm looking for more information about it. I have read the guide on preymodelraw.com, and now I'm on a quest to do even more research on it. If there's anyone here that lives in Reno Nevada, speak up now or forever hold your peace, because it'd be nice to know the best places to go to get good meat to stuff in our freezer for our two dogs. Also, I'd like to know more exactly what to feed and not to feed dogs. Like, in terms of walking down the grocery store's meat section and looking at the labels...what would I be looking for that would be good to stock up on, for the beginning and future use?
 
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Hey Amanda, I'm glad you found your way over here from the website I gave you! Welcome to the forum! Your Sibes are so beautiful and funny! :biggrin:

Living in Reno, I find the best places to get affordable meat is Super Walmart which carries big red 10 lbs bags of chicken leg quarters for about $5.73/bag, these will probably be the base of your dogs' diet since they're so affordable and easy to come by. Craigslist ads for old/freezer burned meat is another great place to look but you won't need that until you're a couple of months into raw feeding.

Feel free to post in the raw section and search around for any info you need.
 

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*kicks forum*

This is why I hate forums. Just typed out a butt ton of questions and info and whatnot, and it logged me out!

ANYWAYS...

I need to stop by PetSupermarket more often! XD

As for the chicken from Wal-Mart, it's still kind of expensive, considering it'd be about $57 a month to feed both dogs just that, and it does say that the more variety, the better. I could possibly get my hands on some buffalo, deer, trout, and other things like that, as my dad and husband are hunters/fishers (not too ecstatic about the hunters part), but I don't think my dad would be too thrilled about me taking his buffalo to feed to my dogs. I could finagle my husband into going fishing for trout, but is that even good for dogs? See! I'm clueless! And are there any other places you would suggest to find good quality, but on-the-cheaper-side meats?

Also, in the guide, it says to buy chicken backs. I don't even know what that is. I mean, can you seriously just walk down the meat isle of Wal-Mart and see chicken backs as labelled?
 

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Here's the tricks I use to keep my raw feeding costs as low as possible. I feed three dogs raw, so of course cost is a factor for us, especially as a one-income family.

--Chicken is generally the cheapest meat, and it's perfectly fine to make it up to about 50% of the diet. Of course the more variety the better, but sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do. (I feed two meals per day. one is always chicken)

--Chicken Quarters at wal mart ate about $6 for 10lbs. Very affordable. Watch for them to go on sale, sometimes they go as low as $3 per bag. When you see this, stock up. Seriously buy every bag on the shelf.

--You will want a second freezer so you can keep a good stock on sales meats. Nothing is more frustrating than passing up on a great sale because you have nowhere to put it. Many of our members have had great luck on craigslist for this.

--Never EVER pass up on a good meat sale. I keep my freezer stocked at all times and very rarely pay full price for my meat, because I never run out and am left needing something. I think this is the single most important tip on keeping raw cost effective.


--Don't feel obligated to buy every cut of every meat. For example, I won't ever buy chicken for more than $.60/lb because that's what I pay for quarters. I will never pay more than $.99/lb for pork ribs or butt roasts, because that's what I pay for shoulder roasts.

--Post ads on Craigslist asking for people's old freezer burned meat. This is probably the best way to get game meats. A lot of people have a lot of luck with this. I have yet to score anything great.

--Let friends and family know what you're feeding. Use this the same as the Cl ad. While I've had zero CL luck, I've had a few family members and friends hand over unwanted meat.

--Search for wholesalers and Co-ops in your area.

We aim for less than $1 per pound on average. About 50% of what we feed is Chicken, but it's the best we can do for now, and we're comfortable with it, and the dogs thrive. The affordability of the chicken quarters we buy make it possible for us to splurge on about three meals per week that are in the $1.50/lb range, and still keep our agerage where we want it. We rarely pay full price, though, and these are based on full price.

This is a list of the cuts of meats that we buy regularly and what we pay for them and where. I understand you won't have the same places necessarily, but this should give you some kind of idea. I'm in las vegas, if that matters.


Chicken Leg Quarters: about $.60/lb at Wal Mart. Watch for sales!! They happen often, I don't remember the last time I paid this price.

Pork Shoulder Picnic Roasts: $.99/lb at Wal Mart and Food4Less. Thee go on sale sometimes, but not too often. I grab a bunch when they do.

Beef Brisket: $1.98/lb at Wal Mart. This is the single most expensive thing I buy, and to keep my costs low, I feed it once every other week, alternating with Goat. So one week I feed beef once, the next I replace that meal with goat, and so on.

Beef Kidney: $.99/lb at Wal Mart. Some people feed whole meals of organ meat, and some feed a little every day. I fall into the latter category.

Chicken Liver: I honestly don't have any idea what I pay for this, but it's cheap, at Wal Mart.

Beef Ribs: about $1.08/lb at any grocery store. I grab them any time I see them on sale, which happens relatively often.

Whole Turkey: The price varies through the year, but I never pay more than $.89/lb for them, as every grocery sore carries them, and they're always bound to be on sale somewhere.

Whole Talapia and Whole Sardines: about $1.40/lb Los Hermanos and Ranch 99, local ethnic markets. I feed fish only once per week, so I don't mind it being a little more than a dollar per pound, which is the price I aim for. The super cheap chicken keeps the average low for me to be able to afford to feed things in this price range a couple times per week.

Pork Heart: $1.19 at Ranch 99. I feed this one meal per week.

Lamb Breast: $1.49/lb at Food4Less. I feed this once a week, and it's a great red meat source. It's one of the more expensive things I buy, and one of three things I pay over my "around $1" average.

Goat: $1.59/lb at Food4Less. I feed this about once every other week, alternating with beef.
 

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*kicks forum*

This is why I hate forums. Just typed out a butt ton of questions and info and whatnot, and it logged me out!
haha, I always copy responses and posts before I hit submit... just in case.

I could possibly get my hands on some buffalo, deer, trout, and other things like that, as my dad and husband are hunters/fishers (not too ecstatic about the hunters part), but I don't think my dad would be too thrilled about me taking his buffalo to feed to my dogs.
Ummm... jackpot much?! Game meat, IMO is the best you can do, and if you have a good hookup, by all means, USE IT. I would love to base my dog's diet on something like that, but I have no resources for it, and it's very expensive to buy.

. I could finagle my husband into going fishing for trout, but is that even good for dogs?
Sure! I'm going on a week long boating trip this summer to Lake Powell, and I fully intend to just catch the dog's dinner most nights. Can't beat free!!


Also, in the guide, it says to buy chicken backs. I don't even know what that is. I mean, can you seriously just walk down the meat isle of Wal-Mart and see chicken backs as labelled?
I raw feed three dogs and have yet to see a chicken back. They are good starters, because they are very bone heavy, and bone keeps stools solid, so during early transition, that is ideal to help cope with any digestive upset. I've never seen them in any store, but most people have butchers order them in. They're also VERY cheap, so if cost is a big issue, worth looking into. We used quarters to transition all of ours, and that's the source of chicken we feed regularly, and have never had any problems whatsoever with it. Backs is just a suggestion, but the great thing about raw feeding, is it isn't something that requires exacts. Quarters are just fine, too.

I will say that if you can find someone to order them for you, they are cheaper than quarters, so maybe that's something worth looking into for you?
 

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Oooh, welcome. :)
 

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Hi and welcome to the forum! You will find tons of useful informaton here! Have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So, I found a really good deal on some pork at Winco tonight. It's called Pork Picnic Roast, and it's $.78 per lb! That's only $.04 more than the quartered chicken at Walmart. I priced a lot of things out, and I'm hoping to go to Costco tomorrow and check out their prices, as well as a local meat processor that my husband's work orders their meats through.
 

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Costco usually has pretty crappy prices when I go, but you might get lucky! Which winco did you see the pork for that price at? I want! :biggrin:
 

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Winco down on South Meadows Parkway. Don't buy it out, because I want some, too! XD I'm totally switching. Especially considering how much free meat I have the possibility of getting! *dances* My husband is going on a small fishing trip with dad in April, and he wants to go fishing more often. So that means more trout, and I do NOT eat fish, so it'll ALL be going to the dogs...unless maybe he wants some. hahahahaha.
 

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Haha awesome! Yeah just start with the leg quarters cuz they're easier to find and very readily available. My dogs started on leg quarters, not backs, and they switched perfectly.

and I'm glad it's at the south Winco, the other one is ghetto! But don't worry, I won't buy it all, my freezer is pretty full already!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You should try Blue Ribbon in Sparks. My husband and I went down there today, and they have a lot of REALLY great prices on organs (Beef livers for $.70 a pound). They sell to a few other people who raw feed their dogs as well. The lady said that one of the gals gives her dogs turkey tails, and they just LOVE them. The turkey tails are, like $.25 a pound!

And thanks, Danemama. XD Rannmiller was actually the one that gave me the site and told me about how raw feeding is just as expensive/inexpensive as buying the high protein kibble.
 
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You should try Blue Ribbon in Sparks. My husband and I went down there today, and they have a lot of REALLY great prices on organs (Beef livers for $.70 a pound). They sell to a few other people who raw feed their dogs as well. The lady said that one of the gals gives her dogs turkey tails, and they just LOVE them. The turkey tails are, like $.25 a pound!
Glad to hear that you have already nailed down a resource...they will come in handy big time when finding good deals on meat. Ask them if they will order things for you, like cases of chicken backs, turkey necks, chicken quarters, etc. It would be ideal for them because all they would have to do is order it and you would come pick it up...it wouldn't cost them a thing to provide that service to you.

I will note that turkey tails tend to be pretty darn high in fat content, so they are better off as a treat than a meal. I wouldn't suggest giving something this rich to any raw fed dog until they are months into the transition and can handle something like that. Giving something rich like this can make a dog take a few steps back rather than moving forward. I have yet to actually feed them, but I have seen them before and heard second hand what they are like.

And thanks, Danemama. XD Rannmiller was actually the one that gave me the site and told me about how raw feeding is just as expensive/inexpensive as buying the high protein kibble.
I know...she told me she's been "pimping" the site out to anyone that asks about raw! Go Rann!!! Jon (jdatwood on here) and I have been working on putting it together for a few months now. We just found that it was hard to find a go to for all the info in regards to raw. Its a work in progress so feel free to give us your opinions and thoughts on it. We are looking to continually try and make it better!
 

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And thanks, Danemama. XD Rannmiller was actually the one that gave me the site and told me about how raw feeding is just as expensive/inexpensive as buying the high protein kibble.
Glad you found the site! I know a couple of our members have been pimping the site out on other forums they post on (thanks rann & Spooky!!)

Hopefully you become just as addicted to raw as the rest of us have :biggrin: I always joke that our dogs eat better than we do

Definitely let us know if you have any feedback on the site. As Natalie said it's a constant work in progress and we're totally open to ideas/suggestions

Welcome to DFC!! Hope to see you become one of our regular members
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Danemama, the best thing about this place is that we didn't even have to ask, they simply told us straight up that they'll order the stuff we need, and they told us exactly how to do it, when they can get their orders in, and what to order specifics of. They were really helpful. We're going to place an order through them tomorrow for chicken backs and some turkey organs or beef organs, just to stock up. I totally forgot to ask about chicken livers, which would probably be best for the dogs once I've gotten them used to the chicken, considering it's best to keep them to one meat source until they've gotten a stomach for it. XP

Also, with the turkey tails, I figured that it would be just a treat more than anything, but thanks for the helpful information about them. I'll definitely avoid them until my dogs are ready for them. I'll use them as a lure to get them to come inside. haha. My husband said today that at $.25 a pound, they could be more than a treat, and I was, like, "No, I think they're just meant to be a treat."



Hopefully you become just as addicted to raw as the rest of us have :biggrin: I always joke that our dogs eat better than we do
I've already become addicted to it. I went out and bought about $85 worth of meat today, just to stock up on, and as I said earlier, I'm ordering some chicken backs through Blue Ribbon tomorrow at $.63 a pound. The cases come with 20 lbs, so I told Adam to order about two cases to get us through the first two weeks. XD
 

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Thanks for the tip! That sounds like a great resource! I'm so glad I talked to you in the store now :biggrin:
 
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