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I have a grand total of 15 Parson Russel terriers on a raw diet. Have been feeding them this way since 2004 and am very pleased with the results. This is a lot of dog to feed on a daily basis so sometimes I will supplement them with kibble, usually Evolve or Healthwise. I am finding, though, that my oldest dogs are starting to have problems with these kibbles and others that I have tried for them. They do not seem to be digesting it very well, not that it's causing digestive upsets, but it seems like they are not taking any nutrition out of it. Besides, the dry food is skyrocketing in price and I simply can't say it's even as good as it was in years past.

One of my 7yo bitches was just bred for her last litter. She happens to be one who cannot tolerate any kibble, no matter how good or how high calorie. She goes to pot. She was mauled by a neighbor's pit mix 3yrs ago, she almost didn't survive. Since then she seems to have a higher nutrient requirement & can only tolerate raw. So I'm buying more organs and red meats than I normally do. You can imagine that the price of feeding raw has just about tripled for me! This is costing me about $12-15 a DAY to feed all these dogs :eek: The cheapest thing I can get is raw quarters for .69lb. So I feed that several times a week plus I do ground beef 1x weekly and also try to get some lamb and turkey in as well, just for variety. They get beef liver once a week, and sometimes will get chicken hearts and gizzards in lieu of another type of muscle meat.

Is there any way I can cut costs without sacrificing a balanced diet? Would giving multivitamins help fill in the gaps if I fed more chicken?
 

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I feed chicken every morning and 3 or 4 evenings a week without any supplements. I would say that as long as you feed something else besides chicken 3 or 4 meals a week, you will be ok.

I buy chicken backs, quarters, and drumsticks(for the cats) in bulk. It saves me a good bit of money. I also get beef heart in bulk for $1/lb or a little less. I buy Boston Butt pork roast for around $1.69/lb on sale. When it goes on sale, I buy 8 or 10 of them. Turkey necks or wings are reasonable in bulk. It costs me about $70 - $80/mo to feed 2 Great Danes and 2 cats completly raw.
 

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I don't know what part of the country your in, but I just got natural beef from a custom
cut and wrap supplier for $1 lb. It came in real large pieces and I had to cut it up, but they said it would be available, he advertised on craigslist. Thats a great place to look, and definitely buy in bulk, thats the way to go.
 

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I don't know what part of the country your in, but I just got natural beef from a custom
cut and wrap supplier for $1 lb. It came in real large pieces and I had to cut it up, but they said it would be available, he advertised on craigslist. Thats a great place to look, and definitely buy in bulk, thats the way to go.
I agree, try Craigslist.org not only to look for meat, but I liksted on there and had 4 people call me within a week with tons of food. Sometimes they will give you stuff that you don't want to feed the dogs (one person gave me sausage links, but I ate those because they were still good!) But you can just go through it and figure out what you want and don't want.
Good luck!
 

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I agree with using craigslist. I put an ad on their asking if anyone had cheap meat they were raising and wanted to sell me or if they were cleaning out their freezer. I found one woman selling her sheep for $65/each and another man who gave me tons up one tons of meat from his freezer for free because it was a little older! My mom also has meat slaughtered for her and makes sure to get me all the extra parts and organs no one else wants but the butcher doesn't want to throw away so i get all of my organ meat for free currently. So check around, if you have a butcher in your area, they might have a whole freezer full of extra stuff they're willing to give you or can save for you in the future.

Oh and try Walmart for the leg quarters, they should be about $.50/lb there.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the heads up about Craigslist! I have tried Freecycle in the past but that was a disaster :(
Do you mind me asking what you asked for on Craigslist? Was it directed to butchers or just hunters or people that were slaughtering their own meats? Thanks!
 

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I think I put it in the farm/livestock section and directed it towards anyone that was raising/selling cheap meat and/or anyone that had a freezer they were cleaning out.
 

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Also ask around if any of your friends know any hunters....some like to hunt but don't always eat what they kill!
 
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