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Hello,

My family and I just got a 9 week old Newfoundland Puppy. The breeder had her on a high protein kibble, but we would like to start feeding Raw. We've never fed a pet a raw diet before, and it seems a bit overwhelming at times (not to mention crate and house training is proving more difficult than expected). Although I imagine it wont be too bad once we actually start. I've read a lot on the subject, and understand the general guideline of 80% meat, 10% bone, 5% liver, and 5% other organ (but adjust based on poops and body composition). We plan on starting with chicken drumsticks / quarters, followed by turkey and then moving towards red meats. Please let me know if I am incorrect / misguided with anything above.

My questions are more local-based than anything else. I haven't been able to find a co-op in the area (Gulfport, MS area), and I've been told that the nearby butcher just purchases meat in bulk from Costco / Sam's Club and then resells it. I was wondering if anybody knew of any place around here (I have no problem driving aways, such as to Mobile, AL or New Orleans, LA) that has good prices? I'd like to buy local if possible, but if not are there any good online suppliers that ship to the area and have good prices and don't have shipping costs that exceed the cost of the meat?

Thanks ahead of time for the information!
 

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You are exactly right on the feeding guidelines. You have the idea, so just let us know if you need help.

Keep searching in your area, and let friends and family know, and if they have older meats in freezers to clean out they can give it to you instead of throwing it out. I also shop in groceries as well, and get meats on sale as I find them.
 

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Welcome to raw feeding.

One of the challenges is figuring out the local resources that can help keep costs low. I wish I had insight about your area, but I don't.

I would take the advice you've obviouly read about a "progression" of proteins with a grain (boulder?) of salt.

Feeding bone-in chicken (alone) over does the bone percentages, and this often creates GI distress. Most turkey has too much sodium (over 75 mgs) and has problematic bones. Pork is typicall very fatty, which is good in the long run, but not so good when a dog used to high-carbs are transitioning and many dogs have adjustment issues with pork.

I'd get to red meats (and the inclusion of organs in small amounts) very early with a pup. Don't feed too much bone.

Bill
 

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I'd agree on the chicken quarters being too bone heavy. They are usually fine if you remove the backs though.

I know that young pups need much less of a transition than older ones, but my 1.5 year old dog DEFINITELY needed time to adjust to the different meats. I suggest trying things, different meats, different cuts, and if they result in cannon-butt, back off to a point you know they were fine for a while, wait a few days to a week, and try again.

As for the sourcing, look everywhere. Don't rely on one place for your meat. For example, for us this is what we've figured out: Payless/Kroger has the best chicken prices and clean, out-of-season turkey, Meijer has the best pork variety and price, and lamb and beef frequently goes on sale, Fresh Thyme is the only store we've found anywhere that will sell non-enhanced full turkeys around Thanksgiving for a phenomenal price, and Wal-Mart has the best discounts/sales. We also get wild game from my boss who is a hunter and we have a butcher block that sells beef and pork organs for diiirt cheap. Farmer's markets are great places too, you can usually ask for organs and other odd bits and they are usually willing to work with you on price. Look around, make a list of what is best in your area. Don't be afraid to ask questions to vendors and hunters, you will be VERY surprised at what you can find.

Also, as for good online suppliers, Raw Feeding Miami is amazing, and fairly decently priced on most things. There is also Hare Today (not sure if they ship down South) which is very good at being cheap on the things RFM is expensive on. I just bought a small amount from RFM and their quality is amazing.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks everybody for the information and tips! I guess I'll have to start actually shopping around and seeing what the best places to get each type of meat is. I know a few people out here who hunt, so I'll definitely ask them to keep us in mind if they every have pieces that they won't use. I'll probably also ask them where they have their kills processed and contact them.

Feeding bone-in chicken (alone) over does the bone percentages, and this often creates GI distress. Most turkey has too much sodium (over 75 mgs) and has problematic bones. Pork is typicall very fatty, which is good in the long run, but not so good when a dog used to high-carbs are transitioning and many dogs have adjustment issues with pork.

I'd get to red meats (and the inclusion of organs in small amounts) very early with a pup. Don't feed too much bone.
Yeah I had been looking at bone percentages of different cuts of meats and noticed that chicken quarters are higher in bone than I want. I will be supplementing the chicken quarters with boneless meat for the time being, but will hopefully be able to introduce the various meats quickly and get our pup on some variety soon.

Also, as for good online suppliers, Raw Feeding Miami is amazing, and fairly decently priced on most things. There is also Hare Today (not sure if they ship down South) which is very good at being cheap on the things RFM is expensive on. I just bought a small amount from RFM and their quality is amazing.
Cool, I'll have to check out both of those sites. I had heard of Raw Feeding Miami before, but was hoping there might be a similar site that has pickup locations within driving distance of me.

Thanks again for all of the information and support!
 

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Hunters are your friend. Literally a third of our freezer is just wild game, and that's with having thrown some out, too. Look for deer processors. They say they get as much meat off as they can, but you can pick up ribs and legs with all the meat still on them. I know we got a looot of goodies from our local processor.
 

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Cattle farmers too. Meet some in your area.
 
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