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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, you have convinced me. After months reading this forum, I'm about to start transitioning my 60 lb retriever (currently on Orijen) to raw. I have a few odds and ends questions I'd love some help with. I've read as many of the prior threads as possible, but some of these questions may have already been answered in the distant past (apologies).

1. I realize that I won't see the full benefits of raw until I make a 100% transition. But that isn't possible for me right now (dog spends some time with friends when I travel, and they won't feed raw, not enough freezer space, etc). Is it okay to start the dog with a few raw meals every week (as many as I can accommodate) until I can go 100%? I will not feed raw with kibble.

2. I've read here:

How to get started | Prey Model Raw

that I should start with chicken backs. Others have said to start with quarters. Which is preferred? And how should I progress from there? Does it make most sense to go from backs

3. When is something too small to feed? I've read that I should stay away from drumsticks, thighs, and wings, as they are too small. So what is a good guideline?

4. Related to #3, are chicken or turkey necks too small? A pet store down the street from me has a great deal on turkey necks, but I was unsure about the size.

5. The retriever is 60 lbs and 11 months old. Does the 2-3% of weight/day rule apply to feeding a dog his age?


Thanks in advance for answers. I may post additional questions as I have them!
 

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Questions are always good!

If your dog can handle part raw part kibble diet then give it a shot but some dogs just can't handle the switch back and forth. If your dog can't handle it I would either go with raw or kibble but not both.

Starting with bone in chicken is what is recommended whether it be quarters or backs. Backs have more bone to meat in ratio so they tend to bind bowel movements up more than quarters can. Either one would be suitable for your dog. I personally prefer quarters to backs.

As far as size of meat chunks, it really depends on what kind of chewer your dog is. If your dog gulps his food I wouldn't feed chicken wings, drummies or necks. Turkey necks would make a great meal for his size. But if he is a good chewer you could feed him all those things without a worry. You just don't want him swallowing anything whole without at least chomping it a few times first.

Again, the 2-3% is just a starting guideline and must be adjusted to suit the needs of your dog. Start off with that and adjust portions based on his body condition.

Good luck and keep us posted!
 

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1. I realize that I won't see the full benefits of raw until I make a 100% transition. But that isn't possible for me right now (dog spends some time with friends when I travel, and they won't feed raw, not enough freezer space, etc). Is it okay to start the dog with a few raw meals every week (as many as I can accommodate) until I can go 100%? I will not feed raw with kibble.

I don't know the answer to this question. It definately isn't preferable to switch back and forth. Each require so much difference in digestive enzymes.

2. I've read here:

How to get started | Prey Model Raw

that I should start with chicken backs. Others have said to start with quarters. Which is preferred? And how should I progress from there? Does it make most sense to go from backs
I prefer backs to begin with because of the higher bone content. Higher bone content means less chance of digestive upset. That is the ONLY reason to feed backs. Many start with quarters and don't have a problem. Others have problem but not serious ones. A little diarrhea is all.

3. When is something too small to feed? I've read that I should stay away from drumsticks, thighs, and wings, as they are too small. So what is a good guideline?
It is too small to feed when the dog can swallow it whole without chewing.

4. Related to #3, are chicken or turkey necks too small? A pet store down the street from me has a great deal on turkey necks, but I was unsure about the size.
Chicken necks are too small. Turkey necks aren't. See if you can get the uncut turkey necks which are about a foot long and weigh about a pound. Most turkey necks you see in grocery stores are cut in half or thirds and put in a small package.

5. The retriever is 60 lbs and 11 months old. Does the 2-3% of weight/day rule apply to feeding a dog his age?
Yes, but remember this is only a guideline. If your dog starts getting fat or thin, adjust amounts accordingly. You will have to adjust. Everyone does. :smile: In the beginning stick to the low end. Feeding meals that are too large sometimes can also be a cause of diarrhea.

Thanks in advance for answers. I may post additional questions as I have them!
Post away. :smile: Gives us something to read. :smile:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both for your very helpful answers. Sounds like I can't go wrong between backs and quarters. A butcher not far from me stocks backs, so I'll start there. And the market down the street from me is having a sale on leg quarters (59 cents/lb) so I may stock up on those, too. I'll keep everyone posted. I'm hoping to start this weekend, if possible.
 

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Thank you both for your very helpful answers. Sounds like I can't go wrong between backs and quarters. A butcher not far from me stocks backs, so I'll start there. And the market down the street from me is having a sale on leg quarters (59 cents/lb) so I may stock up on those, too. I'll keep everyone posted. I'm hoping to start this weekend, if possible.
Man! I wish I could find good prices like that! You are lucky!
 

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Man! I wish I could find good prices like that! You are lucky!
Where in Alabama are you? I'm just off I-20 in West GA and get chicken backs for about .33/lb and quarters for around .50/lb. If you aren't too far away, it might be worthwhile to ride over this way. :smile:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
How much does an "average" chicken back weigh? Likewise for an average CLQ. I know not to obsess with feeding exactly 1.6 lbs/day, but, for planning purposes, I'd like to know how many to pick up.

Thanks!
 

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we buy ours by the case, divvy them up, use as necessary....

can't get bill's prices or yours, but i get better prices if i buy 40 lbs at a time and my two dogs weigh about what your dog weighs :)
 

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Both can vary pretty greately in size but usually a back that I would get is around half a pound. A quarter around a pound or a little more but lately I have gotten some quarters that were around half a pound I would guess.
 

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Both can vary pretty greately in size but usually a back that I would get is around half a pound. A quarter around a pound or a little more but lately I have gotten some quarters that were around half a pound I would guess.
do you trim your backs at all? or do you feed them intact...mine come with all kinds of fat on them....

ghostrunner...if the back is trimmed of excess fat, they weigh about 5-6 oz....

a chicken here weighs in at about 4-5 lbs....they seem to be getting smaller...
 

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I buy my meat in bulk from a meat distribution company in the area. The backs that I got from them were about a half a pound each with skin and fat still attached. The CLQ are MASSIVE and weigh at least a pound each. :smile:
 

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do you trim your backs at all? or do you feed them intact...mine come with all kinds of fat on them....
NO, I don't do anything to the backs but hand them to the dogs. Don't worry about fat. Fat isn't bad for dogs like it is for humans. Fat is good for dogs. Dogs utilize fat in the same way we utilize carbs.

The only time I might suggest trimming backs and quarters is if the dog is just being switched to raw and is having digestive problems. In that case, fat should be trimmed for a few weeks or until the stools get firm. After that point, feed as is.
 

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NO, I don't do anything to the backs but hand them to the dogs. Don't worry about fat. Fat isn't bad for dogs like it is for humans. Fat is good for dogs. Dogs utilize fat in the same way we utilize carbs.

The only time I might suggest trimming backs and quarters is if the dog is just being switched to raw and is having digestive problems. In that case, fat should be trimmed for a few weeks or until the stools get firm. After that point, feed as is.
how quickly you forget, bill.... LOL.....it wasn't just overfeeding........

now that their stools are normal....fat, over the past two months, is slowly being re introduced...so now their chicken backs are more intact....but we do trim some of the fat, none of the organs anymore...

i figure in the next few months, fat will become a non issue...i think better to go slowly with these two than deal with cannon butt, which i have grown to not like so much..

:)

but....they're still on raw and i haven't killed them or myself....four months...when i was ready to throw it in..i think we're over the hump.

===========

kim.....the backs we get, when left alone, are about the same as what you get...1/2 pound or so...the CLQ are also about the same...

the only thing i see that has changed is that foster farm whole chickens are dirtier and that draper valley chickens are smaller....

i used to buy whole chickens at 5-7 lbs...now i'm lucky if they're 4-5 lbs...
 

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kim.....the backs we get, when left alone, are about the same as what you get...1/2 pound or so...the CLQ are also about the same...

the only thing i see that has changed is that foster farm whole chickens are dirtier and that draper valley chickens are smaller....

i used to buy whole chickens at 5-7 lbs...now i'm lucky if they're 4-5 lbs...
Maybe they're actually feeding the chickens what they're supposed to be eating and not some souped up crazy mutant chicken feed. :biggrin:
 

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Maybe they're actually feeding the chickens what they're supposed to be eating and not some souped up crazy mutant chicken feed. :biggrin:
What is happening is that SOME poultry companies are now growing their chicks for 5 weeks instead of the normal 8. This makes for smaller chickens but they get to market faster. I was talking to a chicken farmer not far from me who is now only raising them 5 weeks. I think my brother is still on 8 weeks. It depends on what company you raise the chickens for.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I wanted to give everyone a quck update on how my dog is doing on his raw diet. You'll see from the dates on this thread that I have been considering raw feeding for quite some time. But I wanted to (1) gain a better understanding of recent literature on canine physiology and metabolism and (2) try to quantify what, if any, benefits my dog would see.

On the first, I consulted a colleage of mine at another university who studies canine cardiovascular disease and metabolism. He pointed me to a wealth of recent scientific literature, some of which confirms what I've read on this site, and other of which contradicts (or supplements) it. I'll type up a separate post about these findings soon.

With this more scientific basis in hand, I started feeding raw about a week ago. I began with pre-made raw (Stella & Chewy's), mainly for convenience, and just this past weekend moved to chicken backs and quarters, following RawFedDogs' very excellent advice and guidance. A special thanks to him for providing such quick and precise answers to my pesky questions.

So far, my dog is doing great! It has only been a week. But I can confirm that his poop is much less bulky, and much less stinky. On the quantification part, he had pancreatitis a few months ago (after eating a big piece of rubber) and needed a follow-up WBC count. So I did that right before starting him on raw. He'll need one more in about three months to exclude chronic pancreatitis, and I'll be interested to see whether there will be any other changes in his bloodowork as a result. Is this exact science? Of course not, but an n=1 is better than an n=0.

I'm also taking semi-daily videos/pictures to see whether there are any perceptible changes in his coat. I'll try to post some of those.

Thanks again to everyone. I'm sure I'll have questions as the process goes on.
 

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thanks for the update and i'm glad it's going well.....definitely ask questions and research, research, research.....

although i have to tell you, that, for us....the health of our dogs, at least superficially....speaks to us from the poop and the appetitie, energy level, their coats, their teeth.....their overal demeanour...appetite.....

some is objective and some is subjective...

i would really like it if you posted what you and your colleague spoke about that confirms, supplements or contradicts...
 
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