Raw food for doggies – what we do.

I sent this in an email to someone recently and thought that maybe it could help someone looking at this blog to get an introduction to raw feeding for dogs.

about the chicken on *******’s kibble, i think it’s a great idea and have some suggestions/tips. (1) increase the size of the piece of chicken as you increase the amount (for example, a whole chicken breast/thigh instead of chopped). this is to make sure that she learns how to chew the meat instead of bolting it – this will be important once she starts on bones. (2) in the beginning, hand her the food so that she sees you as the dominant pack member, but then back away while she’s eating. if you’re standing too close she may be nervous that you will take the meat back (as is your prerogative) and may try to bolt it.

 it’s generally recommended to feed as close to natural prey as possible (called feeding “prey model”). i use costco’s whole fryer chickens as the base of their food. it usually comes with the gizzard, heart and liver inside. sometimes it only has the neck. i don’t know why it changes – maybe it’s a supplier issue. i supplement with chicken carcasses and beef/lamb bones that i buy from an amish co-op that delivers in mount airy, as well as beef heart and tongue from a grassfed farm in buckeystown (www.hedgeapplefarm.com – a non-profit farm that raises grassfed beef for research for the state of maryland). i also give them the occassional fish head (they don’t really like them) that i get for free from our local health food co-op. they only have them after they fillet whole fish for customers that don’t want the bones.

i’m mentioning my sources just to point out that their might be local options for you that will help up the nutrition for them without costing an arm and a leg. i have even seen some people asking for freezer-burned meat and extra deer for their dogs on freecycle. local ethnic markets may be an option for cheaper meats as well. i have seen a sale advertised in one of my husband’s chinese newspapers (after it was over, of course) for whole fresh fish for $0.99/lb (i don’t remember what type).

while feeding meat is much better than feeding kibble, feeding conventionally raised meats will still result in an omega 6-omega 3 ratio will be off. feeding fish (NOT TILAPIA!!) will help with this. you may prefer to add salmon oil to their food, especially if they don’t like to eat fish. i bought a gallon off ebay about 1 year ago for $65. dogs the size of lilo and maddie get 1/2 tsp per day (it can last a long time!). more won’t hurt.

 too much bone will make their stool too dry. too much organ (especially liver) will make their stool too loose. i would recommend dividing the organs between the two of them and giving a little each day. heart can be a little too rich also, just watch the first time.

i’m guessing that 1 chicken will go about 5-7 days for the 2 of them. oh yeah, rule of thumb is to feed 2% of their weight in ounces per day to lose weight, 2.5% to maintain weight, and 3% to gain weight. i ignore that and just give them the whole chicken. i will cut and eyeball it when i give them beef tongue or heart.

hopefully that made everything a little clearer than mud.


Baby bunnies…another one down.

I don’t know what it is with these baby bunnies. We had another crawl out of the nest, all the way out of the box, and die on the cold floor. We’re down to only 3 babies left! I think I’m going to have to change the type of box. I don’t know if mama would use a solid cube with a hole cut in it. I kind of think the other bunnies would go in and out all the time. It’s not helping that the idiot shih-poo has noticed the newly mobile babies and is ramming his head into the pen to try to get to them. He’s currently in a crate so that he won’t bark at the maintenance workers outside, won’t attack bunnies downstairs, and won’t take our food upstairs. *I need a roll-eye smilie.*

Finally, some pics of the elder baby bunnies! These are mini-rex/Dutch mixes.

I could have swore we took pictures of all of them but these were all I can find. Maybe the other ones are still on the camera.

We have 3 whites (half-nose (half-dark nose/half-white nose), medium nose, and dark nose), 2 grays, and 1 black otter. The black otter is funny because his long Dutch hairs are really obvious against the short rex fur.

Financial troubles

My husband found out how much I have on one credit card. He. blew. a. fuse. Understandable. But he decided that we would separate our money. My paychecks from my part-time job would pay for groceries for me and dd (he refuses to eat American food and so gets food from his mommy’s house every week), pet supplies, gas for my car, and anything I buy for dd. I’ve agreed to not buy any books or homeschool stuff for right now. We’ll use his pay and the money from his parents to pay the bills.

So I went grocery shopping yesterday. Apparently, since I already have some canned food, I’m not ALLOWED to buy any more – even with “my own” money. The point of having a stock of food is to eat out of your stock if you cannot replace it, not to eat it all up when things are still acceptable. To me, that’s the whole point of having a stockpile. To have extra available for when it’s truly needed. I spent the rest of the evening in the basement just to not have to listen to his criticism. I’ve tried to get him to look at the news and I think I’ve pointed out to him things about the economy and the food situation in California, but I’m just the idjit wife. It doesn’t really matter what I say or think. It doesn’t matter who my sources are (Peter Schiff and Gerald Celente).

I pretty much hate him. He brought home an apartment locator mag “by accident” last night. I was looking through it hoping that I could find something that would even be close to my monthly pay. The regular apartments that take pets were all too high, even for a 1-bedroom. I think I need to try to get hold of a free attorney while my husband’s away on business next week so I can find out how everything would work out if we left. I hate being here when he’s home.


We’ve lost 3 of our recent litter due to them getting away from the rest of the litter and getting too cold. This morning, DD found the 3rd still alive. She was scared the bunny was already dead. When I picked it up, it was still alive. S/he would only move her limbs very slowly when touched. I tried holding it against my skin at the bottom of my rib cage but the bunny didn’t make it. She passed after about 20 minutes.

To try to stop the loss, I’m going to double the straw in that pan and run a heater down there at night until it warms up again or until the babies get more fur on them. Hopefully, lesson learned.

Free grass-fed beef? Yowsa!

A give-away for grass-fed steaks delivered to your door! Go to http://www.grassfedparty.org/ or http://www.foodrenegade.com/la-cense-grass-fed-beef-giveaway/ to sign up. Cool!

Garden starts…

Today I started some seeds, tomorrow I will start more. I just wanted to keep track of when I start what so that I can keep an eye on germination times.

Only 3 of the 8 brussels sprouts that I started about 2 weeks ago germinated (new pack, even!) so I added about 10 seeds today.

I started:

  • sweet peas – about 10
  • snap peas – about 12
  • zinnia – about 12
  • watermelon – about 8
  • borage – about 12
  • sucine lettuce – about 12

Everything except the sucine peas I’m positive are heirloom/open-pollinated. This is my second year gardening and I’m going to try to save some seeds at the end.

I’ve also just yesterday started reading about lasagna gardening. You layer all kinds of compostable stuff in the fall and by spring, viola! Lovely dark, loose compost to plant in. I’m going to try a pile as soon as the snow melts and see if I can maybe put a layer of compost/topsoil mix on top and use it this year. I need to seriously expand our garden to help feed those buns!

Speaking of buns, we had our second litter today. Purebred mini-rex (velveteen rabbit). I know I still owe pictures of the first litter. I will try to take pics of the second at the same time. We got 6 with black skin and 1 with red skin. Since this mama is black otter and had 2 castors and 2 broken castors in her first litter, I’m curious to see what coats are going to come in. Daddy was a black mini-rex. BTW, anybody want to buy a baby rabbit? Cheap?