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raw feeding- ground vs whole

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Vata Raven
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raw feeding- ground vs whole

Postby Vata Raven » Sat Aug 20, 2016 8:15 pm

Just a topic I came across when I was trying to find butchers in my area for animal parts.

Do you feed a raw diet to your animal(s)? If so, do you feed it as ground or whole?

I read pros and cons of both sides of the discussion, and both sides have valid points. Curious to hear others thoughts and opinions on this subject.

I do not know if I will feed raw as I was planning of pressure cooking my exotic's food for convince, but still give raw treats and bones.
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Re: raw feeding- ground vs whole

Postby TamanduaGirl » Sat Aug 20, 2016 9:40 pm

I prefer at least large chunks for them to chew on. Beaker is very reluctant to chew anything with his tiny teeth though so I cut up his meat and organ stuff for him but he will eat a small pork spare rib, my store sells them as "riblets". And he'll chew bully sticks.

I'll use ground whole rabbit(it's sold online) for my fennec when young then offer it chunks when older.

Chunks or whole helps clean their teeth. Hyzzie lived her whole life without a dental this way.

Also if they are reluctant to eat veggies it might help to mix in the meat if the meat is ground up.

Actually I used to pressure cook the dog food but I didn't can it after, just froze, but I do raw now. Pressure cooking small bones like chicken bones, done high and long enough, can make them soft enough to be safe. Disintegrate in your fingers. So mash all the food and remove and chunks of bone that still feel hard. Then can it. I do think raw is better but cooking the meat and veggies can help get picky critters to eat more veggies.
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Re: raw feeding- ground vs whole

Postby hecate » Sat Aug 20, 2016 11:36 pm

I've been feeding raw for over twenty years. When I first started I followed Richard Pitcairn and Juliette de Bairacli-Levy before developing my own protocols based on what worked. Just as I used a lot more vegetables and some grain products in the beginning, I also used some ground meats and ground bone. Not any more.

While raw ground foods don't crap up their teeth as badly as cooked foods or commercial dog foods, they still crap up their teeth. None of my bone-crushers ever need more than cracking some occasional tartar off a canine with my thumbnail for dental work. Scully and Mulder would eat ground food when they were kittens but soon refused it. Even my tiny fuzzball dog will crunch up small chicken necks and chicken feet.

While most of my raw feeding experience is with dogs in general and Greyhounds in particular, I have observed that feeding whole rather than ground produces a stronger, healthier animal overall. That even hold for animals with chronic health issues. I had plenty of those when I became the Greyhound adoption community's dumping ground for all the weird problems they couldn't or wouldn't deal with.
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Re: raw feeding- ground vs whole

Postby Ash » Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:56 pm

So for me, I just toss the whole animal in there. And then they work at it a lot longer. A big pro for me, is that feeding whole is good enrichment (takes longer), and is good for cleaning their teeth. I will give frozen prey whole as well, and Ifrit is silly enough that she will stay with hers until it completely thaws, whereas Fable hides it and then comes back later when it's soft, heehee.
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Re: raw feeding- ground vs whole

Postby Vata Raven » Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:48 am

TamanduaGirl wrote:Pressure cooking small bones like chicken bones, done high and long enough, can make them soft enough to be safe.

I thought raw edible bones (chicken, turkey, rabbit, to name a few) where safe? Or, are you suggesting to pressure cook bones so they can bend in better with a ground diet?
Ash wrote:So for me, I just toss the whole animal in there.

Whole animal? I do not think I could do that; unless your definition of "whole animal" means those whole, frozen birds that can be bought from any grocery store. If so, I would be able to that, but my exotic would not get too much variety, just chicken and turkey. I do not think it would be worth getting animal carcasses from a local butcher. I did speak to one that lives down the road from me, he said he would give me the insides for nothing, but I do not think I want to take the whole body once he is done picking the meat off the animal.
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Re: raw feeding- ground vs whole

Postby Vata Raven » Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:49 am

hecate wrote:Even my tiny fuzzball dog will crunch up small chicken necks and chicken feet.

That is what I was planning on getting. If I can find a place where I can bulk order the unsavory animal parts (things humans would normally not eat), I would feed that. I have a butcher that lives down the road from me, he said he will give me the unwanted animal parts for nothing, he said he burns it or takes it to the landfill.

I will continue to think about if I will feed ground meat on top of that or not. I likely will, you never know what will go on sale. I should test if I can cube ground meat and cook it, and try to fake this steak texture. If it has that thick, chewy texture, I can see giving he jaw a workout.

https://topdognutrition.net/blog/whole- ... -dog-food/
This article pointed out that they had one client's pet was on ground-raw, but is fed bones daily to get the cleaning benefit of a raw-whole diet. That is something I would do. People also said they would feed the food frozen (ground meat) to their animal so they do not eat it too fast, or they stick it in a Kong toy.

What is a good way to preserve raw feeding foods? I mean, other than sticking it in the freezer. My mother suggested we get a FoodSaver, and that is pretty much all I could think of to lengthen food life in the freezer.
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Re: raw feeding- ground vs whole

Postby Ash » Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:58 pm

I buy whole prey. So I get whole rats, mice, quail, and rabbits. My friend gave me some deer legs for them as well. They have it devoured within a few days and cache pieces around the enclosure. I'm surprised how clean it all is. They really take care of the entire thing. I feel it's important for them to have the whole animal lie they would in the wild. They get super excited for the rabbits, lol.

Soon if I do start raising chickens, I will be able to toss them a whole chicken. I'm sure they'd go nuts for that.
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Re: raw feeding- ground vs whole

Postby Vata Raven » Tue Aug 23, 2016 8:00 pm

Ash wrote:I buy whole prey. So I get whole rats, mice, quail, and rabbits.

Where do you buy the whole prey from? Is the prey still alive or dead when you feed it?
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Re: raw feeding- ground vs whole

Postby TamanduaGirl » Tue Aug 23, 2016 9:00 pm

Vata Raven wrote:I thought raw edible bones (chicken, turkey, rabbit, to name a few) where safe? Or, are you suggesting to pressure cook bones so they can bend in better with a ground diet?


They are, though some say to still be cautious with weigh bearing bones(IE legs). But you can toss a whole chicken in the pressure cooker with your other ingredients and still safely feed it bones and all, as long as done long enough at a high enough pressure as the bones are then soft and mash up with the rest of it. So they get the bones in diet and you could still give meaty bones for chewing on but most of those people get are not diet bones they just chew the meat off which helps clean teeth.

Things like the little ribs I give my dogs count as diet bones though since they do crunch those up and eat them
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Re: raw feeding- ground vs whole

Postby hecate » Wed Aug 24, 2016 8:14 am

Vata Raven wrote:Where do you buy the whole prey from? Is the prey still alive or dead when you feed it?
I ordered Mulder's and Scully's rats from RodentPro: http://www.rodentpro.com/

They're purpose-bred, humanely killed with carbon dioxide, and quick-frozen. There are plenty of other whole-prey dealers on the web as well.
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Re: raw feeding- ground vs whole

Postby Vata Raven » Wed Aug 24, 2016 3:25 pm

hecate wrote:There are plenty of other whole-prey dealers on the web as well.

Thanks for the site recommendation, and what to search on the web to find whole-prey.
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Re: raw feeding- ground vs whole

Postby minervasden » Wed Aug 24, 2016 4:25 pm

Vata Raven wrote:
hecate wrote:There are plenty of other whole-prey dealers on the web as well.

Thanks for the site recommendation, and what to search on the web to find whole-prey.


If you have any reptile shows/expos within a reasonable distance you can purchase whole prey there as well. You save shipping costs and sometimes get special show pricing. If you know which vendors are going to be there you can place an order for pick up at the show.
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Re: raw feeding- ground vs whole

Postby Ash » Wed Aug 24, 2016 9:50 pm

I order from RodentPro as well. There's also a local place called TSK Rodent Supply in my area. There's a rabbit breeder in my area who breeds show rabbits on a very large scale, and she has many excess bunnies. RodentPro and TSK euthanize their rabbits via CO2 chambers as described by Hecate above. The rabbit breeder uses either the CO2 chamber or cervical dislocation on her rabbits (latter of which is instant). These methods of euthanasia are humane and acceptable methods within the AVMA handbook. :)
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Re: raw feeding- ground vs whole

Postby Vata Raven » Thu Aug 25, 2016 12:33 pm

minervasden wrote:If you have any reptile shows/expos within a reasonable distance you can purchase whole prey there as well.

Nashville, TN is the big city closest, I have no doubt something is held there.
Ash wrote:There's a rabbit breeder in my area who breeds show rabbits on a very large scale, and she has many excess bunnies.

Does the rabbit breeder give you a good deal when buying the excess bunnies?
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Re: raw feeding- ground vs whole

Postby Ash » Thu Aug 25, 2016 4:37 pm

I don't know what a good deal is on rabbits since I don't have anyone else to compare the prices to. I also get them at the moment through my work's orders, but I will be making an order myself once I get my bill from the vet (vet came by today). I can let you know what she charges specifically once I place my order.

My boss told me compared to rats, they were inexpensive. So I'll have to see. :)
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