Raw Feeders

Discussion in 'Let Your Hare Down' started by m.e., Feb 28, 2006.

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  1. Feb 28, 2006 #1

    m.e.

    m.e.

    m.e.

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    After dealing with the cats' urinary tract issues for months now, we've decided to transition them to a more natural (aka raw) diet. I was wondering if anyone else fed a raw diet for your dogs/cats/ferrets/other pets, and if you could share your experiences and resource recommendations.

    I found a few sites that were instrumental in helping me make the decision to feed raw to the cats:

    http://www.catnutrition.org/
    http://www.catinfo.org/
    http://www.felinefuture.com/
    http://www.serve.com/BatonRouge/nutr.htm - tons goodinformation

    I haven't read any books on raw feeding, but I would love to, if only to provide solid evidence to my vet that what I'm doing isn't foolish or dangerous :rollseyes:


    P.S. For those not 'in the know', B.A.R.F. = Bones And Raw Food/Biologically Appropriate Raw Food, and R.M.B. = Raw Meaty Bones
     
  2. Feb 28, 2006 #2

    hummer

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    My hats off to you for trying this. Thank goodness my senior citizen kitty has not had any problems (other than her bad balance which has cost her 2 teeth including one of her canines!). With her being 20 years old, she eats Iams Senior which is for 7+ year olds.

    I see this as something you either completly do this or you stick with regular cat food and traditional medicine. I have seen this type of feeding before and looked into but I have alot going on without having to prepare Hobbes' food for her, and my dog would get jealous so he would want it too!

    I am sorry for your kitty's UTI's and I hope this relieves her problems.
     
  3. Mar 1, 2006 #3

    zarzamora

    zarzamora

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    I feed my 6.5 year old bordercollie mix a RAW diet. It took me a while to get over my fear of bones, but she is doing wonderfully, and really does seem healthier. Better energy level, better weight, GORGEOUS Teeth, plus she really seems to enjoy the process of meal time now.

    I lost my 16 year old sheltie to cancer, and the more I read about commercial pet foods causing cancers, the more I wanted to go raw.

    It's great here in Mexico, because all the meat is organic. No chemicals to worry about either.

    I have two cats, one transitioned onto Raw with no problems, he saw the dog doing it, and wouldn't be left out. The other wants nothing to do it. She wants her food kibbled darn it! Are you having any trouble getting your kittie onto the Raw diet.

    My buns are raw fed too, LOL.

    See?
    [​IMG]

    Moxie enjoying a RMB.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Mar 1, 2006 #4

    SunnieBunnie Rabbitry

    SunnieBunnie Rabbitry

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    My dogs are RAW fed... http://www.sunniebunnierabbitry.com/Kajsa.html (Note: there are pictures at the very bottom of the link of my dogs eating there that most here will not feel comfortable with -scroll at your own risk)

    My dogs have been on this diet since August and I will never, ever go back to kibble... Snip-it from my website:
    The vet insisted that Cashew needed a dental cleaning, which was going to cost me $450.00... Now I'm glad I never took him in for it, after 2 weeks of Raw, his teeth improved 75%. Now, you'd never guess his teeth were ever as bad as they were.

    BTW, depending on your location, there are some meat coop groups which buy in bulk and you get real savings than having to shop the grocery stores... Like here, there's the SoCalBARF group where 40#'s of Chicken Leg Quarters only costs you $23.50 on average. Check the Yahoo Groups to see what's near you.

    I only have good experiences with this diet :colors::DI'm hooked and do advocate it where I can :).

    As for educational links I've bookmarked these as being helpful in MY decision to switch:

    http://www.touchmoon.com/dotters/raw/links.html

    http://www.rawmeatybones.com/diet/ExpDiet.html

    http://www.rawdogranch.com/index.html (Nice Pro's & Con's list & How To's)
     
  5. Mar 1, 2006 #5

    m.e.

    m.e.

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    Great to see other raw feeders :colors:(thanks for the links SunnieBunnie!) It's also great to hear about the success that others have had with this diet. Out of curiosity, are your veterinarians largely supportive of this, or not? Our vet really is wonderful, but I think I have some convincing to do before he accepts that this is a healthy and natural way to feed our cats.

    Over the past year, we've had quite a fewurinary issues with the cats (one mother and her two daughters), which the vet has classified as FLUTD. In addition to addressing potential sources of stress, atour last visit the vet recommended weswitch the catsto aprescription dry food. I've never been a fan of dry food anyway, my cats exclusively eat high-quality canned food. And yet, even though we're feeding what many of my cat-owning friends would consider an "ideal" diet, we're still having problems. I think we've just got three cats for whom commercial food isn't going to cut it.

    The upside is, thecats are young (between 1 and 2 years old), and they've eaten raw food in the past (as a supplement to their regular diet) with great success. In fact, the kittens were weaned on raw and canned food, so I don't think the transition will be too difficult. I've toyed around with the idea of raw food in the past, but ultimately was too lazy to ever impliment it. But I'm feeling quite confident about it now, and I'm definitely not going to miss the canned food breath or stinky litterbox...deposits ;)

    Like I said, I've decided to follow the basic raw diet that Anne lays out on her website, catnutrition.org.

    The only problem with it, is that I don't own a meat grinder. Obviously, the foundation of raw feeding is meat with bones. To purchase a meat grinder that could also handle bones would be a significant investment, something that is definitely out of my league at the moment.

    I was, however, able to find an excellent source of whole ground chicken! By tomorrow I will have ten pounds of ground chicken and two pounds of chicken hearts (for the added taurine) delivered to my doorstep.

    Hare Today is a small family run farm. We strive for a healthy environment for all our animals without the use of hormones or antibiotics. I believe that a healthy animal raised with plenty of pasture space (rotational grazing) as well as good management techniques does not require all the "preventative measures" found in most feed lot practices. Fresh air, plenty of sunshine and room to roam is by far the best way to raise livestock. The chicken, turkey, pheasant, duck, salmon are USDA inspected ALL NATURAL.

    *
    WARNING* may be sensitive to people here, like Sunnie said, please scroll with caution: http://www.hare-today.com/

     
  6. Mar 1, 2006 #6

    naturestee

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    I've never used this system, but I have seen a pet store that buys meat for this in bulk to sell in the store. I've never looked to see exactly what they had, but they have a big chest freezer labeled as "Raw Meaty Bones Diet" or something like that.

    It's a shame I live too far from it now. I really liked that petstore as it had great stuff like Oxbow, no live animals except fish, and I've seen Humane Society adoption days there.
     
  7. Mar 1, 2006 #7

    SunnieBunnie Rabbitry

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    m.e., I'm not sure if you've researched this or not, but the best way to switch to raw is cold turkey (excuse the pun :)). The reason being that Raw meat& bones digest at a quicker rate than commercial food, therefore it would cause a bit of an uproar in the kitties tummies to have 2 types of food digesting at 2 different stages.

    Personally, I wouldn't worry too much about a grinder...yes, even thoughANY raw fed diet is healthier than commercial, including ground... I've personally seen better results with whole raw fed items such as Whole chicken, Eggs, Pork Picnic shoulders, Beef Heart, *eh hum* rabbit. The chewing on chunks of meat and ripping pieces off is what cleans/flosses and strengthens teeth. If you're worried about them getting enough bone & calcium in their diet, ground would work a couple times a week as well as eggs (with shell for calcium).

    Oh yes, another point about feeding larger portions over ground (I know it's this way for dogs, I'm only guessing it's the same for cats too)... Digestion needs to be initiated, meaning something needs to trigger the digestive fluids before the food reaches it's stomach. Feeding larger portions does just this, as the dog/cat needs to firstgnaw off a piece to consume. The smell of the food along with the gnawing gets the stomach ready for the food to enter. With ground food, they just swallow it down with no real stomach preparations and hence, may cause some digestive issues down the line.

    My vet isn't thrilled that I've switched to raw - I was buying a weight loss diet dry food from them for my then obese dog ($40 for 30 pounds that would only last 2 weeks!!! and that was just for 1 dog!). I just advised my vet that it is MY responsibility to care for my dogs in the best way I possibly could, and that after researching the raw diet - found that to be the best & healthiest for them. She doesn't agree, but she doesn't totally condemn me either.She's seeing (or not seeing rather) great improvement in my dogs health since the switch. Now, I only take them in for their regular vaccinations and that's it! :shock::cool: No more chronic ear infections, no more chewed feet, no more dry/flaky skin, no more bad teeth or bad breath, no more asthma attacks, no more thyroid problems, so therefore no more weight problems. :bunnydance:Life is good! :bunnydance:


     
  8. Mar 2, 2006 #8

    zarzamora

    zarzamora

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    It is important to remember that most vetrinary schools only require their graduates to take 3 hours of animal nutrition, thats one, three hour a week course, one semester, to cover the nutritional needs of ALL animals. IMO, that just is not adequate. Proper diet is VITAL to the health and wellbeing of any living creature. Most vets just don't have enough information. Worse still, because they don't have enough information, they just believe what the Hills/Science Diet rep tells them about their line of "prescription diets" which IMO is a lot of hooey. Hills is one of the worst brands of pet food on the market. Full of low quality proteins and grains, fillers, animal byproducts and chemicals. No wonder the instances of cancers in pets is at an all time high. I have come to these conclusions following 9 years as Registered Veterinary Technician, and a stint in Vet school myself. Just because your vet thinks it's weird, doesn't mean it's bad. And not all vets will tell you RAW is wrong. I have found a wonderful veterinarian who advocates natural diets, doesn't over vaccinate her clients, or any of that un-necessary hog wash most unsuspecting pet owners get saddled with that ultimately reduces that lifespan of their companion. Don't give up! The good ones are out there!!


     
  9. Mar 2, 2006 #9

    m.e.

    m.e.

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    zarzamora - You're absolutely right! And that's why I don't necessarily fault my vet for reacting the way he does. I see this as a teaching moment ;)


    SunnieBunnie Rabbitry wrote:

    You know, I hadn't heard that, but it makes a lot of sense. The meat should be here tomorrow, so hopefully we'll get started this weekend :)






    The only reason I do this, is that cats don't react well to drastic changes in food texture. A cat that has been eating finely ground canned food all their lives may not even know what to do with a raw meaty bone! The food will definitely have chunks in it, to encourage chewing, and they'll get supplemental chicken necks for the purpose of cleaning their teeth. I think we'll just have to work up to larger and larger chunks of meat.

     
  10. Mar 3, 2006 #10

    KatsMeowTree

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    Try doing a search for "Hare Today Gone Tomorrow" I sell to there sometimes and they seem to do reasonably well. I know they have a website but I don't know what it is.

    Kat
     
  11. Mar 3, 2006 #11

    m.e.

    m.e.

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    Well that's pretty cool, 'cause I just bought my first shipment of ground chicken from them :D. Should be arriving today :bunnydance:

    (I linked to the site a couple posts ago)
     
  12. Mar 4, 2006 #12

    KatsMeowTree

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    Wow! That is pretty awesome that you guys buy from there. I really didn't know what their new address is I just email them and we arrange a sale. I've never sold anything but rabbit to them but I'm sure it's all just as maticulate.

    Kat
     
  13. Mar 4, 2006 #13

    Garden Flowers Rabbitry

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    I'm just wondering.......with raw meat, wouldn't there be a chance of parasites in the meat?
     
  14. Mar 4, 2006 #14

    SunnieBunnie Rabbitry

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    Garden Flowers Rabbitry wrote:
    Not any more chance than the meatwe eat. Most parasites live in the intestinal tract, not in the actual meat itself.

    As far as bacteria goes, animals have the natural capabilities of eating even the foulest bacteria ridden meat (Carrion for instance) with no ill effect. Thier digestive systems are made to process those types of meat without making them sick. That's what makes them so much different from us. It's amazing what an animal's body can do.

    Edit: :shock:That doesn't mean I'm going to feed my animals Carrion though ;)... Fresh meat has better qualities and nutrients, so that's what I feed.
     
  15. Mar 4, 2006 #15

    m.e.

    m.e.

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    Yeah, I don't worry much about the cats, though for the humans' sake I am vigilant about handling raw chicken.

    The meat came today. I thawed five pounds of the whole ground chicken, and left the other five pounds frozen (I also thawed a half a bag of chicken hearts, about two pounds). I chunked the hearts, and mixed them in with the meat, water, eggs, cod liver oil, and supplements. The batchcame out tonearly 7 pounds total, which divided into 3/4 pound increments (1/4 pound per day, per cat) gave us over a week of food. Not bad, though I realize I'll need to get more meat pretty soon.

    There was a little bit left over, so I tried serving it to the cats. *sniff*sniff* walk away...come back *sniff*sniff*...*lick* :DScully actually ate some, and Miko chewed a little piece of heart. Admittedly, they weren't very hungry, so I expect more enthusiasm tomorrow morning ;)
     
  16. Mar 4, 2006 #16

    Garden Flowers Rabbitry

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    Agreed...but even though some animals aren't affected by bacterias and parasites because their systems can handle it,,lots of animals and humans can't handle it. for example, if an animals immune system is lowered, and they carry/digest bacterias or parasites,,,that can kill them.
     
  17. Mar 4, 2006 #17

    SunnieBunnie Rabbitry

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    Garden Flowers Rabbitry wrote:
    It depends on the situation. Most animals CAN handle it, and after the initial switch, their immune system along with their overall health begin to strengthen and improve (I've seen this firsthand in my own dogs, 2 of which were constantly in and out of the vet for various health reasons). I have yet to learn of an animal dying from bacteria in raw food... but then again, I've only been researching and studying this diet for a little over a year.

    A raw food diet is easier on the digestive tract than all of the by-products,additives, and fillers that are in commercial food... hence the reason most people see drastic improvement in their animals after switching to raw. Less Crap In, Less Crap Out.

     
  18. Mar 4, 2006 #18

    Garden Flowers Rabbitry

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    I understand and and agree with the rationalization about food without additives, chemicals etc being healthier. I'm not knocking the diet ,,people find out what's best for their pets and that's the way to go. I have short tailed opossums and a hedgehog on holistic diets and they do very well.
     
  19. Mar 4, 2006 #19

    SunnieBunnie Rabbitry

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    m.e. wrote:
    Not bad m.e., sounds like a nice introduction of what's to come. I'm sure they'll be more enthusiastic tomorrow.

    I chose to fast my dogs for a day and a half before going raw, but that was my choice... I wanted to give them some extra time to get the kibble out of their system before putting the good stuff in. It worked well for us. My puppy, however, I did not fast when we switched her - a growing puppy needs their food.

    With my troublesome trio, I go through about 190 pounds a month (I'm so grateful for the coop). Even at that poundage, It's still MUCH cheaper than kibble.
     
  20. Mar 5, 2006 #20

    maherwoman

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    We have a Hobbes, too! :D

    hummer wrote:
     

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