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Help me come up with a plan

831 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Mel's chi's
I've read through the sticky at the top of the page. Prey model raw (not BARF) makes total sense to me. It also now makes sense to me why my dogs don't care for THK. Too many fruits/veggies! I'm also totally done with kibble unless it comes to a point one day that I can afford nothing else. An 11 lb bag of ZP should be delivered at my house today. I'm thinking that I will feed ZP in the morning and start experimenting with raw for evening meal. But I feel I need a little guidance!

Gunner is 4 month old puppy. Expected to be 5-6 lbs as an adult.
Hercules is a 21 lb Boston Terrier.

If I remember right, I read that I should feed a puppy 10% of body weight daily. (Right?) That would be roughly 3 oz of raw a day. But if I feed ZP in the morning, should I just half that?

And Hercules (an adult) should be fed 6ish oz of raw a day. Right? But if I feed ZP in the morning then I should half that?

If I decide to phase out ZP altogether, then I'll go to the full amount of raw for the day.

I'm going grocery shopping (for the humans:laughing8:) tomorrow. I'll pick up some meat for the dogs too. Any suggestions? I believe I read to start with chicken first for about 2 weeks. What cuts should I start with? And what about organs?

Any suggestions highly welcomed!
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I can't help with amounts as I just feed strictly raw... i would think that half-ing the amounts would be fine though.
I'm sure Tracy will chime in; but what we started on for the first two weeks was just Cornish hens. They're fairly inexpensive; and since they're whole prey (organs are removed though) the bone to meat ratio is just what you need. So, just get a couple hens and hack them into small chunks (keeping in mind an ounce is about an ice cube.) Then all you have to do is feed them however many chunks.ounces they need for that given meal.
After the two weeks, then you can start adding in the organs. If you do a search for Kahlua's Raw Journey you'll find my thread that shows from her first raw meal; to a "weekly meal plan" on page 5 that balances out the proper 80/10/10 ratios of Prey Model over one weeks time. I didn't start that plan until after the 2 weeks of cornish hen, though. Good luck!!
I'll try and help. Doing half Ziwi and half prey model is fine. Many people do it that way, no problem at all.

I use this calculator to help me estimate amounts when I first started. Now I just eyeball it. But it's helpful to have a guide when you are just starting. It's easy to overfeed, so be aware of that.


I would start Gunner off on about 2 ounces since he's a puppy. An ounce is about the size of an ice cube or a tablespoon. Not much food. You can get a food scale if you want to be precise and keep a log of what you are feeding and his weight gain/losses.

I'd start Hercules off on about 5 ounces.

Of course these are just starting points. If they look ribby - feed more. If they look chunky, cut back a little. Put your hands on them and really learn their body condition and then feed to ideal weight.

Start off with chicken for both of them. You can just buy a whole chicken *unenhanced* (read the label, no more than 100mg of sodium per 4 ounce serving). Then just whack it up into chunks of meat/skin/bone. You might have to debone some of the leg/thigh. You can cut the wings into 3 pieces and feed a wing tip and a chunk of breast meat to Gunner for example and you could give the middle section of the wing section or the drumstick part of the wing to Hercules with a little extra breast meat as well. Or you can start off with necks or wings if you want. They are mostly bone though, so just be aware that you will need to add meat to those meals.

It's kind of trial and error. Feeding raw just once a day is a little trickier because you are feeding such a small amount. But you will catch on and then it will be like second nature! :)

Do chicken only for about 10 days to 2 weeks just to make sure they are tolerating it well and having good stools. Then you can add in another protein such as pork. Just a bite though to start. Go very slowly, there's no rush. Organs are added LAST. You won't do organs (or eggs) or rich meats such as heart until they are fully transitioned and eating well.
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Crazy question but how do you cut bone? I've been married and cooking for 11 years and I've never cut up a whole chicken. Isn't that sad?

I like the cornish hen idea. Seems they would be easiest for me and unexperienced dogs to start with. I saw a 4 pk of them the other day and I thought that would be good for raw feedings. Funny how I was thinking of going raw before I was actually thinking about it.
Go to youtube and look up how to cut up a chicken, it's pretty easy once you do it. I suggested chickens because you are feeding a chi and a boston, but you could certainly do cornish hens if you'd like! Around here, the cornish hens are a pound a piece, so I just whack up into about 8 chunks and that's 2 ounces. Easy. Some people use cleavers to cut the meat up, or you can use poultry scissors. I have a pair of scissors I've used almost daily for a couple of years and they are still good. Just take apart and throw in the dishwasher.
I feed ZP in the morning and 2 raw meals in the afternoon/evening. I had them on 2 meals, but Penny was throwing up bile at night so I had to go back to 3. Anyways, I don't do organs because they get the necessary vitamins in their ZP (Brodysmom told me this I believe).

My dogs are about 6 lbs (Lion) and 6.2 lbs (Penny, still a puppy). They get about 1/4 scoop ZP in the morning and 2 ounces raw at night split into 2 meals, just to give you an idea. A few times a week I give them a pork rib or a chicken wing for dental health. I would love to do full prey-model raw, but I am unable to find the variety they would need right now which is why I do ZP as well.
A note on the weight issue: I still have to measure my food out or my guy's immediately gain weight....I never underestimate, I overestimate every time! It is such a small portion (and I am feeding a 39lb-er too) to judge. I have an 1/8 measure cup that is very helpful. I keep that kitchen scale handy too;)

Luckily, if we are heavy spooned one day, we can skim back another and it balances out (if not too many larger meals in a row...hmmm, just like ourselves!)
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