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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It left me feeling.... a little weird.

I couldn't find cornish hens so I wound up buying a whole organic chicken. I pat myself on the back for figuring out how to cut it up!:nhappy3:

First, I didn't tell the hubby that I was trying raw so he walked in on us and was like, "What are you doing?" I said I've been reading about feeding raw. He says, "I figured you been reading something." Then he walked away. LOL!

Second, Hercules (who's been on kibble for 2 1/2 years) was.... tentative. He just didn't know what to do with one big piece so I had to cut his up in smaller pieces. Gunner acted like he's been doing this whole life! He actually kinda scared me. He swallowed everything in huge chunks. He swallowed the whole wing tip section WHOLE. Down the hatch. Another peice he tried to swallow whole, it got caught in his throat, he gagged it back up, and swallowed it from another angle to which he was able to keep down. Does it matter that it's not chewed?

Third, I gotta get a scale. I eyeballed how much I give them. But now I'm wondering if they got enough or too much.

Fourth, the mess. I don't like chicken all over my floor. At one point Gunner even carried a piece to his bed. So I had to run around with 7th Gen sanitizing wipes to clean up everywhere the chicken touched. What's the best way to deal with the sanitary part of it? I'm not a germ phobe at all but chicken is chicken.

Fifth, all parts of the chicken is ok to feed? Even leg bones and the real fatty parts? I figure, once he gets more experienced, Herc will have no probs with the leg bone. But what about a chi?

All in all, I wasn't as excited about the feed as I thought I'd be. I guess because it was just new. I guess we have some issues to work out.
 

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Good for you for getting out of your comfort zone! It gets easier, I promise. :)

Dogs don't chew, which can be kind of disconcerting at first. They slice, mash, slime the meat, crunch a couple times, and down the hatch it goes. If at first it doesn't fit - they hork it back up, crunch a few more times, and try again. Yep, that's normal dog eating. Ever seen a crocodile eat? They toss it up and down it goes. Yeah, kinda like that. It digests just fine. As they get more familiar with their meals, they may slow down and enjoy it more. But it's up to the dog.

Some people hold the meat and let the dog gnaw on it. This works for some dogs, not for others. Some think you are trying to take it away (keep away) and it will make them try to gulp it down. Some will just settle down and gnaw on it. Again, it's a know your dog thing.

I wouldn't like raw chicken all over my floors either! No way!! I feed on a towel. I put the meat on a towel and Brody knows to keep it there. If they drag it off, put it back. They learn pretty darn quick that the towel is there for a reason. Once they're done, throw the towel in the laundry room. Re-use a couple times if you want, or wash. Whatever you choose.

I'm not a fan of drumstick bones or thigh bones. If I do feed them, I let Brody chew on the cartilage, softer ends, and throw the middle part away. That's a LOT of bone when you want to keep bone content around 10%. Oh, and when I feed chicken wings - I don't feed the whole thing. I cut each wing into 3 pieces and feed ONE piece. It's really really easy to overfeed. That can cause loose stools, gassy tummies, and an overweight dog. This food has NO by products or fillers. They don't eat very much and they have very little waste. It's a different way of thinking. Overfeeding is a common newbie mistake.

I also don't feed big fat blobs. I do keep the skin on, as fat is necessary. But I trim off those big chunks of fat.

I think you did good for your first time raw feeding! Go slow. Ask questions. We will all help you. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much. That makes me feel better.
Your description of how they eat is spot on. They both handled it just like you described but Gunner made it look much more gross. Especially the horking (I had to chuckle at this word) it back up!

I think it's possible I overfed Gunner. He had that small wing tip, another small piece (maybe an oz) piece from the rib section, and then because I was concerned he had too much bone I gave him a tiny piece of straight breast meat. I feel better about what Herc got. I think it was closer to right or just under. Def need to get that scale.

I tried the towel thing but it was just a hand towel. I need to get two big regular towels. One for each dog. I'll try that next time.
 

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Good for you!

Yeah, it can be gross to watch them hork stuff up and then eat it with relish but they do.

I feed Spacely on a placemat. He prefers to take it to his blanket so I just wash it every few days.

I trim off fat blobs on chicken just because I find it gross to handle. Tinsel will happily eat it. I weigh everything because I am incapable of accurately eyeballing food....I routinely underestimate what I am feeding. This holds true for people too ;)
 

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My dogs are gulpers too! I don't feed them large chunks anymore as they never got over the gulping, and I can't hand feed them every meal. I cut their meat only meals into small pieces and they just inhale it. For bone meals, I hold onto the other end and let them crunch through it.

I use chicken wings too. I cut them up into 1/3s and they get one section. If it is only the tip section, I usually give a little side of meat because the tips are very bony.

I feed Penny in a crate, because Lion gets really possessive over food and will try to steal hers.

You can get a cheap kitchen scale at WalMart for $5. It isn't a digital scale, but it works.
 

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I also forgot to mention...Spacely eats like I am about to snatch it away any second. He doesn't guard and I can actually take it but he eats so fast. To slow him down, I put a fingerpaint container (it doesn't have fingerpaint in it, I use it to put ranch dressing in for the kids lunch) in his dish and his food around it. It just slows him down a little bit and makes him work a bit more. He only does this with his ground food (ground with bone and organ in it) or chunks of meat.

When he gets something with an actual bone, he takes his time.

Tinsel is a methodical chewer, no matter what she has. She also likes to do a few victory laps around the yard (food in mouth) when she is fed outside and has half a cornish game hen. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, we are a few days in on our raw experience. They seem to be doing very well on it! One day was really busy so they had ZP only. But a couple of days they got straight raw. Hercules still needs encouragement to eat. He eats like he might get in trouble if he enjoyed it too much! Gunner hasn't had any probs since the first feeding.
Neither dog has had any tummy/poop probs. In fact, Hercules, who has been a puker since we got him, hasn't thrown up since we started the premade raws and raw chicken. He used to puke every time he drank lots of water and I've noticed he hasn't done that lately.
So I would say not too shabby of a start. It doesn't weird me out so much neither. Not like it did the first day.
 

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Great update! Keep up the good work!

Raw is actually much easier on tummies and easier to digest than kibble since it hasn't been processed. I'm glad you are off to such a great start!
 

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Congrats on the progress!!! I had to laugh at "It doesn't weird me out so much neither. Not like it did the first day." as I was sooo put off initially that I had my OH do all of the cutting of the meat. Flash forward a year later to when I'm getting impatient for the giant beef heart to thaw so I can start my "autopsy" and cut it up into little chunks for my dogs. ^_^ I think feeding my dogs raw diet has turned me into a very primal being hehe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Congrats on the progress!!! I had to laugh at "It doesn't weird me out so much neither. Not like it did the first day." as I was sooo put off initially that I had my OH do all of the cutting of the meat. Flash forward a year later to when I'm getting impatient for the giant beef heart to thaw so I can start my "autopsy" and cut it up into little chunks for my dogs. ^_^ I think feeding my dogs raw diet has turned me into a very primal being hehe.
Cutting the meat up didn't bother me too terribly bad. It was just mainly figuring out HOW to cut up a whole chicken. It was watching them eat that weirded me out. The chewing, licking, swallowing, gagging it back up, more chewing, bone crunching, etc. :sign11: I've got a bit more tougher stomach now! I just try not to think about it too much since they just love their raw!
 
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