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Discussion Starter #1
The thread on butchering a goat has given me the courage to ask about deer meat. I'm struggling with the decision to change from a kibble diet to raw or raw & kibble. The work and yuck (I don't eat meat at all!) of chopping up meat sends me over the edge. Raw meat chubs are an option, but rather expensive. Then I thought.....we have a large farm property and are over-run with deer. Some friends and family do hunt the property. Could I get a deer or two donated and take it to be butchered....ground up bone and all? Including organ meats. Would this be a good choice to make my dogs healthier? I feed Nutro but do notice some eye discharge and itchness in my 3yr old. Also very stinky poop! Any opinions and info appreciated.
 

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My dogs eat venison (my brother's the hunter.) But we only get the parts he doesn't keep for himself.

If I had access to a whole deer or two...I'd be all over it!

I can't say whether or not your meat processor will be willing or able to grind the bones. But an adult GSD can handle all the ribs/vertebra without grinding anyway. The long legbones would probably be too hard to eat, but could be recreational bones.

Venison alone wouldn't be a very complete raw diet---variety is part of the idea with feeding this way. So you'd still probably want to feed other kinds of meats. But venison could be a staple, and the price would certainly be right.

(I've heard reports from others about venison causing some dogs to be gassy/farty. I can confirm that is the case with Luca. It's not a serious thing, but thought it worth a mention.)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Somehow I knew you'd be the first one to answer my question. Thanks Tracy. I think I will proceed with the deer meat idea. I will probably still feed kibble until I feel I've mastered the balanced diet concept. I want my dogs to eat as good as we do (although I don't eat meat). Having always avoided giving my dogs bones, it's hard to change my thinking.....that raw bones are OK. I've been reading each entry in this section and my head is spinning! It's a lot of information to process.
 

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My two LOVE venison. No additional gas that I could notice. Mix some chicken drumsticks or leg quarters and some pork necks for other RMB's and some other ground meat for muscle meat and you have a decent variety that is low maintenance and relatively inexpensive (especially when yu factor in free venison - I'm very jealous).
 

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Why aren't there any deer in S. California?

I must say I don't miss the fear about hitting one while driving along the highway though. Still, I used to see quite a lot of roadkill deer back home. If I had my pup when I was still in NY, I would be scoring SO big by pulling over the side of the road and just hog-tying one to the roof of my car.

Maybe I will visit back east during hunting season and try to stuff a suitcase full of deer packed with dry ice.

Could use the leg bone as a walking stick to save space ...
 

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Stig, There ARE deer in So Cal. Go to the mountains!

We used to live in San Diego, and Zamboni (my beagle mix) would take off chasing deer in the Laguna Mtns, and even Mission Trails Regional Park right in the middle of urban San Diego (although, this is before they put in Highway 52). All the lower So Cal mountains have deer. San Gabriel Mtns, Arrowhead; the further north you go --like the Sierra Nevada, the more deer...Yup, we've chased them all! There's nothing sweeter than a 35lb dog trailing a deer by about 30 yards -- deer bounding, beagle bounding -- but the beagle is CONVINCED that she can catch the deer eventually!

But I think hunting is really limited, if it's even allowed.

But you can come up here and hunt!


Ok, I'm so far off topic, it's not even funny....

I buy (yes, BUY) vension for my guy. He loves it. No gas whatsoever. Maybe it depends what part of the deer you're feeding the dog. But the expensive venison cuts that they sell for human consumption? (Don't tell my husband!) Nope, those don't cause any gas!
 

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Originally Posted By: 3K9Mom
But I think hunting is really limited, if it's even allowed.
I think you can hunt in (parts of) the Cleveland National Forrest. They say there is deer there - we haven't seen any on our recent trips to Mt. Laguna though.

We bought some venison trim (still expensive) to add some variety, but I don't see it being something the dogs will get consistantly because of the expense. Now if you have the unlimited funds of Lori and her spoiled pack....


We only feed about .25lbs at a time - and I haven't noticed any gas problems.
 

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Originally Posted By: 3K9MomBut you can come up here and hunt!
Oo, where are you located? I wonder how the heck I can fit a deer carcass in my sedan. :scratchhead: How difficult is it to get a hunting license out here? I was thinking of getting small game license back in NY, then we decided to move. I have a few woodsy friends who hunt during the autumn, and I wanted to give it a shot.

I don't think I have a very good shot, and I don't know if I have the patience to wait around for a deer. But my hubs is quite nifty with the gun ... well, compared to me. I am pretty darn good at skinning and hacking a deer carcass from all the road kills I had to deal with while working at a wildlife rehab, so I am relatively useful.

Maybe the Spikers can come along too, and fit a couple in the back of their SUV. But that would be like a dine-in buffet for Levi and Leyna.


Too bad we can't hunt the ducks & coots by my place. Janka is constantly trying to get at them. She actually caught a drake a while back, but the poor guy was OK.
 

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Tony would go hunting....he used to with his grandfather back in Missouri.

I'm surprised Janka hasn't seen any of the rabbits around here yet....
 

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Originally Posted By: mspiker03Tony would go hunting....he used to with his grandfather back in Missouri.

I'm surprised Janka hasn't seen any of the rabbits around here yet....
We haven't seen one in San Diego. Nor a squirrel.
Maybe they heard about Janka through the wind, and scatter when she is around.

She did see rabbits when we were in Orange County. Oh man.

They were all still, just chilling in the grass. So she just stood and stared at them, not sure what to make of it. Then one of them moved, and that was when pandamonium broke loose.
She started lunging and barking, and then ALL the rabbits scattered at once. And Janka just about lost her mind to excitment. Bryan had to run over to hold onto the leash, 'cos she was about to break loose from me!

Yeah .. ... when we meet up at Mt Laguna, Janka is going to be on a long line.

Does Tony hunt here in SD? Or around here?
 

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Go beach camping at South Carlsbad or Cardiff and you'll see TONS of ground squirrels.

I live in WA. Take I-5 North. Keep going. Just before you get to Canada, call and I'll give you specific directions.
And my Dh is a wiz with tie-downs (he's an Eagle Scout). So we'll get that deer ON your sedan, no problemo!

At Mt Laguna, you'll mostly see Coyotes if anything. But there are squirrels, raccoons, bobcats, skunks...And grazing cattle. On the Sunset Trail, there's a thick nasty pond (I call Giardia Pond) about 1.5 miles in. On hot days, I recommend the long line, or you'll have pups that smell strongly like cattle dung!

Oh, at twilight, we did encounter a mountain lion that did stalk us for 3 miles, all the way downhill, til I got to my car. So be careful after sunset.
 

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Originally Posted By: 3K9MomAnd my Dh is a wiz with tie-downs (he's an Eagle Scout). So we'll get that deer ON your sedan, no problemo!
Mine is too!

Originally Posted By: 3K9MomAt Mt Laguna, you'll mostly see Coyotes if anything. But there are squirrels, raccoons, bobcats, skunks...And grazing cattle.
We've seen squirrels and birds so far. The dogs LOVE them.

Originally Posted By: 3K9MomOn the Sunset Trail, there's a thick nasty pond (I call Giardia Pond) about 1.5 miles in. On hot days, I recommend the long line, or you'll have pups that smell strongly like cattle dung!
We found a "lake" (Big Laguna Lake, but more the size of a large pond). It didn't seem that thick though. We reached it from the Big Laguna trail (the other side). The dogs loved playing fetch in it. It was a little smelly, but not that bad. Maybe it was because of all the "rain" this year and we've been going in the spring. You can also reach it from the Sunset trail, but I think it is a different one than the one you mentioned.
 

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Originally Posted By: The Stig
Originally Posted By: mspiker03Tony would go hunting....he used to with his grandfather back in Missouri.

I'm surprised Janka hasn't seen any of the rabbits around here yet....
We haven't seen one in San Diego.
We just saw another rabbit on our run today (and I thought of you!). You need to head out towards my house where there is still undeveloped land nearby - then you'll see rabbits. We see them almost every day.
 

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I saw a skunk. Janka probably thought it was our tuxedo cat!

I saw a very squished mess of fur and guts while on E. Palomar. It could have been a rabbit. The pelt looked like that of a cottontail.

Janka wants to know when you and Tony are taking the puppers for a hike.

:eek:)
 

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Originally Posted By: The StigI saw a skunk. Janka probably thought it was our tuxedo cat!

:eek:)
We used to live on the canyons of Normal Heights. Skunks? Oh dear Lord. There were skunks than dogs in our neighborhood. More skunks than people. More skunks than blades of grass.

Want to see skunks? Go there, any time between dusk and dawn. Leave Janka at home though. Trust me
 

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Originally Posted By: mspiker03We found a "lake" (Big Laguna Lake, but more the size of a large pond). It didn't seem that thick though. We reached it from the Big Laguna trail (the other side). The dogs loved playing fetch in it. It was a little smelly, but not that bad. Maybe it was because of all the "rain" this year and we've been going in the spring. You can also reach it from the Sunset trail, but I think it is a different one than the one you mentioned.
I'll have to check my old topo maps. Hmmm...Giardia Pond is an actual lake? Could be...I guess...


Tonight, I mentioned to Dh about tying down the deer to the roof of the sedan. He said, "No, absolutely not....the HOOD is a much better platform."

Ok then. The expert has spoken. Tell your dh to bring his tie-downs. We'll get those deer home yet. Hopefully Stig won't hit too much stop and sit, mid-afternoon, cooking hot traffic in Los Angeles on the way back home...

 

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I am quite sure it be beneficial to save the organ meat for Camp Puppy? I would imagine the organs would be healthier than say, farmed cattle, seeing it doesn't have to filter steriods, antibiotics, and poor quality food from its system. Also, saving the stomach and its contents would provide a nice treat for your dogs as well.

But, as mspiker03 would advice, feed that stuff outside. It really reeks. When I opened my first tin of tripe, all I could do was muster a really ugly face, and say, "Bleah".


3K9Mom, I totally did not factor in LA traffic and heat. Ew. I don't want my deer dry-roasting on my car. It will prob mess with the paint. Good thing is, drivers will probably not dare to tailgate me.

Is the hood the bonnet? Or the ... oh the trunk is the boot. I don't know about the hood. The DH would have to drive with his head out the window. Tee hee.

If it's in the fall, we will probably have a chest freezer by then. Woo! If not, I am sure Melissa will take the extra and somehow find a way to store it.
 
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