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Discussion Starter #1
Got a few questions here (like, right-- when don't I?
).

1. Is there any difference to a dog's nutrition between ground turkey (not available here), and tougher, more chewy MM like turkey hearts and/or stomachs?

2.Turkey RMB specifics: I got a turkey neck, and this whopper of a thing is over a pound! I think I can whack it or saw it in half, right? Is a turkey neck as safe to eat for him as a turkey drum, or are the smaller bones likely to be gulped? Would you use turkey necks or drums for RMBs? He has had drums before and loves 'em-- I just gotta clobber the knobby end so he won't vomit it up the next morning at 5am.


2.(b)I wanna put a bit over 1/2 lb RMB, & a bit under 1/2 lb MM per meal... can the RMB still be a drum? Or is that swaying the MM ratio too high and we will have squirtsville in pooptown?

3. Do turkeys have a thyroid? (Knew I'd throw ya a curve, huh!) Seriously, do they?


4. I won't be using tripe for a while, but: Once green tripe has been frozen, is it still beneficial? They have something in the pet shop called "Blattermagen." That means, a stomach with leaves. But, it is frozen, like a little teeny lasagne. I know it is a MM, but is tripe like an OM in that it should be fed sparingly or the runs result?
 

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Hmmmmm, Patti, I never thought about much of these issues, I just throw some food at Keeta, and so far, I haven't killed her yet . . .

My understanding is that heart is richer than regular muscle meat. Now I don't even know what "richer" is supposed to mean. I give it occasionally; occasionally make a "meal" of it (your ratios of 40/60/10 do not have to be divided equally at each meal, as long as your long-term, overall ratios are respected. IE, one meal can be all MM, on meal can be all MRBs, sometimes you can add organ meats, sometimes you can skip it. Sometimes you can throw a frozen burrito at your dog, etc . . .)

But for the turkey necks, I find that I can just break them in two with my bare hands - as cro-magnon woman, you shouldn't have any problems with that. A cleaver will work too.

If you are concerned about runny poops, more bone (so more RMBs) will help solidify things.

Good question about the thyroid, never thought of that! Never saw anything attached to a turkey neck that could be a thyroid, but in Germany, who knows if they are part of the package or not?

I wonder about tripe too: my understanding is that enzymes and beneficial bacteria in the stomach lining is of great benefit. But are the enzymes still active and the bacteria still kicking if the tripe is frozen or canned? I am wondering about this too.

Will you be starting Grimm on Turkey to at first? I know that some dogs are sensitive to turkey, and do better on chicken. If I had a dog with possible food sensitivities, I'd try introducing chicken as a firsts raw item before moving on to turkey. But sounds like Grimm has had turkey and is fine with it.
 

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Yes, of course you can whack the turkey neck in half (I do it all the time!). My dogs have eaten all parts of a turkey without any problems - the bones have never been an issue.

If you are feeding necks, I would definitely do 50% necks, and 50% MM. But, if you have a really meaty drum as your RMB, you probably could do less than 50% just plain MM. I think it will really depend on Grimm and you will have to figure out what works for him. I know my two get different ratios of RMB:MM just because that is what works for them to make their poops good.

I feed frozen green tripe all of the time. They grind it into 5 lbs chubs/packages. I feed it partially frozen too (cuts out some of the nastyness for me).
 

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The tripe I buy comes frozen. I thaw it, portion it, and re-freeze it again.

Turkey's turkey. There may a minor difference between the amino acid profile of a turkey heart and a turkey leg muscle, but not enough for me to worry about. Taurine is the amino acid present in elevated levels many heart meats--Laurie has a story about one of her dogs avoiding seizures as long as he gets a regular ration of beef heart.

I agree with mspiker on the necks vs. legs issue---necks have more bone than legs (which you also recognize just by looking at it), so just adjust the muscle meat accordingly. This ISN'T an exact science. It doesn't have to be. Think about it--wild animals feed themselves just fine without benefit of a digital scale, a chart that shows them a list of optimal nutrients, or any other kind of worry. They just eat.

As long as you understand the basic parameters of raw feeding (which I think you do) so that you can step in and replace Grimm's instincts about what to eat and how much, I think this will go just fine. It may take you both a few meals, a few days, or even a few weeks to catch your stride, but you will.

Having the ratio of bone to muscle off a little here or there isn't going to be a big deal. So, he'll have a dry poop. You'll see it and recognize, "oh, looks like too much bone yesterday" and you'll file that away for next time. He'll have a softer poop, and you'll note that too. But neither of these occurances is going to be a problem--Grimm won't care in the least about the consistency of his poop. And, believe it or not, after you feed raw for a while, you'll stop thinking about poop too.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you! Thanks to you guys guiding me and explaining things so patiently, this stuff is coming into sharper relief for me now. Things really are starting to make a lot more sense than when I began reading and lurking here. It all seemed more than just overwhelming, it seemed.. intimidating!
Now, I think I have a better sense for how this can go. I also just got the Billinghurst "Give Your Dog a Bone" book ordered. I am one of those folks who likes to mentally chew and savor things a bit when the entire concept is kinda complex.

Honestly, I can't wait to get started. I'll need to though, as Grimm is away for another 2-3 weks at the send-away trainer's, and then he needs to remain on his same kibble for a few weeks so I can see he is not reacting to stress and changes. This gives me time to read, bug youse guys,
and begin collecting the supplements like salmon oil, vitamin E caps, lecithin, and kelp that I will eventually, after sufficient time, begin gradually adding to his food.

If this works well, Grimm will probably be a poster child for raw feeding improving a dog. He was weaned onto raw, but I put him on kibble at 12 weeks.
It's a premium grain-free, but it looks like he eats Ole Roy.
He barely has any coat, the coat he does have is dull, dry, pale-colored, sparse, and his body should be wider, heavier, more developed at this age. Vet says he is only 'borderline' for hypothyroid, and to start on the raw for a month or two before we re-check his T4 level.


She has faith in the raw diet... I do too.
Not saying I won't request we start Grimm on a low dose thyroxine, but, I think somehow his body was weaned onto raw, and then has never handled absorbing everything he needed from the kibble. Just my gut sense talking here.
 

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Originally Posted By: Luca_stl And, believe it or not, after you feed raw for a while, you'll stop thinking about poop too.
I dunno. Most of the rawbies I know are pretty avid poop-watchers. I know I am!! Though I have a dog with occasional bowel issues, so perhaps I am not the norm.


Everyone else has answered the questions nicely, so I have nothing else to add.
 

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Originally Posted By: Luca_stl So, he'll have a dry poop. You'll see it and recognize, "oh, looks like too much bone yesterday" and you'll file that away for next time.
Um, Patti? Between you and me? I'm not quite sure that you have to file the poop away for reference, as Tracy suggests.


If you're really worried that you'll forget what it looked like, just take a photo.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Wait, wait, wait.. okay.. I hafta file away the poop? Or display it in a shadowbox from the art supply store? Can I at least do this MY way, and hit it with spray glitter, first?


The scary thing is, I find myself walking in The Zone of Many Fifis here in town (dogwalk area), peering into the grass to avoid the piles, and muttering under my breath "Hmmm.... clearly kibble-fed, look at the sheer volume and shape. Hhhmmm... next one.. possible raw; too much bone... better increase the MM..." I just know a white labcoat, clipboard, and large glasses would at least make it seem official. You know, before the men in other white coats arrive and throw a net over me..
 

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Spray glitter is not recommended. A light coating of natural shellac will help to preserve the turd in its original state without affecting the natual color or patina. For a more decorative finish, you can lightly sand between coats using steel wool, then finish with a beeswax topcoat. Be sure to mark the underside with day/date/time (in this format), and a letter code referencing original consistency and protein source. You'll find a table with those codes in the manual.
 

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Originally Posted By: BrightelfThe scary thing is, I find myself walking in The Zone of Many Fifis here in town (dogwalk area), peering into the grass to avoid the piles, and muttering under my breath "Hmmm.... clearly kibble-fed, look at the sheer volume and shape. Hhhmmm... next one.. possible raw; too much bone... better increase the MM..." I just know a white labcoat, clipboard, and large glasses would at least make it seem official. You know, before the men in other white coats arrive and throw a net over me..
I do that too!! Whenever I see other dog poop outside (more frequently than I'd like, for the record) I am always analyzing it. Mostly kibble-fed dogs 'round here. Though I have seen an occasional raw-fed poo (that wasn't Ris').
 

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Originally Posted By: Brightelf
1. Is there any difference to a dog's nutrition between ground turkey (not available here), and tougher, more chewy MM like turkey hearts and/or stomachs?
Yes. You can look at all food values in the USDA database, http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/

The biggest difference I see between ground and heart is the amount of iron in the heart is much greater.

Originally Posted By: Brightelf2. I got a turkey neck, I think I can whack it or saw it in half, right? Is a turkey neck as safe to eat for him as a turkey drum, or are the smaller bones likely to be gulped? Would you use turkey necks or drums for RMBs?
I use turkey necks almost exclusively for RMBs. I use these over drumsticks due to availability and cost. I cut them in half or thirds depending on size. I often position the knife and whack the knife with a rubber mallet and it slices right through.

Kudos to the woman who can snap them with her hands- I can't imagine that! These things are tough!

Originally Posted By: Brightelf2.(b)I wanna put a bit over 1/2 lb RMB, & a bit under 1/2 lb MM per meal...
I can only speak from my experience, but my Penny would eat a ratio of 8 oz turkey neck to 18 oz ground turkey in a given day. On beef days she would eat 8 oz turkey neck to 22 oz beef (heart and ground). So for me, your percentages of RMB run *much* higher.

This post re: bone might help you decide, http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=487687&page=0&fpart=1
 

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Originally Posted By: CampPappyYou guys are TOO funny!

I think Hubby and I talk about dog poop more than anything else!
We actually refer to it as The Poop Report. Whenever the dogs potty while they're with Dh, he immediately reports back to me when they return.

In the morning, he'll call me on his way to work with The Early Morning Poop Report....Unless it's really runny or otherwise unusual.

Then he leaves it for me to complete my own analysis!
 
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