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Old 11-16-2009, 05:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Starting to feed raw, preparing chicken gizzards and hearts

Hello everyone,

In case you haven't seen my earlier posts, I am doing research on raw feeding and getting ready to start my cats on a raw diet.

While I was at the grocery store today and I found some fairly inexpensive chicken gizzards and hearts. They are fresh, not frozen. So I was wondering, should I partition this up into small portions an freeze it for a few days to a week? or can I go ahead and feed it as is and partition up the rest to freeze? Also, is this a good place to start to see if my kitties like eating raw or not? or should I try giving them something else first?

Thanks,
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Old 11-16-2009, 05:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Starting to feed raw, preparing chicken gizzards and hearts

You can feed it as is, no need to freeze before feeding. Honestly it wouldn't be where I would start to see if they like raw. I would go with plain old chicken or turkey. Gizzards are very tough and chewy and hearts tend to be pretty bloody. My cats do love chicken hearts but I wouldn't start with them.

Leslie
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Old 11-16-2009, 06:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Starting to feed raw, preparing chicken gizzards and hearts

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Originally Posted by Jack&Harley
You can feed it as is, no need to freeze before feeding. Honestly it wouldn't be where I would start to see if they like raw. I would go with plain old chicken or turkey. Gizzards are very tough and chewy and hearts tend to be pretty bloody. My cats do love chicken hearts but I wouldn't start with them.

Leslie
I'll see what they think and try a different approach if necessary.

Thanks!
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Old 11-16-2009, 07:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Starting to feed raw, preparing chicken gizzards and hearts

Yeah, I think I'm going to have to try a different approach I asked the kitties if they wanted to eat, I cut and warmed up the gizzards and hearts (a small portion) and put it down in front of them they sniffed and looked up at me with faces that said "Hey, you promised me food. What's this SH**?!?" I think I'll get some ground beef/chicken/pork and start mixing it with wet food and then slowly move to chunk meat and THEN do gizzards/hearts/etc. I'm going to leave the food out for a bit and see if anything happens when I'm not looking

How long is it ok to leave the raw food out for before I need to toss it? I put the remaining portions in the freezer in ziplock bags for later on.

I guess I won't be making any more impulse offal buys right away
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Old 11-16-2009, 08:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Starting to feed raw, preparing chicken gizzards and hearts

Yeah, gizzards are tough and cats have to work their way up to them, both in learning to chew and in gaining the strength to handle tougher pieces.

I don't worry about freezing products before I feed them, but that's another comfort-level thing. *shrug*
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Old 11-16-2009, 09:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Starting to feed raw, preparing chicken gizzards and hearts

Goodluck getting them switched.

Macy took to the raw diet really quickly!
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Old 11-16-2009, 09:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Starting to feed raw, preparing chicken gizzards and hearts

Dont' start at point A if you don't have to, meaning don't start them on ground food if you can avoid it, just chop the meat more finely in the beginning. You can also put some parmesan cheese on it to tempt them. You'll be surprised gizzards and hearts smell much different than plain meat, so plain chicken may be just what they need. Organs in general smell much worse--plain meat really doesn't smell unless is venison or some wild game. I cut kidney and liver tonight and the kidney smell just won't leave my throat, even after eating ice cream, its starting to really gross me out...

How did you warm the meat?

As for how long its safe to leave the meat out, I don't know the real answer, I don't think I'd feel comfortable with more than about 40 minutes or so, but it would never last that long here--if it did I'd know there was a problem with what was fed.
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Old 11-16-2009, 09:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Starting to feed raw, preparing chicken gizzards and hearts

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Originally Posted by Jack&Harley
Organs in general smell much worse--plain meat really doesn't smell unless is venison or some wild game. I cut kidney and liver tonight and the kidney smell just won't leave my throat, even after eating ice cream, its starting to really gross me out...
OMG I hate the kidney smell. I was sitting at the counter while my mom was cutting up a beef kidney and I was trying to figure out where the smell was coming from so I took a big ol'whiff of the kidney. YUCK. lol But Macy loves it so I guess I'll deal with the stench.

She so far has had pork, chicken, beef, deer meet. Chicken & Beef liver, & beef kidney...we have deer liver, kidney, & heart cut up and in the freezer... Never dreamed I'd feed a raw diet to my kitty but I am thrilled with the results...my kitty has food allergies and until she had gotten sick, the new diet seemed to be helping really well.
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Old 11-16-2009, 10:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Starting to feed raw, preparing chicken gizzards and hearts

Kidney has got to be one of the worst smells in the world. Absolutely disgusting. I was literally gagging the first few times I prepared it. *blech*

As for leaving the food out - technically, you can leave it out for hours. In the wild, cats bury their breakfast leftovers and dig 'em up for dinner.

In practice, however, you want the cat to eat what's been offered at a single sitting. So leave the food down for a half-hour (or even less), then take it back up (put it in the fridge). You don't want the cat to go hungry, so if she's not eating enough during the transition phase, you can offer the food several times a day. As she becomes more eager to eat, you can reduce the number of times you offer it.
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Old 11-16-2009, 10:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Starting to feed raw, preparing chicken gizzards and hearts

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Originally Posted by Jack&Harley
How did you warm the meat?
I stuck it in a plastic baggy and ran it under hot water until it was neither hot nor cold to the touch.

As for what I will feed them next, I have some chicken thighs in the freezer I'll thaw some of that, trim the meat off the bone (save the bones for soup) and try tomorrow night. Do you think mixing it with wet food would help if they don't eat it right away?
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