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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-05-2009, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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Figuring Out Bone %

So, how does one go about figuring out how much bone is in a meaty bone? I know cats should have roughly 10% bone if they are on a raw food diet. But if I give Darius part of a chicken ribcage, or a rabbit hind leg, I kinda want to know if he is getting the right amount of bone. Do most people just feed a meaty bone X times a week? I know I'll have to keep an eye on the consistency of his feces (he doesn't bury his poo, so I scoop up his 'stinkers' right away) to judge it.

I'll probably be popping over to a Hispanic market sometime in the next week to try and locate organ meats (liver is no problem, the 'other' is). I just have to wait until my Peruvian friend is free because I cannot speak Spanish well at all. But I expect that little market will be a wealth of inexpensive, good quality meats that aren't found at a normal grocery store. The last time I was there without a kitty in mind I was like "O_o look at the variety! And they have chicken feets!" I won't be giving Darius chicken feet, but you get the idea.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-05-2009, 02:25 PM
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Re: Figuring Out Bone %

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stacykins
So, how does one go about figuring out how much bone is in a meaty bone? I know cats should have roughly 10% bone if they are on a raw food diet.
For most cats it's more like 5%. The bone in the animals a small cat would eat in the wild are VERY tiny (mice, birds). 10% is the top end for cats.
Quote:
But if I give Darius part of a chicken ribcage, or a rabbit hind leg, I kinda want to know if he is getting the right amount of bone. Do most people just feed a meaty bone X times a week? I know I'll have to keep an eye on the consistency of his feces (he doesn't bury his poo, so I scoop up his 'stinkers' right away) to judge it.
The key is to feed much more plain meatymeat than bone-in meat. I feed mine 2X a day, which is 14 meals per cat, per week. Of those 14 meals, 2 might be cornish game hen quarters. Otherwise, they get meaty meat, or mice/chicks (which have bone but thin/small bone). If you aren't feeding mice/chicks, etc. maybe feed bone 3X a week.

This is once the raw feeder is established. To GET established, it's best to start with one protein (like chicken) and feed a little more bone. Once kitty is used to it and eating it well, you can start to reduce bone and add in more meatymeat, more variety (GRADUALLY) and organs (again, GRADUALLY).
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-05-2009, 03:30 PM
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Re: Figuring Out Bone %

I do raw feeding a little differently than most folks, probably because I'm very sensitive to the constipation issue due to having dealt with several CRF cats who are prone to constipation.

I prefer to feed the 80/10/5/5 proportions (or somewhere thereabouts) every day rather than feeding bone just 3 times a week and organs a couple of times a week like so many other folks do. I don't feed any whole prey like mice or chicks, but I figure the frankenprey I do feed should as closely approximate the prey they would eat daily as possible. Since chicks and rodents contain meat, bones, and organs, I figure that a cat's digestive tract is designed to handle all three elements in the same meal.

I also figure that feeding a lot of bone all at once is going to constipate my cats, and feeding larger chunks of organs are going to make them loose. I don't want to risk causing those sorts of digestive upsets in my cats, so I feed meat, bones, and organs in appropriate proportions every day.

I had the same question you asked about bone proportions, and I decided that the only way to do it was by eyeball and guesstimate - then monitoring stool output. I have found that most of my cats can handle 1/4 chicken neck a day, BUT that comes with a couple of caveats:

1) My cats receive a small amount of kibble for breakfast and a larger raw meal at night. Their total diet is probably around 1/3 kibble, 2/3 raw. If you feed totally raw, your cat can probably handle a bit more than 1/4 chicken neck (or bony equivalent) daily.

2) A few of my cats have constipated on 1/4 chicken neck daily, so I will occasionally skip the neck piece in their raw meal or feed them a smaller neck piece to avoid constipation.

In other words, this is all very individual, both in terms of how you want to handle raw feeding and how your cat's system handles the proportions you are feeding. Flexibility and stool monitoring are the keys to success.

Laurie
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-07-2009, 04:02 AM
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Re: Figuring Out Bone %

You can use this site for basic parts you find in stores http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/ It will list a % of bone refuse.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-09-2009, 09:56 PM
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Re: Figuring Out Bone %

I feed bone 3x a week but sort of like laurie feed a balanced meal daily. Sunday, Tuesday, Thurs and Sat they receive muscle meat and organs balanced. Monday, Wednesday and Friday they receive muscle meat, organs and bone balanced. I do this to keep it consistent and easy for me to prepare ahead of time.

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