I've been feeding commercial raw and canned food primarily and slowly adding in bits of whole meat / organs / necks etc. I've kept it under 15% so that I didn't need to worry about balancing everything. Now I've finally sourced enough frankenprey items that I feel I can safely switch them over to primarily frankenprey (although I'll keep commercial raw and canned foods on hand for convenience because the boyfriend and petsitter don't really want to deal with frankenprey and I'm pretty busy). In the past few days, I've been increasing the amount of frankenprey offerings and seen how the cats reacted. It's been a bit of a gong show wiht 6 cats including 2 fosters who I'll keep on canned or commercial raw (no need to go to the effort of switching them, their forever home likely won't feed it).
2 cats (Orion and Gia) have never been happier. They munch anything I put in front of them and run around stealing the food from the slower eaters (Karina and Aries). Orion is so pleased with bone in foods that I'm sure if he had his way he wouldn't poop for weeks - they are the favorite items to steal. Problem is that Aries and Karina are still figuring out that you can crunch through them - so I have to be extremely careful that Orion doesn't steal 3 cats worth of necks or wings!
Aries and Karina are eating the chunks very well - they haven't refused anything except for wings / necks but they would prefer to steal the foster kittens commercial raw. I've been putting the foster kittens in the bathroom to prevent Aries and Karina stealing their food. Problem is, Orion just steals Aries and Karina's food.
Orion has eaten SO MUCH in the last 4 days - he's loving life. He's always been very lean and not a huge eater if it isn't kibble, but clearly the all you can eat frankenprey is agreeing with him.
Right now my biggest challenge is getting Aries and Karina to eat bone in meals. If they don't take to it soon, I'll start adding some ground egg shell to their meat while I work on the transition. This morning I took those two and put them in the bathroom with two cornish hen wings and two sections of neck hoping that if the brat didn't steal, they would figure it out - no luck.
But - some very big steps forward! I didn't have enough meat thawed this morning, so I planned to have Karina and Aries try to master the cornish hen bones and then feed everyone canned food. I opened a 13 oz can of Wellness Chicken and only the foster kitties would eat it. Orion and Gia sniffed and refused. I ended up quickly thawing some chicken hearts and beef stew meat for them. After Aries and Karina failed on the bones, they also showed no interest in canned and ate beef and hearts.
Another huge positive is that other than Aries and Karina not knowing what to do with bone in meals, the four cats haven't refused anything - chicken or beef heart, chicken or beef liver, chicken, turkey, cornish hen or beef muscle meat, chicken gizzards, pinkie mice (Orion and Gia have eaten bigger mice, Karina and Aries aren't sure)... so I'm very happy about that.
I'm working on sourcing other variety - I haven't found secreting organs other than liver, so I need to find kidneys / pancreas / spleen soon. I also am trying to find small sardines without salt. The cats aren't fans of egg, so hopefully I can find the fish for vitamin D and omega 3s.
After this long post, I have a couple questions for experienced frankenprey feeders:
1. How important is variety in the secreting organs? I can get beef, chicken and turkey livers but I'm not having luck finding other organs. Is it extremely important that I locate them ASAP or is it ok to feed liver for a few weeks until I can find the others?
2. Chicken and beef heart, chicken gizzards and beef tongue are very cheap. Are those ok to feed regularly (obviously as part of the meat) or would you stick to the regular chicken breast, chicken thigh, beef meat, etc. as only feed those on occasion? I wouldn't want to feed those primarily but I'm wondering if there is a reason not to throw them in the rotation weekly. Hearts are high in taurine, so I'm planning on feeding those at least weekly.