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Discussion Starter #1
Success!!

So, while grocery shopping I just picked up a boneless chicken breast and wanted to see what Kiki would do. I cut off a small piece to see if she'd even eat it and she gobbled it right up! No tuna juice or kibble powder or canned food to spread on it!

So next I cut a fairly big chunk off, like, maybe, 3 inches by 2 1/2", 1 inch thick (?) I think. She immediately started licking it the same way she "eats" canned food. After a minute or so I got a little worried because after licking awhile I'd see her try to bite it, give up, then go back to just licking. Well it took a few minutes of trying but she finally figured out how to turn her head and chomp away.

It was funny because when she'd try to bite and didn't tear a piece off, she'd start to walk away, then stop, look back at the chicken and try again! Sure enough she got the whole thing down and I gave her one more slab of raw chicken and she took to it like an old pro and was working those carnassials! After all that hard work it was time for her to take a well deserved nap!

Haven't tried bones yet but I'm feeling confident she'll be able to handle it!

I asked the butcher guy at the store if they had chicken necks, giblets or other organs but he unfortunately said no. I could buy a whole Foster Farms packaged chicken there but on the label it says may not contain all giblets...don't know what that means though.

The only organ I saw I could buy was beef liver so I'm not sure where I'll get the other organ stuffs she'll need to eat. Until then I guess I'll just keep feeding canned with some raw. I was relieved to see her not turn her nose up at raw though!
 

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Congrats! My boys took to it right away as well, although they do still have their days.

As for organ meat, you have to work hard sometimes. Get online look for local butchers and farms, search craigslist.

I found a local butcher who can get me chicken hearts, which count as muscle meat, but are a great source of taurine.

I also found a man on craigslist who raises chicken and sends them to butcher for people, so next time they go to butcher he is going to have the butcher save all the organs for me.

I have a really cool local grocer that carries any type of organ meat for pork and beef as well.

For me I've found it best to keep a blank calendar and each day I write down what I fed, that way I know when they're due for bone or organ meat. I also feed a lot of different proteins so it helps me keep track of what proteins I've fed.

As for bones, chicken ribs and necks are great ones to start with. The wing bones are a bit much for my bones so I crush them alittle with a hammer.

Leslie
 

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You may want to google for Azian meat markets in your area, they usually carry organs.

My personal experience is that "upscale" supermarkets in good/wealthy areas do not carry organs (in my area they carry chicken hearts/bizzards/liver though) but in poorer areas they do carry all the stuff we need for our cats:). I found a meat store that has rabbit, chicken necks (very cheap), beef hearts etc. but he is located in not so good area.
 

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It sounds like your cat has discovered how to chew. Cats raised from birth on commercial food have to rediscover their instincts. They may not know at first that kind of food needs to be chewed. It was a good idea to give boneless meat first. Starting right off the bat with bone-in meat can be a little chancy if your cat doesn't know it's supposed to be thoroughly crunched up first. I made that mistake and Twinkie nearly choked on his first chicken neck. I was watching him closely, too, and dived in there to rescue the neck when I saw he was going to attempt swallowing it whole. :?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good info! I wouldn't have thought to check Craigslist, but what exactly would I search for? Chicken organs, giblets I guess?

Coaster, did Twinkie finaly figure out how to munch the bones properly?

I made a YouTube vid of Kiki eating her raw chicken too. I have another one with a much bigger slab of chicken but it's like 9 minutes long! So about a 12 minute jaw workout.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qdxwy18LW4Q


She's really lovin' it!
 

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Congrats, Sabala! I've been feeding natural for a couple of months now and watching my guys chow down on a hunk of meat or tossing back bits of kidney or cleaning up after wrestling a chicken wing is still a delight.

(Just remember, liver isn't considered an organ.)

Keep up informed - we all love reading each other's adventures. :D
 

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Excuse me, but liver most certainly IS considered an organ. In a raw prey model diet, liver is supposed to comprise half of the 10% organ percentage. The other half of the organ percentage (5% of the total diet) should be one of the other secreting organs (kidney, spleen, thymus, pancreas, brain, testicles).

Laurie
 

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laurief said:
Excuse me, but liver most certainly IS considered an organ. In a raw prey model diet, liver is supposed to comprise half of the 10% organ percentage. The other half of the organ percentage (5% of the total diet) should be one of the other secreting organs (kidney, spleen, thymus, pancreas, brain, testicles).

Laurie
Let me rephrase my statement for clarity's sake.

The usually recommended prey model feeding percentages, as Laurie partially touches on, are: 80% Meat / 10% Bone / 5% Liver / 5% Organ. As you can see, liver and organ are measured separately. This is what I was referring to when I said liver was not considered an organ meat; for dietary purposes, it's a completely separate requirement.

A.C.
 

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For even greater clarity's sake, depending on the Raw Prey Model diet reference you are consulting, the recommended dietary percentages are often stated as: 80% muscle meat, 10% edible bone, 10% secreting organ (of which 5% should be liver and 5% should be some other secreting organ: kidney, spleen, thymus, pancreas, brain, testicles).

Raw Prey Model can get a bit confusing because certain organs such as heart, gizzards, stomach, intestines, and (according to some sources) lungs are considered muscle meat for the sake of this particular diet.

Laurie
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ok, tried some meaty bones for the first time. There's a pet food store by me that carries Primal http://www.primalpetfoods.com/feline/raw_meaty_bones.htm frozen meaty bones, (they only had mostly bigger bones fer doggies) and they had a turkey neck so I picked it up for Kiki.

I cut off about 3 or 4 inches, thawed it and set it down. She backed away from it so I sprinkled on a little EVO dry and a few drops of tuna juice. I also hit it a few times with a steel pipe, (clean) to crush the bone a little. This time she started licking it, then tried to bite. I heard her actually crunching the bone for a bit but I got up to get my camera to record which I think distracted her and she kinda stopped eating it. I think it's a good sign she did crunch a little bone but she still has to work a bit at it.

I'll keep working at the turkey neck but I also just bought a whole chicken, (with some giblets I guess) from the grocery store for less than 5 bucks! - .77 cents a lb. I'll have to learn how to cut up a whole chicken though, I've never done that before! I saw some vids on You Tube that should help.

Talking about organs, where would you find kidney, spleen, thymus, pancreas, brain, testicles...organs other than liver?

I'm still giving some canned and I found some stuff called Ziwi Peak. Pretty expensive, 2.69 for 6.5oz! but I got the lamb and Kiki like. Ingredients look pretty good...

Ingredients: Lamb - Meat (min. 40%), Liver, Tripe, Heart & Kidney (min. 18%); Green-lipped and Blue Mussel* (min. 4%); Carrageenan, Guar Gum, Flaxseed Oil, Taurine. Minerals - Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Potassium Chloride, Zinc Proteinate, Magnesium Sulphate, Zinc Sulphate, Ferrous Sulphate, Manganese Sulphate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite. Vitamins - Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid

She's getting there!
 

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The great thing about feeding raw meat to companion animals is that you don't have to learn how to cut up a whole chicken into nice tidy parts. Just hack away at it until you get it into manageable sized pieces. Your cats don't care if you perform a pretty dissection of the carcass. They just want their meat!

Organs can be difficult to find, or they can be easy. It all depends on your local sources. If you live near an Asian market or specialty meat market, you can often find organ meats there. Larger grocery stores with extensive meat sections may have some uncommon organ meats. Taxidermists may be able to provide you with brains, esp. during hunting season. Hunters, too, can be a great source of organ meats. If you live in or near a farming community, local butchers or the farmers themselves may be able to supply you with organ meats. Just get on the phone and start making calls. You'll be surprised what you can dig up when you get creative.

Laurie
 

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My experience about finding organ meats is the more expensive the area less chances to find organs. I used to live in not so good area in the past and I remember many organ meats in the supermarkets. And yes, azian markets do carry organs and in my area meat like rabbits, chicken necks etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I picked up a cup of chicken livers at the grocery store, just under a pounds worth in a container for a buck fifty. Gave one to her and she LOVED it! I didn't see any gizzards/heart packaged though but I'll pick 'em up next time they're available.

Should I put the livers in the freezer and thaw out as needed or can I leave them in the fridge for a fair amount of time? I'm not sure how often to give them as she's still doing a little raw here and a little canned here. I've had the livers in the fridge for about 24 hours.

For other organs I'll try going to the Farmers Market here in Santa Monica. On the website there's an organic farm that brings down chicken, duck, rabbit, etc on weekends. I'll see if I can hit them up for organs and see what they say.

http://www.localharvest.org/farms/M16881

There's also Chinatown I could visit. Never would've thought of taxidermists! I also found online an Indian/Pakistani restaurant that I think has a butcher shop too, will have to check that out.
 

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You have to be careful not to overfeed liver. It's very high in vit. A which can be toxic if overdosed. You can either feed a tiny piece of liver every day, which is what I do with my cats, or a larger piece (nickle-sized) a couple of times a week. Since you're only feeding one cat, you should freeze the livers individually so that you can thaw just one at a time.

Laurie
 

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Discussion Starter #16
So Kiki has been doing awesome with her raw diet. She really loves it! Tonight she finished off her first whole (grocery store bought) chicken with the chicken back. She's been chomping away at the bones with no problems. Well, some of the larger ones I'll take some pliers and break the bones to get her started.

I notice she does best with pieces that are about the size of a mouse, like a chicken wing so I'll cut pieces to about that size. I definitely have to watch her eat because sometimes she'll just decide to get up and haul her food off somewhere else, which btw looks hillarious! I tried feeding her in the bath tub until the time she picked up her food, jumped out of the tub and chomped the rest down in the middle of my living room!

She loves eating liver and I found cow brains, (Kiki like!) to give her as well. I got the brain at a butcher shop when I went up to Reno to drop off the 2 cats I was fostering. Cow brain is expensive! I also picked up about 2 lbs of chicken hearts too. Kiki loves the chicken hearts! I give her one or two hearts or a gizzard mid day, kinda like a treat I guess.

I still give her canned food once in awhile, like on my trip to Reno I had my neighbor feeding her canned food-Ziwi Peak stuff. Funny thing is when I go into the kitchen to feed her she waits in front of the raw food plate to be fed, not the canned food bowl! How's that for a hint?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkpJaN9t2h0
 
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