Saturday, February 28, 2009

... in for a pound.

Proponents of prey model raw diets suggest a diet of 80% meat, 10% organ and 10% bone - the theory being that is the proportion in "real" whole prey.

Chicken generally forms a high percentage of the diet for a lot of raw fed dogs - it's cheap, and readily available. However, chicken is really high in bone percent. Here are the numbers, according to the USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory

Back 44%
Breasts 20%
Thigh 21%
Drumstick 33%
Wing 46%
Whole 31%

Once your dog is on a raw diet, you want to average this out - so you would generally feed 1 or 2 boneless meals for every chicken-with-bone meal. But note the backs and wings. Over 40% bone! That might be a bit too high to feed, even followed by 3 boneless meals. Again, if you have a bigger dog, you can feed a breast with the wings or back attached - but for smaller dogs, this might be too big of a meal.

This is something to keep in mind when buying whole chickens. Depending on the price per pound, breasts or legs might work out to be a better price than whole. If you think about price per serving, vs. price per pound, this makes more sense.

For example, those whole chickens I bought. They were ~$6 each, and I cut each into 12 portions, or 6 days worth of food, which works out to ~$1 per day. But, if I take out the wings and back, then each chicken provides 8 portions, at ~$1.50 per day. I can get packs of legs (3 legs and thighs) for under $4 each, which provide 6 potions, at ~$1.33 per day. The good thing about whole, though, is you get the breast meat, which is generally quite expensive, and has a better meat/bone ratio than the legs.

One option for the "bony" chicken parts, is to feed along with organ meat. I might give that a try, but I still need to incorporate more "meaty" meat in Kip's diet. And that is generally where costs increase. I need to keep an eye out for sales - and buy a freezer!

No comments:

Post a Comment