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Kittens and raw chicken

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I've been wanting to start feeding raw meat to my furbabies occasionally, so the other day at the grocery store I picked up a pack of 6 drumsticks for $2.84. I gave them each a drumstick but they are having a hard time eating it. I think they don't know how to hold it down and rip the meat off with their teeth. They are, in fact, eating it though! They seem to love it! But, I'm having to attempt to seperate the meat from the bone so they have a flap to chew on. Then they chew it down to the bulk and are put off again. Is this normal for 4mos & 7mos of age? Do I keep cutting it from the bone for them? Any advice?

Thanks!
Liz
post #2 of 19
I think it's a very normal, if not unusually positive reaction.

My 8 cats, aged 11 months to 9 years have no idea what to do with a chicken wing, drumstick, or anything similar. They enjoy raw, but they don't know what to do with meat on a bone.
post #3 of 19
LOL.. Sorry not laughing at you...

My dog barely understood meat on a bone and my cats also get grd meat bone and organs ...
post #4 of 19
Maybe try wings or necks instead? They might be easier to chew through than a drumstick (sorry, the visual of a little kitten chewing on a BIG chicken leg made me laugh )
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
lol I guess it is kinda funny. The drumsticks looked smaller squashed in the packaging.

I looked for necks but didn't see any...I'll try the super Walmart next time. So are they too young for me to expect them to learn how to handle meat on bones? Should I try boneless pieces instead? I was reading an article that got posted on a thread somewheres (I could find it if needed) about how ripping the meat off the bones helped clean teeth...and build jaw muscles, but I'm not particularly concerned about that.

OH! After the chunks of meat were eaten of the bone, Palas was able to pick up the bone with a little meat left like a dog and growled at DeeDee with it in his mouth. OMG I cracked up! It was soooo funny! I wanted to take a pic but I haven't gotten any new batteries for my cam yet. I'll try to get one next time.
post #6 of 19
Mine are eating Natures Variety medallions right now. I figured that it would be an easier transition for them because its more like wet food and for me because it's nutritionally complete and so I don't worry that they are not getting everything that they need.
I keep thinking of buying them whole meat because I've also heard about it helping their teeth stay clean but I'm a little nervous about it so it hasn't happened yet

A great way to get the "odd" pieces (necks,feet ect. ) would be checking at a local butcher shop..They would also have organ meats
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Yea I guess I will have to start searching for a local butcher. I honestly have not seen one since I've lived in Indianapolis for the past 5 yrs. But maybe I just didn't notice.

I do have the NV Beef patties to feed them but I wanted to try "meaty bones" type stuff for their teeth occasionally. I still free feed a complete dry (I'm feeding Nutro dry for kittens) regardless of the wets or whole meats I feed. From what I understand, kittens should always have food available. I love it too cuz they stop themselves when they've had enough. I end up putting away or throwing out a lot of wet or raw food.

BTW, how long can raw chicken sit in the fridge before it's bad? Do I just throw it out when it smells bad? I usually don't keep around open packages of raw meat. For human feeding, I just cook it all...
post #8 of 19
Practice makes perfect! With some time I bet they could figure it out! I've only ged them little pieces of raw chicken breast, they always seem to come beg me whenever I've got the chicken...and of course I can't turn them down!
post #9 of 19
just a quick suggestion- if you want to give your sweet little furbabies chicken- be sure to give them boneless chicken so that they do not choke on the chicken bones or have them splinter their throat
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by StarryEyedTiGeR View Post
just a quick suggestion- if you want to give your sweet little furbabies chicken- be sure to give them boneless chicken so that they do not choke on the chicken bones or have them splinter their throat
Raw bone s DONT SPLINTER and ARE SAFE.... COOOKED CHN with bones boneless IS the way to go:_)
post #11 of 19
It is funny to see a small kitten with a leg trying their best to rip the meat off the bone. Specially when they turn "vicious". LOL I started mine out with boneless then started on bones with the fish. The fish bones are smaller and gives the kits an idea of what they are supposed to do. Also, I smash the chicken bones up with a hammer to make smaller pieces. They seem to enjoy that more.
post #12 of 19
you can start off cutting the chicken into small pieces, then makes the chucks larger and larger gradually and then give them some soft bone first.

neck and wings r usualy the softer bones and easier for them to chew.

i tried giving mine a large piece of chicken at first and they just stare at it not knowing what to do. I cut it into smaller pieces and they ate it..then I work towards larger chucks of meat

I gave chucks of venison to Nana and she absolutely loves it, it's really fun watching her chew.
post #13 of 19
Mine haven't quite got the hang of tearing the meat off the bone.. they try, though. Kahn makes a marvelous attempt at dragging turkey legs around.. pretty much, though, other than the occasional "treat" of something different.. they get chicken backs or wings.

I think the basic idea of them building jaw strength is so that they can actually tear the meat from teh bone and chomp the bones as well. As someone here suggested the smaller bones in fish work well, and smaller game birds like cornish hens or quail are supposed to be good/easier for them to work on. I toss a "bone-in" carcass bit at them every so often so they can practice, but they're currently getting chunks to build up some muscle strength.

Hareting has the right of it, from what I understand and I think I might try Chrissy's idea.
post #14 of 19
I forgot about cornish game hens. I feed about 6 of those just to give the gang a work out. There are times when the bones don't get ate but they can polish off the meat pretty well. The bones have knaw marks on them, though. We do get some fighting when I put down the CGH. It's fun to watch the tug-of-war that happens over those tiny birds.
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by tekgrl View Post
BTW, how long can raw chicken sit in the fridge before it's bad? Do I just throw it out when it smells bad? I usually don't keep around open packages of raw meat. For human feeding, I just cook it all...
I didn't see anyone answer this.. maybe I missed it.
Human noses are not that good, I get nervous at leaving any raw meat in the fridge for more than 2 days. Even processed meats such as lunch meats shouldn't be in the fridge more than 5 days.
If you're not going to use it all within a day or two freeze it. You can get ziplock freezer bags, divide it up, and write the dates right on the bag. Another option for chicken is to just get cut up frier packages and eat whatever doesn't go into the kitties meal that day. Also, sometimes the cornish hens come with the necks stuffed inside them. Not convenient for regular feedings but if you're getting the chicken for yourself you can toss the neck to the cats.

I found this link, the chart at the bottom is neat http://lancaster.unl.edu/food/ftmay04.htm
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittiesx2 View Post
Maybe try wings or necks instead?
or chicken wing tips to start out with, until they get the idea.

Demetri is chomping on a chicken neck as I type, growling at the other cats
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
I didn't see anyone answer this.. maybe I missed it.
Human noses are not that good, I get nervous at leaving any raw meat in the fridge for more than 2 days. Even processed meats such as lunch meats shouldn't be in the fridge more than 5 days.
If you're not going to use it all within a day or two freeze it. You can get ziplock freezer bags, divide it up, and write the dates right on the bag. Another option for chicken is to just get cut up frier packages and eat whatever doesn't go into the kitties meal that day. Also, sometimes the cornish hens come with the necks stuffed inside them. Not convenient for regular feedings but if you're getting the chicken for yourself you can toss the neck to the cats.

I found this link, the chart at the bottom is neat http://lancaster.unl.edu/food/ftmay04.htm
I meant to and then forgot.. go figure. I agree with that though, I wouldn't keep dethawed chicken more than two days. Now, when I pull a baggie from the freezer and toss it in the fridge to thaw.. I don't count it as a day until it's actually thawed, because often when I go to warm it up a day later, it's still frozen in the middle. I basically say two days from the first full thaw (which is usually when I toss it in room temp water until it's thawed). I honestly don't think any of my baggies sit in the freezer long enough to go bad. I only make enough raw for like two weeks max at a time. I don't bother with dates. I write what's in the baggies, though.. cause I feed more than just chicken.
post #18 of 19
agree, i won't keep meat in the fridge for more than 2 days. and remember don't slice the meat until you serve it, the smaller you slice it, the faster it goes bad becuz of surface area.

When you just starting out with meat, you can cut the meat as small as you want. If you include bones, remember the bones need to be large enough so the kitten won't attempt to swallow the whole piece and choke.

oh yeah quails are great, they r much smaller and bones are softer, and it's relatively cheap here in Toronto. While a cornish hen would cost $6, a tray of 6 quails would only cost me $8. and i suspect that quails get less hormone injections as they r relatively low in demand.

My adult female Nana is really tiny, she's only 6lb and she work through the quail bones just fine. I bet your 7 months is bigger than her already so they should be okay too.
post #19 of 19
I need to find quail around here. I have two CG Hens in my freezer, they cost about $10 for the two of them, whole.. but .. I can't seem to find quail anywhere. I haven't broken out the CGH's yet cause they're still working on learning how to tear it from the bone. We're not having a lot of success with "Kahn, put your paw on the meat, hold it down, yank with your teeth" portion of these training sessions... I need to find a video and have them watch lions or tigers tear apart a carcass.. I think they'd watch it, but I honestly don't know if they'd associate it.. I need training videos!
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