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Yet another RAW question & help a beginner?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
- I've seen mentioned "ground" bones n' such. I am wondering how you ground them???

I've read through Auntie Crazy's post of her experience changing over to raw.

I just finished reading the book: Your Cat: Simple secrets to a longer life by Elizabethe Hodgkins and have made a decision.

I would like to supplement Kizzy's diet with some raw in it. I'm not switching completely over to raw, I will still feed a good dry along with canned (but he doesn't like the canned much) and hope that I could feed the raw instead of the canned (if he likes it better0.

So I'm still in the research phase, and will be scouring the threads here and that site mentioned in Auntie Crazy's post.

- because I am planning to only supplement with raw, do I have to get the vitamins and such to add to it? Or is that only if you are feeding completely raw with no dry or wet?

- I have a freezer full of frozen rodents. Mice and rats of various sizes (for my snakes). I would like to offer Kizzy a small rodent. I don't want to just plunk the rodent on a plate...(fears of him dragging it someplace, and my husband would totally loose it). I have a coffee bean grinder that I use for reptile oriented stuff....I've used it to grind up smaller rodents ( pinky mice/rats), is that sufficient to grind up? Baby rodents have very little bone persay, its flexible and when put in a coffee grinder it turns to a puree/liquid.

I don't know how I'd grind up adult rodents with stronger bones. Perhaps dismembering them then using the coffee grinder.

- necks...chicken or turkey..... HOW do you feed them? We eat chicken and turkey which sometimes comes with necks and organs. Necks have lots of little bones, are these not a risk of choking????

I'm sure these questions have probally been asked before, so I thank you for indulging the repeatedness of them.
post #2 of 19
I buy pre grd meat bone or meat organ bone combos ... I dont have the big meat grinder to grind bone ..

necks : whole , note Not one animal here will eat them , pet stores and some butchers carry them this way... they prefer thigh bones with legs attached

the only mice here are outside and wild ... Zoey would have to tell you that and she aint talking
post #3 of 19
I feed raw ground that I buy already ground so I can't give you first hand experiences but I'll take a crack at some of your question based on what I have read.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snake_Lady View Post
- I've seen mentioned "ground" bones n' such. I am wondering how you ground them???
People who buy whole carcasses buy a heavy duty grinder for grinding bones. This is a popular one:

http://www.onestopjerkyshop.com/prod...products_id=47

Quote:
- because I am planning to only supplement with raw, do I have to get the vitamins and such to add to it? Or is that only if you are feeding completely raw with no dry or wet?
This is a little hard to answer. If it were me, if less than 1/4 of their diet came from raw I wouldn't worry too much about supplements. What they get from commercial processed foods is probably sufficient. If more than 1/4 of their diet comes from raw, I would start to be concerned that they might not be getting enough of some nutrients. Also, I think you need to be careful not to feed too much of some organ meats (liver?). I don't remember the specifics of that. Hopefully someone who knows will pipe in with more information here.

This site contains detailed information on *exactly* how much of what nutrients cats need:

www.holisticat.com

Quote:
- I have a freezer full of frozen rodents. Mice and rats of various sizes (for my snakes). I would like to offer Kizzy a small rodent. I don't want to just plunk the rodent on a plate...(fears of him dragging it someplace, and my husband would totally loose it). I have a coffee bean grinder that I use for reptile oriented stuff....I've used it to grind up smaller rodents ( pinky mice/rats), is that sufficient to grind up? Baby rodents have very little bone persay, its flexible and when put in a coffee grinder it turns to a puree/liquid.
I don't know if a coffee grinder would work. If their bones are really that soft it would be great if you could find a way to feed them whole. It would be wonderful for their dental health.

Quote:
I don't know how I'd grind up adult rodents with stronger bones. Perhaps dismembering them then using the coffee grinder.
I wouldn't think a cofee grinder would work with an adult rodent but I really don't know.

Quote:
- necks...chicken or turkey..... HOW do you feed them? We eat chicken and turkey which sometimes comes with necks and organs. Necks have lots of little bones, are these not a risk of choking????
I don't feed bones but I know lots of people do, including chicken and turkey necks.
post #4 of 19
When I ground my food I used one of those old cast iron food choppers with the smallest grinding plate. It got the bones down to about the size listed on catinfo.org. Usually you can find those types of grinders at thrift stores or on ebay for ok prices.

IMO if raw was only a supplement then you wouldn't really need to add anything.

Mine eat whole adults rats with no problems. Small chucks of adults will probably be nicer on your coffee grinder. Let us know how it goes.

Mine also eat whole necks. The only problem I have is sometimes they will get a smaller neck than usual and they will attempt to swallow it whole. Sometimes it gets stuck and they chuck it back up. Then they smarten up and cut the neck into smaller pieces to swallow.
post #5 of 19
Hi, Snake_Lady. Welcome to the raw club!

If Kizzy doesn't run off with the rodent, would it be okay to feed it to him as is? For the first three nights, my guys were feeling threatened by one another and were taking off with dinner pieces, but tonight, after I separated them far enough, they all stayed where they were - maybe Kizzy will, too? I'd suggest giving it a try. If it works, well, you're good to go.

By the way, do you buy your rodents online or locally?

And, Chris? If you don't mind, where do you get your rats, too? I'm looking for a source, but the online places I've seen so far are kinda pricey. Thanks!

Snake_Lady, let us know how it goes, ok?
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Auntie Crazy View Post
Hi, Snake_Lady. Welcome to the raw club!

If Kizzy doesn't run off with the rodent, would it be okay to feed it to him as is? For the first three nights, my guys were feeling threatened by one another and were taking off with dinner pieces, but tonight, after I separated them far enough, they all stayed where they were - maybe Kizzy will, too? I'd suggest giving it a try. If it works, well, you're good to go.

By the way, do you buy your rodents online or locally?

And, Chris? If you don't mind, where do you get your rats, too? I'm looking for a source, but the online places I've seen so far are kinda pricey. Thanks!

Snake_Lady, let us know how it goes, ok?
First of all, thanks to everyone who responded. I appreciate you taking the time to do so.

If Kizzy does not run away with the rodent, then yes, I'm fine with feeding a whole rodent to him

Since Kizzy doesn't seem to like much wet, if he will eat raw, I'm more than willing to give it a shot as a supplement.... who knows, maybe it will end up being more than just a supplement down the road. As well, I ALWAYS have rodents.... of all shapes and sizes for my snakes.

I pm'd AC about rodents, but I will post it here too.

There's alot of online retailers in the US for rodents, not as many here in Canada.

I buy my rodents from a couple different suppliers in the vacinity or at reptile expos. It is cheaper to buy in bulk, sometimes dramatically so. I have never been to a reptile show/sale/expo in the US so I do not know if they have vendors with rodents there or not. But if they do, I would imagine pricing would be similiar in the sense that its cheaper and you don't have to pay shipping (only have to pay admission to the show).

I pay approx. $0.60 - 0.75 per adult mouse, depending on quantity.... and $1 per small rat. (approx. 50-100gr)

Can I post links to rodent retailers on here?
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Auntie Crazy View Post
And, Chris? If you don't mind, where do you get your rats, too? I'm looking for a source, but the online places I've seen so far are kinda pricey. Thanks!
Snake_Lady will most likely have better info than me. I get most of mine from a friend who raises them for her raw fed animal rescue. I also get a few babies every so often from my own personal pet rats.

When I was trying to go to a completely prey diet I did a fair amount of searching for good deals on rodents. Like snake_lady said the deal is buying in bulk. Thousands at a time IMO to be worth it. Raising yourself is the cheapest but does take some work. I figured out once that raising rats for cat food would only cost me about $0.15 a day to feed all four of my cats. But at this time my girlfriend doesn't think it will be a good idea to house all of those rats in our tiny apartment. One day though.
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Update:

I offered Kizzy a thawed mouse pinky, he sniffed it and that was it. So I put some of the juice from the wet food onto it and of course he licked off all the juice but then he started playing/trying to eat it.... it was almost like he couldn't figure out how to eat it. He'd grab it by the leg, chew a bit and drop it... doing this for a min or so then he was done with it.

Hmmmmm. Will try again... maybe I should try a bigger mouse?

Yesterday I was frying up some ground turkey meat and I offered him a small piece of it raw, sniffed at it but no licking or anything.
post #9 of 19
I feed pre-packaged raw because I don't want the hassle of having to grind things up myself. I would be cautious of buying ground meat from grocery stores because of the bacteria as everything at that point in the meat would already have been exposed, not just the surface.

And...not familiar with rodents, so can't help you there.
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by KatGoddess View Post
I feed pre-packaged raw because I don't want the hassle of having to grind things up myself. I would be cautious of buying ground meat from grocery stores because of the bacteria as everything at that point in the meat would already have been exposed, not just the surface.
But you don't need to grind, and chunks of meat are far better for cleaning their teeth. Ground meat doesn't do anything for teeth or working the jaw.

All meat should be frozen first to kill bacteria, but you are right I wouldn't buy ground meat to feed.
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks

I'll keep trying
post #12 of 19
There's a couple of tricks you might try to encourage him to consider the mouse as food.

This may gross some folk out - so fair warning, readers.

Make sure the mouse is close to room temp (at a minimum, not straight out of the fridge/freezer cold) and smear some of his usual food on the body. You could also (last chance to look away!), slice the little mousie open and either offer it that way or push his regular food or even a treat into the body.

Let us know how it goes!

By the way: thanks for the vendor info, Chris and Chris!
post #13 of 19
**WARNING GROSS INFO TO FOLLOW***
In my experience at an animal facility, I can say with absolute certainty that opening the skull is the #1 way to get another animal (havnt found an animal yet that doesnt want to eat mouse pups) to consume a rodent. Brain must smell a certain way and/or taste delicious. Its the first place new rodent mothers go when cannibalizing pups. Some suggest its a natural attraction to the high protein and sugar content in the brain. In any case, Id recommend opening the skull cavity. In a pinkie mouse, you can pinch open the skull with forceps, anything over about P10 (post-natal day 10) a front to back snip with a fine pair (cuticle or moustache!) of scissors will suffice. I bet he'll eat it right up then.
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Februa View Post
**WARNING GROSS INFO TO FOLLOW***
In my experience at an animal facility, I can say with absolute certainty that opening the skull is the #1 way to get another animal (havnt found an animal yet that doesnt want to eat mouse pups) to consume a rodent. Brain must smell a certain way and/or taste delicious. Its the first place new rodent mothers go when cannibalizing pups. Some suggest its a natural attraction to the high protein and sugar content in the brain. In any case, Id recommend opening the skull cavity. In a pinkie mouse, you can pinch open the skull with forceps, anything over about P10 (post-natal day 10) a front to back snip with a fine pair (cuticle or moustache!) of scissors will suffice. I bet he'll eat it right up then.
Raising snakes, nothing grosses me out. I've had to do the "brain squeeze" for them, or dissection, so I have no issues with things like this. Just didn't know it worked for cats.... so I will give it a shot
post #15 of 19
Quote:
I figured out once that raising rats for cat food would only cost me about $0.15 a day to feed all four of my cats. But at this time my girlfriend doesn't think it will be a good idea to house all of those rats in our tiny apartment. One day though
Raising rats in a decent environment will cost quite a bit more than you might think. There is not one decent rat food available in pet stores, none of the cages are appropriate either. I would assume since you want to use the rats as food you would be concerned about the health? Rats are quick to catch a number of respitory ailments when not properly housed and fed. Whole colonies are easily wiped out with a single bacterial or viral infection.

I keep rats as pets, I know a lot about them.
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by anita1216 View Post
Raising rats in a decent environment will cost quite a bit more than you might think. There is not one decent rat food available in pet stores, none of the cages are appropriate either. I would assume since you want to use the rats as food you would be concerned about the health? Rats are quick to catch a number of respitory ailments when not properly housed and fed. Whole colonies are easily wiped out with a single bacterial or viral infection.

I keep rats as pets, I know a lot about them.
Making my own rat food from scratch plays a part in why the cost is low. My food is balanced per some published nutrient requirements for rats and has extra things added in. I have a friend that raises mice and rats for her rescue to feed cats. Its not a huge one but it does take a tiny breeding operation to raise enough for supplemental feeding in addition to the raw food that she puts together.

After looking at hers, and taking in account her success so far, and making some changes to suit my preferences I am confident that it can be done with very little problems. Not saying that there won't be but keeping an eye on their environment, like you said, will play a part in them being healthy.

The cost of cages, cage accessories, bedding, food, and adding new breeding stock all broken down will only be for me $0.15 a day to feed my four cats. In the first year the cost will be higher because the cages and accessories will still be working themselves off. But after that just food, bedding and stock will be the money thats factored in.

Looking at the number of breeding stock it will take to feed 4 of my cats is taking in account the average they can produce (which is not a definite number), breeding time frames, how long they carry, and how long before I feel the young ones can be fed are factors that affect how much bedding and food it will take. My current pet rats have raised three litters so I have physically seen what it takes and time frames. Only three, i feel, considers me a newbie still. It does take a lot of time energy.
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Making my own rat food from scratch plays a part in why the cost is low.
I have been keeping rats for better than ten years and there is not one homemade diet that I would consider viable over the long haul, but then again you have no use for "long haul" given the situation. There are the grain mixes with dog food added and the Debbie D diets...meh not the greatest. My rats are fed a diet of lab blocks, oragnic grains and veggies.

Im sorry, I just have a lot of ethical issues with a scenario like this. Many of my rats have come from deplorable conditions with little or no care given to the fact they are living, feeling animals that deserve humane treatment. I do not consider them just a "food" item on any scale despite the fact that is what they may be.

I would just hope that if you decide to go this route someday you find a way to do this humanely and not allow the rats to suffer, as there is no need for that. I spend far to much time trying to educate people about rats and how they are not unfeeling, stupid creatures, not even close.
post #18 of 19
This is a raw feeding forum, so regardless of how we feel about animals being used for food, we have to understand that it is happening.

I understand that its hard because its something you keep as a pet--believe me I'm a turtle keeper and yesterday I held a tub of a pound of turtle meat in my hand at the grocery store and it was heart wrenching.

I truly believe that Chris has every intention of keeping the rats in a great environment and healthy and is doing it for a purpose--no different than a chicken farmer or rabbit farmer etc...

We must understand that often the pets we love have other uses in the world.

Leslie
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack31 View Post
This is a raw feeding forum, so regardless of how we feel about animals being used for food, we have to understand that it is happening.

I understand that its hard because its something you keep as a pet--believe me I'm a turtle keeper and yesterday I held a tub of a pound of turtle meat in my hand at the grocery store and it was heart wrenching.

I truly believe that Chris has every intention of keeping the rats in a great environment and healthy and is doing it for a purpose--no different than a chicken farmer or rabbit farmer etc...

We must understand that often the pets we love have other uses in the world.

Leslie
I do understand, believe me. I have no intention of turning this into a debate on the subject. I have spent many years rescuing rats, I know what they get used for and yes it breaks my heart.

I would only like to suggest better ways of feeding and caring for them, even if they are being used in a raw feeding program. I feel that all animals deserve repect and humane treatment.

I am sorry if I offended anyone. Chris, I was not suggesting that you would treat the animals poorly, if you felt I was implying that in any way..I am sorry.
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