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Raw fish for food

 
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Location: Zone 8b
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I plan to have a livestock guardian dog, or several to protect my stock on my permaculture farm.

As a goal I want to reduce inputs as much as possible. As such I'd like to produce food for them, and a natural raw food diet just makes sense. Small fish (such as minnows and shinners) would be easy to culture and can be safely feed to dogs after being frozen for 2 months to kill any parasites. I would trap or net the fish a few times a year and then freeze them in buckets to use as feed later on.

So what are your thoughts? Has anyone ever tried this?

Thanks.

-Keller
 
gardener
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I think as long as you're not feeding your lgd only the fish,  but also supplementing with veggies, fruits, cold-water fish, poultry & red meats, it would be great.
 
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Location: Richwood, West Virginia
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I'm under the impression that 18th century sled dogs were fed salmon, and OP's dog would have opportunistic sources for complete nutrition, so I'm in agreement with the plan.
 
pollinator
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I feed fish as part of a raw diet to my dogs, they get fish at least once a week sometimes twice, normally salmon heads/trimmings of mackerel The rest of the diet is pork, chicken and some beef. both are 8 now and doing well.
 
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We have been feeding our dog a raw diet for several years and he's in great health. This now inlcudes a portion of raw mackerel several days of the week. Once we started giving him the mackerel his coat got shinier and and looks much glossier. He also has had less skin issues. Supposedly ocean fish are safer for dogs because they don't have the same parasites as freshwater fish. Don't overlook feeding your pooch fish he'll love it and his coat will look great.
 
pollinator
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Location: Northern Puget Sound, Zone 8A
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We feed our German Shepherd a raw diet.  I saved the heads from an albacore charter trip to use for dog food.  He doesn't like them and won't eat them.  I'll be using them for feeding some trees I think.

With regard to freezing, I think for salmon the recommendation is 1 week at 0F (-18C) core temperature is all that's required.  I doubt minnows or shiners would need longer.  Note that depending on the size/shape of the block of fish you freeze it can take as little has several hours or up to several days for the core temp to get that low.

So, if your dog will eat the fish, it's a great option.  But it shouldn't be the primary food source.  The pup will need a varied source of food including chicken and beef, with the right ratio of bones and organ meats.
 
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