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Most efficient meat to raise for dog food?

 
pollinator
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jim loggin wrote:I just thought. we have a wild bore issues in my area. so if I was to start collecting road kill. I'd make sure the meat is good. plus I'd start shooting the wild board. not only for the dogs. but for myself as well.



Wild pig might be OK, but pork in general is much too fatty to feed to dogs as a primary source of meat.  If you do this trim off exterior fat before feeding to your dog, and depending on the intramuscular fat content you may still need to limit quantities.  Too much fat will give a dog diarrhea in the short term, and longer term can cause pancreatitis which can be fatal.  Longer term doesn't mean years.  Weeks can do it.  Assuming the fat content was good, I'd probably give a dog wild pork in combination with appropriate amounts of organ meat, and if you have access to a lot of chicken backs or other other chicken bones include those for the necessary bone content once you run out of pig bones the dog can effectively crunch.  Most dogs can't handle the major weight bearing bones like the leg bones, not can they handle the skulls of most pigs.  That said, giving the dog a split skull so they can access the brain and the eyeballs can be a great treat or meal (depending on the size of the skull and dog) that will also keep them entertained for quite a long time picking off all the tasty morsels.
 
pollinator
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jim loggin wrote:I just thought. we have a wild bore issues in my area. so if I was to start collecting road kill. I'd make sure the meat is good. plus I'd start shooting the wild board. not only for the dogs. but for myself as well.



From what I've heard, you'd be doing a public service shooting wild boar to feed your dogs. Killing 2 pigs with one stone, as it were.
 
M Wilcox
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Andrew Mayflower wrote:
Wild pig might be OK, but pork in general is much too fatty to feed to dogs as a primary source of meat.  If you do this trim off exterior fat before feeding to your dog, and depending on the intramuscular fat content you may still need to limit quantities.  Too much fat will give a dog diarrhea in the short term, and longer term can cause pancreatitis which can be fatal.  Longer term doesn't mean years.  Weeks can do it.  Assuming the fat content was good, I'd probably give a dog wild pork in combination with appropriate amounts of organ meat, and if you have access to a lot of chicken backs or other other chicken bones include those for the necessary bone content once you run out of pig bones the dog can effectively crunch.  Most dogs can't handle the major weight bearing bones like the leg bones, not can they handle the skulls of most pigs.  That said, giving the dog a split skull so they can access the brain and the eyeballs can be a great treat or meal (depending on the size of the skull and dog) that will also keep them entertained for quite a long time picking off all the tasty morsels.



Oh, I would think that wild boar would be much leaner than domestic pork, since they are always running around and having to hunt for food. But I don't know that much about them. They certainly look pretty lean from what I've seen.
 
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exactly. wild pork is much leaner. but it has a wild taste to it. and from what I hear. that taste can't be gotten rid of. of covered up completely.
 
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Hey dog owners,

I wanted to give everyone a heads up about Dilated Cardiomyopathy. It's shaken up the dog world in the last few years with an explosion in cases, with many cases tied to diet. Unfortunately, grain-free/homemade/raw diets may sometimes the culprit. I'm a dog trainer and I had a client almost lose her dog to DCM, she had been on homemade food for years and the client switched her to the grungy old veterinarian recommended corn byproduct crap - and after about a year, she is 100% clear for DCM.

I found this really discouraging, because that crap in the bag we all know the ingredients are NOT the level of quality we want to feed to our dogs. But DCM will sure as hell kill them, and I'd rather buy Science Diet or whatever than do homemade without the guidance of a veterinary nutritionist. You can absolutely still do homemade, but be aware of what the signs of DCM are and get your dogs tested regularly to make sure the feeding protocol is working for them.

Here's a decent article giving 3 veterinarians opinions on how to feed based on the so far inconclusive investigation into DCM and diet: https://nutrition.tripawds.com/2018/08/06/grain-free-kibble-and-canine-heart-disease/

If you are looking for a commercial food that has animal studies backing up its safety, look for the line “Animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures substantiate that (name of product) provides complete and balanced nutrition”
They're not necessarily a large sample size on those studies, but at least they're proven that 6 months of the food as the sole diet keeps the dogs in good shape with good bloodwork.

Be well y'all
 
M Wilcox
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jim loggin wrote:exactly. wild pork is much leaner. but it has a wild taste to it. and from what I hear. that taste can't be gotten rid of. of covered up completely.



Would dogs care about the wild taste of the boar? Or are you talking about people eating them? I know that in some countries they are hunted for meat but maybe those folks are used to the taste.
I kind of wondered if capturing wild boar and feeding them a different diet for a few months would change the flavor of the meat significantly. Although it's probably near impossible to keep them confined. Like I said, I don't know much about them except that they are a menace.
 
jim loggin
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the bores have a wild taste. and that's because of their way of life and what they eat.
 
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Having eaten wild boar - and thoroughly enjoyed it, and fed it raw to my dogs (a little Cavalier King Charles and a huge Irish Wolfhound), who devoured it, I can assure you that the strong taste is not likely going to be a problem, for dogs. That link about the DA is from a dog food company. Dog food companies have a vested interest in getting people to stop feeding their dogs anything but what they sell. They have SUCH a vested interest, they heavily subsidize veterinary schools, and gain loyalty from the veterinarians-to-be, by giving them free pet food, as long as they are in the school. Nutrition is barely taught, if at all, in said schools, most giving it less than a week - and since most college courses are not a daily class, that typically means just a couple of days. I'm not saying vets are bad people, or not smart. I'm saying that there are companies out there, understandably trying to please their shareholders.

That vet, quoted in the link? He told people to stop reading the labels. Excuse me? Nope. Not me. I feed raw. I even took a certification course in canine and feline nutrition, to make sure I'd do it right. We went into all the why's and wherefores of all of it. I will not buy dog or cat food. It's an investment in their health, that we each must find, for ourselves, but I'd rather put a bit of thought and effort into the food and nutrition that goes into the health of the critters in my care now, than have the vet bills, later.

So, we raise goats, chickens, & ducks, and we share our animal products, fruits and veggies with our dogs. My thought is to raise, grow & hunt what I'm going to eat, and share it with them - especially since they love and need the parts I don't or can't. That makes good health sense for all of us, and since they're eating things like tendon, spleen, trachea, bones, fur, cartilage and such, in addition to the meat, much less of the animals we harvest gets wasted, making more sense for our bank account. I do add in a purchased vitamin/ mineral supplement, just in case I miss something.
 
master pollinator
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Mice?

Black soldier fly larvae?

Maybe a bit radical for the mainstream, but not necessarily around here.
 
pollinator
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Andrew Mayflower wrote:

jim loggin wrote:I just thought. we have a wild bore issues in my area. so if I was to start collecting road kill. I'd make sure the meat is good. plus I'd start shooting the wild board. not only for the dogs. but for myself as well.



Wild pig might be OK, but pork in general is much too fatty to feed to dogs as a primary source of meat.  If you do this trim off exterior fat before feeding to your dog, and depending on the intramuscular fat content you may still need to limit quantities.  Too much fat will give a dog diarrhea in the short term, and longer term can cause pancreatitis which can be fatal.  Longer term doesn't mean years.  Weeks can do it.  Assuming the fat content was good, I'd probably give a dog wild pork in combination with appropriate amounts of organ meat, and if you have access to a lot of chicken backs or other other chicken bones include those for the necessary bone content once you run out of pig bones the dog can effectively crunch.  Most dogs can't handle the major weight bearing bones like the leg bones, not can they handle the skulls of most pigs.  That said, giving the dog a split skull so they can access the brain and the eyeballs can be a great treat or meal (depending on the size of the skull and dog) that will also keep them entertained for quite a long time picking off all the tasty morsels.



Important to consider. A friends mobile butcher left her some fat after slaughtering her hogs... hung it on the fence. Her very large dog nearly died of pancreatitis, thousands in vet bills...
 
Carla Burke
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D Nikolls wrote:Important to consider. A friends mobile butcher left her some fat after slaughtering her hogs... hung it on the fence. Her very large dog nearly died of pancreatitis, thousands in vet bills...



Absolutely!! Dogs and cats best levels of nutrition come from a diet of 10% or less, of fat. More than that, and all kinds of problems come up, including malnutrition. My favorite thing to do with the fat, especially of ruminants, like beef, deer, elk, Bison, and even the non-ruminant swine, is to render it into tallow and lard. As such, that fat is great for cooking, conditioning leather, wood, and metal, as well as making soap, lotions, and moisturizers. I know. I'm geeking out, here. But, I really do DO this stuff, lol.
 
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A word about feeding wild prey, especially deer and especially road kill. In the northwest corner of Montana the deer are suffering from a neurological wasting disease which, some data suggest may be transmittable to people. It seems a similar risk might exist for other animals, like dogs, that eat diseased  prey. Animals that end up road kill often have a neurological or physical deficit that makes them vulnerable to being killed by traffic. Just "food"for thought.
 
Douglas Alpenstock
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This is slightly OT but possibly relevant:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/what-on-earth-pet-food-carbon-footprint-1.5918813

And FWIW a shameless (but interesting) press release from a generally shameless multinational:
https://www.nestle.com/media/news/purina-launches-pet-food-plant-insect-proteins

 
M Wilcox
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Timely post for me. I recently bought dried BSF larvae to get my chooks some protein for the winter. The cats keep trying to get into the bag! I should sprinkle some on their food and see how they respond.
I intend to start a BSF setup in the spring so maybe I'll experiment with cat food.
 
Douglas Alpenstock
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M Wilcox wrote:I recently bought dried BSF larvae to get my chooks some protein for the winter.


So they are available commercially? How much do they cost?
 
M Wilcox
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Douglas Alpenstock wrote:

M Wilcox wrote:I recently bought dried BSF larvae to get my chooks some protein for the winter.


So they are available commercially? How much do they cost?



I got them from a company called grubbly farms (check the interwebz). It was about $13 for a pound of dried ones which I think represents about 10 pounds of live ones, so they come out to a little over a dollar per pound live weight and less than a buck an ounce dried. I thought it was an amazing deal and my chooks go crazy for them (hey, I should get a discount for my promo skills!). I expect the bag to last me for months cuz a whole handful only weighs a fraction of an ounce.

A little goes a long way--you're only supposed to feed them a handful every few days for the whole (average-sized) flock or a sprinkling daily. They're loaded with calcium which is good because my girls won't touch the oyster shell I try to give them. I have the pickiest flock ever--they were literally starving themselves rather than eat the commercial feeds (every brand plus local, non-GMO mash). And they almost never get kitchen scraps so they aren't spoiled. They're just gourmets I guess.
Anyway, I sprinkle a few BSF on top of their feed every morning and they attack them.
 
Carla Burke
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I give my 11 chickens & 2 ducks a cup or two, scattered with some scratch, during cold weather, or if I can't let my girls out for a couple days, to forage, for themselves. We get them from Amazon, and I can't get my personal info off my link, to share it, but I get Grubsnack 10 lbs Non-GMO Dried Black Soldier Fly Larvae, for $53. 1 box lasts a good, long time. I'd say, the way we use them... we probably go through about 2boxes per year, with the 13 birds. You can also raise them, yourself. Eventually, I might go that route, in the name of self sufficiency. Right now, I simply don't have the time or inclination.
 
Douglas Alpenstock
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Has anybody tried feeding BSF larvae to their dogs?
 
M Wilcox
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Carla Burke wrote: I get Grubsnack 10 lbs Non-GMO Dried Black Soldier Fly Larvae, for $53. 1 box lasts a good, long time. I'd say, the way we itself them... we probably go through about 2boxes per year, with the 13 birds. You can also raise them, yourself. Eventually, I might go that route, in the name of self sufficiency. Right now, I simply don't have the time or inclination.



Thanks, Carla, this is good info. I do want to try raising my own--I'm very excited about it actually! But if that doesn't work out, I'll try the Grubsnack ones next time.
 
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chances are.dogs won't care about the wild taste.but there's people who won't get within 5 feet of any wild meat that's been cooked. I've eaten rabbit frog and venison.in which I enjoyed eating each one.only reason I haven't tried wild bore yet.i haven't learned how to cover up the wild taste yet.when it comes to cooking it.

M Wilcox wrote:

jim loggin wrote:exactly. wild pork is much leaner. but it has a wild taste to it. and from what I hear. that taste can't be gotten rid of. of covered up completely.



Would dogs care about the wild taste of the boar? Or are you talking about people eating them? I know that in some countries they are hunted for meat but maybe those folks are used to the taste.
I kind of wondered if capturing wild boar and feeding them a different diet for a few months would change the flavor of the meat significantly. Although it's probably near impossible to keep them confined. Like I said, I don't know much about them except that they are a menace.

 
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My dogs only have to protect my half acre, and are not that huge breed.  I feed cooked game and add peas and carrots.  They also get whatever I am eating.  One loves spaghetti, one loves Mexican food and the other has no preferences.   I hunt for 95% of my own red meat, I fish and also buy fish, and I get my chicken from the Hutterite colony nearby. Fish is cheap but I do not feed bones with their meal.  They get leg bones and large bones from the butcher which I have the chickens take the meat off of first.  My dogs receive gifts of other people's "freezer burned" meat and leftover game right before hunting season so I have a small freezer for all of that and cook and re-freeze or package weekly or monthly.  The cats eat whatever I give them, too, plus they all get a dry Purina base.  Purina is the only company that I can afford and that I trust for anything for dogs and cats.  My animals love eggs and cheese on toast, when I have it too.  Back when I was a kid there was no dog food to buy for my family, so my dog ate what we ate.  I agree that for large working dogs, I would hunt deer.  In Wyoming, you can get a buck and extra doe permits every season.  It is a rich food that only takes a small amount to keep them well fed.  I add veggies and a pinch of turmeric to every batch since my dogs are older.  I don't think I would feed a carcass since they may not pay attention to the flock they are protecting, but maybe that breed doesn't fall to that habit?  I know very little about them.  I have a friend with a large pack of Great Pyrenees dogs and they take turns relaxing while the others work to protect the alpacas and other animals.  They are amazing.  
 
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buy old boars from livestock auctions. Very Very cheap. Like 5 cents a pound live weight. Meat may have boar taint, if so feed to dog. If not feed to family and dog.
 
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This is a super old thread but it keeps coming up in search result so I wanted to add some information. Dogs cannot exclusively eat rabbits. They will starve to death. There is almost zero fat in a rabbit. When we feed rabbits, we have to deliberately keep and feed all chicken skin from chicken that we would normally be cooking for ourselves, as well as still feed chicken at least once a week. Even doing it this way, one rabbit a day per dog with 2 days of chicken instead of rabbits, our dogs lost a ton of weight. Pound for pound they were getting about double the amount of food with the rabbits. There's just no fat. Also, I have raised meat rabbits for 6 years now and I tend to have six does and two bucks at any given time, and that creates only about a 150 rabbits a year. Rabbits might have a lot of sex, but in my experience a lot of them aren't that great at knowing how to raise their babies. And they are practically unable to be raised by humans. And one last thing, there is certainly no need to skin or butcher a rabbit. We kill them and hand them to our dogs and they eat everything they want, and all that tearing and holding and ripping is really good for their musculature and it properly wears them out so they aren't insane tearing up the house. They usually eat at least part of the fur, all of the head and ears, most of the gut except they sometimes don't eat the stomach or the gallbladder, and then almost all of the meat, sometimes not the lower hind legs. We also simply hand our dogs killed chickens, and on 20 acres we don't care about the feathers but they're not that hard to clean up.
 
pollinator
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Dogs are pretty good with eating animal skulls, brains, facial material, ears, tongue, eyes. Heading down the carcass if you can give up neck bones Im sure it would be appreciated.  If doggy is really your best working friend, add liver (sparingly) and heart on occasion and bovine tails. I have no doubt that dogs which crack skulls have better teeth.  Generally most modern humans don't eat the elbow joint on down in small and large animals but there is tendon, cartilage and marrow in the distal portions of the extremities and again, bone cracking is good for canine dental hygiene.  

That being said, coyotes and many wild dogs around the world (Wolves, Dingos, African Wild Dogs and Jackals) use rodents as a substantial food source, I believe with Coyotes have the highest percentage of mice in their diet of them all.  What about raising mice or rats as cleanly as possible as high quality protein, they are prolific and can be scaled to the size of your dog with no waste.
 
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