Raw feeding 911 Part 21: Feeding Turkey

 In the previous raw food buying guide entry titled “Palette’s Food market Guide: Turkey“, I wrote that I tend to give suggestion often to follow
the season to save the cost on meat for your dogs.

When you go to grocery store’s meat shelves during this season,do you notice anything different from previous season?

You would start seeing more sales on BBQ items such as Pork shoulder,Brisket,Ribs etc.. things that are popular food menu for BBQ for people, and in our area, one butcher shop offer a whole pig with reservation in advance for BBQ competition contestants for summer and when, fall comes around the corner, he starts offering the processing the hunted deers with advanced reservation.

When fall comes around,you would also see big pile of Turkey in the meat shelves.

Thanksgiving brings you a great money saving opportunity for Turkey especially a day after the Thanksgiving day.

It might be tempting to buy Turkey for your dogs in advance but store wants to move the inventory as quickly as possible especially seasonal stuff, after the seasons are always a great buying timing.

I usually get a whole unenhanced (meaning Turkey is not injected with saline solution or broth to make its meat tender for people) Turkey for Palette that way and 30 lb Turkey lasts quite a while because Turkey is not the only item her freezer got and, protein source is rotated among various variety of protein source.

Variety over time is the good raw feeding principal and, the way I feed it, since I prefer to give variety in shorter period of time, I think many items that I have are 5-6 lb each (some are much larger amount), and I buy each menu that lasts about approx. 6-8 months.

When you buy poultry, read the packaging carefully. Some dogs would not show any reaction to the saline solution or flavoring such as rosemary extract (If you have a dog with EPI, stay away from food including treats,supplements that contains rosemary because it can be a trigger for seizure), or broth or natural flavoring.

Parts by parts poultry especially turkey,chicken is very bad on that field.

One thing that I noticed is that, enhanced Turkey are kept in the freezer section.

The unenhanced Whole Turkey I get for Palette is found at refrigerated meat shelf section, and they are never frozen.

I noticed that they start offering this unenhanced Whole Turkey more
from end of October through November in quantity than any months in the
year and,chances are, Thanksgiving day month will be the best month to
locate the Turkey that are not enhanced and to stock it up till next
Thanksgiving month.

Easy way to find if the product is enhanced or not are to look for the line that saysMinimally processed. This product contains XXX % retained water” on the front package.

If the product said it has XX% retained water , then, the product is NOT enhanced.

If the product was enhanced,it should say
“This product is enhanced with XX% of chicken broth” , “This product
contains up to XX% of chicken broth,salt and carragenan”, etc. on the
front package in fine print.

Other way to tell is to read the ingredients list on the nutrition label.

If it were enhanced with saline solution, then, it should list ingredients as Turkey,water,salt.

Read it before you buy them.

When I come home with the huge,heavy whole Turkey for Palette, very first thing I do is to portion cut them.

Cut along the spine to make the bird into 2 sections, then, from there, cut the piece into her portion as close as possible.

When you try to portion cut the bird, some parts like thigh-leg portion is time consuming to cut it into sections.

Therefore, when I get the Turkey for Palette, I will bag the Turkey drumstick into bigger freezer bag with its name on the front so I know what it is and use it on Palette’s big meal day.

One drumstick usually weigh around 1 lb or a bit over 1 lb so, it is good portion for the big meal day menu,and save my energy to cut them into sections.

Other areas, I cut them into sections and keep the neck aside so I can feed it as part of Palette’s regular combo meal.Then, if I had other organs in the giblet such as heart,liver, I feed the appropriate amount as side dish on her regular menu day.

On the talk of Turkey liver, be careful how much you give Turkey liver to your dogs. Turkey liver contains very high amount of Vitamin A and, when I feed it, I only give smaller sliver of the liver. Turkey liver contains 2-3 times more (often times, 7,000 IU/ oz) Vitamin A than regular beef,chicken liver (2,000-3,000 IU/oz in average) in the same amount.

Since when I restock poultry menu;chicken,Turkey,Pheasant,Duck etc.. , I buy a whole bird and feed the portion cut bird as part of combo meal for regular feeding, if you look closer to what she is fed, she normally get portion cut bird at AM, and she gets boneless meat PM so overall menu is not too bone heavy meals for her.

When you feed bony parts like neck,drumsticks etc.. ,don’t make the whole meal with it but rather, supplement the meal with boneless meal unless it was rare occasional big meal day like Palette’s.

Bones generally firm up the poop,works like fiber in homemade diet menu in a way,but more is not necessary better. Meat itself has more nutrition than bone itself so, meat has to be the center of the menu.

That being said, although drumsticks from whole Turkey is bony and generally, I would not feed bony stuff by itself for regular feeding time, but for Palette’s big meal day, I make exception and use the Turkey drumstick as big meal day menu.

Generally, drumstick itself is roughly about a little over 1 day worth of food to 2 day worth of food for Palette.

What is weight bearing bones?

When you start feeding raw diet to your dogs, you may come across the term “weight bearing bones”.

If you are not familiar with the term “weight bearing bones”, it is the bones that support big animals such as beef and buffalo. Namely, knuckle bones, marrow bones, feumer bones from such heavy big animals are typical weight bearing bones.

We do not feed those thick,teeth wearing,teeth breaking bones.

When the term comes up as a topic among raw feeding people, sometimes, people ask and wonder if Turkey leg bones are weight bearing bone.It is probably because Turkey bones are thicker than chicken bones and they may feel the bones are not so safe bones.

However, as states above, Turkey or poultry bones are not included under the definition of “weight bearing bones”. Turkey does not weigh 1,000 or more lb like cow and Turkey bones would not support such heavy weight.

Palette,as you know, is a Pembroke Welsh corgi, currently 7 years old and she can eat the Turkey leg with no problems.

She would need a bit more pressure on bites to eat the Turkey drumstick than chicken drumstick but still edible and eat them all.

I think what it might be the case is that, for itty bitty dog like chihuahua, the bones might be too thick to make any dent to it.However,if you are comfortable enough to try them, you can let them enjoy eating the Turkey meat off the bones. If the dogs in the question did not get to make any dent to eat the Turkey drumstick bone, I would give them small bones such as poultry neck. It will give some bones in the overall meal that way.

In that case, the Turkey drum stick bone is not “weight bearing bone”, but rather “bones that the particular dog has problem with crunching because of the size of the dog or strength of their jaw”.

Whether the dog in the question can eat the bone in the Turkey Drumstick or not is entirely depend on the individual dog.

The rule of thumb that I have for Palette is that, I will let her have whatever I was wondering if she could handle the bones and wait for about 15-20 minutes.

Then, during the given time, if she made any dent to the bone, I will let her have it  but if she seems to be having a problem crunching the bone in the question,then, I would take the bone away once meat is stripped off the bone and consider that particular item as “inedible bone” and always make sure to take the bone away once she eats the meat off the bone clean.

When I take the bone away, I trade the item I would like to take it away with poultry feet. She drop the big bones with meat etc as soon as she hears me say “Trade?”. Then, we safely trade the each other items.

Knowing your dog’s eating habit becomes much more important once you switch your dog’s diet to raw diet,and you would want to supervise the meal time all time.

Some months ago, Palette had a Turkey drumstick and would like to share the picture of her Turkey meal day.

She loves Turkey!

If you have a smaller dogs, chicken,quail,fish,rabbit,lamb,goat,pork bones etc might be good softer bones they would be able to eat with no problems.



Today, I will be eating da Turkey Flint stone style,bol….

Nom,nom,nom..

Nom,nom,nom..



Hello! I am enjoying the bone now..



I am about half way through…

Wet nose alert!

I really like Turkey meal day!


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Aug 13, 2013 | 0 | Dog Diet

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