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I've fed my dogs raw for about 10 years, and when I adopted Daisy in July 2007, (my first beagle), she was immediately switched. The first bowl of chicken necks was met with some confusion, but she was over that by the next meal.


I found a few poultry wholesalers that sell me necks in 40# cases. Depending on which one I buy from, I pay .25 - .40 per pound. I divide the case into gallon zip locks, which hold about 5# each. They last in the fridge for a week without spoiling. I wait until hamburger goes on sale and stock up to use for the meat/veggie mix.

Don't be afraid to call the poultry wholesalers in your area and inquire about buying necks/backs. Some will definitely sell to individuals. There are also some towns/cities that have raw feeding co-ops, where the raw feeders get together so they can buy in bulk from suppliers.

The background on why I switched to raw: At the time, my Shepherd/Collie mix, Maggie, had allergies, and was on steroid pills 9 months out of the year
I stumbled across the BARF diet on the net, researched it, bought some books, and switched. Maggie's allergies went away within a month. As a bonus, my other dog Taco, a Terrier/Chihuahua mix, was cured of her sensitive stomach and room clearing gas. Taco passed away last year at 14 1/2, healthy as heck until her last few months when she was diagnosed with insulinoma.

Maggie will be 15 in April, and aside from arthritis and some probable slight dementia, she is remarkably healthy. My vet won't come out and promote a raw diet, but is pretty impressed with every blood panel I have had done on my dogs, and when I first started going there, asked me quite a few questions about what I feed.

To ramble some more -- I am not a 'strict' raw feeder, meaning I do not obsess over getting everything perfect all of the time. As long as their overall diet is balanced over the course of the week/month, they do just fine. I also do not shun commercial dog treats, since they only make up a small portion of their diet. Just recently I have switched to using generic brand Cheerios as dog treats, a great tip I got from this forum


If anyone out there is interested, I can recommend some books about raw feeding.
 

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Good luck on switching the cats! They are picky creatures.

What frozen food do you buy? That does sound very reasonable, and might be good to have as a fallback.

I bought a small upright freezer (7.5 cf) that works great for me - I prepare a few weeks worth of meat mix, portion and freeze. But I agree, it can be a pain when you're really busy.
 
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