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 Post subject: Using a deer to feed raw
 Post Posted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 9:35 am 
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Hunting season is upon us and that means I'll have access to some fresh deer for raw feeding. I've already realized that Sadie needs a lot more red meat in her diet to get optimized nutrition and venison fits the bill.

My question is, what parts of the deer should I get? I don't want anything too gross, remember I'm still a vegetarian and this stuff can make me a bit queasy, plus I need to be able to feed it in an apartment in her kennel. But I probably won't have access to a ton of deer so I want to maximize what we take. Hunters will want the back straps and probably some of the hams, so what else is there? The rest of the hams and shoulders, bone in or out? Liver, maybe kidneys, heart? Any suggestions would be great.

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- Inspiration for my next project from TBH

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 Post Posted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 4:45 pm 
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I am wondering the same thing... We maybe going back to dry food if the market falls out like it is doing... 5 dogs on raw is not cheap. Thank god Alex's boss cleaned out his freezer and gave us some stuff..That will save me a little.

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 Post Posted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 11:03 pm 
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Ok, I posted a big, long post about feeding deer. WHAT HAPPENED TO IT??? Well, I guess I'll try again tomorrow!!

Betty

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 Post Posted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 8:59 pm 
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When Roy shot me a deer for feeding last year, he gutted the deer as usual and we saved the in'erds, whether we knew what it was or not. There were things in there that neither one of us knew what they were. These, I just put in walmart bags in small size portions. Then Roy skinned it for me and cut the deer into portions that I could handle myself. He cut some of the bones on his table saw, and I dont know how some of you would cut the bones if you dont have a table saw handy, but I'm sure that it can be done. I then cut the meat into smaller portions and froze them again in Walmart bags. Be sure and cut the meat into big hunks. The dog will rip and tear it until it is small enough to swallow. We cut the hide off a little above the knee and then cut off the hooves. For some reason, the dogs love the hooves, but they cannot digest the hooves. They will throw them up somewhere, sometime, usually when you are soundly sleeping!! Or, if you dont know that they have thrown it up, then you will step on it going to the bathroom!! So, take my advice and either dont feed the legs, or get rid of the hooves!! Especially if your dogs spend the night in the house!! I have fed my dogs whole hind legs that Jimmy gave them. That, I just pitched out to them, whole leg and hide and all. They loved it!! One dog will eat for a while, then the other. When they both have eaten to where they are full, I take whats left and put it in my old refridgerator. However, my old refridgerator just died, so not sure what I will do now!! It did save me from having to put ucky stuff in my house fridge.

We did save the backstrap and tenderloin, but the dogs did got those also, cause I let them get freezer burned. I still have a deer head in the freezer, dont know if I can stand to watch them eat the head or not! The brain and eyes are really good for the dogs. The hide is used by the dog to scour out parasites in the digestive tract. We cut the ribs into large sections and put them into feed sacks, or corn bags and that was given to them whole also. The weight bearing bones are really too hard for the dogs to really eat, but they love the bone marrow in them and that is also very good for them. The rib bones they can eat and get the benefit from the bones that they need.

Now is the time to be hitting up your hunting buddies for freezer burned meat. If you are feeding deer that has already been cut up and it doesnt have bone, be sure and give some kind of bone to the dogs. You dont have to give it with every meal, but get some turkey necks, or the old stand by, chicken and feed a meal of it so that the dogs are getting the bone that they need. The more different types of proteins, the better, so the turkey neck gives you a different one. My dogs dont like turkey legs, but love the necks. Dont know the difference, but they do. Dove would be a good change too, if anyone has them.

To me, deer is the best meat for the dogs. Ideally, the dog would hunt the larger prey, which in our part of the country is going to be deer. Chicken, turkey, rabbit, etc. is what they would eat if they couldnt get a large animal. Also, remember that you are aiming to give the dog what it would hunt and eat. Some dogs would be the alpha and get the best parts of the deer. Others will be lucky to get much. So, as you are feeding the deer, remember that. Some meals will be great meals and some will be not so good.

Julie, to feed Sadie in the kennel, just get a plastic tablecloth, or some plastic place mats and you can just wipe them up when she is thru eating. If she is eating a chunk of meat, it wont take her long to eat the meat. It is absolutely amazing the size of a beef heart that Abe can swallow.

Betty

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 Post Posted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:09 am 
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Betty, I really should have taken pictures, but you'd have been so proud of me and Steve yesterday.

We went to Walmart and bought 80 lbs of chicken quarters, a bunch of cow liver, a scale and a million plastic bags. Then we thawed out all the old deer his roommate had in the freezers. Some of it was almost two years old, so obviously the people didn't want it, but that was perfect for the dogs. We let all of it thaw and started a raw meal assembly line. We did about half chicken, half venison and a little portion of liver in each bag. Sadie got approximately 1 lb packs and Steve's three adult dogs got 1.5-1.75 lb packs. So now I have 40 pre-made raw meals in my freezer. It looks kinda gross, I may have to get a big opaque bag to put it all in, but it felt great getting it all done.

And while we were working the dogs got all kinds of treats. Ollie devoured an entire rib cage and all of them got deer legs after we'd hacked off the easiest meat. Sadie's birthday is on Wednesday and I was gonna try to get her a special treat, but I don't think anything will beat that deer leg.

So thanks for all your advice! Not only did we get rid of a lot of old freezer meat, we have set up a bunch of sources for throughout the hunting season.

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"You must be a very small minority no matter who you hang around with. Maybe you should start a magazine, Vegetarian Hog Dogging Monthly, find some like-minded individuals."
- Inspiration for my next project from TBH

True Blue Lacys: http://www.truebluelacys.com
More Lacy Pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/julieanna/sets/72157605027566732/


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 Post Posted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 12:09 am 
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Sounds Great, Julie!! Sounds like the dogs had a field day!! It's a lot of work to do all that at one time, but it's just so great for the dogs. And, for a good while now, all you have to do is pull out a bag and let it thaw. It always feels good when I have a bunch of packaged meals in the freezer.

I noticed that the guy that processes our deer and who is also a taxidermist is opening up again for the season. I am going to hit him for meat the next time that I go into town. Last year he said that I could help myself. I just have to dumpster dive for it. Now, thats going to be interesting!!

Glad that ya'll got so much free meat! And, I'm proud of you, the vegetarian, working with all of that meat!!

Betty

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"You have enemies? Good, that means you stood up for something in your life!"
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 Post Posted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 7:44 pm 
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Well, I just finally finished. Not that the process was too time consuming but all of the deer parts were frozen and the bigger ones took quite some time to thaw.

We started with 80lb of chicken quarters and approximately 2 deer from last year plus one that got lost in the bottom of the freezer 2 years ago.

We did run out of chicken and liver eventually and I finished with bags of 100% venison.

The end result was 138 prepackaged meals. 40 one pounders for Sadie and 98 one-and-a-half pouners for my dogs (plus what I fed them over the last two days).

The sad thing is that it will only last ~30days..... But at least I have a source for scraps. In fact, I am taking a freezer down to the ranch that I guide on so Ill get all of the scraps from ~150 deer this year.

Betty, I would suggest that you ask your butcher if he would be willing to use a separate bucket for meat scraps and keep that bucket in his walk in cooler. You could even bring a trashcan or several 5gal buckets for him to use (Id go the 5gal bucket rout).

Steve

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 Post Posted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 11:19 pm 
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Thats a good idea about the bucket, Steve. I'll have to see what he says. He's a pretty nice guy. I would have to go with the smaller buckets. I couldnt lift a big trash can out here by myself.

How many dogs do you have, Steve? I am really impressed with all the work that ya'll got done. I am glad that you are able to get the venison and other than work, its FREE. Nothing is better than that!! I actually enjoy putting up the meat for the dogs. Its kinda like cooking for my family, work, but worth it.

I had to put Larry on a diet. I had to take him to the vet last week and he weighed 54 lbs!! I feed him too much, so it didnt surprise me that he weighed that much. So, I put him on a motivational diet. The motivation is that Lucy is in heat and driving him crazy!! He finally has started eating some again. He went 3 days without eating anything. He has put on some muscle too, running around from gate to gate to try and get into the pen with her. So far, we have done ok keeping them separated, but its going to be a long next 2 weeks! I'm not going thru this next time. We will have a concrete secure pen next time. Its funny, well, not really, when Larry wants in, I let him in and put Lucy out. Then Larry looks at me like 'thats not what I had in mind'!! I really, really will be glad when this is all over. Lucy hates me putting the diaper on her and Abe tries to chew it off. What a mess this all is.

Betty

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"You have enemies? Good, that means you stood up for something in your life!"
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 Post Posted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 11:38 am 
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I only have 3 adult dogs on raw right now, plus Sadie as she applies to our recent frozen dinner assembly.

I also have 8 pups but they don't have any manners, nor do they need to be in top athletic form so I am just feeding them kibble until they are old enough to hunt and I have culled them down to a more manageable #. Once I have figured out which ones I am keeping, and they are hunting, they will go on raw too.

PS: POOR LARRY!

Steve

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Remember the dog wags the pedigree and the reverse is not true.

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 Post Posted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 2:21 pm 
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Thanks to Roy and Robby, I now have 2 deer in the freezer!!

I have, however, found a downside to killing doe. Both deer were doe and when we gutted them, we found that they were nursing fawns. Now, cows can nurse a calf until they are way too old and I am hoping that deer are the same way. I sure would hate for a fawn to starve to death because I used its mother for dog meat!!

When we butchered the first deer, I decided to go ahead and give the head to the dogs. I still have one head in the freezer from last year that I just couldnt get up the nerve to feed! But, its wasnt as bad as I thought and the dogs really enjoyed it. Larry would have it for a while, then Lucy would have it, then Larry again. Roy cut off the ears and gave one to Lucy and one to Abe. Lucy really liked hers and ate it right down. Abe played with his for a good while and then Lucy tried to take it away from him, so we took it and put it up for a while. The dogs get good omega 3s from the brain and vitamin e (I think) from the eyes, altho they have not eaten the actual eye part yet. So, by eating the head, they are getting nutrients and the fur to clean out the parasites.

Last night, when we were working on the second deer, Larry helped himself to part of the backbone while I wasnt looking. Until last night, he was losing some weight, but now he's gained it all back!! Between what he stole and what we fed as we were butchering, he got way too much! They do love that deer meat!

Betty

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"You have enemies? Good, that means you stood up for something in your life!"
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 Post Posted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 4:46 pm 
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Good article Betty, lots of good info.

Sorry to hear about Larrys woes. He'll be ok in a couple of weeks, lol!!!
What weight are you trying to achieve. 54 sounds abit heavy.

Kevin

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 Post Posted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 5:26 pm 
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Alas, 54 pounds is a bit too much. After finding out that he weighed that much, I put him on a diet. He was losing weight and looking better when deer season hit and I over fed him again! Lucy is over weight also. Part of them being over weight is because I was still feeding Abe 3 times a day and I would give the other 2 a bite or so when I would feed Abe. Larry was still eating twice a day, but I have cut him to once a day now. Abe eats 2 or 3 times a day still, but he is nice and lean.

I think that Larry would be good around 45 pounds. He is big boned and just thick. And not all of the thickness is excess weight. He is just a chunk of a lacy.

All of us could use more exercise and that would help also!!

Betty

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"You did then what you knew how to do, and when you knew better, you did
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Maya Angelou

"You have enemies? Good, that means you stood up for something in your life!"
Winston Churchill

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bjleek/


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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 9:18 pm 
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Mrs. Betty I took this special for you!

There are two litters in this pic and one is not a Lacy litter, so no one freak about the brindle...we know they are not Lacys :lol:

Image
There are 5 pit pups and 5 Lacy pups in the picture.
We were feeding and pulled them out from their Mommas to let them have a taste of deer meat...they loved it!! :D

~Mis

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