FARMCOLLIE Archives

July 2005

FARMCOLLIE@LIST.UVM.EDU

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Subject:
From:
Karen Cline <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Farm Collie Breed Conservancy and Restoration <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Tue, 26 Jul 2005 16:38:09 -0600
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Nothing like jumping into the conversation a week later...  LOL  However,
I've been on vacation and am just catching up.

I raw feed my two adult dogs (one border collie, Chim Cham, and one English
Shepherd, Libby).  I began doing so because my BC was miserable all the time
and I was told she had an allergy to grass.  She didn't.  What she had was
an allergy to grains in her kibble.  On kibble, she was getting daily doses
of Benedryl and periodic steroid shots.  She weighed 68 lbs - grossly
overweight.  When I started researching, I decided to switch her to raw - so
it only made sense to switch Libby,  too.

I use a prey model diet - approximating as closely as possible the amount of
bone, organ and meat that a dog would consume if they hunted and killed
their own prey.  In my own butchering, I've noticed that the ratios stay
pretty close whether I'm butchering a chicken, a rabbit, or a cow.  While I
do use chicken leg quarters, and beef liver and kidney from the Wal-mart
Super store, I also feed whole rabbit (obtained locally) and I butcher cows
on our ranch that have to be destroyed for broken legs and the like and save
that meat for the dogs.  Granted, the Wal-Mart chicken is not NEARLY the
quality that I'll have next year when I'm raising my own birds, but it's
actually BETTER quality meat than what is in most kibble.  My dogs happen to
like fruits and veggies (they operate on the "If Mom eats it, we NEED
some!!" theory), but they really aren't a part of their normal diet since
they are not generally a part of a wild dog or wolf's diet.  Fruits and
veggies are incidental treats.  For example, if I'm picking blackberries, my
dogs NEVER pick berries off the vines and eat them.  However, if I'm in the
kitchen putting up the blackberries and any fall on the floor, they are gone
about the same time they hit the floor.  In fact, we've had fights start
over berries in the kitchen.  They also never eat apples that are laying
under the tree or even if the dogs are riding in the back of the pickup with
freshly picked apples... but if there is a box of apples sitting in the
kitchen, they'll steal one and run to their crates to eat it.  LOL

At the present time,  I'm raw feeding Libby's litter of 10 seven week old ES
pups (3 are still looking for homes if anyone is in the market for a great
ES!!), two other male pups (from whom I'm choosing which to keep and which
to place) and Libby and Chim Cham.  That's a grand total of 14 raw fed dogs.
That's a LOT of meat and bones each day - as a matter of fact about 12 lbs a
day on average - but the results of switching Chim Cham and Libby have made
me a lifelong convert.  I no longer have to medicate Chim Cham.  I no longer
have to clean and scrape my dogs' teeth.  Chim Cham is now a svelte 54 lbs
(she still could lose 2 - 3 lbs), and her coat - which was previously dull
and lifeless - now gleams like I have her polished daily.  She also doesn't
shed like she used to.  (I don't understand that!!)  I know that some of my
pups will go to homes that won't continue raw feeding them - but I know I
gave them the best possible start.  I will provide the new owners with info
as part of their puppy packet and pray that they consider it.  The pups
started on raw food supplementing their nursing at 3 weeks - ground and
mixed with a little raw cow's milk.  After a few days I stopped grinding and
started feeding small chunks.  They now can go to it on a whole rabbit quite
nicely!  At five weeks they could eat anything the big dogs eat without me
having to cut or chop or grind.  Occasionally, a bone is left, and the big
dogs happily clean up after the pups.  It's actually quite fun to watch pups
eating as God Himself designed them to eat!!

I was fully prepared for a battle with my vet about Libby's diet when she
was pregnant.  However, after he asked me to describe her diet, he said,
"That's EXACTLY what a pregnant dog should be eating!"  (as well as a dog
who's not pregnant, but I digress.....  ;)

Now for the question of bacteria.  First, you don't avoid bacteria by
feeding kibble.  Kibble has some horrendous bacteria in/on it.  In addition,
it has lots of mold, chemical preservatives, rodent feces, etc.  So, while I
am not sold on the "cleanliness" of grocery store meat - keep in mind what's
in the bag of kibble, too.  Back to bacteria....  A dog's digestive system
is not at all like ours (which is why they cannot digest grains).  Bacteria
that would make us sick as.... well, dogs ;)  are killed in the more acidic
environment of the dog's stomach.   

If you have any questions about raw feeding (or you know someone wanting a
pup), I'll be happy to assist or get you to the right resources.  Email me
off list at [log in to unmask]

Karen


 -----Original Message-----
From: 	Farm Collie Breed Conservancy and Restoration
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]  On Behalf Of Rini
Sent:	Wednesday, July 20, 2005 11:40 AM
To:	[log in to unmask]
Subject:	Re: [FARMCOLLIE] Question about food

Now THAT'S a great sounding idea. What about corn being in all the dog food
I looked at???
If we feed the chicken does it counteract the corn? Is corn all that bad?

   Others know more than I do about this and I am reading all their posts
avidly, but one thing I know - I've never seen a wolf attack a corn field.
LOL  Or a wheat field, for that matter.
   Someone who knows about this, please talk about a dog's need (or not) for
grain.  Do they need any?

   Our dogs will be eating better the next few months as we butchered a cow
this morning.  I've got the heart/lungs/kidneys/spleen/liver/tongue in the
frig cooling off, and I expect to spend several hours tonight choping and
putting it in sandwich bags (DH is *real* careful when he picks up his work
lunch in the frig).  Meanwhile, the boys are down in the pasture where the
cow was put down, up to their ears in all the leftover goodies they find
there.  Baths tonight.

Rini

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