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Feeding has NEVER been my specialist area and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Usually in the past trying to get enough cover on a puppy to get into the ring at 6 months or so has made me think 'ho hum, pups are almost always loose...' but here I am two dozen pups or more later from the first, and I am still unhappy with the consistantcy of my 4 and 5 month old pups stools.

I have always used JWB puppy. I have tried Chudleys, Beta and I have tried Skinners, neither seem to be any better, and the Skinners unfortunately really gave my boys the squirts. Now that coincided with a bout of guardia which both had antibiotics and prokolin for.

Anyway long story short I decided to consider feeding Raw. All who use it swear by it and I'm sick to death of squirty pups over the years to be honest. So I have been lent by kind people both Ian Billinghurst books and I have read both cover to cover these last few days.

Questions:

1) I have 8 dogs here, is this going to be a task of manmmoth proportions getting enough raw meaty bones here? Will the freezer space needed for that lot be monumental? I don't have a lot of time and I don't have a lot of freezer space. Is this not the feeding method for me with this many? Does any Butcher give that much to anyone? Or should i just maybe be thinking about putting one or two dogs over to it?

2) Both books talk of food scraps. We don't have food scraps here really. What I cook, we eat. Cooking extra specially starts to become a bit of a pain when you consider eight need covering? Any thoughts on that one? We only have two humans in the household.

3) Can you / has anyone gone, a half way house type route where they do a meal a day raw and a meal a day of complete? Does this screw the whole thing?

4) Blocks of frozen tripe tend to float about here. Course I can add this in but having tried to with a reduced portion of complete a few weeks back, slowly, both pups has the terrible screaming runs on them.... Ditto frozen chicken blocks... and the amount of blocks needed for 8 is huge is it not? Or isn't it? I must admit I'm really quite baffled...

I really like the idea of it. But not sure the actual practice isn't beyond me... Am I trying to fix something (because the adults do great on dry complete) that isn't broken and maybe my pups are just harbouring a infection somewhere along the line? I know its a year for runny poos because of the stupid humid hot but wet weather we have been having... am i secretly no different here to anyone else?

Am i still trying to put too much into my tiny fine boned working bred pup? Is THAT why he is loose? He is 16 weeks and fed 300gms a day of JWB over 3 meals. And varies between nearly solid but the last bit loose, to virtually liquid. Obviously spoke to his breeder but she feeds raw (and has two freezers the size of space shuttles which is what is worrying me!) So its tricky working it through like for like in grams.... but he looks like a rescue case to me. You can see, feel and play a tune on his ribs. Yet he is fit fast lively and settled at night so...god...I don't know....? ;-)

The 5 month old is better, and is on about 380gms a day over 3 meals, but is mostly showbred and seems to handle a bit more a little better but is still pretty loose most days. I've reduced it down, and at starvation level they come solid, but they look like coatracks and then eat loads of poo!

I feel a complete novice right now asking the above but I'm not proud, if anyone can answer any bit (and I know WHY the pups are loose is in the lap of the gods there is no one answer to that!) I would be grateful for any input.

I hate feeding! Can you tell! ;-)

Di
 

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KayC who was a member here fed her tribe raw Di, she had the advantage of having a abbatoir fairly close by I believe but she had 5/6 labs and reared her pups on raw too, this is a link to a comprehensive "menu" she posted for Carroll who was moving her Majic to raw at the time http://www.labradorforums.co.uk/ftopict-9745-.html

Getting the balance right between the RMB`s and things like mince is the hardest part I think, too much bone gives you a dog with constipation and its heart wrenching to hear them cry when they have it (yes, I`ve made that mistake :? ), it doesn`t happen now because I`ve got it sussed thankfully.

You can get supplies from Landywoods www.landywoods.co.uk, reasonable prices and they deliver to most of the country now, once a month I believe and £40 minimum order last time I asked them :)
 

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Well I'm not really going to enter into this as I feed Skinners Field & Trial Maintenance or Duck and Rice and have no problems at all on the squits front with any of em.

Just really interested that you have posted this on a day Di when I have been out training with Darcy and Pepper and had a long long lecture :roll: on the fact that my dogs are carrying too much weight and are not going to be fit enough to trial.

I am just designing a "get fit" campaign for them over the next few weeks :D .
 

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I can only really answer Q3...

3) Can you / has anyone gone, a half way house type route where they do a meal a day raw and a meal a day of complete? Does this screw the whole thing?

I did :D The purists say not to because they are pro Raw all the way. But from a health point of view the real issue is mixing raw and kibble in the same meal, as the body digests them at different rates. From a bacterial point of view the dog needs to digest the raw food quickly and naturally does, having slow digesting kibble in the gut at the same time can apparently slow the digestion of the raw matter down. But feeding 1 meal as kibble and 1 as raw is fine and worked well for me for a while.

If your issue is loose poos though rather than a burning desire to feed natural have you thought about just ditching the puppy food at 4mths and popping them over to adult food?
 

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Wow 8 on raw - I'm impressed!

Do you have a butcher farm shop nearby? If so cultivate a friendship :lol: The one near me would give as many meaty bones as I can carry - he offered my a skip full once 8O Seems it costs him to dispose of them so if I take them it actually saves him money.

You will need to reorganise freezer space though for obvious reasons - especially in this heat. I know some raw meat suppliers will deliver as and when (not near me though unfortunately) so that might help.

Now a confession :oops: I do mix and match with raw. If I'm travelling away it's not always desirable to carry bloody meaty bones with me so I will give a dried complete food even on the same day as raw. No problems with my two at all.

One thing I do know - both mine look lithe on raw, very little spare fat. Drew compliments from the vet (until I told him their diet :roll: ).

Good luck.

Patrick
 

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I have a feeling Nic (Drummuir) may have changed to raw and she has a large kennel. I am sure she will answer when she sees this.
 
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3) Can you / has anyone gone, a half way house type route where they do a meal a day raw and a meal a day of complete? Does this screw the whole thing?
I know the books all say NO....but my sister feeds her lot whatever she can lay her hands on and her dogs all look well, happy and seem to be living long lives too, if her ancient few are anything to go by. She feeds chicken carcasses or raw bones in the morning, then either raw beef, tripe or chicken, alongside some complete kibble (yet again whatever she can get hold of). She also makes up a huge pot of cooked minced chicken, rice or pasta, and veg for some of the older or fussier ones for their dinner. She just bungs the frozen blocks in a pan, along with the rice and veg and boils it until it's done.

I'm a HUGE believer in all and everything makes for a healthy dog both inside and out, which is why mine are given everything from raw bones to table scraps from a very early age and I don't give two hoots whether this unbalances their complete kibble, as it all seems to sort itself out in the end.

If your issue is loose poos though rather than a burning desire to feed natural have you thought about just ditching the puppy food at 4mths and popping them over to adult food?
I was going to say the same thing, if you haven't tried this already. I do feel that the pups with a higher metabolism are more likely to get squitty on rich puppy kibble, as it shoots through their system without touching the sides.
 

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Interesting TBH Willow and Charlie are fed half and half. A local butcher I know sells good quality pet mince at 30p per 1lb. Mine are now fed on Dr Johns Gold @ £9.49 per sack which is a chicken based food plus I then give them the odd complete raw meat meal.

Puppy on the other hand is 14 weeks she has 300g Royal Canin Baby Dog food with a decent tablespoon of Butchers tinned tripe mix. She is of course 100% show bred and weighs in the region of 14kg - quite stocky with plenty of bone I must say :lol:

It may be that trial bred cant cope with your historical methods?

Burns is also another good food but certainly doesnt put bulk on
 

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Watching with interest. I have 6 here and do quite like the thought of feeding raw but not really sure of the practicalities.


Vicki
 

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I had 5 on this for several years, not lab's mind 3 collies a terrier mix and a cavalier. Always had good results, Taz ( the most accident prone dog in the world, ever) had really bad tummy on dry food as a puppy and raw fixed him up a treat.

I was lucky, I had a local butcher who was more than happy to give me his bones weekly and we always had plenty. Most butchers have to pay to have bones taken away so really you are doing them a favour. I also used do up an order with him every month that came to about £50ish which contained chicken wings, liver, kidney, lamb breast, diced beef, rabbits etc, not all of which was for the dogs. I lived in a flat at the time and only had a small chest freezer, but I used to take the time to work out my meals - which really didnt take long at all once you figure it out in your head- so I could just grab a bag out of the freezer and know I had enough for everyone in that bag for the next meal. I worked full time and wlaked my dogs and did training, so not a lot of time either, I found a weekly meal planner worked a treat. I used to do the veg in baches and freeze it down, mixed either in tripe of some other meat or cottage cheese.

There are good RAW suppliers out there who aren't that expensive, I think that once you get your first load in and start working out exactly what everyone needs you quikly figure out that the first load is the most expensive after that you just top up really.

I currently feed Burns, but my dogs do get RAW aswell but in different meals to their dry food and it works well for them too. I love to see them demolishing a nice bone and the fact that they look so satisfied after they do it.
The scraps, well mine didnt get any when it was just me at home.

Regarding the amount, i never weighed the food but instead fed by eye if they were looking skinny add more if chubby take some away you soon figure out what each dog needs.

If the pupsters are loose on dry food then to be fair you having to lose trying them on natural diet. I know that once we eventually finish unpacking and get a ches freezer sorted my 3 will be goint natural.

Just a thought, I think it's nature diet that does the frozen natural food. They do 2kg bags of food, with varous things with veg different meats offal etc, and I belive they all contain an amount of bone finely ground maybe try a couple of the dogs onsomething like that and see how they go.

Hope that helps, Kerry and Lyra
 

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Re: Feeding Raw, Feeding working pups and Feeding generally!

Blimey Di! We usually ask questions for you to reply to not tother way round! Where to start?

1) Yes and no, if you are methodical and set aside time once a week/fortnight to prepare and freeze food then it doesn't have to be mamoth. As for the butchers, you'll need to ask them. What about vermin control in your area? You'll almost certainly get a good supply of bunnies and their bones very cheaply.

2) We're the same, when we're cooking pasta or rice, I'll double it up so that the boys (dogs) have some. Other than that, they get what they get.

3) I was told not to.

4) Blocks of frozen tripe tend to float about here. Course I can add this in but having tried to with a reduced portion of complete a few weeks back, slowly, both pups has the terrible screaming runs on them.... Ditto frozen chicken blocks... and the amount of blocks needed for 8 is huge is it not? Or isn't it? I must admit I'm really quite baffled...

4) Never used blocks of frozen anything so don't really know but as the dogs are getting quite a lot of bone with what they're eating, everything stays firm.

Not sure about it being a year for runny poo, we've only had one from the Splodge monster and that was yesterday after he found a bag of gravy bones in the shop.

Splodge is 15 weeks, he's been on BARF since 8 weeks and not had a runny poo (apart from yesterday) in that time.

I won't tell you it's going to be easy, it's not but it's something you get used to and plan in advance. Yes, you will almost certainly need a spare freezer for you dogs but you can pick them up very cheaply if you ask about. We've got a dog fridge, that's where anything I shoot ends up until I get to move it into the dog freezer. They're both in a shed outside at the moment and it's a pain in the butt having to go and get stuff in the wind and rain but you do it coz it's the dogs and they love it.

Have you tried any of them on a chicken wing? If yours are anything like mine, they'll sort of takin it thinking that they shouldn't, crunch it to bits then come back licking your face with raw chicken breath to say THANKS!!!!

Will certainly be watching this thread.

edited to say, I should have said that feeding 2 dogs BARF is no more hassle than 1, there's just more of it.
 

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Hi Di,

Well I raw feed and swear by it. I have never fed mine anything else, except very occasionally, when it's easier to carry around a bit of complete than a bag of chicken wings.

1) depends on your supplier, if they're local, and you can get fresh supplies in regularly then you don't need to store vast amounts. But, if that supply runs dry you have to have a back up. For me there's a local shop that reduces a lot of things like lamb breast, liver, chops, that end up in the freezer as a 'just in case' meal.

2) Food scraps form a very occasional part of the meal for mine, obviously with two, there's more food scraps to go around. But, you do end up throwing away more than you realise, stuff that's gone out of date, bits that you don't use (stalks off greens can be blended, egg shells they can get in their dish etc).

3) Lots of people do half and half, I don't, because the complete food is just that, whereas the raw diet needs to be balanced over several days. But, if you know what you're feeding and are happy to do a half and half, then there's no reason you couldn't make it work.

4) Amounts vary for individual dogs, you can't really give a set weight although there are estimates. Tau gets more than Indie, because she burns more energy, it's as simple as that; although you would think from the pleading eyes that Indie NEEDS more food!!!! If mine look a bit lean (which they will to anyone who leans towards the show side) then I give them a bit more, if they look a bit tubby (to me) then they get a ration cut 8O

Mine have very rarely had any tummy/bum problems, I could count them on the fingers of one hand; with more dogs, I suppose its easier for any infection to do the rounds.

It depends on where you manage to get your raw meat and bones from, it can either be cheaper or more expensive than complete. I blend my own veggies, and put my own additions (nuts, oils etc) in there as well, which does work out cheaper than buying from somewhere like Landywoods, although they are incredibly good and convenient.
 

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Di,
Are you absolutely sure that the Giardia has gone? When Ugo had it he wasn't treated with A.B's or the other thing you mentioned. It was a pretty big dose of a particular wormer over several days if I remember rightly, and then 3 poo samples taken over 3 days to test it was clear. (If I look back over posts that I made about it, then I could tell you how he was treated and how long it took)

Even after he 'seemed' clear, I spoke to a friend that was a vet and he said that the chances were he might not be clear of them completely as they can linger in the bowel. He said something about doing 'anal scrapes' (?) in order to be sure a dog was free of them.

It might be worth re-testing to be absolutely sure that the giardia is clear before changing their diet.

Becs and The Gang
 
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If you fancy a trip to Guildford I would be delighted to show you what raw involves for 1 dog and you can decide for yourself how it would look for "the brady bunch" :D
 

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All of mine are interjected with various raw (and for fussy b*ggars) cooked meat and fish - I know Kay switches between raw and dried dependent on if she is travelling and she fed only human grade meat.

Hally didn't taste dried food until she was nearly 4, Clover around 18 months - for me, sadly it was a combination of economics and practicality knowing the brood was increasing, and not being able to find a reliable and affordable supplier :(

Hally would never do bones, but ate all sorts of raw meat from chicken, tripe, beef, rabbit, fish (the only thing they ever had cooked was some fish) - and pureed veg - carrots.

Clover on the other hand would eat anything and can still devour a set of ribs, quarter chicken or a lamb shank in record speed and the two of them have cast iron constitutions compared to my dogs raised predominantly on dried food.

Edited to add, I am currently in the process of switching to grain free dried food, and have been mightily impressed with the dogs love of it, and the outputs the other side :roll:
 

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Becs said:
Oooh, can I ask what 'grain-free' food is Sue? Sound's like sense to me.
It's Orijen Becs - it was the food thread by Labler that got me thinking and doing a bit more research

http://www.orijenpetfoods.co.uk/

You can get it from Petplanet and a few other websites, and it does seem there are UK distributors.

My initial logic behind trying it was to move Hally over from Iams Light which was playing havoc with her coat - she is brilliant on Arden grange - but she is one of these girlies affected by middle age spread - and the vets won't neuter her until it's gone :roll: so I thought I would try it.

Gave a bit to Hope, who has never really eaten dried food up to the point she was mated and she went bonkers for it - no dicky tum, nothing - so I am now seriously thinking of switching all my dogs over, maybe apart from Clover who thrives on the Iams light and is a nightmare for weight management :roll:

I am waiting for the company to come back to me regarding in whelp and weaning bitches and suitability for pups - before I make any concrete decisions in that direction - but overall, impressed with the initial interest from sceptical Hally and Hope :wink:
 

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Di, we feed dry here and only have the one really parky one (young Herman :roll: ) . Have not really had a problem and have used mostly arden grange although recently the older pensioners have been put onto Skinners duck and rice ( tightening the purse strings :roll: ) and they seem to have coped really well with that. With respect to the raw food diet I have not gone down that route because of the logistics , bit overwhelming ( bigger fridges and all that )

I wonder if your dogs are still having a Gardia problem :roll: . Sometimes these things take some shifting :roll: .
 
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