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Sources for Raw Meat?

This is a dedicated place for all of your questions and answers about Raw Diets. There are also some really cool groups like "Raw Fed" on the topic you can join. This forum is for people who already know they like the raw diet or sincerely want to learn more. Please remember that you are receiving advice from peers and not professionals. If you have specific health-related questions about your dog's diet, please contact your vet!

  
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Shadow

24032
 
 
Barked: Sun Feb 24, '13 7:32am PST 
I have three dogs, and need about 70 pounds of food a month. I was hoping to keep my costs to $100 or less per month. I belong to a raw feeders group in my state and thought I had a plan as to sources for meat. But due to a recent experience I'm a bit concerned as to the quality of the meat sold by people who sell specifically to raw feeders. If there is nothing wrong with the meat why wouldn't it be sold for human consumption at a much higher cost?

I bought some chunk beef for $1.25/lb and it smelled not so great and parts were oozing a black liquid and parts had these small black worm like things in them. I'm definitely not sure as to whether I should even feed that to the dogs and the process of cutting it up into meal size chunks ...the smell had my stomach churning. A significant portion of the meat was fat. So now if I'm trying to source solely from the grocery store I'm not sure if this diet is affordable. Sourcing meat besides chicken at an affordable price is going to be rough.

These are the common sale prices for meat in my area:

Bone-in Breasts $1.39/lb
Leg quarters .71 - .99
Whole chickens .85 - .99
Drums / Thighs $1.19/lb
Cornish hens $1.70/lb
Turkey breast $1.69/lb

Pork spareribs $2/lb
Bone in pork chops $2/lb
Whole Pork Shoulder $1.29/lb

Beef Brisket $2.99/lb
85% lean ground beef $3.49/lb
Whole eye round $3.49/lb

Salmon $6/lb
This week a store has bone-in veal shoulder chops for $3.69/lb

I haven't even looked at organ prices yet. At these prices could you make up an affordable diet?
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Sun Feb 24, '13 9:03am PST 
That is horrible! I wouldn't feed it either.

If you offer half chicken quarters and half pork roasts then you are good to go at just about $1 a pound leaving $30 for cheap turkey, beef and organs. Pork roasts tend to have a lot of fat you won't feed right away and the bone inside is edible to a certain extent for all dogs. Leave a meal's worth of meat on the bone before offering hoping the dog will have some sense and stop eating bone when full. Slim hope for many dogs however!

Look for less fat and less bone red meats. Look for bony red meats at less than $1.50 a pound.
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UCH Onyx TT,- CGC

Do you even- lift?
 
 
Barked: Sun Feb 24, '13 12:58pm PST 
Ew. I wouldn't feed that to my dogs.

Prices look pretty decent, about the same as the grocery stores in my area. That said, if you have a lot of freezer space for dog food, you might consider ordering online from someplace like Hare Today or My Pet Carnivore. If you can order in bulk, the prices can be really good, depending on your location.
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Shadow

24032
 
 
Barked: Sun Feb 24, '13 2:11pm PST 
I thought perhaps I was being unreasonable about feeding this meat so thank you for saying that you wouldn't feed it either. I live in New England, not sure if anyone knows of any good sources in the CT/MA area. I can order from TQDF (www.topqualitydogfood.com) but a lot of their mixes contain veggies and count heart as organs.
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Sandy

tiny...but fast!
 
 
Barked: Sun Feb 24, '13 3:33pm PST 
Have u looked at butcher shops in your area instead of grocery stores?
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Mr. Jake the- Beagle

I am Murphy's- Law Embodied! <3- Me!
 
 
Barked: Mon Feb 25, '13 1:39am PST 
i get jake's chickens fro either ethnic markets or the regular grocery store. All the odd organs or off organs that you don't see in a big box grocery story like Vons or Kroger tend to be found in ethnic markets. Usually for jake i'll spend between 30-40 a month on items including a specitlity item like a sheep skull or a rabbit. But i feed prodomently chicken quarters or half chickens with beef organs or maybe some stewing meat if it's got a good sale or steaks i have in the freezer too long and get freezer burned. I only have the one dog but he eats between 1-1.5 lbs a day so that's ruffly 30-45lbs a month so i try to keep the cost to ~.90 to $1 a day for feedig.

You could try something like haretoday or mypetcarnivore. Haretoday has good prices if you live in the right place. When tried whole prey i used to order from reptile dealers and pick them up at shows whent hey were in my area. That's also an option if you'd consider that.

I only feed meat meant for human consumption sicne i only buy it from grocery stores were humans buy food. i'm very weary of meat sold only for animal consumption. I'd rather buy dog food at that rate since at least its's semi regulated by AFFCO.

Don't feel bad about not feeding the meat you described. Proteins are kinda my bread and butter for school study and what you described sounds rancid and uneddible. I'd cook it at worst before feeding if you had too and at best i'd toss it.


Good luck!
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Shadow

24032
 
 
Barked: Mon Feb 25, '13 4:28am PST 
I contacted the person that I got the meat from. He said that what I'm describing is a bruise and if he sees it in the meat he usually cuts it out. And the black wormy things are clotted blood. That doesn't explain the smell though and it was all throughout the meat.

I don't really know where any butchers or ethnic markets are located. I guess I'll have to do a google search.
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Mr. Jake the- Beagle

I am Murphy's- Law Embodied! <3- Me!
 
 
Barked: Mon Feb 25, '13 4:48am PST 
the best way i've found in finding a good ethinic market is by using Yelp.com. I keep the app on my phone and use the website to evaluate where i want to spend my money. And where i can find odd things like chicken feet, lamb skulls and rabbit. Typically people will review "odd" things they find in certain ethinc supermarkets like tongues and what not and those are the plaeces i go too.

Also if you have a pennysaver ethnic markets in my area advertise in those. That can help a lot. Or if you have any asian/middle eastern/hispanic friends (those are the types of markets in my area i'm sure there's more) you can ask them where they shop.

I usually do most of my Mr. B shopping at asian or middle eastern markets. Since they carry the greek yogurt that jake likes as well as chicken feet and odd animal organs including gutts, skulls and kidneys. Things i can't get at my regular grocery store. They're also the only places i can get liver, gizards, or kidney from inside a meat counter where i can pick the ones i want. They also sell blood. sometimes.

Good luck in your search.

** a note on the meat.

I have been known to give Jake meat that may be a few days past it's prime for me to want to eat it. It seems he likes it more that way. but if it really smells as in making me sick i will cook it and if it still smells after it's been cookied i'll toss it and feed him something else.

It's possible if the "worms" you describe arne't moving about that it is clots in the blood. The discoloration of meat happens if it hasn't been handled properly or if the animal at time of harvetsing had brusies. But the smell if it was really bad is a sign of lots of bacteria and imporper storage aka probably been sitting too long. I'd be warey of it.
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Member Since
02/02/2013
 
 
Barked: Mon Feb 25, '13 9:41am PST 
Local butcher is your best bet to get at $1/lb budget for staples so you can have some splurge items for meat variety.

I didn't know we had local butchers in my town until I checked on the yellow pages. There are actually at least 3 within 10 miles of me, 1 which is only 2 miles away. There are a jillion more if I expand the radius to 30 miles. And that's just regular butcher. That's not counting the butchers for the hunting clubs.

So, this is what I would do - I would buy the 89-99 cents whole chicken from the grocery. For every pound of that chicken, you add 2 pounds of meat-only (added with the liver and secreting organ) items to reduce the bone content to 10%.

So, from the local butcher, ask for beef/pork/chicken hearts, beef/pork tongues, chicken/turkey gizzards. These things count for muscle meat in your dog's food. I can get these items for within a ballpark of $1/lb, a little more or a little less.

You can also get a 10-12lb rabbit for $11 at rodentpro.com. That gets you within $1/lb as well.

Look for local fisherman's market (there's also tons of these if you're close to a big body of water) and get fish heads. You can get it under $1/lb on those.

Then with the $30 extra, I can splurge on things like salmon and beef chunks and lamp chops and quail and anything else.
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Duke

I'm king of the- world!
 
 
Barked: Mon Feb 25, '13 4:24pm PST 
I would not feed that meat! Blood clots are one thing; a nauseating smell, quite another.

Here are a few ways I keep it affordable:

--Friends, family, and coworkers: let people know you will take their freezer burned meat. I have scored a ton of free dog food this way!

--Freecycle: post an ad. Another way I've scored free food. Use your judgment, but I've never had an issue with food this way.

--Craigslist: this worked for me once. The other times, my ads were flagged and deleted. It's worth a try.

--Ethnic markets

--Yahoo!: see if there's a raw feeding group in your area. This has been an invaluable resource for me. I recently heard about a local raw dog food company that was going out of business. I went a little overboard and bought 400 lbs of meat! But at $1/lb for organic meat, I couldn't pass up the deal.

--Restaurant wholesalers: do some Googling and see if there are any in your area. It's all sold in bulk but usually for well under $1/lb.

--Spend some time on Google. I found a rabbitry this way that also sells tripe, turkey, salmon, heart, and other stuff.

--Hunting season: deer processors will sometimes give you free stuff. Or post a Freecycle/CL ad. I scored about 100 lbs of FREE venison this past fall.

--MPC/HareToday: This is generally a bit pricier, but I justify buying things I can't get anywhere else by saving on all the free stuff.

I have asked around at several butchers and none of them are willing to sell me scrap. Since I have other great sources, I haven't tried other butchers, but I would if it came to that.

Good luck!
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