|Barked: Wed Nov 13, '13 2:22pm PST |
|Figure the total weight of both dogs and multiply by 2% x 30 to get the daily feed then the total amount of food needed monthly. It won't be as much as you fear.
After the dogs are used to the diet figure half of that can be whole bony chicken, not with meat cut off, and half boneless red meat like beef, pork, lamb and rabbit. If the beef, pork, lamb and rabbit has bones then you would be feeding less chicken and more expensive red meat. 5% of the meat needs to be liver and 5% needs to be other organ. Bony chicken is cheap and dogs love it but it isn't a satisfactory diet, don't get stuck on feeding just chicken!
If the total weight happened to be 32 pounds then your dogs would need about 10.5 ounces of food a day total and about 320 ounces a month which is 20 pounds a month. 9 pounds needs to be bony stuff, chicken is usually cheapest. 9 pounds needs to be boneless meat. A pound of liver and a pound of kidney to finish it off. You can substitute 4-8 eggs and 1-2 pounds of fatty fish for some of the boneless meat if you like.
Now go shopping. I can easily find chicken weekly for $1 a pound, bony pork for the same, beef is dear at more like $2.80 a pound and forget lamb - usually $3+. Fish might be $2 a pound and eggs are 2 ounces each so 1/2 pound might be 4 eggs and 18 eggs cost $1.60 and might be 2 pounds.
Some pork bone and fat will be thrown away, same with beef fat but you can see it is doable. I couldn't believe back when I started that I could feed Max 19 pounds of meat for less than $17 one wonderful month.
I usually make a beeline for the clearance bin at the market. Last time there was beef heart for $1 a pound. A really long time ago I scored lamb leg for $2 a pound. I see turkey parts for good enough prices often. Ground beef is often marked down to $2 a pound. Those $12 a pound steaks marked down to $8 a pound are passed by. I found ethnic markets and watch online flyers to see when something is a good enough deal. Except that my freezer is already stuffed I see a local market has pork leg for $1 this next week and I left [about killed me] $.69 a pound whole chicken at the market last week. These prices can be cyclic so it is better if you can store a quantity of meat. I have a 14 cubic foot upright freezer for meat and start getting worried when I can see the back wall. Yes, meat shopping is addictive and developing a meat hoarding habit is a danger!
Remember bone is easy to come by so avoid bony stuff unless it is really cheap. Same with fat, fatty cuts are worth less to me than lean ones. Small bony stuff is outright dangerous to feed and I cut out the small sharp bones from chops and steaks. Some of the most fun things to feed have leftovers. I toss out half the weight of pork neck and beef rib so even though pork neck can be found for $1 a pound and beef ribs seem cheap at $1.50 they are really costing $2 and $3 a pound.
That is just market stuff. Some advertise on Craig's List and freecycle for freezer burnt meats. I used to get expired grocery store meat from a coop. I get meat from a meat processor who processes meat people won't/cannot eat into pet food. My freezer has a lot of chickens from a person downsizing the flock. Roadkill can be fed if fresh. People hunt and give most of the animal to the dogs.
All depends on how much time and energy you want to use on this. I have seen such great changes in my dogs I don't ever want to go back to commercial dog food. Around here a dental costs several hundred dollars, Max has had 2 in his life and only bundled with other procedures that were needed. It takes time to get meat out and you have to allow time to observe the meals and you need a bit of room in the frig for defrosted meat. Shopping for meat can be annoying. I will travel 50 miles in a combination errand for good stuff.
If chicken isn't going to work then pork is cheap and the bone mostly edible. Or fish heads might work as bony meat that isn't expensive.
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