Last Fall, I was the fortunate beneficiary of my brother-in-law’s generosity. He had a freezer full of plucked, cleaned, and vacuum packed game fowl that he kindly contributed to my raw diet adventures. Best part?
Back in October, I was still nervous about feeding raw bones. I thought the smaller, more delicate bones of these game birds might be easier for Pearl and Truman to crunch and less likely to cause an obstruction, particularly if I cut them sufficiently. I was correct.
Pearl and Truman LOVE quail, pheasant and chucker. The dark meat is rich and flavorful. Having been cleaned and packed fresh at the hunting camp, they were full of what nature has to offer a hungry pup–fresh, raw, bloody meat, and bones rich with calcium and the incomparable nutrition of the marrow. These small wild birds were not raised in a massive chicken house, or in a cage, nor fed growth hormones or antibiotics.
I don’t do guns, and I don’t approve of hunting just for the sport of it. But I live in Alabama, and you can’t throw a rock without it landing on a hunter, even if you’re surrounded by women. (And they’ll point their rifle at you for throwing the rock at them, so it’s not advised). Given that reality, if you have a hunter in the family, and you happen to luck into some excess duck or Venison, your dog will love you if you let him Get in the Game.
You can pretty much feed anything from a hunt– Duck, Venison, Quail, Pheasant, Rabbit–to your dog. These protein sources are biologically appropriate for canines. Dogs have consumed these animals from the time of their earliest existence. Just be aware of your dog’s ability to get through a bone. Doubtful a Pug or Pomeranian can manage a deer bone. So, as always, use common sense.
Here’s a recipe for Winter Quail & Sweet Potato (makes 2 meals for a 25 lb dog):
- 1 raw Quail (1 Quail is usually about 6 oz)
- 1/2 small local, organic sweet potato, baked (Hint: I usually bake 2 or 3 sweet potatoes at a time, then keep them in the fridge for use in several meals during the week).
- 2 oz raw goat’s milk
- 2 tsp raw, local honey
- half scoop of digestive enzyme
- Check the bird for birdshot and remove any pellets.
- Using kitchen shears, cut the meat away from the bone as much as possible. (I do this for my small dogs to assist them because their mouths and teeth are small. This step and the next may not be necessary for a larger dog).
- Cut the bones of the wings and legs at the joints. Then cut the breast bone in quarters.
- For 25-lb dog, measure 3oz of meat with bones in the bowl.
- Add 1/4 (about 1 oz) baked sweet potato, skin removed, and mashed. Sprinkle with digestive enzyme.
- Add 1 oz raw goat’s milk, and 1 tsp raw honey.
- Watch your dog try to eat through the bottom of the bowl.
pugs & kisses,