Road-Testing The Chicken Drumstick

September 11, 2011 § 29 Comments

Our progress with introducing a Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (BARF) diet into Maple’s meal plans has taken us a little longer than anticipated. What we do know for certain is that Maple truly enjoys her raw meats and bones. So far, we have road-tested raw beef marrow bones, lamb chops, and chicken drumsticks.

At the moment, Maple is still on a predominantly kibble-based diet but we hope to eventually make the transition to 50% kibbles and 50% BARF. I am also very happy (and relieved) to report that Maple’s raw intake of meats and bones has not affected the consistency of her poop—yes, initially Maple’s by-products did come out a little on the soft side but all is well now!

I often get so fascinated watching Maple enthusiastically devour slices or raw lamb and chicken meat; however, she is a very patient eater when it comes to chomping away at the bones. Maple’s first attempt at a raw chicken drumstick took her almost 45 minutes to complete (and this was despite my earlier effort to help remove the fleshy meat from the bone, leaving part of it intact). I suppose those tiny teeth of Maple’s can only work so fast!

Funny thing is, Maple refused to grip the raw chicken drumstick between her paws (I think that would have dramatically helped to speed up the process). Perhaps Maple is a little germaphobic like her Momsy 😉

Nevertheless, one thing is for sure: Maple gives two paws up for raw chicken drumsticks. And I think the expression on Maple’s face says it all!

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§ 29 Responses to Road-Testing The Chicken Drumstick

  • muffin_mint says:

    hi Maple’s Momsy!

    It’s nice to see Maple loving her raw bones! I’m sure you will achieve what you desire soon!!

    May I know where and how do you ensure that the raw bones and meat are fresh and will not given Maple’s tummy problem? Currently I’m only feeding Muffin with dried veal ribs from pets shop. I wish to expose him to BARF diet too! 🙂

    • Hi Muffin’s Momsy, I bet your little guy is enjoying his dried veal ribs very much. Maple would break into a crazy dance if she got a sniff of those yummy treats! I’ll have to keep my eyes on the lookout for dried veal ribs the next time we have to stock up on Maple’s inventory 😉

      Exposing Maple to raw bones and meat has been a trial-and-error experience for us. But I think we’ve managed to find a routine that seems to suit our Lil’ Miss. Just take it slow and steady, and I think you’ll eventually find a system that works for Muffin. Here’s a brief summary of our semi-BARF practice that I hope you’ll find useful…

      To ensure that the raw bones and meat do not lose their freshness and quality, we will wash, pat-dry, and portion the raw goods upon returning home then store them immediately in the freezer. To defrost, we will take one portion out from the freezer and transfer it to the fridge (one night before feeding).

      Maple does her #2 twice a day (once in the morning and once in the evening) and is fed two meals a day after she has done her business and walk. Working with this schedule, I find that feeding Maple her kibbles first, followed by raw meat, for dinner gives her digestive system sufficient time over the course of the night to do its magic while she sleeps. The next morning, when Maple goes out to potty, her poop will be medium-firm (sorry to be so descriptive about it, lol). If I were to feed Maple raw meat for breakfast, on the other hand, the result during her potty session later in the evening would be a different story altogether!

      Ultimately, the trick that did it for us was to introduce raw meat very slowly in small amounts and never on an empty stomach (which is why I think we’re quite comfortable aiming for a kibbles-to-BARF ratio of 50:50 for Miss Maple). I hope you’ll find a formula that works for Muffin and, when you do, we would love to hear about your success story, too!

  • Hi there,

    My Rossi gal loves her chicken drummies too! It’s her favorite. Like Maple, Rossi also doesnt use her paws for her drummies too.

    It’s the same for her other meaty bones. She will only use her mouth to gnaw the bones. I like it this way actually, cos I will only need to clean her mouth. Saves me some work. ;p

    Wow, great to hear Maple enjoys her raw foods and adjusting well to raw. Nothing makes us happier than to see our babies enjoy their food, ya.

    This update on sweet Maple’s experience with raw really makes my day. I love to read sharings of positive experiences in raw feeding. 😀

    • I have to say, your BARF journey with Rossi gal has really inspired us. In addition, our blogging friend, Didi, has made a real impact on us, too, with her informative (and reassuring) posts about BARF. Reading your stories made us realize that, hey!, there is something really worth trying here.

      I just love it how Maple’s eyes light up when she gets a raw bone to gnaw on! Speaking of which, I am delighted to hear that Rossi gal refrains from using her paws for her meaty bones… I was really beginning to think that Maple might be developing OCD tendencies (lol)!

  • bonnie says:

    reminds me of a little cafe I discovered just across the street I like going to, and pretzel look exactly like your dog, all happy sitting and enjoying the day

    • Ah, yes, I think you’re referring to the Singapore River post! Seeing that you’ve now made the move to Singapore (welcome!), perhaps you could bring Pretzel to Kith Cafe for a light afternoon snack or so.

      But, if that’s too far of a journey, you could also try K9 Kafe at Turf Club, which might be a little closer to where you’re currently staying. Who knows, we might just very well bump into you and Pretzel one of these fine days 😀

  • I think this is something many dog owners including me are either feeding raw or debating feeding raw. I’m still debating this because I know how beneficial eating raw can be.

    Like you, I’m a germaphobe as well. So aside from that part of the whole bacteria/germ thing getting in my way, I think my other concern would be how do I know they are getting enough vitamins? kibble has been formulated to do so, at least the ones I feed my pups. Since, I’ve read you plan on doing 50/50… That’s something i’ve been thinking about doing. So they get what they need from both sources.

    Another thing, if my pups need to be left at a kennel for any reason, how accommodating are kennels to feeding the raw diet. That would be something that would keep me from doing 100% raw, because I may need to keep them on kibble if I go away on vacation or something and cant take them.

    • Yes, ensuring that all aspects of Maple’s daily nutritional requirements are being met is one of the primary reasons why we’re not all that prepared to go 100% raw. Sometimes I have difficulty covering my own dietary needs (e.g. 7-8 servings of fruits and vegetables a day), let alone figuring out Maple’s (lol)! We, too, are quite impressed with the quality of kibbles that Maple is currently on and aren’t about to give that up completely. And, like you, we also hope that by going 50/50, it’ll give Maple some flexibility if ever she has to be taken care of outside our home.

      I think, at the end of the day, it’s about a lifestyle change that both canines and their humans have to be ready to fully adopt together. We’re definitely not there yet, but we hope to eventually reach some kind of middle ground 😀

      On a side note, if I could whip up a batch of healthy dog-friendly treats as impressively as you can for Yuki and Rocket, I would be adding baked goods to Maple’s diet as well. After all, there is always room for dessert… well, that’s what my hubby tells me!

  • baub&coff says:

    really nice to see another owner willing to venture into raw feeding! and maple is such a gentle chewer. my boy takes no more than 5 minutes to finish a drum leg & my girl takes no more than 10 minutes! LOL

    it’s always such an enjoyable sight to see them sink their teeth into the natural diet!

    • Lol, yes, Maple is a tad slow when it comes to bones. I’d like to think that she’s savouring the moment 😉 But I also hope, with enough practice, she’ll get the hang of it such that she can finish her bones in less time. Wowzers, 5 minutes is a really impressive record! 😀

  • totomameee says:

    Maple is so CLEAN chewing only where she is allow right on the towel!

    I am still summoning courage to feed TOto raw! For one I am so afraid that he will throw the raw bones all around the house playing with it! Haha .. maybe when I go back to SG and can find constant source of fresh raw meat …

    • Germies are definitely my main concern and Maple, thankfully, has learnt to enjoy her bones on her towel. TOto is Mr. Smarty Pants, so I bet you’ll have no trouble training him to use a towel as well! Fresh raw pork and chicken are quite easy to come by here in Singapore, but I would think that the variety of raw meats in the US is far more extensive. Cost is also another factor. We recently purchased a single lamb chop (grain-fed from Australia) for $4+ 😯 We don’t even buy lamb chops to enjoy ourselves (lol)!

  • annyboo says:

    You are starting on BARF with Maple too? that is great! She looks like such a darling on the mat with the bone.

    I did do a test run with Piper and Dommy. Piper lovedddd the raw drumstick and ran to his bed with the bone and enjoyed it there. It was reduced to nothing. He has small teeth too and i did help him with the meats by snipping it loose.

    I was a bit afraid of the germs… and am a bit of a germaphobe too. I ended up washing his bed in hot soapy water.

    Dom loves raw fish instead 🙂

    • It’s always nice to know that you’re not alone when it comes to being a germaphobe! I like to give Maple’s towel a good wash, as well. And after each raw bone session, we’ll take her out for an off-leash run at the dog park then give her a nice clean bath upon returning home—in this way we cover 3 tasks in one day per week 😀

      I’m keen to try raw fish with Maple. If Dommy (the master food tester) loves it, then all the more reason Maple would too!

  • didiwright says:

    Hi, there, girls. You know how I feel about anything BARF, so well done to both of you. And I love all those photos of Miss Maple…What a good girl to keep her bone on the rug. x

    • Thanks, Didi! Maple hopes she is making George proud. Appreciate your kind comment on our photos, although I was wishing so hard for the lighting to better that evening. Maple came out as one big ball of blur in too many of the photos—I only managed to salvage these four! Oh well, we’re happy nonetheless to have been able to document Maple’s first raw chicken drummy 😀

  • raisingdaisy says:

    I’m glad the transition is going so well! LOVE the last photo!

    Daisy would never stay in a specific place with a treat like raw meat (or any others either) – she trots around proudly with her treats. Our whole house would have to be scrubbed!

    • Lol, oh dear, I hear you! I am not particularly fond of E. coli, let alone having it transferred on to our floors by an enthusiastic pupster. I guess we’re pretty lucky in that Maple is a neat eater… I only wish I could say the same for her toys—she likes to toss them all around the apartment. Hmm, how can I train our pipsqueak to be a little more organized?? 😉

  • Kame says:

    Maple looks ecstatic…what a happy pup 🙂

  • You can definitely tell she’s enjoying that drumstick! Glad to hear the transition is going well.

  • M.C. says:

    Yay! You will all be so happy with the transition. For me, it’s a continuous research process though. And always full of adventure…

  • furfilled says:

    Hi! Miss Maple is such a dainty eater! Can I ask how you trained her to eat her bone just on the towel, or did it come natural to her?

    A funny side story – I gave Toki some watermelon a few weeks ago, and she loved it. BUT, she absolutely refused to touch it with her paws. : )

    I really appreciated it, because it meant her paws wouldn’t get all sticky. But maybe it’s a common trait…

    • Ah, yes, the towel! I think our success with the towel has partly to do with training and partly to do with Miss Maple’s character. When I first introduced the towel to Maple, I got her to sit/stay on the towel a few times. After a that, we did a practice run with ice cubes (for easy clean-up). Whenever Maple would accidently nudge or carry an ice-cube off the towel, we would say “No” or “Off” and that would prompt her to get back on the towel. The real test came when we gave Maple her very first raw beef marrow bone. By then, Maple understood the concept of the towel and managed to keep (most of) herself and the marrow bone on it. I have to give credit to our little munchkin, though, because I think she is generally a pretty neat eater and seems to enjoy dining on a towel!

      What an interesting coincidence about the paws. I can imagine Toki enjoying her slice of watermelon sans paws. It must have been quite a funny sight. Makes me want to get in there and give them a hand! 😀

  • Anna says:

    Happy to hear the Raw treats are going well. I was doing some digging in the freezer and came upon Venison Leg bones I had saved for the dogs. Needless to say they loved them. I still worry about them chewing the bigger pieces enough so when they got the ends off and started breaking into the long shaft part i took them away. Luna likes to sometimes swallow before it’s totally chewed so it worries me. Never tried drumsticks… always thought that would be too big of a bone but I guess not. I will have to look into it. I also feed a little kibble with it, and also some probiotic to offset any meat upsets. They generally do really well on it all though, but i makes me feel better. I will never probably switch to total raw simply because it would require that I find a way to travel with it too. My kibble actually incorporates raw and freeze dried in it so I am very happy with that formula to begin with.
    Keep up the good work
    Anna
    http://www.akginspiration.com

    • For BARF novices like us, it really is encouraging when we read wonderful success stories from others like yourself. I know Wyatt and Luna love their raw bones! I, too, worry about Maple ingesting splinters but so far she has been quite the dainty little lady when chewing bones. Nevertheless, that doesn’t stop me from removing the bone in case more damage can be done to it. I’m wondering if chicken drumsticks might be a tad too easy of a challenge for Luna… perhaps turkey drumsticks as an alternative? Although I have heard about probiotics for dogs I have yet to look into it—thank you for the reminder!

  • Kas says:

    Yummy!! Looks like Miss Maple sure enjoyed that drumstick. 🙂 I am still too chicken (no pun intended lol) to try BARF … but maybe I’ll come around sometime!

    • Ha, nice pun, lol! Yes, I was a little nervous at the start of feeding Maple raw bones and meat. It took me some time (and reading) to get used to the concept of BARF. We’re still easing into it… If you ever do give it a go, do keep us posted! 😀

  • I guess I am to worried about germs to attempt this diet. It looks like Maple loves it though. : )

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