Hi. I want to switch my ferrets to a raw diet, and am wanting to sign up for the mentoring program, once I find a place to get meats. I know I can get chicken legs and a couple muscle meats and things like that at my local Food City, but I am really having trouble finding organ meats. I've called at least 6 butcher shops and meat market and about 4 didn't answer (have been calling for 2-3 days nobody will answer) and the others said they didn't carry it.
I don't really know where to look and what exactly I'm looking for...? I have a couple questions if you don't mind. Where do you get your meat at? If different places, where does the majority come from? Do you buy a bunch at once or a little at a time? Is it a lot more expensive to order online? Oh, and a question I really want to know is, what are GOOD meat prices? I have no idea how much any of it should cost. What kind of questions should I ask when I call around? What kind of meats am I looking for when starting the soupy switch part?
Sorry for so many questions, I just want to do this right. I am hoping to switch my dog to a PMR diet after I switch the ferrets and get a handle on it. Thanks!
Usually I can find the important organs at my local Walmart, so if you have one close by, that'd be a good place to start. Almost every walmart seems to have at a minimum, chicken hearts and livers, and usually carry cow hearts and livers as well, and some days they have other organs such as lungs or kidneys, but those can be hard to find. To start you're going to want to have chicken wings, chicken breast (or similarly mild meat), hearts, livers, and powdered eggshells (if you have a nutribullet/magic bullet, I've found they work really well at powdering my shells). Also, I would recommend buying some salmon oil and getting your ferrets off any commercial "treats" such as ferretone/ferrevite, or solid treats. Really, the only treats you should be giving them is salmon oil (or olive oil, coconut oil, emu oil, etc), eggs, and/or freeze dried or boiled (unseasoned) chicken breasts (or other meat) with nothing else added to them.
When I buy my meat, I only buy it twice a year, so I buy most things in bulk and have a large freezer to keep it all in. I get my meat from a variety of local stores; a latina market, asian market, two local grocery stores, and sometimes Walmart if I need to. I buy whole animals (chicken, cornish game hen, quail, rabbit, duck, etc) and butcher them up myself, then portion everything into snack size bags (or larger depending on how many mouths you have to feed and their appetites) and I freeze it all. I believe I've already mentioned this, but I spend approx. $175 when I buy like this and it lasts half a year, if not longer, which breaks down to about 30 bucks a month, and around a dollar a day to feed both ferrets.
I have bought meat online as well, which came out to be around the same price and break down. The key to online orders IS buying in bulk, otherwise the cost of shipping won't be worth it.
I hope that answered your questions, if I missed anything feel free to reiterate the questions I missed.
Last Edit: Nov 9, 2013 16:35:52 GMT -5 by Deleted: Typo.
Obviously I would have no idea what your meats normally cost where you are, but why not check a few different places out and compare prices, including all types of sales. Last day sales(often up to 50% off), regular bulk sales(always buy in bulk where possible), cost between various organs(beef, chicken, pork, etc).
Ferrets: Contessa Kitties: Watson, Oskar DIP Sinnead, Vincent, Boris, Zeus and Athena, Willow, Mr. Frodo, Indie, Lucrezia, Judge, Odin, Miss Emily, Suki, Cody, Aristotle, Butterscotch, Frankenfurter. RIP Herne, Ligeia, and Mr. Stubbs
I don't know what part of Tennessee that you are in, but if you are close to Nashville, you can buy chicken hearts from Porter Road butchers. Call first, and they will put your order in. I paid about $5.00 per LB.
I feel so lucky being in the UK. I can have lamb hearts and chicken, pork, beef and lamb kidneys and livers delivered with my weekly Tesco food shopping, or I can buy it from any butchers. Maybe we just have a demand for it that other places don't. I get my dog's raw food delivered by a company called DAF, fairly good prices and good quality and add the supermarket bits to it as needed. I can also get beef tripe and looking into a supplier for lamb tripe. I haven't seen anywhere selling 'gizzards', brains or lungs or anything else really, but I can get sheep and pig heads and trotters for 'chews'.
Korra the Demonic Princess
Rip Mako, my brave soldier. Bolin, my snuggle bear.
Just as a back up- if you have trouble locating certain organs or RMBs, try locating a dog/cat raw food distributer. Although some only sell the pre made mixes, many sell cases and small portions of many kinds of organs, RMBs, muscle meat, etc. The company I distribute for has all of the above for chicken, duck, turkey, beef, lamb, rabbit, emu, etc and it is VERY reasonable.
Down here one particular pig has great varieties on food for a grocery store...our hearts are like $0.89/# but you usually have to call to make sure they have some in or if they are getting some in...sometimes I think if they feel like they dont have enough interest they wont order them...maybe if you know a few people that will get them with you or tell them you will get them all if they order them...was thinking about freeze drying some heart slivers as treats too...