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Cooked Recipes Thread

goholistic

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I'll give a partial answer now. A full response will have to wait a day or 2. 
 I understand. Thank you.  
  In case you need to know for the turkey recipe, I've been using turkey thighs in the past.
2) Eggs add a lot of vit D which can otherwise be hard to come by in a raw recipe.
I see. So eggs add vitamin D. Eggs are also high in vitamin A, right (according to the Nutrition Data site)? What about adding, say, Carlson's unflavored cod liver oil, which contains both? Just thinking out loud - seeing if there are any viable alternatives.   
  I did notice that some some of the cooked recipes use whole eggs and some only the egg yolk.
 
3) If fat is a concern you might want to reconsider the duck. It is 44% higher in fat than chicken thighs.
Dang. Even duck breast? I have a source for duck breast.

The problem is that Sebastian is on a special diet of "cool" proteins only based on a diagnosis by a TCVM vet. I think it does make a difference. Chicken (meat, egg yolks, and liver) is considered warm/hot. Duck is cool, but fattening.

Any thoughts on doing a duck and fish/seafood recipe to cut the fat? Clams, mussels, oysters, cod, whitefish, and deep sea fish are all considered cool. Remember, it would be fed for three weeks straight, so I don't know if giving him a food with fish/seafood in it would be bad for three weeks. 
 
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mschauer

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 I see. So eggs add vitamin D. Eggs are also high in vitamin A, right (according to the Nutrition Data site)? What about adding, say, Carlson's unflavored cod liver oil, which contains both? Just thinking out loud - seeing if there are any viable alternatives.   
  I did notice that some some of the cooked recipes use whole eggs and some only the egg yolk.
Something is nagging at me about code liver oil but I can't think of what it is. Maybe just that it shouldn't be used instead of fish oil because of being high in vit A. Using a smaller amount of it for the vit D I think would be OK though.
 
 
3) If fat is a concern you might want to reconsider the duck. It is 44% higher in fat than chicken thighs.
Dang. Even duck breast? I have a source for duck breast.
Actually duck breast has about the same amount of fat as chicken thigh. 

The problem is that Sebastian is on a special diet of "cool" proteins only based on a diagnosis by a TCVM vet. I think it does make a difference. Chicken (meat, egg yolks, and liver) is considered warm/hot. Duck is cool, but fattening.

Any thoughts on doing a duck and fish/seafood recipe to cut the fat? Clams, mussels, oysters, cod, whitefish, and deep sea fish are all considered cool. Remember, it would be fed for three weeks straight, so I don't know if giving him a food with fish/seafood in it would be bad for three weeks.  
We can see how the fat content of the recipes comes out and then see if the fat needs to be reduced.  Would you use wild caught fish/shellfish? That would lower the risk of contaminants and so make feeding fish frequently less of a concern. Maybe stay away from deep sea fish though. Aren't they larger and longer lived and so accumulate contaminants? Not sure about that. Frankly I haven't looked into using fish or shellfish in recipes much especially since I found out Jeta is sensitive to at least sardines.

I'll see if I can work up a few recipes Fri evening.
 

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I'm pretty sure the issue with cod liver oil is that it should not be used instead of fish oil due to the A.

You helped me develop a diet for Spooky with cod liver oil because she won't eat liver, fresh or freeze dried.
 

goholistic

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I see there is an entry for "fish oil, cod liver" in the USDA database, but the amount of Vitamin A they claim in 1 tsp is higher than what is supposedly in the Carlson brand. 


Oh, great about the duck breast!  So I suppose we could try a recipe using duck breast and duck liver, etc.? You know, I don't even know if Sebastian will like liver either. He's never had it fresh. I plan to puree the food at the end to make it more of a pate, so hopefully that will deter him from being picky about something specific in the recipe.

Umm...I'm not sure about the fish and what I would use. It could be wild caught. Sebastian hasn't had any seafood in over a year because I haven't had the nerve to work it into his rotation. And like you said, if the fat content is acceptable using duck breast, then we likely will not have to worry about adding fish to the recipe. I can always try to work in some sardines as a treat once or twice a week.
 
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mschauer

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I see there is an entry for "fish oil, cod liver" in the USDA database, but the amount of Vitamin A they claim in 1 tsp is higher than what is supposedly in the Carlson brand. 
I would imagine there could be a difference between products. I can use the information on the Carlson label in recipes instead of what is in the USDA database. Is this the product you use:

http://www.vitacost.com/carlson-norwegian-cod-liver-oil-unflavored
 
Oh, great about the duck breast!  So I suppose we could try a recipe using duck breast and duck liver, etc.? 
You bet!
 Umm...I'm not sure about the fish and what I would use. It could be wild caught. Sebastian hasn't had any seafood in over a year because I haven't had the nerve to work it into his rotation. And like you said, if the fat content is acceptable using duck breast, then we likely will not have to worry about adding fish to the recipe. I can always try to work in some sardines as a treat once or twice a week.
Unless the packaging specifically states that it is wild caught, it isn't.
 
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mschauer

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I'm pretty sure the issue with cod liver oil is that it should not be used instead of fish oil due to the A.

You helped me develop a diet for Spooky with cod liver oil because she won't eat liver, fresh or freeze dried.
I thought that might be it. Thanks Laurie!

Now get back to work transplanting kitties. You're doing a great job! 
 
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mschauer

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And the duck. It's pretty much the same as for the turkey. I upped the eggshell a bit to get a 1.2 calcium/phosphorus ratio but that probably isn't necessary. 

I wouldn't worry about the analysis showing deficiencies of vit D and choline. The USDA database doesn't contain values for those nutrients for duck. I suspect duck actually has reasonable levels of both.



Click here for a directory of printable recipes with analysis
 
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mschauer

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Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, if you look at the analysis the turkey recipe fat is 13% DM and in the duck recipe it is 18% DM.
 

goholistic

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This is fantastic! Thank you so much, @mschauer! I see where the fat is on the turkey and duck recipe. That's great that it is coming in under 20%. I didn't want to go higher than that. Can you help me to find where the fat content is on the rabbit, pork, and simplified beef recipes? When I look at the analysis, the fat is in three digits. 
  Also, should I be concerned about the numbers showing up in red? There are some red numbers in all five recipes.

Okay, so I made an attempt to make the turkey recipe. I didn't have as much turkey meat as the recipe calls for, so I had to do my best measuring out such small amounts of the supplements. Which leads me to an observation. Even with the full recipe, there seems to be such a small amount of the supplements relative to the amount of meat in the recipe. It practically felt like a dusting. 
  How do you all go about making sure the supplements are mixed in thoroughly? How do I know everything is distributed evenly (besides the obvious task to mix well)?

The bad: With the amount of meat that I had, after it was all done and pureed in the blender, I ended up with only four 6 oz. containers of food. 
  All that work and I only got four days worth of food at best if fed exclusively. Granted I didn't have that much meat to start with, but it opened my eyes just to how much I would need to feed it for three weeks straight.

The good: Sebastian seems to like it and now won't eat his canned food. 
  Which means I'm going to have to place an order this week and made a bigger batch.

Also, I will likely need to buy powdered eggshell / eggshell calcium. I don't use up enough eggs to generate the amount of eggshell needed. Anything I should particularly look for when buying this kind of product?
 
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mschauer

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This is fantastic! Thank you so much, @mschauer! I see where the fat is on the turkey and duck recipe. That's great that it is coming in under 20%. I didn't want to go higher than that. Can you help me to find where the fat content is on the rabbit, pork, and simplified beef recipes? When I look at the analysis, the fat is in three digits. 
  Also, should I be concerned about the numbers showing up in red? There are some red numbers in all five recipes.
The fat content is given as g/kg DM. So the rabbit recipe for instance has 218 g/kg DM. That's 218 grams per 1000 grams or 21.8%.

I explained some of the red values in my post #49.

It's a bit of a judgment call whether to ignore apparent deficiencies (the red values) shown in the analysis. We have to remember that the AAFCO recommendations are actually intended for use by pet food manufacturers and they use both ingredients and processes that are quite different from what we use in our home-made foods. Also the AAFCO minimum recommended quantities for some nutrients aren't necessarily absolutes. Pet food manufactures need some kind of guidelines to follow and to be expected to adhere to but science can't yet tell us with absolute certainty how much of each nutrient an animal needs.

For some apparent deficiencies if you look at the section of the analysis titled 'Incomplete Nutrient Data by Ingredient' you might see that I don't have access to information for that nutrient for some ingredients. For some ingredients missing nutrient information is expected.  For supplements I usually get nutrient information from the label. The label on a vitamin B complex supplement wouldn't be expected to show information about it's vitamin C content. For other things like vitamin D in duck breast or liver which obviously do contain some vitamin D (all meat does) the information for how much they contain just isn't available. But when I look at available information on vitamin D in various meats they generally do contain enough or very close to enough vitamin D to satisfy the analysis. So I usually don't worry about an apparent vitamin D deficiency in an analysis.

Iron frequently comes up a little low in an analysis.  That's one that I just take on faith can safely be a bit on the low side because it is usually chicken recipes that come up short and people have been using chicken based raw recipes for many years. If those diets really were low in iron a routine blood test would show it.

With regards to iodine very little information is available both on how much is contained in the ingredients we use and on how much is needed. I usually target an amount that is a bit under the AAFCO recommended minimum with the knowledge that there is some in most animal parts but most is contained in the thyroid which most of us don't include in our recipes.

Choline is a vitamin that is frequently a little low in the analysis. There is usually one or more ingredient that I don't have choline content information for so as long as it is close to the minimum recommended I don't worry about it. And frankly it is difficult to get the choline content of a recipe up to the minimum without adding a supplement but there is usually so little needed that it doesn't seem worth while given that the recipe amount is pretty close.
 
Okay, so I made an attempt to make the turkey recipe. I didn't have as much turkey meat as the recipe calls for, so I had to do my best measuring out such small amounts of the supplements. Which leads me to an observation. Even with the full recipe, there seems to be such a small amount of the supplements relative to the amount of meat in the recipe. It practically felt like a dusting.  
  How do you all go about making sure the supplements are mixed in thoroughly? How do I know everything is distributed evenly (besides the obvious task to mix well)?
That's one reason why I like to make large quantities. I make at least 10 lbs of a recipe and make 4 recipes every time I am restocking. Also it is an advantage for me that I use MCHA as my calcium supplement. A relatively large amount of MCHA is needed verses eggshell. I put the MCHA in a jar, add all the other supplements and shake the jar to get all supplements fairly well distributed, add it to the meat and mix as well as possible.
 
The bad: With the amount of meat that I had, after it was all done and pureed in the blender, I ended up with only four 6 oz. containers of food.  
  All that work and I only got four days worth of food at best if fed exclusively. Granted I didn't have that much meat to start with, but it opened my eyes just to how much I would need to feed it for three weeks straight.
Another reason why I make large quantities. 
 But I found it harder to make large quantities of cooked food just because of not being able to cook very much at a time. If I were to feed nothing but cooked home-made I would be looking at having to cook over 60 lbs of meat and organs every time I'm restocking. I came to the conclusion that if I really wanted to do that I would need my oven plus 4 or 5 (or more) counter top pressure cookers. 

 
The good: Sebastian seems to like it and now won't eat his canned food.  
  Which means I'm going to have to place an order this week and made a bigger batch.

Also, I will likely need to buy powdered eggshell / eggshell calcium. I don't use up enough eggs to generate the amount of eggshell needed. Anything I should particularly look for when buying this kind of product?
I'm glad Sebastian likes it! 

The only thing with the eggshell is to be sure it is finely ground so that the measurement given in the recipes is accurate for the needed amount of calcium. I know a lot of people here get their eggshell from knowwhatyoufeed.com. 
 
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Hi GoHolistic - Thought I'd add my 2 cents into making these recipes that address your concerns.  First, this is very energy concentrated food.  You probably won't need to feed Sebastian 6 oz per day.  My cats range in age, weight and activity, but my youngest and VERY active cat eats at most 5 oz a day.  The older, more lazy, eat at most 4 oz and are still a bit overweight.  

I also had the concern you had about mixing the supplements to cover all parts of the food.  I wouldn't worry about it so much if only one cat were eating a full batch - they would get the vitamins at some point, but my batches are split between four cats.  What if the B vitamins concentrate and absorb into the meat before thorough mixing?  So I do two things.  First, I only make batches of about 3 pounds at a time.  This is easier on my oven and less meat to try to stir.  Yes, it means cooking more often, but it works for me.  That's my opportunity to switch meats.  Second, I break up the supplements.  I mix in the taurine and eggshell, according to amount of meat, separately from the other stuff, sprinkling in a little at a time while stirring.  I then prepare the other supplements in a small container with a lid, doubling the amount (as if preparing for 10 pounds of meat).  That way I'm dealing with full capsules of the E and B.  That gets shaken in the container to mix thoroughly.  I weigh the total supplement, divide by 10, multiply by meat pounds (I ignore liver for this calculation), and then portion that amount into my cooked meat, mixing carefully.  It's a tiny amount.  I don't know if the result is any different than throwing it all in at once, but somehow it seems by doing it in separate stages, it's mixed more evenly into the meat.  The extra supplements in the container get saved for next time, keeping track of how much is needed per pound of meat. 

By the way, adding back extra water tends to be different each time.  Sometimes I'll cook a roast and it seems to produce volumes of liquid, other times not as much.  So water added at preparation varies.  Sometimes what seemed quite liquid-y before freezing needs a little water added at serving. 

I get my eggshells from Alnutrin.  I guess that's the same website Mschauer mentioned. 

Glad it's working for Sebastian. 
 

goholistic

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Thank you both @mschauer and @LCat4! I will have to read through your comments carefully and mull them over. Our TCVM vet wanted Sebastian to be on a multivitamin over and above commercial food (at the time of our chat). I'm not sure if this would still apply with the home-cooked food. I never did find a product that I was happy with.
Glad it's working for Sebastian. 
We'll see. He threw it all up this morning. 
  This cat doesn't know what's good for him. 
 
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mschauer

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Thank you both @mschauer and @LCat4! I will have to read through your comments carefully and mull them over. Our TCVM vet wanted Sebastian to be on a multivitamin over and above commercial food (at the time of our chat). I'm not sure if this would still apply with the home-cooked food. I never did find a product that I was happy with.
I used to work hard at making sure all my posted recipes didn't show any nutrient values below the AAFCO minimums but even while I was doing I couldn't help thinking how silly it was. I use the AAFCO, and sometimes the FEDIAF, recommendations as guidelines but I don't really believe that it is necessary to meet the minimums; at least not for some nutrients. And of course as I explained above some nutrients will be present in larger quantities than shown in the analysis due to incomplete nutrients information for some ingredients. 

Writing about choline has made me rethink the B complex issue though. B complex supplements are vary greatly in both which B vitamins they provide and in the quantity of each vitamin provided. That's why I specify a specific brand in my recipes. But I'd like to find a brand that is readily available, in the US anyway, that has a better balance of B vitamins than the Jarrow. Specifically I'd like to find one that provides more choline. Some B complex supplements don't contain any choline.

Anyway, thanks for posting. You've made me think about some improvements I can make to my analysis output.
 

goholistic

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I had time to read over everything more carefully.

@mschauer:

Thank you for clarifying how to calculate the fat content. I see that some are a little over 20%. Hopefully that will be okay for Sebastian. In regards to the turkey recipe, I was previously using turkey thigh cubes from Hare Today. However, the ground turkey thighs would save me A LOT of time with bigger batches. I know that ground meats aren't as good as meat chunks. Do you see it as a problem to use ground turkey thighs instead of cubed turkey thighs? Would it change the recipe at all?  
  I hope to try the full 5 lbs. next time and see how that goes.

It sounds like you have really considered everything when it comes to the nutrient analysis, and I know you've been doing this for a long time. I suppose my specific requests for these recipes were kind of limiting as well. Is there anything you might suggest to make the recipes more well-rounded? For example, adding another organ meat from the same protein? Or using Alnutrin instead of the individual supplements? Or perhaps a variation of @LDG's homemade supplement that she uses for raw and added to each serving container (instead of the whole batch)? 


@LCat4:

The amount you feed your cats is helpful information. I wouldn't really know and only figured 6 oz. since that seems to be the usual amount for commercial canned. I'm glad I'm not the only one OCD about mixing the supplements evenly!  
  I see how you're doing it. Either way it is still going to seem like such a small amount relative to the amount of food. 
  I'll see how it goes when I make 5 lbs. (baby steps).

Oh, and thanks to you both for the source on eggshells. I will likely purchase from there since it seems to be trustworthy source.
 
I used to work hard at making sure all my posted recipes didn't show any nutrient values below the AAFCO minimums but even while I was doing I couldn't help thinking how silly it was. I use the AAFCO, and sometimes the FEDIAF, recommendations as guidelines but I don't really believe that it is necessary to meet the minimums; at least not for some nutrients. And of course as I explained above some nutrients will be present in larger quantities than shown in the analysis due to incomplete nutrients information for some ingredients. 

Writing about choline has made me rethink the B complex issue though. B complex supplements are vary greatly in both which B vitamins they provide and in the quantity of each vitamin provided. That's why I specify a specific brand in my recipes. But I'd like to find a brand that is readily available, in the US anyway, that has a better balance of B vitamins than the Jarrow. Specifically I'd like to find one that provides more choline. Some B complex supplements don't contain any choline.

Anyway, thanks for posting. You've made me think about some improvements I can make to my analysis output.
I think it's smart to specify a brand in the recipe so that you can use those exact values. The problem with the B-complexes is that they reek! I give Boo and Caesar 1/12 capsule of Solgar B-Complex 100 and the smell is nauseating. They won't go near it. I have to put the 1/12 in a small gel cap and pill them with it. I should be giving it to Sebastian, too, since our vet suggested it, but I don't have any more room in any of the current 5 gel caps he gets daily. 
  Anyway, I would imagine the kitties would be able to pick up the smell in the food, even with such a small amount. Another TCS member tried using a different brand than the Jarrow and her cats wouldn't touch the food with the B-complex in it.
 
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mschauer

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I had time to read over everything more carefully.

@mschauer:

Thank you for clarifying how to calculate the fat content. I see that some are a little over 20%. Hopefully that will be okay for Sebastian. In regards to the turkey recipe, I was previously using turkey thigh cubes from Hare Today. However, the ground turkey thighs would save me A LOT of time with bigger batches. I know that ground meats aren't as good as meat chunks. Do you see it as a problem to use ground turkey thighs instead of cubed turkey thighs? Would it change the recipe at all?  
  I hope to try the full 5 lbs. next time and see how that goes.
No, using ground instead of chunks wouldn't change the analysis. Theoretically oxidation will affect the nutrient content of ground more than chunks but in my opinion the difference is minimal.
 
It sounds like you have really considered everything when it comes to the nutrient analysis, and I know you've been doing this for a long time. I suppose my specific requests for these recipes were kind of limiting as well. Is there anything you might suggest to make the recipes more well-rounded? For example, adding another organ meat from the same protein? Or using Alnutrin instead of the individual supplements? 
I strongly recommend using as many organ meats as you can get your hands on.  Depending on the organ they can contain nutrients in greater concentrations than what is found in muscle meat. Our guiding principle in creating our home-made foods is to try to recreate a mouse as closely as possible and a mouse has organs other than liver. I use beef heart, liver and kidney in my beef and pork recipes and chicken liver, heart and gizzards in my chicken and turkey recipes. I don't show other than liver in the recipes I post because so people don't have access to them. I do insist that using liver is a requirement. Not using it is just getting too far away from that guiding principle. 

Alnutrin is a great and easy to use supplement. I've created and analysed cooked recipes using it and it works out quite well. Really the only advantages of using individual supplements over using a prepared mix is cost and possibly to get finer control over some nutrients that may be of interest to you.
 Or perhaps a variation of @LDG's homemade supplement that she uses for raw and added to each serving container (instead of the whole batch)?  
Do you mean adding the supplements at feeding time rather than before freezing? If so, the supplements can always be added at feeding time. Some people prefer to do that in the belief that the nutrients might degrade when frozen.
I think it's smart to specify a brand in the recipe so that you can use those exact values. The problem with the B-complexes is that they reek! I give Boo and Caesar 1/12 capsule of Solgar B-Complex 100 and the smell is nauseating. They won't go near it. I have to put the 1/12 in a small gel cap and pill them with it. I should be giving it to Sebastian, too, since our vet suggested it, but I don't have any more room in any of the current 5 gel caps he gets daily.  
  Anyway, I would imagine the kitties would be able to pick up the smell in the food, even with such a small amount. Another TCS member tried using a different brand than the Jarrow and her cats wouldn't touch the food with the B-complex in it.
I started using the Jarrow because it claims to be lower odor. But when I started using it I didn't think the odor was really all that less than what I was using previously. Of course now I don't remember now what I was using previously... 

But I've been looking at other B complex supplements and the others all seem to have something about them that I don't like. They all, other than the Jarrow, provide large quantities of the B vitamins making them difficult to use to get more of a specific B vitamin without getting way more than needed of others. Oh well, more to ponder.
 
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goholistic

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At first I thought, while don't I get through one full rotation using the liver organ to see how Sebastian does and then perhaps I can come back here later and ask for help with recipes incorporating additional organs? That would be 15 weeks from now (5 proteins at 3 weeks each). I asked myself, "Why wait?" I agree that the more organs there are the better. I guess it's because I'm nervous about introducing new foods to Sebastian since he always seemed so sensitive to change. I don't know if organs are considered "rich" or if it's really just the fat that bothers him.
I'm just trying to keep as must strain off his GI system as possible.

I can certainly get other organs. I mainly order from Hare Today since they are only one state over from me.
  • In turkey, I can get liver, heart, and gizzards.
  • In beef, I can get liver, heart, kidney, lung, and ground pancreas. (I see your cooked beef recipe contains liver, heart, and kidney as you already mentioned, so I could use that recipe.)
  • In duck, I can get liver, heart, and gizzards.
  • In pork, I can get liver and heart.
I already use HT's ground rabbit organs for the rabbit recipe in place of chicken heart and liver.

What's it like working with whole heart? I've heard it contains a lot of tendons and what not and can get pretty tough when cooked. I'm thinking if I want to use whole organs and whole meat cuts (which I do prefer), then I will likely have to invest in some kind of grinder. I refuse to be in the kitchen all day chopping up meat and organs.

I'm kind of rambling here, and sorry to take over the thread. If I'm going to do this, I want to do it right. That usually results in a lot of questions. (I was one of those kids always asking "why?" LOL. 
).  I hope others tuning in are learning with me.
 
Do you mean adding the supplements at feeding time rather than before freezing? If so, the supplements can always be added at feeding time. Some people prefer to do that in the belief that the nutrients might degrade when frozen.
Yes. But, at the moment, I would have no idea what to use, how much to use at feeding time, etc. etc. I would really have to sit down and use my noggin. 

I started using the Jarrow because it claims to be lower odor. But when I started using it I didn't think the odor was really all that less than what I was using previously. Of course now I don't remember now what I was using previously... 
I can only say that Jarrow is significantly lower in odor than Solgar since I have both.
 
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goholistic

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Gah, just missed the window to edit my post above.
 
  • In pork, I can get liver and heart.
I see the pork recipe in this thread does contain heart and liver, so I could use that, too. 


So it seems I would only need to incorporate additional organs in the turkey and duck recipes if I wanted to go that route.
 
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mschauer

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What's it like working with whole heart? I've heard it contains a lot of tendons and what not and can get pretty tough when cooked. I'm thinking if I want to use whole organs and whole meat cuts (which I do prefer), then I will likely have to invest in some kind of grinder. I refuse to be in the kitchen all day chopping up meat and organs.
Heart is very dense but other than that it is just like other muscle meat. Maybe you are thinking of gizzard? They have a lot of what I guess might be tendons. I use a grinder but I don't think they would be hard to hand cut. But I'm with you on the chopping thing. 
 I'm kind of rambling here, and sorry to take over the thread. If I'm going to do this, I want to do it right. That usually results in a lot of questions. (I was one of those kids always asking "why?" LOL.  
).  I hope others tuning in are learning with me.
Well you're certainly making me think about a lot of things. 
 
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