Some of you may recall my incredible difficulties trying to get my tpoo to eat. He would eat something for a few days to a week and then start refusing it. The longest he went with one food was Stella & Chewy Lil bites, and that was only because I fed them dry, left them out, and when he was starving he would eat.
That's not a way to live.
So I started experimenting with home cooked food and added Dr. Harvey's to it. While he ate it for a bit, his poop was much more, and after a few weeks gave up on that too. Then I remembered what my mother told me about how she fed my tpoo when I was growing up. At that time, she would get half a Gainesburger (remember those?) and the other half of her meal was whatever protein we were eating. She would get it after we finished. If we didn't have a protein, mom had little bundles of chicken livers, hearts, and gizzards in the freezer for us to cook up for her.
A lightbulb went off.... People food might be the answer!!!! I noticed he always ate well when at my dad's for dinner, though it was mostly people food. But he loved it.
So I started by broiling some chicken thighs, adding water to the broiling pan to catch the drippings and make some juice, defatting and freezing that juice in 1Tbsp ice cube trays. I then measured out an ounce of cooked thigh, and gave him 2/3 of Primal freeze dried, using the drippings to wet it down. He has been wolfing down that meal for nearly 2 months now. I vary the Primal based upon what we're eating. If we have beef, I'll give him primal beef with some drippings. I mix Primal duck, rabbit, and chicken when I feed the thighs. Primal recommends rotating proteins. I further refined it by putting the primal nuggets in a spice grinder to almost pulverize it so it becomes part of the people food and is fully hydrated with the juices I've frozen.
So my recipe to date:
6 bone in, skin on chicken thighs - put on a rack in a pan that can hold at least a cup of water in the bottom and broil them with the water in the pan. I use some of the water I boiled the breast in
1 full chicken breast boiled in a little water so I could use it for the thighs (I'm trying to cut back on fat/calorie content)
poultry seasoning (yes, you read that right - he started devouring it after I gave him some with poultry seasoning). There is no salt, pepper, onion, or garlic in it.
After it's all cooked we remove all the skin, remaining fat and bone, and weigh it. We also weigh the cooked breast.
My husband (mostly) dutifully sits at the table with a scissor and cuts the meat into toy poodle sized pieces
It takes a while and then we then mix them all together.
I weigh out either .9 or 1 ounce of the meat mixture, put it in a snack bag, and freeze. After the broiling liquid has cooled and been defatted, I put 1 Tbsp in each cube of an ice cube tray and freeze. We end up with nearly 3 week's worth.
At dinner time I pull out 2 Primal nuggets (about 60-70% of his daily requirement) and pulverize it in the spice grinder. While I'm doing that, the frozen chicken mix with a cube of the liquid is in the microwave.
I have gone from Gilligan running away at meal time, or just snorting at it, to him come running into the kitchen when he hears the spice grinder. When I put his food in the microwave, he stands in front of it sniffing. He digs at my legs when I combine it all together.
IT'S A MIRACLE.
It has taken me about 18 months to find something he will eat with gusto and regularly. My only concerns are fat and calorie content. I'm thinking of adding a bit more breast to the meat mixture to cut down on both. He's currently about 9 pounds and the vet said he should be closer to 8. The goal was to find something he would eat and then start dealing with fat and calories. Technically, he should only have about 160 calories a day. The Primal makes up anywhere from 80-100 calories, depending on the protein being fed (and why I try to give more duck & rabbit)
I have refrained from posting about this for nearly 2 months. Why? Because every time I though I found something he would eat and posted about it, he would stop. I figure that it's been long enough now.
Please everyone, cross all body parts for me that it continues to work
I have to thank all the people on this board who helped me through this feeding nightmare