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Old 05-19-2011, 02:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Feeding Rabbit-RAW diet

I breed rabbits for dog and human food. Just started a few months ago. My first motivation was immune issues with my GSD.

I have been reading a lot on BARF, Raw, and prey model diets. I think I am more unsure of what to do now than before. I know an occasional raw meal isn't going to hurt a dog, and rabbit seems to be more of a complete food for them, if you include the organs. I know people that feed the entire rabbit, head, skin, fur, interanl organs.

For the sake of this discussion I now feed TOTW Prarie Canine formula, but I am feeding raw a few times a week.

I have been reading a lot on the bacterial concerns with feeding raw chicken--salmonella is a huge concern. My question is this: Rabbits also can carry salmonella, so is the risk the same as with raw chicken? Other than the no-brainer concerns of "regular" bad bacteria overgrowth if the food isn't sanitary to begin with...

Any comments, anectdotes, or experiences? Thanks
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Old 05-19-2011, 03:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
I have been reading a lot on the bacterial concerns with feeding raw chicken--salmonella is a huge concern. My question is this: Rabbits also can carry salmonella, so is the risk the same as with raw chicken? Other than the no-brainer concerns of "regular" bad bacteria overgrowth if the food isn't sanitary to begin with...
My guess would be "no" the rabbit wouldn't be as nasty as the chicken simply because of the way the chicken is processed. Unless things have changed, I read several years back that the chickens are dumped into a vat of water to rinse them off after processing, but it is called "fecal soup" by the workers because that is what it is after a few chickens have been dumped in there. Hope that isn't what you were calling the "no brainer" or I wasted my energy typing that.

Unless your dog is sick or has a compromised immune system some way then you really don't have to worry about salmonella or e coli as the dogs system can take care of those bacteria. I would ask other raw feeders about feeding the legs with bones since feeding support bones is not recommended as they tend to splinter.

You might try joining and asking here: K9Nutrition : Dog Nutrition and Health
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Old 05-19-2011, 03:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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My raw fed dogs eat whole rabbits, sans the fur.


Myths About Raw: Will the bacteria in raw meat hurt my dog?
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Old 05-19-2011, 04:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you both for the information and the link.

The no brainer I was talking about with the bacteria danger was things like: clean knives, quick kill, thoroughly and quickly cooling the carcass, and not cross contaminating working surfaces. Those kind of food handling safetly things.
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Old 05-19-2011, 04:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I did read that link and found it very interesting. The salmonella issue with me is minor--so far. Because I keep reading contradictory opinions. My main issue is that I have a three year old. I read on one site that talked about high levels of salmonella bacteria in the raw-fed dog's fecal matter.

I scoop my yard every other day, and sometimes every day depending. But I know no matter how well you scoop there's residue left over. I have a three year old daughter so the idea she might come into indirect contact with high levels of salmonella in our yard concerns me.

She helps me with scooping the yard and emptying the rabbit waste buckets. So far she's had no ill effects.
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Old 05-19-2011, 05:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I did read that link and found it very interesting. The salmonella issue with me is minor--so far. Because I keep reading contradictory opinions. My main issue is that I have a three year old. I read on one site that talked about high levels of salmonella bacteria in the raw-fed dog's fecal matter.

I scoop my yard every other day, and sometimes every day depending. But I know no matter how well you scoop there's residue left over. I have a three year old daughter so the idea she might come into indirect contact with high levels of salmonella in our yard concerns me.

She helps me with scooping the yard and emptying the rabbit waste buckets. So far she's had no ill effects.
They shed salmonella when kibble fed too. I don't know if I would let her help me pick up waste or not. Maybe you could teach the dog to use one specific area and keep her away from it.
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Old 05-19-2011, 05:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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is your yard big enough to section off a piece with some fencing for the dog's bathroom area? keep it contained in one area? You can also buy yard disinfectors.
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Old 05-19-2011, 06:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thank you both. Yes I can get a kennel, and we are planning on doing so.
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Old 05-22-2011, 11:48 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
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My raw fed dogs eat whole rabbits, sans the fur.


Myths About Raw: Will the bacteria in raw meat hurt my dog?
My friends dog had a very freshly, cat killed, rabbit yesterday...still warm! She loved it
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Old 05-22-2011, 12:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EduCanine View Post
I did read that link and found it very interesting. The salmonella issue with me is minor--so far. Because I keep reading contradictory opinions. My main issue is that I have a three year old. I read on one site that talked about high levels of salmonella bacteria in the raw-fed dog's fecal matter.

I scoop my yard every other day, and sometimes every day depending. But I know no matter how well you scoop there's residue left over. I have a three year old daughter so the idea she might come into indirect contact with high levels of salmonella in our yard concerns me.

She helps me with scooping the yard and emptying the rabbit waste buckets. So far she's had no ill effects.
A dog will not thrive on a rabbit only diet. The rabbit meat lacks an amino acid, so if it is to be the only source of protein for the dog, it would not be the best choice. Absolutely it is good to feed them, and can even make up a good portion of their diet, but not all.

I have fed my dogs raw for coming close to 10 years now. I have a 4 year old son as well. I have never had any issues because of it, nor has my son. However if you are that worried about it, set up and teach your dog to go potty in a seperate area that can be closed off.
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Old 05-22-2011, 01:41 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Rabbit starvation
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Old 05-23-2011, 01:30 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Hmmm... I'm wondering why you would need to "quickly cool the carcass" and would you still need to gut the rabbit first? I'm interested in raising meat rabbits too.
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