This post is going up early, but it’s because I’ve got a recommendation on a new beef supplier, and he just put out a call for orders today, for a January 30 delivery. If I like his product, he’ll take over as my primary beef supplier, although I’ll still pick up a case of Blue Ridge Beef Natural Mix from time to time, because the Natural Mix has green tripe. The new guy has a beef mix that is ground beef, heart, and liver, making it very similar TQDF and BRB analogues, but without green tripe. Additionally, Amy’s found a source for 60 pound cases of beef heart at a price that’s well under what I would be paying through our normal supplier.
From today to the March Top Quality Dog Food distribution is 52 days. In that time, I will need 258 pounds of raw meaty bones, 148 pounds of muscle meat, 25 pounds of liver, 13 pounds of kidney, and 13 pounds of beef lung. TQDF has a distribution on February 15, which is when I will pick up organs and some variety meats to last me through March.
This write up will only include the raw meaty bones I actually purchase in February for cost calculations — January’s raw meaty bones were covered in the January order post, and March will be covered, well, in March.
1 sheep rib cage (still haven’t decided if I will use it)
1 whole turkey (about 9 of ground raw meaty bones when processed)
6 pounds of chicken backs
30 pounds of Blue Ridge Beef
16 pounds of beef heart
8 pounds of turkey heart
10 pounds of pork heart
13 pounds of beef liver
6 pounds of pork kidney
8 pounds of beef lung
I will need to order 84 pounds of muscle meat, 12 pounds of liver, 7 pounds of kidney, and 5 pounds of lung to make it to the March 14 TQDF distribution, plus approximately 40 pounds of raw meaty bones every week until then (I go to Mayflower on Tuesdays).
The food order:
30 pounds of duck necks (1 case from Mayflower Poultry)
160 pounds of chicken backs (4 cases from Mayflower Poultry)
6 pounds of TQDF beef lung
10 pounds of TQDF beef liver
10 pounds of TQDF beef kidney
10 pounds of TQDF pork hearts
10 pounds of TQDF turkey hearts
30 pounds of beef mix
60 pounds of beef heart
This gives me five protein sources: duck, chicken, beef, pork, and turkey. The 60 pound case of beef heart will be split between February and March. The duck necks provide some RMB variety from chicken backs, and in March I’ll pick up a case of meaty pork neck bones to do the same.
The January CSA pickup didn’t have any organs available, so I’m hoping to pick some up at the February pickup; they usually have lamb organs available. Last spring I got a huge box of lamb hearts, livers, and kidneys from them and if I can score it again this year, that will be fantastic.
The cost breakdown:
30 pounds of duck necks: $37.50
160 pounds of chicken backs: $88
6 pounds of beef lung: $10.50
10 pounds of beef liver: $16.50
10 pounds of beef kidney: $16
10 pounds of pork hearts: $19.95
10 pounds of turkey hearts: $18.50
30 pounds of beef mix: $37.50
60 pounds of beef heart: $70
Now that I have inventory on hand, the savings are starting to roll up: $315 for February vs $342 in January. It’s not a huge amount, but it will improve as the year goes on. $315 spread over 52 days is about $6.05/day (compare to January’s $10.37/day). It’s around $1.72/day each for Jackson, Pike, and Loki, and $0.86/day for Clover (January’s figures were $3/day for each Ridgeback and $1.50/day for Clover). My cost per pound is still hovering just a smidge over a dollar per pound, at $1.03.
Almost four years ago, when I told Nathan I wanted to take Jackson to a full raw diet, he asked that I keep the cost per day to under $3.00. I’m doing pretty darn good!