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Old November 12th, 2017, 07:44 AM
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Can I feed turkey neck to JD?

He's only 6 pounds. Would a turkey vertebra be too large for him? I'm not so interested in using it for food, but he has bad teeth and gnawing seems to help him. With Thanksgiving coming up, I was thinking about saving out the neck, or part of it, for his chewing pleasure...but is he likely to hurt his jaw, or maybe get too much bone from something the size of a turkey vertebra?
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Old November 12th, 2017, 10:44 AM
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Good morning Hazel:

I would be trying the turkey neck to see if he'll eat it. What I would do is cut the neck into 3 or 4 pieces - depending on how long it is - and put each piece into a small zip lock bag, so they can be either refrigerated or frozen for future use.

When it comes time to give him a piece, thaw it out and then place the bag with the neck piece in it, into a container of hot tap water to warm it up to body temperature. "Do not use microwave". It's too hard to control the heat and it also starts the cooking which destroys the nutritional value of the neck.

I use chicken necks when I can get them. I use the necks out of Cornish Hens because they come with the bird still. Chicken necks don't come with the birds anymore, neither do the giblets. BB loves the necks from Cornish hens. I think they might be a little softer than chicken and smaller.

BB, our Manx kitty cat, is the only one of our three who eats them anyway.
We had a vet years and years ago who believed in feeding necks of birds to cats, and oxtails to dogs, 2 or three times a week, under supervision. This was for teeth maintenance and a well deserved treat. The sinews and the bone have the effect of a toothbrush to remove plaque and clean the teeth similar to flossing.

Our turkey necks end up going into broth to be mixed into the cat food when I make it. I think I'll try the turkey necks one of these days. I have to make up food in the next week or so, and it will be turkey.

Hope this helps a bit.
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Old November 12th, 2017, 10:59 AM
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I wonder why the giblets don't come with the birds anymore , was going to give the heart and liver to my dogs . I was thinking the same about cutting the turkey neck into pieces too. Reg.
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Old November 12th, 2017, 05:22 PM
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So I won't need to smash or cut each vertebra into smaller pieces, Reg? Just let him gnaw on it like with chicken neck pieces? I suspect one turkey vertebra at a time would be more than plenty, and I'm hoping he likes it, cuz then we'll have lots of chewing material

I wish giblets came with chickens--but as it is, I satisfy my craving for organ meats by buying the occasional package of chicken livers. Wish I could get hearts and gizzards, too, but that's a turkey sort of treat these days...so once or twice a year.
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Old November 12th, 2017, 11:03 PM
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Hazel:

Been giving your situation some more thought. Because JD is only 6 pounds - didn't realize he was that small - maybe it would be best to give him 2 vertebra at a time to start and see how he handles it.

Basically what you're wanting to do is stimulate the chewing action on the meat and sinews that connect the bone, to help clean the teeth, exercise the jaw, and stimulate the blood flow through the gums. This in turn will help to relieve infection around the teeth and strengthen his gums.

You really don't want him to be over indulging on bone because it will have a tendency to harden up the stool when he has a bowel movement due to the Calcium content.

I will be making turkey later this week and I will try a turkey neck as well with BB.

I'm going to check with our butcher to find out why they have quit including the giblets with the chickens. I did ask this question a few years back, but I can't remember what the answer was for sure. I think it is a health issue, but not sure. But we do have the ability to buy heart, liver, and gizzards separately in the stores here.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 07:51 AM
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You can get chicken heart and gizzards separately? I'm envious! They only sell the chicken livers here as far as I know--but I'll have hubby check on his next grocery run.

Yeah, JD is a little runt. We did up his food a bit, so he's usually 6 to 6.2 pounds (he used to be about 5.8 or 5.9). That seemed to help both is overall health and the quality of his fur. If I let him get more than 6.2, though, he starts getting sort of paunchy... So he's just a little guy.

If he does get too much bone the first time and his stool hardens up, can I give him a little pumpkin for a day or so to help him out? Or is pumpkin something that cats can't handle well?
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