Raising food for dogs


Feb 23, 2019
High Desert, California
Hello, I am an aspiring farmer and am making attempts toward making my own dog food at home. What animals would be best to raise on the farm as an effective and efficient protein source for the dogs. We already have ducks, but the recipes I've seen online make it feel like one full size duck will only last 4 days of dog food per dog, and that would deplete any flock too quickly. People have suggested rabbits and we are working towards raising sheep. Would either of these be good sources of protein? Which would be a better, more cost effective source? What is the best way to butcher and process the meat? Are there any supplements you suggest adding?

Are there any particular breeds of sheep, poultry or rabbit that are better suited for this type of meat production? Currently we have Muscovy ducks because they are a bigger size duck with a lower fat content. And we plan on getting Dorper sheep because of our local climate and lower maintenance requirements.


Coffee Club
Premium member
Dec 29, 2015
Mossyrock, WA
It is commendable to want the best for your dog but to be hones few are able to have complete balanced diets look up Barf dog diet on google please


Crossing the Road
5 Years
Sep 29, 2014
New Zealand
Coturnix quail could be one option as they grow so quickly - by 6 weeks they are at full size and you can raise a lot in a small space.

The most important thing is variety. Pets need at least 3 different protein sources each week to ensure a balance of nutrients. Raising your own herbivores means you'll have access to green tripe which is awesome for dogs and means you don't have to cook vegetables to feed them. Bone broths are great too.

Our dog is raw fed and we are lucky to have access to lots of human grade raw feeding products in my country. She really loves her food and she's so fit and healthy.

Ms Biddy

One chicken short of crazy
Dec 4, 2017
My Coop
My Coop
Quail is a great idea as are rabbits. Some raw feeders raise chickens and utilize them at various ages. I know it's a bigger commitment, but in terms of quantity a beef steer provides large amounts of trachea, liver, kidneys, green tripe, meat and bones. We then trade beef for other things like lamb and pork.

We fed balanced raw, 80-10-10, for my dog her first 6 or 8 months. In the long term I couldn't keep up with all the prep, containers, and freezer space requirements. I'm very glad I did it though. If I were to do it again, I'd join a co-op and get a complete grind for convenience. Then I wouldn't feel pressure to always have pre-made perfectly balanced meals on hand.

Claire A

Oct 2, 2019
As others have said quail is a great option and if you raise quail you may want to consider mealworm.

Mealworms contain more protein per pound than beef, they also are high in many vitamins and high levels of beneficial mono- and poly-unsaturated fats. Essential amino acids - omega 3 and 6 etc..

Boiled quail feet create a great broth that is naturally rich in glucosamine and chondroitin, both known to support the joint health and mobility of dogs.

Add quail eggs for calcium. Also, add nettles and kale to complete the mix for all the dog's vitamin needs.

This is a great resource that breaks down what a dog needs - all these can be found in the mix mentioned above. http://dels.nas.edu/resources/static-assets/banr/miscellaneous/dog_nutrition_final_fix.pdf


Feb 3, 2019
Whole prey is a complete diet but you want at least three species. If the dog eats the entire animal no supplements are needed. Quails, rats, guinea pigs and rabbits are probably the most efficient stock to raise for the purpose. Just chop them a bit at first and eventually let them have whole carcasses. Its what they eat in the wild and their jaws are built to process whole prey.

If you use sheep it is trickier to provide the nutrient balance as you have to provide muscle meat, organs and bone.
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