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Raw Food Storage Question

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Yes, me again.. with yet another question. SHOCKER! :jawdrop: In the extreme likelihood that I will be picking my boy up on Saturday, and will be mixing my raw food this afternoon, I have some questions regarding storage and adding extra supplements. I will be using Bitr and Alnutrin. I have bought the proper meat for both mixtures, but I read on CatNutrition.org that if you are freezing to use at a later time, toss in 4000 mg of additional Taurine to make up for what may get lost during storage. They also say it is also not a bad idea to sprinkle extra Taurine from a capsule on the food as you're serving it two or three times a week, just to be certain your cat is getting plenty of this critical amino acid. Thoughts on this?

I also wanted to ask what the longest time frame is that I should be freezing and storing the raw food. I have enough meat to last about 3-4 months, but I certainly don't have to mix it all at once. Thoughts on this?

Lastly, I have read about how some store the food in jars and then defrost in the refrigerator what is needed for that day. I however was thinking of portioning out and storing in freezer bags so that the food can lay flat and take up less room in my already crowded freezer (I also make my own food for my birds--and soon for my dogs!!). Is there any disadvantage to doing it this way?

Thank you all so very much. I wish I could do something other than say "thank you"..as I would be so lost without this very helpful group. And my Arlo thanks you for giving his mommy the best advice and giving him an excellent start in life!
 

Xandria

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Questions are good!!

The additional Taurine is ONLY if you are making home made cat food using the recipe outlined. With BitR & Alnutrin you do not need to add additional Taurine. I only add lysine twice a day.

I think storing frozen cat food up to two months is okay, but others may want to weigh in on this.

The baggies vs jars is a personal choice really. For me, personally, I don't like to use plastics and it seems rather messy (scooping from a jar is easy). But I understand if your freezer is not conducive to using jars.

Here's my freezer (DO NOT USE PORK THOUGH -- I learned after that it wasn't very good for Sphynx tummies):

 
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@Xandria ; are those the small 4 oz jars? I think I may just do that. Does seem so much easier for defrosting. Do you actually do the process to vacuum seal them or just use "as is"? Also, how long does that size jar take to defrost in the refrigerator? Thank you for the picture and info!! So helpful, as always!
 

Kate

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I mix up a batch of raw for my kitties about once a week or so (4lbs of meat mixed with BiTR to feed 2 cats). I have a whole bunch of 1 cup glass containers that I just portion the food into and freeze. Then I can just take out the containers I need for the day. It usually takes about 12 hours to full defrost in the fridge. I keep about 2 days worth of food out at a time, but never leave food in the fridge thawed for longer than 2 days.
I used to mix up the food and then freeze into silicone muffin pans, then pop out the frozen disks and store in a freezer bag. This might work as a way to save space? The disks thaw fairly quickly as well.
I would think things in the freezer should be ok up to 3-4 months as long as they are sealed tight, and aren't showing signs of freezer burn.

@Xandria - you are so organized, and your freezer looks spotless :)
 

Xandria

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These are the jars I use: http://www.bernardin.ca/pages/product_page/47.php?pid=41

They are wide mouth, 250 ml, holding about a .5 lb which is 8 oz.

I just seal as is (nothing fancy).

It takes about 18 hours to fully defrost. I go so far as to ensure that my fridge is indeed cold enough that thawing won't introduce any issues; 4 °C (40 °F).

@Kate, thank you. Your system was perfectly timed. My secretary is going to try the BitR mix but also needs something that she can portion out ahead of time for her two kitties. So I told her about your muffin pan idea and she thought it rocked too!
 

Calicocious

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Ice cube trays work too. I did that for a while. Each cube is about 1 oz. I used trays that were meant for baby food so they had lids. Then I'd put it in gallon ziplock bags. To defrost you can take out a days worth of cubes and put in a container in the fridge. It'd thaw overnight.
If you do it that way add a little less water. It'll hold its shape better. When I served it I'd add a bit of warm water to it to make up for what I had left out when mixing it.
 
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