As a raw feeder who’s experienced the benefits of feeding my two Boxer mixes raw meaty bones (RMBs) on a regular basis, I believe dogs should be offered whole RMBs such as poultry necks several times per week.
That is, of course, if the dogs have healthy teeth and gums.
Canine digestive systems are highly acidic and designed to effortlessly break down RMBs. So there’s no need to worry about their digestibility. See my post, how to safely feed a dog raw bones.
Here’s what makes poultry necks such as turkey, chicken or duck necks so beneficial to our dogs’ health:
Benefits of raw poultry necks for dogs
Raw poultry necks such as turkey, chicken or duck necks fall into the category of raw meaty bones (RMBs). Without them, a raw diet cannot be considered a balanced one. That’s because raw bones:
- Contain the calcium & phosphorus necessary for healthy bones and strong muscles
- Exercise the jaws
- Clean the teeth
Poultry necks in particular are chock full of glucosamine and chondroitin, which are important for joint health and a wonderful means of preventing arthritis if fed on a regular basis.
Tip: Raw poultry necks can also be used to make bone broth. I shared a recipe for homemade bone broth here.
Feeding your dog raw poultry necks: general rule of thumb
A raw meaty bone shouldn’t be much larger than a dog’s mouth, especially if they have the tendency of gulping food, which is why different poultry necks are good for different size dogs.
Chicken necks are a good option for smaller dogs and puppies, while duck necks and turkey necks work well for medium to large dogs. Duck necks are about the same size and length as female turkey necks. Male turkey necks are thicker.
Here’s Maltese mix Rocky tasting a raw chicken neck:
Don’t be surprised if a raw poultry neck disappears with only 3 to 4 crunches, that’s really all it takes for a dog to eat one of those. Do make sure though that a few crunches happen and that the neck isn’t gulped down in one piece. If your dog has a tendency of swallowing food whole, hold the raw neck on one end, just like I did in the picture above with Rocky.
Doing so will prompt your dog to take several bites instead of a huge one. It also teaches polite behavior around food in general.
How to feed raw poultry necks to your dog
Remember to always feed necks raw, never cooked. Raw bones are soft and pliable meaning they won’t splinter, whereas cooked bones become bristle and can break and splinter with the potential of causing injuries both in your dog’s mouth and intestines.
You could feed the neck outside on a grassy area, but depending on the weather and your location, this may not always be feasible.
When feeding it inside, I would either put a towel under my dogs’ bowls that I would then toss into the wash after they were done eating, or feed them the raw meaty bone in their crates without the addition of any bedding. Both options meant clean up was a breeze since I’d just have to wash the towel or wipe down the crate tray.
How my dogs Missy & Buzz eat a raw meal including a duck neck
I originally recorded this video a few years ago to show that my dogs Missy & Buzz aren’t aggressive although they’re fed a raw meat diet. Believe it or not, but that is actually a stereotype!
I’m sharing it here because it shows the pups calmly eating their RMBs (in this case: duck necks from Darwin’s) without any gulping, all while respecting my commands as well as my hand in their bowls.
Where to buy raw poultry necks for your dog
Most local grocery stores carry turkey necks, and so does Walmart. If you can’t find chicken or duck necks at a local farm or butcher, you can simply order them from raw feeding online retailers such as Darwin’s. I used to buy duck necks from them for quite some time since I couldn’t source them locally (along with green tripe).
Also be on the lookout for turkey deals after the holidays. With Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner, grocery stores will have their surplus of whole big birds for sale, including necks, gizzards and hearts. I wrote about how I saved a pretty penny in my post Turkey deals after the holidays.
A little hack to resize poultry necks
If you can’t get your hands on the right size poultry neck for your particular dog’s needs, you can always cut a larger neck into smaller pieces using (heavy duty) poultry shears. I bought mine on Amazon for just $12.99.
Has your dog eaten raw poultry necks?
Let us know in the comments! And please let us know if you have any questions about raw feeding.
Barbara Rivers writes regularly for That Mutt. She is a blogger, raw feeder and dog walker and maintains the blog K9s Over Coffee.