IF ONLY I HAD THE TIME!
I would love nothing more, than to make grain-free Duck treats for my little midget, who is 3 lb. of tough Yorkie; he LOVES + DEVOURS Duck! I honestly don’t know what it is, although I am guessing the soft “DUCKtile” texture has something to do with it.
Quick Note: I definitley feel as though a dog’s body, just like ours, will tell us what nutrients they need (or don’t need). I think this is why Ballou tends to push away or ignore some foods, like beef, versus others, like duck, which may contain nutrients his body is yearning for.
Anyway, although Duck is on the expensive side and can be harder to find than say…chicken, it’s a novelty protein that stands as a wonderful alternative to common proteins (Lamb or Beef), especially for dogs with allergies. Moreover, being that my midget is on the small side, I do feel as though he can stand to gain a few pounds and with Duck being higher in fat and calorie content…than chicken, I think Grain-Free Duck Treats are perfect for him.
For those of us who may not be fortunate to be close to a butcher or Grocery Store (i.e. Super 88) where Duck is readily available, definitely check out Hare Today, Gone Tomorrow at www.Hare-Today.com. This site has everything from Duck gizzards to Duck Necks; although I think I will personally start off small with Duck Liver + Duck Hearts.
Doing my Due-Diligence on making dehydrated treats, I have created a list of things/steps/tips that I will keep on hand for when it’s time for me to chef it up in the kitchen. Check them out below:
1.) If you’re going for breast meat, leaner cuts are best (be sure to remover any skin or fat)
2.) Strive for equally sized pieces for a consistent drying time. If the meat does need to be cut, know that partially freezed meat makes for easier cutting; try cutting against the grain (I think I know what this means)
Quick Note: Placing meat between wax paper and taking a rolling pin or meat pulverizer to flatten the pieces will also aid with a consistent drying time, cooking the meat evenly.
4.) Whether you are using a Dehydrator or an Oven, you typically want to set your device on the lowest setting or between 150-200 degrees. The lower the temperature, the longer the time, which can be anywhere from 2 hours to 7 hours (even more). As mentioned, the thickness of meat will also play into drying time. Also, meat should be fully thawed when dehydrating, too much moisture could prolong drying time as well.
Quick Note: Rotate meat every couple of hours. The decision of whether the treat is ready is really under your discretion; some like a little moisture (shorten shelf life), while others like dried-out.
5.) If you are using a rack, use non-stick cooking spray to make sure the meat doesn’t stick. If you are using a baking pan, you can also spray the pan down or sheet with foil or parchment paper. Lightly basing the meat with oil helps
Quick Note: Make sure the meat is evenly spaced on the rack/baking pan (not touching)
6.) Don’t be afraid to Chef it up a bit. Knowing Duck is apart of the fowl family, I have discovered some chicken jerky recipes for dogs, like the Honey Lime Chicken Jerky by Doggy Desert Chef, that I definitely plan on using for inspiration. To be specific, Cinnamon, Parsley, Sage, Mint, tumeric, basil, ginger…are all things I plan on using, but not all at once of coarse. If you are not sure about using a certain ingredient, just google it.
Quick Note: For the healthy and beneficial properties, Olive and Coconut Oil will be my seasoning base of choice
7.) Store in freezer for up to a month in an airtight container (no time for defrosting, this makes a cool summer time treat). Refrigerate no more than 3 days to a week.
Although my midget is familiar with Duck, I still will take the proper precaution in slowly introducing his new treats. I feel this is especially necessary because I am choosing to season/marinate the meat before dehydrating.
Until I am able to make these yummy treats, Ballou is currently in love with Dehydrated Duck Feet (a perfect chew for his size, check out this DIY Dehydrated Duck Feet Post), Primal Canine Duck Freeze-Dried Formula (a great food topper or full meal), and Lucky Duck Krispies (a wonderful training treat stemming from Polka Dog Bakery).
What are your thoughts on Duck as a protein? Have you ever made dehydrated duck treats? If so, what was it like?
Any questions or concerns, just email us: thaMUNCHbox@gmail.com!
– MUNCH love –