Our friend, Klara found that Gröna gårdar has a BARF-box containing basically all the pieces of meat, including tendons, that they can’t sell for eating, but which is perfect for our pets. Gröna Gårdar (~Green farms) is a company specializing in selling grass-fed organic beef and lamb’s meat here on the West coast of Sweden, the boeuf tartare that we do are usually on meat from them. Their meat has this wonderful flowery taste and no wonder since the animals are allowed to grace freely on their farms. It feels really nice to be able to give Olivia and Neo some real meat that is also not suitable for human consumption, in that way it is also much more environmentally friendly. That together with the economical aspect of buying regular meat to our cats have been our main concerns, so it is nice to finally find a way to deal with that!
Anyhow, we thought we would give the BARF-box a try and last week we went to pick it up at a supermarket in town. Gröna Gårdar distribute their meat boxes to a selected number of stores around Gothenburg, so we actually took the car to get there and especially to get back home with the 10+ kg of meat. In addition to the BARF-box, which in an of itself contains 10 kilos of meat and tendons, we also ordered a cow’s heart. The heart is sold per piece and we were a bit reluctant at first, since we it seemed quite expensive to pay almost 200 kr for a heart, but when we picked it up we were really surprised with the size of it. Slightly over 4 kg (!). It was huge! So, in the end it was actually not at all that expensive, per kilogram that is…
Our main issue is really that we only have a small freezer, which usually is packed with the meat that we ourselves consume, but we had prepared and it was almost empty before we got the delivery of the BARF-box.
We split the meat and tendons from the BARF-box into smaller batches before freezing them. The heart we cut up in small pieces and distributed in smaller batches as well.
Since we had to stock up on food for the cats we also made a completely fresh batch of BARF. For this we used about 1 kg of meat and tendons from the BARF-box and an additional 700 g of heart as well as 1.5 dl bone meal and some water to dissolve and spread out the bone meal.
After chopping the meat, tendons and heart into pieces of about 2 x 2 x 2 cm we mixed them with the bone meal and the water and then split up in glass jars for storage.
Since it is really important that cats get all different amino acids we also add a small piece of liver when serving the barf. At the moment they get slightly more than 50 g each twice a day and a small piece of liver (~5 g) in the morning. They seem content with it this far. One huge positive aspect is that they have to spend some time chewing the pieces now rather then just gulping it all up and almost swallowing the meat whole as they did before with the minced meat.
Two reflections: It seems we have found our source of meat for the cats! There will definitely be more BARF-boxes in the future. The cow’s heart taste delicious. No, it was not only for the cats ;).
Cecilia, Magnus, Olivia & Neo