Chicken and Bone - What does it mean? (Part 1)

January 10, 2022

Chicken and Bone - What does it mean? (Part 1)

Imagine you see the words “chicken and bone” on a raw pet food label. What do you picture?

Do you imagine a beautiful, whole chicken? A mostly stripped chicken carcass? Or something small and meaty like a bone-in chicken thigh or quarter?

Does it surprise you to know that all these items can be classified as “chicken and bone” on a product label?

Items chosen by the manufacturer greatly impact the nutritional adequacy of raw food. Each of the above items can be used in raw pet food with great results when care and consideration is taken. If these raw product cuts are arbitrarily thrown together, the results can be disastrous.

Creating bone-in recipes is an art form. If the cut of meat selected contains a significant amount of bone (carcass) it needs to be paired with additional lean muscle meat. Otherwise the bone content and overall calcium content of the product will be too high. Not all manufacturers take this into consideration, and this is WHY the company you choose matters.

Iron Will Raw is often asked why our chicken products have multiple chicken items listed twice, it is because the first ingredient “Chicken and bone” refers to the raw meaty bone portion and the second ingredient refers to the additional boneless muscle meat added to balance out the bone (calcium) content in the recipe.

You may find yourself asking why this matters. Extra calcium just makes the stool white, right? Wrong! It matters because calcium in addition to phosphorus is a KEY MINERAL in the formation and maintenance of strong bones. Excessive calcium can cause growth abnormalities in young animals and also prevent proper absorption of other minerals in both adult and young animals. Not all animals handle excess calcium well and not all life stages can prevent the body from absorbing too much calcium. This is just one example as to why the items used for “chicken and bone” matter, there are others including decreased amount of amino acids (lack of muscle meat means less protein) and fatty acid imbalances.

Do you know what goes into the product you are currently feeding your pet? If not, ask! The answers may surprise you.

Click here to continue to Part 2: Meat Sourcing