The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

How NOT to turn turkey feet into dog food

Turkey feetFor future reference, the best way to feed chicken or turkey feet to your dogs is whole and raw.  Unfortunately, the turkey feet I got a week and a half ago came with instructions to cook them for a long time until the meat fell off the bones.  So I did, using up all of the propane in our outdoor cooker's tank then finishing the feet on our kitchen stove where they stunk up the entire house.

Once cooked, turkey feet turn into a gelatinous mass which will stay on your hands until scrubbed extensively with scads of soap and hot water.  I gave up on trying to pick the meat off the bones after about five minutes and threw it all back in the pot to cook some more.  Eventually, I strained off the liquid to add to Lucy's dog food, wasting all of the meat, skin, and bones.  Next time I'll know better!

Still, Lucy adored her dog food, and I was thrilled to have finally taken the time to make a week's worth so that I won't have to feed her dry when I'm too busy to make up a batch.  It would have made two weeks' worth, though, if I'd stuck to raw!  So be forewarned!

Anna Hess's books
Want more in-depth information? Browse through our books.

Or explore more posts by date or by subject.

About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

Want to be notified when new comments are posted on this page? Click on the RSS button after you add a comment to subscribe to the comment feed, or simply check the box beside "email replies to me" while writing your comment.

I tried the whole and raw method. Although my dogs eat a raw diet that includes lots of raw meaty bones, I can't say I have been happy with the turkey foot results.

Skin and bones go to waste anyway, as they come out intact. (This is not the case with other poultry parts that include bones.) And every once in a while, a dog would barf up some of those sharp claws.

I'm wondering about "ground up and raw," but I don't think my grinder is up to it.

OTOH, the turkey foot stock I made for us humans is excellent.

Comment by H Houlahan Tue Dec 23 01:01:41 2008
Glad to hear from someone who tried them raw! That makes me feel better. I hate to waste things...
Comment by anna Tue Dec 23 08:31:26 2008

Hi There.

Thanks for linking to Moe's Meats ( And thanks for providing the community with such an awesome blog and references - you have really great stuff here.

Love reading your words and looking at your pictures.


Moe's Meats

Comment by Courtney from Moe's Meats Fri Dec 26 12:50:47 2008
Thanks for stopping by, Courtney. I really enjoyed your site!
Comment by anna Fri Dec 26 20:17:22 2008
The best use for turkey feet, or chicken feet, is stock. If you scald & pluck with the feet on, often the outermost skin comes off, leaving them very clean. Boil them for hours, with whatever other pieces you may have. The stock is so gelatinous, if you let it cool in the fridge, you will have to scoop it out. Has a great flavor as well. Feed the mess of "chunks" strained out afterward to the dogs if you like, but don't pass on all that stock!
Comment by James C Sun Nov 27 14:38:13 2011

Eating the non-traditional parts of a chicken is something I want to work on more. For example, the livers. I choke them down because they're good for me, but have yet to find a tasty way to cook them.

But chicken broth is something we always need more of, even though we cook up all of our carcasses and necks. Maybe I should add feet to the pot....

And then there are the gizzards. I know people eat them, but even Lucy turned up her nose at them this time around. What's up with that?

Comment by anna Sun Nov 27 15:05:27 2011

profile counter myspace

Powered by Branchable Wiki Hosting.

Required disclosures:

As an Amazon Associate, I earn a few pennies every time you buy something using one of my affiliate links. Don't worry, though --- I only recommend products I thoroughly stand behind!

Also, this site has Google ads on it. Third party vendors, including Google, use cookies to serve ads based on a user's prior visits to a website. Google's use of advertising cookies enables it and its partners to serve ads to users based on their visit to various sites. You can opt out of personalized advertising by visiting this site.