Ground up green tripe from Blue Ridge Beef
So, you say you've heard of a little something called 'Tripe'…
It looks like something you pull out of a clogged drain. It smells like a manure smeared farm animal. It feels like a stretchy jelly ball. And. It. Is. Awesome!
Tripe is made up of ruminating animals' (cattle, goats, sheep, deer, etc.) stomach insides. The easiest to come by, raw or canned, is beef tripe and it is composed of three of the four chambers of a cow's stomach.
For those of us strictly following the Frankenprey diet, tripe does NOT fall into the 'organ' category, but instead, the 'muscle meat' category. For me, tripe is neither! See, tripe is a multivitamin superfood. It has everything. It is, in fact, the perfect meal all on its own. It contains all vitamins, amino acids, and minerals that carnivores need. Tripe has the right pH for feeding raw and is packed with digestive enzymes and probiotics. Nutritionally speaking, tripe offers all the B-vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, K, essential minerals, and a calcium:phosphorus ratio of 1:1. It also contains billions of digestive enzymes and probiotics.
I'm sure some of you are saying, 'Oh, I know tripe! I've seen it sold at specialty stores' meat counter. I guess I'll try it.' No! Tripe sold for human consumption is bleached. Never buy bleached tripe for animals. Butcher shops and ethnic stores do offer tripe as some traditional/international dishes include it, but this is not the tripe to feed carnivores. Bleached tripe is just that---bleached. It is white in color and has been scalded/treated to get rid of the color, the smell, and the vital superfood qualities. Once bleached, tripe no longer offers any nutritional benefits. Because feeding raw is gaining momentum, specialty pet stores and even some chain stores are offering prepared raw food. Tripe is a bit of a diamond-in-the-rough and may be harder to come by. Some online vendors offer raw tripe (whole and ground) that is frozen and stored in the freezer until needed. My personal go-to is Blue Ridge Beef Green Tripe. The tripe is coarsely ground up, frozen, and comes in selected size tubes.
Green tripe also comes in cans. I think canned tripe is lazy. Why go canned when you can go raw? Canned anything isn't fresh and I just don't see a carnivore with a can-opener in the wild. Canned dry food offers convenience to you, but completely robs the animal of its evolutionary, primal, and instinctual habits of eating prey as hunters and predators. Also, canned tripe no longer offers those essential enzymes and probiotics as they are denatured and killed off in the process.
Ground up green tripe from Blue Ridge Beef
Tripe is rarely mentioned for dogs, but its discussion for feeding cats is almost nonexistent. Tripe should be an essential part of a raw diet for cats and dogs. Yes, dogs and cats are different and some meats like pork for example, should not be given to cats but can be given to dogs. In this case, tripe is safe for cats. Our cats have been eating tripe for a while and aren't complaining. Their CBC, blood chemistry, and urinalysis all come back with flying colors.
I have fed tripe as a meal and in combination with other Frankenprey components and either way works. Add a tablespoon. Add two. We do this 1-2 times a week. Because tripe is such an important part of a carnivore's diet, be persistent if cats or dogs turn away from it. Try drizzling a small amount of sardine juice on it. I added raw sardine stock for a few of our fussy eaters and it worked. They got used to the smell and taste and now eat it plain. Others will dive right in.
Your takeaway: Tripe is a fully-balanced, complete meal in itself. As a superfood, it contains minerals, vitamins, probiotics, and enzymes. Raw tripe is the best form for feeding and comes ground or in whole strips. Carnivores are sure to benefit nutritionally, so pet parents should make tripe a diet staple.
When to feed: Tripe can be added in small quantities to meals throughout the week or fed as a whole meal once or twice a week. Don't overdo it and feed daily. Variety is key.
How much to feed: For transitional feedings or for picky carnivores, try giving a pinch of tripe on the side to see how they react. You can add a teaspoon or two to the meal and mix. If feeding as a meal, animals should eat 2-3% of their body weight in food.
If a cat is 10lbs, 2.5% of 10lbs is 0.25lbs or 4oz. So, 4oz of raw food must be fed per day. Because we're referring to tripe, feed 2oz twice a week (this will be the entire meal for that feeding) for a total of 4oz per week. Of course, smaller or larger carnivores will have a different weighted portion, so this amount applies to 10lbs animals only.
Make sure to wash your hands well. The tripe stink likes to linger for a bit.