7/24/2009

Containers or bags? Part 1

Does this sound familiar? You get a bag of meat out of the freezer for Fido and before you know it, there's blood and meat juice all over the counter.. possibly running down to the floor! And then when you look at the offending bag the holes are so obvious it's a wonder you missed them before. This happens to me all the time and bag after bag I toss into the trash, normally only after 2-3 uses at most. So, I've decided the freezer is getting redone and I am putting most meats in containers to freeze. I'm redoing this alittle at a time as things get thawed and packed.

This is what I bought at Dollar Tree. Ten of them to be exact so I got 20 containers total. These are the Deep Square variety but after some unsuccessful attempts at getting the chicken in one I think I might buy a longer, shallower container. These should hold 1-2 days worth of food for my trio, depending on what's in it of course. Like for instance if it's rabbit, well, Amos won't eat rabbit so it'll be on Wav and Emily. If it's fish then the girls won't eat it but Amos will. If it's chicken then likely Wav will be eating whole prey that day and the dogs will eat on the poultry. If it's venison though, all 3 will eat it enthusiastically and therefore the container will only hold a day's worth. Oy.. the planning boggles my mind but it will all be worth it.

Here's the mess as it stands. Ugh.

More to come..

8 comments:

  1. I switched to containers a while ago - and got the bogger, shallower ones that will hold 4-6 days of food for my one dog. While they take up more room, they are SO much easier to use, IMO, and no messes!

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  2. Interesting idea - I only use the baggies I use for food once but I am feeding a different mix of animals. 2 cats and 2 dogs - the cats are currently getting a mix of ground beef, ground offal(that I buy from a supplier) and the occasional chicken neck for bone. The smaller dog(a Shih Tzu) gets a mix of cut up meat, ground offal and a chicken neck for bone. My big 60 lb lab/shep/husky gets big pieces of meat. One day she'll get a beef tounge, then a day when she gets a couple eggs and a handful of offal, then a chicken leg 1/4. She's the easy one, no prep just hand her the goods.

    For the smaller animals I make up batches of food and put them in sandwich baggies - so they are one use but I can get 300 of them for under $3 and I always thaw on a plate or in a container. My dog freezer holds butcher paper wrapped hearts and tounge right now and re-bagged necks from the chicken processor but again I rarely re-use my bags as I always pick up the cheapest ones from the start so I know they'll never stand up to repeat usage.

    I guess if you expect the leaks you prepare for them :) The containers also sound good though, good luck!

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  3. K,

    Doesn't the food start to get funky after that long in the fridge? I know it doesn't do any harm but even after 3 days I'm wrinkling up my nose at the smell.

    Cassandra,

    How do you like the butcher paper? I'm still debating whether or not to buy larger containers for hearts and such or to use paper. I also have various odd shaped bones like legs (from the sheep.. still rationing it though I need to use it up and buy a few more) and venison backs that are currently in a VERY holey bag. I'm also hoping to get venison necks this year free from a taxidermist a mile and a half down the road from me so they obviously won't be able to fit in the containers I bought. It's going to be a complex gorge meal for Amos and Emily that they probably won't finish in one day either. Butcher paper seems like it would be pretty easy to just wrap it back up and refreeze. Not sure how I'm gonna work that.

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  4. The beef hearts and tounges I buy from a meat packing plant come wrapped in the butcher paper. It always leaks when thawing but the up side is that the paper is compostable.

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  5. I use the same Rubbermaid Containers. The squares for meat only, the long shallow ones for bone. I only use bags for chopped up organ, packed in a single layer. I slightly defrost it enough to break off the pieces and feed to the dogs. Using the containers saves me money, don't have to keep buying bags

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  6. We have been using plastic containers for storage for over a year now. Re-using is the best form of recycling and we want to create as little waste as possible. I am very careful when I wash the containers and make sure they aren't washed with our regular dishes. I also make sure they washed right away after use. We also use containers big enough to feed our cats for 4-6 days. It is so much easier and then it's not as cold for them when they're eating. We also use smaller containers when we have friends feed the cats so it cuts down on the ick factor and amount of work they have to do. I have also gone to using aluminum foil sometimes because of the BPA in the plastic containers. Numbers 5 and 7 are especially high in BPA. It's more a problem when the containers become heated but if I'm doing all the right things for our cats I'm certainly not going to put their little bodies at risk of BPA poisoning. The aluminum foil is OK every now again because it can be recycled. I will be moving to glass containers when we move back to the US. They are incredibly expensive but we only have two cats to worry about and not dogs and more cats like some of you. :) -although I WOULD take more cats.

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  7. The Rubbermaid containers are BPA free. Not sure if you could get those where you are or not.

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  8. Sorry, I just looked back at this, wasn't ignoring you!

    I take out the container the night before, and put it in the fridge. So, the first day or two, the meat is still partially frozen, which doesn't phase Kip at all - in fact, it slows him down a bit, which is nice.

    After that, I haven't noticed a smell too bad, and I have an incredibly weak stomach, especially in the mornings (when I feed).

    However... I just got my hands on some "soon to expire" chicken which is right on my "oh, this is nauseating" line. Kip of course thinks it's great. I plan on rotating this in and out of the freezer while feeding - I'll take a container out, feed from it for 2-3 days, then pop it back in the freezer so the smell stays down.

    I could go with smaller containers, but I found the larger ones easier for "menu planning" - I can plan out my meat/bone/organ ratios easier that way, but remember, this is all quite new to me, and I'm still a bit hung up on the numbers :)

    Additionally, I plan on getting a second dog at one point, so I chose the larger containers to buy now as those are the size that will work for 2 dogs. (Hope all that makes sense! I have a bad cold, and am, well, sick as a dog :))

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