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  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    Okay, for anyone who saw my Tracking the Bear updates, my parents are bringing us real deer antlers from Wisconsin. To me this is a lottery winning. For anyone who may get real deer antlers from hunting, friends that hunt, or just from finding them in the woods, what do you do to ensure they are at least cleaned? Or is there little to worry about in preparation before giving them to Bear?

    Here is a picture of what they got from a friend who hunts, I am presuming this is White Tail deer as those are the most common in Wisconsin.


    [changed category ~mod.]
    Post edited by curlytails at 2013-05-22 14:25:48
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    Based on this previous link, sounds like scrubbing them down with hot water may be enough? Or should I boil them a bit?
    Post edited by redcattoo at 2012-11-02 12:35:38
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8589
    I responded in your other thread, but I will say it here. Invest in a bone saw. It is definitely worth it.

    I usually saw them into manageable pieces then boil them for a minute or two in water mixed with low sodium vegetable stock. The antlers themselves are pretty clean and there is really no preparation that you need to do for them. The only reason I boil them with vegetable stock is the ones I get are usually from MVC's, so the antlers are not soft (shed antlers are a little softer than 'fresh' late season ones). Therefore, the dogs really do not pay any attention to them until they get boiled with the stock.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
    Post edited by sunyata at 2012-11-02 14:14:10
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Yummy. I've went all over my woods looking for shed antlers never had luck only find raccoon skulls or various deer bones, but never the shed antlers.. I go all through time they shed them and I check areas I know they lay and move about.

    Maybe I get unlucky and they shed it off my property. lol

    Ah well Saya and Bella still has antlers from when we got some from a deer farmer.
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    @sunyata thanks for your response. I am looking forward to some real deer antlers for Bear from Wisconsin, so it is good to know how to work with them.
  • Nowadays they sell them at stores. Even Petsmart has some. They can get expensive but they are the best. My mother has friends who hunt and they cut the antlers up for her. She keeps the big pieces for her dogs and the smaller ones go to Kai! They are by far one of my favorite chews to give her. They last forever, no smell, no mess, no calories.
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
    And they are so hard that they can break their teeth if the dog is a very determined chewer. Two broken molars later, we're not giving them antlers anymore. :(
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    Well, I started this thread in November and those deer antlers are still pretty much intact at our house now towards the end of May.

    I do have to admit though we don't use them much since acquiring Tanjiro in late January. We worry that Bear and Tanjiro would end up in chase games or wrestling matches and the sharp ends could become a problem (ie poked out eye). They now get them once and awhile if settled into their crates. Often in their crates though they really don't care to chew and usually like to just lay down and rest (with sad eyes LOL).

    For us, the biggest, safest thing to give them for their chewing desires has been hooves. They absolutely love the hooves, they seem just soft enough that they can break off small pieces as they chew and the hoof actually gets soft feeling the more the dog has had it in their mouth. Also no sharp edges so when they are wrestling and playing together to dominate one of the 4 or 5 available we don't worry about injury.

    The hooves last 2-4 weeks before we typically replace them with new ones. At the pet store we can get a pack of 10 for around $10-$12 so just a little over a $1 a hoof. Here is an example of what we use from Amazon even though the ones we buy in the store are a different brand ...
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    :) Oh yes, especially new smoky hooves can be quite smelly ... but I try to think of the smell like bacon cooking then I get hungry :)

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