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When to Feed on Hunting Days….


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Dave Quindt
20 hours ago, Rick Hall said:

My dogs have nearly all worked virtually, if not, daily in season, and I followed that once-a-day regimen with two or three of them without issue but have returned to my old course of 1/3 ration first thing in the morning and 2/3 after the day's work is done, again without issue.  Reason simply being that my guys have all liked eating, and I like making them happy.

 

So here's what I do; during the offseason I feed 2x/day,  always well away from any exercise.

 

What works for me though is during hunting season I "feed" my dogs by giving them a bowl with a few pieces of kibble in in.  It seems to trigger the "I've been fed" response at least enough to not be annoying.  Then feed an appropriate amount in the evening.

 

One other idea I picked up from the sled dog folks is to grind some food in a food processor until it's a fine powder.  Then put just a bit of that in a big bowl of water for each dog, to aid hydration.

 

FWIW,

Dave

 

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Urban_Redneck

If I'm not going out for 3 hours or so, I feed a 1/4lb of ground beef and a raw egg. Then feed in the evening.

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Andrew Lam

+1 for feeding in the afternoon/evening. My cocker gets two meals, if we're at home in the offseason the first one is around noon and the second around 5. If I'm training dogs after work I don't worry about the cocker working after the noon meal but wait until the work is done for the second meal. With my lab I feed once a day, in the evening, and he is always done working for the day when he eats. If we get home late and are on a trip, and the lab eats late, then the cocker gets the start the next day and the lab starts working a little later. I've seen a Great Dane bloat two different times and I am always on the lookout for bloat signs. I also mix in a can of pink salmon in water with the kibble every other day when the pups are hunting a lot.

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Brdhntr47

Thanks for the replies. I chose not to feed Roxie before we hunt. I feed 1/3 of her daily allotment after we get home from hunting and the remaining 2/3’s around 5 PM. Seems to be working fine.

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At the suggestion of a few of the folks here some time ago, I've always fed the pups around an hour after the end of the day - which usually means by the time we get back to wherever we're staying. I also give them glycocharge right after their last hunt for the day on a multi-day hunt. Seems to help, a lot. If I recall correctly Purina has published some research on these topics.

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Larry Brown
On 10/7/2021 at 6:17 AM, RuffChaser said:

From what I recall reading/hearing some of the concern around feeding time is related to the energy/heat involved. It takes a lot of energy to break down and digest their food. The result is they get warm from the process. If hunting in warmer conditions they could be prone to over-heating. I gave had issues with mine not eating after a long day of hunting so i will tend to add a little canned dog food to their dry food to get them to eat. I think it takes 12 hours for the proteins to be available to burn so I feed them well the night before.

I've been to some Purina seminars on feeding bird dogs.  Their recommendation also is feed them well the night before they hunt and not again until the night after they've hunted.  

 

Some dogs tend to be poor eaters when they're on the road.  Like RuffChaser, I carry some good quality canned food and add that to their evening ration after a hard day's hunt.  I usually don't add water to dry dog food.  However, if the dog isn't a good eater when you're on the road, that can encourage them to eat more eagerly.  When I'm doing a day's hunt,  leaving from home in the  morning and returning late afternoon/evening, I usually just feed their standard daily ration of dry food.  Maybe increasing the amount a bit if they've really hunted hard.

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