I fed them 2-3 times a day as when you feed raw, they eat much less food. Because it is so nutrient dense they don't need to eat near as much food, but they still need more than one meal a day. I know for my ferrets they were getting 1-2oz (per ferret) per meal and were fed twice a day. An example of a weeks menu would look like this (I don't remember the amounts as it depends on their weight and energy level)
Chicken Hearts and Gizzards
You want meat from at least 3 different protein sources (the more the better). The above is a typical week and it wouldn't be just one kind of meat per day. We'd pick a different meat source for each meal, so a day would look like this...
Sunday AM: chicken legs
Sunday PM: Ground beef
Monday AM: Turkey necks
Monday PM: chicken hearts and gizzards
We would also pick different meats like salmon (fish should not be fed more than once or twice a week), pork (also should not be fed too often), cornish game hen, and duck.
You want to make sure that 4-5 meals a week contain some kind of bone. There is a myth that bones cause injury and you should never feed them to a dog or cat. The truth is, COOKED bone splinters very easily (much like the ones you get from the pet store). Raw bones are much softer and while they do break, they rarely break into sharp points. My cats and ferrets could easily down a chicken bone. You don't want to give them weight bearing bones as those are too thick for cats and ferrets. Organs should be fed for at least 1-2 meals per week. Hearts are considered a muscle not an organ.
Cats do not need plants in their diet though some feed things like cranberries for good urinary tract health. Though, this is not required for a healthy diet.
Dogs can be fed plants but it is recommended that you either blend them (like baby food) or lightly steam them to simulate the digestion process of their prey animals. Wild dogs and wolves are known to eat the stomach contents of their prey, but this plant matter would have already begun the digestive process so it is easier for the dogs to consume and digest.
Cats and dogs should be fed 2-3% of their body weight per day. So a 10lb cat only needs to eat 3-4.5oz of food.http://rawfed.com/myths/cats.html
If anyone has any questions about transitioning their cat or dog to a raw diet, feel free to send me a message or ask me here. I'm far from an expert but I know enough that I feel comfortable feeding my animals a raw diet when the time comes to do so. I fed my ferrets raw for roughly 2 years. Typing out all this info makes me really want to make a raw shopping trip so I can switch my kids over again.
And I know what you mean about handling the meat. It is very gross and I used to wash my hands 4-5 times after handling it because I couldn't get the sight of all that meat on my hands out of my head. But after a few weeks of feeding them raw, I got over it. The way I see it. My furry and scaled kids don't care about how I feel about handling meat. They need to eat what is good for them and I need to provide that to them. Gloves help if you don't want to touch the meat directly.
A even better diet is a whole prey diet. Now, THAT I know a lot of people would have a tough time doing. We did it with the ferrets for a short time, but at the time, we just couldn't vary their diet enough. My ferrets still get whole prey from time to time. When one of my snakes doesn't eat and I'm left with a rat that no one can eat, I feed it to the ferrets for their evening meal. By morning there is nothing left. I plan on putting the ferrets on a whole prey diet when I do switch them again as now I know where to get a more varied whole prey diet for them.
And again, if anyone has any questions about a raw or whole prey diet for dogs, cats, or ferrets, please feel free to send me a message. It really is one of the best things you can do for your furry babies. I know this is a vegetarian forum and meat eating is frowned upon but obligate carnivores like cats and ferrets SHOULD NEVER be fed a vegetarian or vegan diet. It isn't natural and its not fair to them. I'm a supporter of natural diets. Naturally, I am meant to eat a plant based diet. Naturally my furry kids are meant to eat meat.