If you're like me you grew up hearing the terms gizzards, giblets etc around the holidays. It never really peeked my interest; I just knew that it was the gross stuff my Mom boiled up and it came out of the turkey. Now as a canine guardian looking for great food for the dogs I wanted to know. What the heck are gizzards?

While at the grocery store yesterday; looking for liver I spotted a good supply of gizzards and hearts. I did know that they come out of turkey's and chickens but I wasn't sure what they were exactly. They are cheap; so I bought four packages for the dogs. Once home I got out the computer to see just what these gizzards are.

Gizzards are secondary stomachs used by birds to grind their food before digestion. Very much like the tripe people feed their dogs and themselves; yuck. Because birds don't have teeth, they must fill their gizzards with small stones to achieve the same end result. Gizzards contain a very tough inner membrane, surrounded by a muscular pouch which provides the grinding action. Gizzards are part of the group of foods called offal, which also includes beef tripe, chitlins (pork intestines), and hearts; mmmmmmmmmm.

I am of Scottish heritage so I am very accustom to the stuff that some people eat. It really is what you are raised with. Steak and kidney pie, blood pudding, haggis (made from sheep liver, lungs, hearts, oatmeal and seasonings). I have to admit I love oatmeal; love it in anything but the other stuff? I'll leave that for the dogs to enjoy.

I have three packages of gizzards, hearts and liver fresh off the barbeque. They will be outside cooling; lest they offend any sleeping human members of the family in the house. But believe me, the dogs are going to be very happy.