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Old 09-06-2011, 12:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Using eggshell over bone.

Hello! I know I'm not very active on this board but I am here daily creeping on what the rest of you all have to say, and all of your input and information has been very helpful thus far!

So, this is where I'm at.

I've been feeding my cats raw now for about 5 days. I mix in the tiniest amount of canned cat food, but for the most part it's raw. My cats truly want to chew up bone, but my little cat (about 6lbs) just can't yet. Even little breast bones on chicken, hens. etc. She tries and quickly tires. I know her jaw strength should increase as time goes on; however, until then, I've heard I can add egg shells to supplement calcium. I tried giving them an egg with crushed shell on the side of their dinner last night (chicken breast), and they did eat most of the flecks of the shell so I'm not too worried about getting them to eat it - I just don't know how much to give! I keep trying to google but I always find numbers for "ground" eggshell. Anyone know how much they need in terms of literal fresh eggshell? One whole eggshell? half an eggshell? I have an 11 lb cat and a 6lb. Thank you!!

OH! and since they aren't eating much bone just yet, do you think it's a good idea to give them some catsip on the side for extra calcium? Eggshells are probably enough but just a thought!
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Mofissa,

The reason you are only seeing figures for ground eggshell is that if it is in chunks I understand from my research it is not very easily digested or assimilated. Therefor it is best to grind it. This is actually super easy to do. Just crack the eggs, rinse the shells, leave them on the counter overnight to dry, and then pop them into a coffee grinder. (If you don't have one you can get one at kmart or walmart pretty cheap). Voila! ground eggshell! Alternatively if you have a healthfood store nearby you can get steamed bone meal and give a small amount of that to supplement calcium until they get better with bones.
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Old 09-07-2011, 02:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you so much! I will definitely pick up a grinder next time I'm out.
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Old 09-07-2011, 06:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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No problem It is good to keep something like this on hand for those inevitable times our finiky felines decide they don't feel like any bone this week, or month, etc.
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I suggest popping the chicken bones into the crockpot with some broth and maybe some brown rice. Let it cook on low for about 24 hours. This will make the bones crumble and your cats will be able to chew through them much easier.

I would be careful with the eggshells because they can be abrassive.

Calcium supplements can be useful and your veterinarian should be able to recommend a supplement. Just be careful on the amount you use because it can deplete other nutrients in the body such as zinc and magnesium.

Bonemeal can contain undesireable heavy metal contaminents such as lead so please be careful.
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Old 09-09-2011, 11:30 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoBear View Post
I suggest popping the chicken bones into the crockpot with some broth and maybe some brown rice. Let it cook on low for about 24 hours. This will make the bones crumble and your cats will be able to chew through them much easier.

I would be careful with the eggshells because they can be abrassive.

Calcium supplements can be useful and your veterinarian should be able to recommend a supplement. Just be careful on the amount you use because it can deplete other nutrients in the body such as zinc and magnesium.

Bonemeal can contain undesireable heavy metal contaminents such as lead so please be careful.
Good Lord!!!!!! NO!!!!

Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES do you feed cooked bones to a cat. NONE. Raw bones are soft and flexible, slide down easy and are easy to digest; cooked bones are sharp and brittle, don't slide down easy and can perforate the cat's digestive system anywhere along the tract.

Both human grade bone meal and egg shells are fine. I don't know off-hand what the dose is for bone meal, but egg shells can be very lightly sprinkled over the food at 1/2 teaspoon per pound of meat fed per week. Egg shells can be air dried overnight after a good rinse, or dried in the oven at 180^ for 30 minutes. They can be ground with a simple roller (put the shells between two sheets of wax paper first), a coffee grinder, mortar and pestle, or food processor that have never been used.

To prevent mold, it's important to ensure the shells are completely dry before grinding. To make life easy, you can use a shalt shaker to sprinkle the ground egg.

NO COOKED BONES!

AC
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Old 09-09-2011, 12:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoBear View Post
I suggest popping the chicken bones into the crockpot with some broth and maybe some brown rice. Let it cook on low for about 24 hours. This will make the bones crumble and your cats will be able to chew through them much easier.

I would be careful with the eggshells because they can be abrassive.

Calcium supplements can be useful and your veterinarian should be able to recommend a supplement. Just be careful on the amount you use because it can deplete other nutrients in the body such as zinc and magnesium.

Bonemeal can contain undesireable heavy metal contaminents such as lead so please be careful.
Seconding what AC said. Cooking doesn't make bones "crumble" it makes them splinter. Just try it yourself: take a thin cooked bone and a thin raw bone and try breaking them with your hands. You'll see how hard and brittle the cooked bone is, while the raw bone is softer and more pliable.

If you think eggshells are problematic then I can't imagine why you think cooked bones would be okay. Eggshells are extremely fragile and should pose no issue for a cat.

Also...brown rice? Broth? The primary notion behind raw feeding is to give cats a more species-appropriate diet, to escape all the junk companies put in commercial pet food. So why would you add grains and salt back in to your homemade diet? I can see using broth temporarily as a bribe if a cat isn't eating, but I certainly wouldn't recommend it as a regular feeding practice. And in addition to being extremely high in salt, many chicken broths can contain things such as: wheat gluten, soy, MSG, corn oil, sugar, onion, and garlic.

As for bone meal, buy bone meal that is human-grade, as AC said. You should see a nice little "certified heavy metal free" or similar sort of label on the bottle. Avoid fertilizer-grade bone meal.
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Old 09-09-2011, 02:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I just wanted to point out, that actually pressure cooking for 3 TO 4 HOURS or crock pot cooking bones for OVER 24 HOURS essentially makes them into bone meal. Literally after doing this you can pull them out and smoosh them betwen your fingers, they are mush. This is vastly different from cooked bones in the sense of boiled breifly or baked, etc. You can find this info on many homemade dog food guides. So on this point Bobear is correct on what this method will do to bones. However it is a royal pain in the rear if you ask me, lol. On everything else, I agree with auntie Crazy, WHY?!?! and HECK NO!! haha
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Old 09-09-2011, 02:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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excerpt from Dogaware.com on home cooked dog diets

"Remember that you should never feed cooked whole bones, unless they have been cooked into mush in a pressure cooker."

www.Dogaware.com click on diet, It is under the supplementing calcium section. They also discuss eggshell and bone meal, proper amounts and dosing, preparation etc etc etc. It is a great raw and homecooked resource, albeit for dogs, but alot of the same principles apply to cats. (Except cooking utterly destroys taurine, so a homecooked diet must be properly supplemented with taurine, which is another reason to do raw instead of homecook. Alot less work, and no taurine destruction). Great BARF vs Prey model info too. Overall very helpful site. (I have dogs too so even moreso for me).
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Old 09-09-2011, 03:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Ahh thanks for the clarification imgliniel! I'm a vegetarian myself so I know very little about meat-based cooking. Didn't know you could do that with a crock pot!
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