Bone Question, Dr. Pierson's ground recipe

frappe

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Hello TCS,

I have decided to start feeding Dr. Pierson's ground recipe and after purchasing everything but the grinder ( I was going to try using the bone meal first to make sure they would eat it) I stumbled upon a dog food recipe that calls for pressure cooking an entire chicken until the bones become mush. This caught my attention because I like the idea of feeding real bone, but I cannot for the life of me get Java to reliably eat bone-in meals.

So, my question is: If I follow Dr. Pierson's recipe exactly, BUT debone the thighs and put JUST the bones in a pressure cooker to turn to mush (and use the water that they are cooked in), would her recipe still balance? Is calcium destroyed after cooking? I would put the cooled bones in a food processor and add in the RAW thighs and mix until ground. Of course then add the appropriate supplements per her recipe minus the bone meal.

I'd love to hear your opinions!
 

mschauer

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That's an interesting idea. Pressure cooking uses very high heat so some vitamins may be destroyed but calcium is a mineral and so wouldn't be affected by heat. There may be some nutrient leaching into the cooking water but as long as you include the water in your food I would think you would be OK. That's my best guess anyway...
 
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frappe

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That is what I was thinking as well. If not for anything, I would assume that it would be much better than the bone meal, considering they would still get the marrow and stuff. Thanks for your reply! Hopefully I can get a few more opinions... If this would work, it would be SUCH a stress reliever.
 

ritz

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So, the bones would be mushed enough to not splinter?

Engraved in my brain is to never ever feed cooked bones because they can splinter.
 

mschauer

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Yeah, if you cook bones, even previously dry cooked bones, long enough in liquid they get soft. And, Frappe is planning on running them through a food processor afterwards so there shouldn't be any danger of splinters.
 
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frappe

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Exactly. I don't know if you guys are familiar with Merrick's Wing-a-ling canned dog food, but it also has the mush bones in it. You can literally squish them between your fingers. And yes, I would be pureeing it very finely and then mixing it with the meat. I have no worries about it splintering, just the vitamins/minerals.
 

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I would think this should work. I've been reading up on bone broths, and they all say the same thing - the broth is incredibly nutritious, and what's left of the bone is the collagen - soft and mushy!
 
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frappe

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Happily! I will let you know how it goes once our pressure cooker comes in. Thanks guys for your help. This is exciting news.
 
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frappe

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Just thought I'd report back that the recipe works out great. I deboned the thighs using a boning knife and popped them into the pressure cooker. Took about an hour and a half for them to reach crumble status. I let them cool, pureed them and made the recipe exactly as Dr. Pierson has it on her website. The cats inhaled it!
 

mschauer

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Just thought I'd report back that the recipe works out great. I deboned the thighs using a boning knife and popped them into the pressure cooker. Took about an hour and a half for them to reach crumble status. I let them cool, pureed them and made the recipe exactly as Dr. Pierson has it on her website. The cats inhaled it!
Thanks for the update! 

How much water did you use in the pressure cooker for how much bone?

You say you crumbled them? Does that mean they were hard and dry rather than soft and mushy?
 

aprilprey

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Interesting.  Does anybody know if any nutrients are degraded?  Pressure cookers cook at around 250 degrees - but it also depends on altitude - the higher up the lower the temps.

FWIW - we use her recipe but we grind.  We do a fine grind by sending the meat and bone through three (3) times.  The bone is a coarse dust by then - think fine cornmeal.  Our first couple of batches I neurotically mushed the whole 3 lbs through my bare fingers looking for slivers.  Stopped doing that as I never found anything, which would tend to get stuck in the grinder anyway.  Note we use a manual - thus we can muscle through any bone where a motor might balk.
 

ldg

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Many vitamins are degraded by cooking - and more loss especially if you don't use the water if anything was poached or boiled. But minerals, other than potassium, aren't affected by cooking. Just google "does cooking destroy minerals in food" or similar. I can't find "definitive" references for you quickly, but here's one with a good summary: http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/preserving-nutrients-when-cooking-foods.html

Obviously protein and vitamins in the marrow would be affected, but not the minerals.
 

aprilprey

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Thanks, good to know.  I too have been wondering about making broths, as I thought I'd have to resort to that for the kibble addict/gravy-licker.  I would imagine it would add stronger flavor and scent to entice a fussy eater. 
 
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frappe

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Sorry about the delay. I put very little water in the cooker. Pretty much just enough to cover the bones, since it would not be cooking for too long. And yes, I did use the cooking water when it was finished and then adjusted the amount of "extra" water she has in her recipe. I only had to add the slightest amount to get it to a good mixing consistency.

Crumbled was not an accurate description. I put the bones into the food processor with a little of the cooking water and made it into a slurry of sorts. Then I added it back to the original cooking water and after it cooled, added it to the raw chicken, mixed that together and then added the rest of the ingredients. One good thing about it is it gave the raw food a pleasant meaty smell and it droves the cats crazy. They love it. I am sure some of the vitamins in the marrow are degraded, however, they are still receiving some benefit from it and I feel much better about them eating the bones cooked this way than feeding them bone meal. I would still like to get the grinder some day and plan on doing that eventually.
 

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One good thing about it is it gave the raw food a pleasant meaty smell and it droves the cats crazy. 
This is what I was wondering about, if the bone would add some extra flavor. I might try it at least with my ground chicken recipe. The aren't too fond of it and I've been trying to think of a flavor enhancer I might to it.
 

ldg

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Mschauer, I believe you typically use MCHA in your recipes. If that's correct, any thoughts on how you would adjust the amount to account for the addition of the bone/broth?

I'd love to use bone broth for flavor, even with their PMR meals, but have no idea how to account for the additional calcium/minerals.
 

mschauer

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I would use enough bone to equal about 7% of the recipe. Back when I used to use bone that seemed to be about the right amount to keep their poop from being too dry. I would only use it with the chicken recipe since that is the one that seems to need a flavor jolt. I'd still use the MCHA for all other recipes. I'm confident they would get enough calcium that way.
 
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