Using eggshell or MCHA (calcium hydroxyapatite) to balance meat or meat & organs

ldg

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These tables were posted last year when several of us were first exploring feeding "boneless" recipes.

For raw or cooked, these can simply be sprinkled on the food at the time of the meal. They can also be frozen without issue.

The ideal calcium-to-phosphorus ratio (Ca:p ratio) is in a range of 1.1:1 to 1.5:1. As you can see in the tables, the calcium content doesn't vary enough in meats or organs to need to micro-manage how much eggshell or MCHA to use.

For eggshell, 1/32 teaspoon of powder balances one ounce of meat; 3/64 teaspoon balances one ounce of organs. For batches, this means that 1/2 teaspoon balances one pound of meat and 3/4 of a teaspoon balances one pound of organs.

For MCHA, 3/4 of a capsule balances one ounce of meat. For cats prone to constipation, 1/2 capsule can be used and still meet the Ca:p minimum; one capsule balances one ounce of organs.

Edited to add: MCHA costs MUCH more to use than eggshell.

I just thought I'd make them easier to find. They indicate how much eggshell powder or MCHA (freeze dried bone) to use when balancing various proteins and organs.

Eggshell:

First, this is the info used for the calculations, which are based on one ounce portions.

Eggshell is 97% calcium carbonate
Calcium carbonate is 39% elemental calcium

References:
http://www.afn.org/~poultry/flkman4.htm
http://www.poultryindustrycouncil.ca/pdfs/factsheets/fs_133.pdf
http://www.holisticat.com/esp.html
http://www.healingnaturallybybee.com/articles/supp2.php

Edited to add: in this image, the "Alnutrin" refers to Alnutrin's EGGSHELL POWDER ONLY - not any of the more complete premixes. I purchase it from the same website. It is the last item in the eshop, here: http://www.knowwhatyoufeed.com/shop_online.html




The tables. You can click on them to make them larger.

Eggshell

Eggshell balancing meat:


Eggshell balancing muscle organs (hearts, gizzards)


Eggshell balancing liver:


Eggshell balancing other secreting organs:


Eggshell balancing eggs & yolks:



MCHA

These tables are based on NOW MCHA capsules, which contain 1,000mg elemental calcium per FOUR capsules. This means that each single capsule contains 250mg of elemental calcium.

As easily seen in the eggshell tables, meat and muscle meat contain less phosphorus than organs. So please note that these tables include different measures.

Meat and muscle organs are shown with 1/2 capsule of NOW MCHA and 3/4 capsule of NOW MCHA.

MCHA balancing meat:


MCHA balancing muscle organs:



Secreting organs are shown with 3/4 capsule of NOW MCHA and one whole capsule of NOW MCHA.

MCHA balancing liver:


MCHA balancing other secreting organs:



Eggs & yolks are shown with 1/2 capsule of NOW MCHA and 3/4 capsule of NOW MCHA.

MCHA balancing eggs & yolks:

 
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peaches08

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Great info! I thought about doing something like this with pork or beef to change things up for the kitties. However, what else do I add to make it complete? Dr. P's recipe? I think I'd rather do it myself than buy premix (cost).
 
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ldg

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Yep, I see no reason not to follow her recipe. That's how I initially calculated how much of what to add - I just used her recommended amounts and scaled down to individual meals... just as this can be scaled up for batches. :lol3:

But you make batches of ground, right? I see no reason not to just substitute proteins in her recipe and follow the rest of it. She does include a method for providing a bone substitute, and either of these would work. MCHA costs a LOT more.
 

aprilprey

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Great info! I thought about doing something like this with pork or beef to change things up for the kitties. However, what else do I add to make it complete? Dr. P's recipe? I think I'd rather do it myself than buy premix (cost).
FYI: Dr. Becker's book has a vitamin-mineral mix recipe as well as Dr. P.

Has anyone ever crunched those numbers: buying premix vs. making one's own?  Just a gut feeling - by the time you buy all the supplements on their own, I wonder if making your own doesn't come out more expensive?  The companies making premix might have a bulk purchasing advantage that makes the price come out pretty much the same. 

Maybe there are some vitamin buying co-ops or clubs that make it cheaper to make your own?  If you buy your vitamins from the place, you get a discount?  This is such an analytical bunch - I am sure somebody has made a spreadsheet!

NOTE: I am more ignorant than most about buying vitamins for reasons I won't bore you with.
 

peaches08

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I chunk about half of the thighs, the rest is ground.

I don't know how I feel about bone meal (Dr. P). I going to start saving the bones that I was previously throwing out, maybe I'll use those! Now to figure out that calculation.

Is MCHA more expensive than Alnutrin?
 
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ldg

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I've never actually figured out whether or not it costs less or more to make my own vitamin mix (based on Dr. Becker's recipe), and feed egg yolks and sardines, or just use Alnutrin, with feeding no egg yolks and sardines. I think that's a bigger project than I care to tackle. :lol3:

I make my own vitamin mix using an adaptation of Dr. Becker's vitamin mix recipe for "cats eating everything they should be." She includes no organ other than liver in any of her recipes - and I don't feed my cats any veggies or fruits from her recipes. I worked with mschauer to tailor the vitamin mix to the diet I feed (that includes liver and kidney). I'd been searching for a way to supplement manganese (which is needed in SUCH a small amount it's basically impossible to supplement properly on its own - unless it's compounded). Well, Dr. Becker's recipe included it, so it was a way to supplement it with enough bulk.

Maybe mschauer would be willing to run the numbers on the supplement for cats "not eating everything they should be" to see what it looks like with just meat?
 

peaches08

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Yes, quite a bit more. That's why I use two weeks of Alnutrin then two weeks of MCHA, because I can't afford to feed only MCHA as the bone alternate.
Ah! I'm a student so I try to keep costs down, so Alnutrin may be the way to go. I'll also take the easier road and get it with calcium. Gonna try plain pork with them tonight, just to see if they will eat it.

Maybe we should have a supplements thread too?

ETA: Ack! Just saw the cost of Alnutrin...maybe eggshell with my supps would be cheaper...
 
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lcat4

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Just to clarify, When Laurie says Alnutrin in this context, she's referring to their eggshells, not the premix.

I buy their premix with eggshell, because I'm a worry wort and know I would forget something important if I had lots of separate supplements. It's peace of mind! I buy two packages at a time - same shipping cost as one package. They both go in the fridge. I use them long before any expiration date.
 

aprilprey

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I've never actually figured out whether or not it costs less or more to make my own vitamin mix (based on Dr. Becker's recipe), and feed egg yolks and sardines, or just use Alnutrin, with feeding no egg yolks and sardines. I think that's a bigger project than I care to tackle.
I don't blame you; our time is worth something too.  Once in a while, letting others do some of the work, and paying a few cents more, reaps much reward in our lives if it gives us some of our time back with our people and pets. 

The last food making session we had, in which we gave ourselves whopping headaches trying to be accurate with chicken bone and calcium - took so much energy, I realized at the end of the day I had barely said hello to my cats once!  Dexter came up to me in the late afternoon, right in my face, as if to say: REMEMBER ME???
 
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ldg

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Yes, THANK YOU. I mean ALNUTRIN EGGSHELL POWDER only, not the supplement meant for meat/bones/organs OR just meat/bones.

Eggshellant also makes eggshell powder, but it costs more than the Alnutrin eggshell powder. The Alnutrin eggshell powder is the last item in the eshop of http://www.knowwhatyoufeed.com/shop_online.html

This thread isn't about making complete meals. It's only about balancing phosphorus in meat and organs with something other than fresh bone, for which I'd done the calculations for eggshell powder or MCHA.

But there is absolutely no reason not to make your own eggshell powder. Just save your eggshells, dry them completely, and powder them. For making the vitamin supplement, I bought a coffee grinder just for it, and it turns tablets and things into a really fine powder. I imagine if I crushed up dry eggshells, it would work great for that too. :nod:

(Just let everything settle for a while before opening it, or you'll have dust everywhere. :lol3: ).
 
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peaches08

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I go through egg shells! Do you rinse them? How do you dry them?

I'll check out the vitamin recipe you mentioned.
 
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ldg

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peaches08, I just edited the first post to reflect the questions, because it can be confusing. :nod:
 

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Peaches, FYI, a package of Alnutrin premix supplements about 27 pounds of meat, before adding liver/organs or water. That adds about $0.75 to the cost of meat per pound. Once you add some water and organs, the food stretches to more meals fed. Don't know how much your supplements cost...

At one point, I remember seeing a thread that summarized lots of this. Wasn't that one of yours Laurie?
 
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ldg

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I go through egg shells! Do you rinse them? How do you dry them?

I'll check out the vitamin recipe you mentioned.
I posted the adaptions I made with mschauer's help to Dr. Becker's recipe here: http://www.thecatsite.com/t/240497/started-them-on-raw-tonight-d/720#post_3300096

And for the eggshells, yes, just rinse the eggs before you use them. You can rinse them once they're cracked, to make sure there's not extra white in them. Then just put them on a plate in the sun to dry, or bake them at 300 degrees for 20 minutes or so. Either way - the only goal is to make sure they're completely dry.

And these are the measuring spoons I use:
The "smidgen" is 1/32 teaspoon.
 
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ldg

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Peaches, FYI, a package of Alnutrin premix supplements about 27 pounds of meat, before adding liver/organs or water. That adds about $0.75 to the cost of meat per pound. Once you add some water and organs, the food stretches to more meals fed. Don't know how much your supplements cost...

At one point, I remember seeing a thread that summarized lots of this. Wasn't that one of yours Laurie?
Probably. :lol3: Good luck finding it! ;)
 

peaches08

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Peaches, FYI, a package of Alnutrin premix supplements about 27 pounds of meat, before adding liver/organs or water. That adds about $0.75 to the cost of meat per pound. Once you add some water and organs, the food stretches to more meals fed. Don't know how much your supplements cost...

At one point, I remember seeing a thread that summarized lots of this. Wasn't that one of yours Laurie?
I came up with 40 lbs meat/$19.95 = ~$2.00/lb just for the supplement. Maybe I'm confused?

LDG, thanks for that! I think investing in a coffee grinder is the next step. Not only for the eggshells but the vitamin mix too. Think I may check out the manganese too!
 
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ldg

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Whenever I would have been calculating costs, the Alnutrin with eggshell powder wouldn't have existed.

But you're doing the math backwards. $20 cost divided by 40 pounds of meat it balances means it adds $0.50 to the cost per pound.
 
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ldg

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Whenever I would have been calculating costs, the Alnutrin with eggshell powder wouldn't have existed.

But you're doing the math backwards. $20 cost divided by 40 pounds of meat it balances means it adds $0.50 to the cost per pound.

....and stuff like that is EXACTLY why I run everything by TCS before I do it. :flail:
 
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