Sunday, September 19, 2010
How to make eggshell powder
I'm making eggshell powder today for the first time, thought I'd share.
I feed a raw diet to my dogs. On a typical day, they get either Tollden Farms frozen patties and/or various other foods.
I don't believe that a dog's diet has to be perfectly balanced every day; as long as they get a fairly balanced diet during the course of a week or even a month (although a week is preferred), they'll be eating well. I don't feed my dogs the pre-made patties day in, day out because dogs' bodies don't respond well to eating the exact same foods every day. My dogs get their patties several times a week, but the rest of the time they get various assortments of food. Also, both dogs get Prozyme enzyme supplements every couple days and a fish oil capsule twice a week. Wall-e has been getting glucosime every couple days since his injury in April (he used to get 125mg, but now I've upped it to 250mg because of his re-injury).
But even though a dog's diet doesn't have to be exactly balanced every day, they should be receiving a good calcium/phosphorus (Ca:P) ratio as often as possible. This is pretty important for dogs. The Tollden Farms patties have a good C:Pa ratio, but when I feed other foods, I still want my dogs to be receiving a good ratio. The recommended ratio is 1.2:1, but many individual foods have more phosphorus than calcium. What to do? Add a calcium supplement.
I referred to one of my favourite books, Dr. Pitcairn's Natural Health for Dogs & Cats, to choose which calcium supplement to use. I narrowed it down between bone meal and eggshell powder. I chose eggshell powder because I would have to buy bone meal, and when there's an option between buying and making my own, I prefer to make my own (when possible).
I'll put the instructions from Dr. Pitcairn's book in my own words, adding some tips that I discovered today while making the eggshell powder.
1. Collect at least a dozen eggshells. I collected two dozen.
2. Wash the eggshells.
3. Bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. This makes the eggshells brittle and easier to grind, and also removes the coating that is sometimes added to the shells to keep them from drying out.
4. Crush the eggshells, as shown in the photo at the beginning of this post. This will make the shells easier to grind.
5. Grind using a mortar and pestle, blender, or nut and seed grinder. I chose to use a mortar and pestle. Grind to a "fine powder."
And you're done. Each eggshell makes about 1tsp of powder (1,800mg of calcium).
It's actually kind of fun to use the mortar and pestle. I'm only about halfway done making the powder, but it's going well. And soon I'll have some pretty powder to add to some of the foods my dogs eat.