Eggs eggs eggs! Nature’s very own superfood.
Eggs are an excellent source of easily digestible protein for your cat or dog, and are rich in vitamins and minerals that they need.
Some beautifully mottled quail egg shells.
Pets can be given eggs hard-boiled (my cats love them hard-boiled) or eggs that are lightly cooked. This is to make sure that the protein avidin in raw egg whites do not interfere with biotin (vitamin B) in the body. Although some experts believe that feeding a whole egg is alright, because there is more than enough biotin in eggs, I am paranoid and I cook my eggs a little anyway–or I save the whites for myself.
But did you know that your eggshells are useful too? You can crush them and sprinkle them onto your pet’s commercial food (once or twice weekly) for an additional natural calcium boost! For raw diets feeders, more instructions to come below 😉
Eggshells contain calcium and trace amounts of other microelements such as magnesium, boron, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, sulphur and zinc. Eggshell calcium is probably the best natural source of calcium, and is 90% absorbable. The composition of an eggshell is also very similar to our bones and teeth.
The stone pestle and mortar that I bought especially for this. This set cost me $14 from a neighbourhood shop (those that sell bowls, knives/other cutlery/woks/dustbins/frying pans/etc). [Edit: I soft boil my eggs when I use the shells because the egg shells may be contaminated with chicken poop]
Here’s a how-to from International Journal of Poultry Science, A Review of the Uses of Poultry Eggshells and Shell Membranes, Department of Animal Sciences, Egerton University.
“To make eggshell powder, boil eggshells in hot water to kill pathogens, then air dry them. Grind them into a fine powder. One whole medium sized eggshells makes about 1 teaspoon of powder, which yields about 750-800mgs of elemental calcium.”
Making a nice fine powder…
The sound of eggshells cracking is very pleasing to the ear haha.
How I got my cats to take an interest in eggs:
Well, it was rather an accident, actually! I tempted them the same way I got my pet cockatiels to in the past–I ate hardboiled eggs in front of them! They got really interested and started sniffing around…one nibble led to another…and…soon they got hooked onto hard boiled eggs.
Soft-boiled eggs were a little harder because two of them spoiled kitties did not like mushy foods. I started with giving them just a tiny bit mixed with their raw meat. When they got used to licking the liquid egg from the bowl, I increased the amount.
I usually divide two chicken eggs between the 3 cats once or twice a week, but if I’m using quail eggs, they get one each. Eggs are fabulous for raising the protein content of foods with low levels of protein, such as Nutripe (a recent Singapore favourite) and Natural Balance (which, at $5, only gives you 8% protein!). If you are a raw newbie and feel really hesitant to start out on home-cooked meals, you can start with eggs. It is very hard to go wrong with eggs!
You can either mix it with your raw meat or you can do this–mix both egg and powdered eggshell with canned food. The good thing about canned food is that you can virtually hide anything in it. This is harder to do with raw meat and kibble, but I have managed to get my cats to eat powdered eggshells with egg and their raw meat dinner. 😉
[Note: Eggshell is very high in calcium. Each whole crushed eggshell contains about 750-800mg of calcium and you don’t need to give the whole thing to the poor pet! Here’s an excerpt from Nutrient requirements of cats By National Research Council (U.S.). Subcommittee on Cat Nutrition:
“Growing kittens as well as adults require 200 to 400mg calcium per day…when fed raw meat, the phosphorous intake of meat was about 400mg a day. Thus it was necessary to raise calcium intake in order to bring calcium-phosphorous ratios to 1:1…a ratio of calcium to phosphorous of between 1:1 and 2:1 has been proven acceptable…”
1 teaspoon of crushed egg shell should give you 800mg of calcium, and since a cat eats about around 400mg of phosphorous a day if fed on a meat diet, 1/2 a teaspoon of crushed egg shell will suffice.
The same goes for dogs 😉 calcium should not be fed on a per-kg basis only, but rather, on how much phosphorous the intake is. Calcium deficiency has been recorded rather commonly especially in pets fed raw diet. As we’ve said, raw-diets are so much more than feeding your pets a chicken breast.
Tough? That’s why we recommend a good, vet-approved supplement powder! If your cat is on canned and kibble, you should not be supplementing too often, because that may lead to an overdose of calcium, which will cause urinary tract blockage.]
Here’s a video of Max and his egg yolk.
Try giving your pet an egg today!
A Review of the Uses of Poultry Eggshells and Shell Membranes, Department of Animal Sciences, Egerton University. International Journal of Poultry Science.
Nutrient requirements of cats By National Research Council (U.S.). Subcommittee on Cat Nutrition
Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats By Subcommittee on Dog and Cat Nutrition, Committee on Animal Nutrition, National Research Council
Categories: The Raw Explorer