It's been a while since I wrote on my favourite subject, dogs. Well I am a member on Face Book of a group called 'Bloodhound Owners'. In groups like this commonly there are disagreements (as we are all experts!!) but more commonly help is always close at hand. Ellen, a friend of mine is very much into feeding her dogs as naturally as possible, which although I don't, I wish I could. The costs are too prohibitive. Anyway the other day she posted an article titled 'Bone Soup'.
Now any dog lover will tell you how for hours their dog will knaw on a knuckle bone and we all know the goodness contained within the marrow of bones. So having read the article I decided I'd give it a go. Now being the impatient bugger that I am, I thought, okay I'll substitute a slow cooker with a pressure cooker. Of course the recommendation was to leave the slow cooker on for 24 hrs. Now that time in a pressure cooker I reduced to 12 hrs, but of course you have to be careful doing it this way as IF I had forgotten it, I could have destroyed my kitchen!. Anyway job done. I mixed the remaining fluid which was about a pint and a half into their dried dog food, and they loved it.
Okay, let's do this right. 6.5 Ltr slow cooker, check. Visit to the local butchers and a huge bag of assorted bones for £1 to charity, check. Re-find the original article so I do it right, check.
I smashed some of the larger bones up using my hatchet I use for my wood burner, so they would fit in the pot. Max stole the biggest and best which he spent the next 18 hrs munching his way through, nom, nom. All I had to do was wait. 24 hrs later, well 22 hrs. I'm impatient okay! after having added some chicken bones from the takeaway I had the previous evening, I end up with my first real broth.
Now I had around 2-3 Litres of Broth! As you can see some of it I will be freezing to use as dog treats in the summer.
What you can see here is not all of it. I'm going to have to get more containers!
I could see that the marrows hadn't been fully dissolved into the broth and so to make sure I drained every last drop of goodness from the bones I put them all into a pressure cooker for a further 2 hrs.
Now I asked the butcher for as many bones as he could get me every Friday! Ha, how stupid am I! I think maybe the same amount of bones possibly once every two weeks maybe only once a month. So I am not rich enough to feed raw food to my dog which I would love to, but at least now I have a way of feeding them a genuinely preservative free, man-made interference free, wonderfully good supplement for them! Oh and apart from electricity for cooking, FREE!
One of the great things about having dogs is, there is very little cleaning up to be done!
One word of warning. Do NOT give the cooked bones to your dogs. Just throw them away. They splinter and can be very harmful to them.