I have found that if I pressure cook a chicken (or other fowl), it
leaches most all the gelatin and many nutrients out of the bones into
the broth, and the bones are actually so soft they have the consistency
of a bean that has been cooked, just a little short of completely.
Since calcium mineral supplements cost money and you already have the
bones (they came in the bird), in times of need the bones could be
eaten. While they are not as flavorful or nicely textured as the
chicken meat, they are nutritious, and are very easy to chew, they crumble, don't splinter; but may be
more palatable to mash or blend into a drink (with some tomato juice or
something) and simply drank down. In lieu of that, this is a perfectly
safe way to feed chicken or other poultry bones to your dogs or cats.
[Though I would advise against feeding any chickn scraps or bones back to your chickens,
though no doubt they would eat and enjoy them, it just seems like
cannibalism to me; and though some birds (birds of prey) eat other
birds, they don't really eat their own species except in extreme
situations (the same goes for fish I guess, except for the smallest of fry,
I guess anything bite size is free game).
It will also save a tiny bit
on the cat/dog food bill, given them extra nutrients, and they love
It will be one less thing to pay to be disposed of and dumped in a landfill (or one less thing to burn) and will be one less thing some varmint
will want to rummage through your garbage for.
I have found after having eaten all the meat I care to dissect off a
roasted (or otherwise fully cooked) chicken carcase, about an hour to an
hour and half or so in the pressure cooker will extract the majority
of gelatin/nutrients (the broth will turn to jello in the fridge, but
quickly melts back to the original broth when heated; I explain this for those who have
never done so: some people don't know these things. I was amused and saddened by a few reviews I read of people who had ordered some Amish canned meats, the hamburger one especially, some ignorant reviewers said something to the effect, "this hamburger meat had some strange gooey stuff in it, it was gross, I threw it out without eating it. What he threw away was real meat that had been cooked with some bones and the gooey stuff was beef gelatin; some people are so stupid, they throw away perfectly good food instead of dialing the 800# and asking a question).
Many people don't know that after eating a roasted (or
cooked in anyway) chicken or especially turkey after the holidays, the entire
carcase makes the nicest soup. If cooking the left-over carcase in a pressure cooker cut or
break the carcase up as well as you can so it fits most compactly in the
pot, then fill above the carcase with water; and since in pressure
cooking you lose a significant percentage of water in steam, add maybe
an extra inch of water for about an hour of cook time (cook time starts once the clacker is going or steam pressure built up). Of course, if you don't
pull off all the meat, once you have finished pressure cooking, you will
have to fish the bits and pieces of good meat out from all the bones and
"gunk"; and the dogs and cats will love whatever you don't. Since it is
harder to fish anything out from among all the bones and gunk, I don't
add any vegetables or herbs or spices to the pressure cooker, I will
then drain the broth and add the herbs and spices (basil, parsley, dill, celery leaves and seed, marjoram, rosemary, sage, savory, thyme, etc., salt pepper, garlic granules, cayenne) and vegs (celery, onion, garlic,
carrot, bell peppers, hot peppers, etc.) and simmer it for another 1/2 hour or hour. Adding a
little vinegar also does wonders for soup broth; add a little at a time
until you learn how much; you can always add more but you can't take it
I realize many people may already know most of this, but just for those
who may not.
Also, in case you did not realize it, if you buy poultry from unnatural sources, that use antibiotics, chemicals, fluoridated water (or even worse--from China,
with who knows what in it, all sorts of chemicals too dangerous that the corrupt US has banned, maybe even lead)... fluoride concentrates in the bones, and most all chemicals also in the organs (if you are one who eats organ meat, I am not). Buy only natural poultry (or raise your own).
Also, do not use aluminum pressure cookers (or any cooking instrument) that comes into direct contact with the food (especially acids, like meat, milk, tomatoes, which leach even more aluminum out of the pot or utensil and into the food; aluminum is poison, its sister flouride is a by product of the aluminum industry, and corrupt big business, instead of paying high dollar to dispose of fluoride as toxic waste, bribed corrupt officials in govt to declare it safe and needed, and instead they govt BUYS the toxic waste to put in our water supply, even though not even 1% is used for drinking; but communist nations historically put fluoride in the community water, and farmers traditionally put it in the water of especially aggressive bulls, since fluoride dumbs down and makes one docile, just what is needed for control).
However, Presto and several other companies make stainless steel pressure cookers. They are usually on sale at Amazon. Aluminum ones are fine if using as a bath for canning, since the aluminum does not come into touch with your canned food in the mason jar (and aluminum ones are less expensive, so a large one for canning mason jars would be fine if aluminum, but don't use the water from the bath for anything; pour it down the drain. Cooking should not be done in aluminum. I've had a Presto Stainless steel pressure cooker for about 15 years, smaller size, not sure how many quarts, 6, 8, 10? Check out Amazon. I think some are half off by Presto. But you need to check around because sometimes they inflate the "retail" price and what you think is a bargain often isn't as good as you think; I imagine Presto has their own site, not sure if they retail, but somewhere, like Sears or Wal-mart should have retail price to compare prices; and there is (currently) no tax or shipping charge from Amazon.