Does Your Pet Bird Need a Cuttlebone?

A cuttlebone keeps your bird's beak healthy.  It actually provides nutrients that are difficult for your pet bird to get and the rough surface smoothes down his growing beak.

Cuttlebones are an important source of calcium, and other trace minerals your bird needs.

Did you know that a cuttlebone isn't actually bone at all?

What is cuttlebone?

According to experts at The Nest, a cuttlebone is a natural product and isn't actually a bone at all.

"Instead, it is the inner shell of a squid-like cephalopod called a cuttlefish. Some people worry about contamination in cuttlebones, but according to the Humane Society of the United States, cuttlebones are safe for birds to use." 

Why is it important for birds?

Great Companions tells us cuttlebone is an important dietary supplement for birds because it is a great source of necessary minerals and calcium, which helps birds with bone formation and blood clotting. 

"Cuttlebone is an inexpensive source of calcium carbonate and other trace minerals for your bird. It is a natural product and doesn't contain toxins or contaminants. Similar to calcium, trace elements are crucial for both people and birds. The trace elements found within cuttlebone benefit birds, as well. Iron aids with red blood cell formation and function, Potassium maintains normal heart and muscle activity, Zinc helps with the immune system, and Copper assists with proper circulation and healing."

You'll also hear experts recommend pet bird owners to add cuttlebone to their cage. This shell has a rough texture, making it an ideal tool to help support beak strength. Birds can use cuttlebones to help keep their beaks trimmed and sharp. 

Do all birds enjoy it?

Place the cuttlebone near a perch so your bird doesn't have to hang onto the side of the cage while trying to gnaw on it. You can also crush up some of the cuttlebone and sprinkle it onto his food to ensure that your bird gets enough calcium. 

How to put cuttlebone in your bird's cage

Hang the cuttlebone in your bird's cage for him to chew on. Make sure that the soft side of the cuttlebone is facing the bird because the hard side might be too hard to scrape through.

Cuttlefish bones are loved by most pet birds and there are many blog posts about parakeets that cannot get enough. If you're uncomfortable using this as a source of calcium a mineral block is also fine for pet birds.

You can use a metal clip to attach the cuttlebone to the side of the cage!

Have you ever lived with a parrot? Please leave us a comment below!

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