I cannot emphasize enough how necessary cuttlebone is to birds, but attaching one to a birdie's cage can be tricky.
Cuttlebone holders purchased from local pet stores or online E-commerce platforms, such as Amazon, is the apparent option for the average parrot owner...
..., but most do not like them because, at times, the metal attachment is not wide enough to go around two adjacent cage bars, plus other trivial but rather annoying flaws.
I buy mine at PetSmart, but the metal attachments are not wide enough. The cuttlebone falls right off anytime my bird brushes on it: Laurend, Parrot Forums
Now, my alternative to using a cuttlebone holder to attach a bone to the cage is with a zip tie, jute, foldback, or bulldog clips, but making a hole all the way through then using your preferred (of the mentioned) items to hold it in place works better.
The trick helps make sure the cuttlebone is almost wholly available for your bird to peck on.
Read on for more insight on attaching cuttlebone to your bird's cage and even how to make a cuttlefish bone holder, in case the options at your disposal don't work.
Where to Put Cuttlebone in Your Bird's Cage
There are several places to put cuttlefish bone in a cage, but I prefer to hang mine with a zip tie to the side between two verticle bars with the longer end (99 percent) of the bone inside the pen.
I make sure the zip lock goes in drilled holes through the cuttlebone and around the bars to keep it in place firmly.
I know some bird parents prefer to use cuttlebone holders, but I never manage to keep them from tipping over.
A slight nudge on the cuttlefish bone from my GCC, and I'm back to balancing the bone again.
How to Make A Cuttlebone Holder
Making your own cuttlebone holder will not only save you recurrent expenditure on the less than adequate store-bought-holder but also offer you the chance to add your own creativity and embellishments.
A well-designed DIY cuttlebone holder will be sturdy and spruce your bird's cage batter.
To make one, you will need a few supplies and time to follow through the steps.
What You Need to Make A Cuttlebone Holder
Realistically, you only need very few items to make a cuttlebone holder for your birds, most of which you may already have in your house.
While making mine, I use:
- Zip ties, jute or foldclips
- Drill , Scissors, or pocket knife
Now, after you have all your supplies, take your cuttlebone and gently cut a hole centrally through it. I use a pair of scissors or a pocket knife, but a drill will also do.
A drill is a lot faster, and you'll get a cleaner cut.
Once you have the hole in place, take your zip ties and pass them through the hole, then attach it to the bars of your cage. You can use jute if you want a more rustic feel.
Zip ties are best when you want some pomp and color in your birdie's cage, but if you have a large cuttlebone, such as those you would get from the beach, use something more sturdy, like fold or bulldog clips.
Remember, cuttlefish bone is not too strong a material, so when making the hole through it, be sure not to break it. Drill the hole gently, keeping an eye on weak points on your piece, more so if you purchased it from a pet store.
You have more leeway to experiment if cuttlebone is readily available on your local beach since you can simply run there and get another piece if you lose one.
How to Give Your Bird, Budgie Cuttlebone
Now that you know how to attach cuttlebone to a bird's cage, there is a need to learn how and when to feed your bird (parrot) cuttlefish.
Yes, calcium is necessary for your bird, but as with everything under the sun, too much of it, well, let's just say it's not good for his kidneys or mineralization.
So, make sure you offer him (your bird) cuttlebone in moderation.
The best way to do this is to hang the cuttlebone on the cage for your bird to chew, with the soft side facing him since it's tender enough to scrape through.
This way, he can access it whenever he wants, but you can also take it away from him pretty quick if you think he has had too much.
Note that the hard side of the cuttlebone might be good for your birdie's grooming needs but might be too hard to graze on, more so for younger birds.
You do not want your feathered pet to lose interest in the cuttlebone because it's too hard missing out on both the calcium supplement and grooming.
At times, your bird might also not be interested in cuttlefish bone even if it's tender enough, in which case, break it into tiny bits and sprinkle it over his food.
Can Birds Have Too Much Cuttlebone
Yes, a bird can have too much cuttlebone, which can be detrimental to its health. In fact, some vets say they observe more problems resulting from calcium over-supplementation than deficiencies.
So, it helps to know how much is enough for your bird and stick to the amount. Perhaps the only times you would want to offer him more cuttlebone is when molting or during egg formation.
Remember to also consider other calcium sources for your birdie when estimating how much cuttlebone is enough for him.
Any other way and too much cuttlebone will cause your feathered pets problems with its kidneys.
That said, excess cuttlebone is not likely to do your birdies any harm in the short term, especially if he is on a seed-based diet with minimal multivitamin and calcium supplements.
The problem comes when cuttlebone is given continuously for months or years, including outside the egg formation or molting period.
Some seasoned bird owners also argue that cuttlebone is low-grade calcium, and your birdie can not suffer for ingesting excess amounts unless you're offering him other calcium-rich bitings concurrently.
That's all for this post. See you in the next one.
All the best to a cool😎, awesome birdie🦜 parent.