What Is It?
The cuttlebone is the calcareous internal shell of a cuttlefish. Cuttlefish have eight arms and two tentacles and are found in oceans all over the world.
The major component of cuttlebone is calcium carbonate, making up 85 percent. The second biggest component in cuttlebone is an organic material, which makes up 8.9 percent and is mainly carbohydrate material.
Why Is It Important?
Most people have heard the saying that calcium builds strong bones, but it’s important to realize that the same applies to birds. 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. On the other hand, most artificial mineral blocks are made from Plaster of Paris. It is also important to know that the artificial mineral blocks contain whatever the manufacturer added; this could be food coloring or seed.
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.
Besides being an important dietary supplement, cuttlebone 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. Even finches and canaries will often improve their beak health if you provide them with cuttlebone.
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