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Cuttle bone replacement?

Well everybody KNOWS by now that I am owned by Sweetheart the blue budgie. I've kept them in the past and the cuttlebone is just part of the cage setup. I'm not sure why they need it, I think it provides minerals as well as a place to sharpen the beak.
But having seen a fascinating documentary on cuttlefish/squid and how they communicate, and the marked intelligence of these strangely beautiful sea creatures, I find I can no longer just stick the "bone" in there for Sweetheart to destroy. (Not to mention giving up calamari!!) Do any of our resident budgie experts know a) why they need it and b) what would be a viable replacement? Not sure anything else would be available here but I can try.
(BTW he has a new phrase. Yesterday I heard him say, using DH's and my exact intonations: "Honey?? --¿Qué quieres?" /what do you want/ in Spanish. Imitative and bilingual--what a hoot!)

Hi,

I buy cuttle bone too.  I think it is a major form of digestible calcium and minerals which they need.  I don't know of a replacement.  If you find one, let me know.  I know they love it and enjoy using their beaks on it.

Gotta run know as the kitchen guy is coming and my kitchen is a mess!

Di

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that's cute, bilingual bird! my cats only know "merrow" ("give us wet food") and "meeeeoooowww" (let me in the bathroom with you)

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I absolutely love cuttlefish, and being previously empolyed at a pet store, I, too, have wondered if there's any way to ditch the cuttlebone.

I found a site that gives a few examples of adequate supplements for calcium:

http://www.birdsnways.com/wisdom/ww22eii.htm

It says alfalfa and kelp are some options. I dug a bit deeper and found that dicalcium phosphate is sold as a dietary supplement, I'm guessing any GNC would have it.

Hope that's helpful.

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