If you are a new Caique owner, you have probably heard the word cuttlebone being thrown around.
So, what is it? And, does your Caique need it?
- What is Cuttlebone and Why Do Caiques Need Cuttlebone?
- Why Do Caiques Need Cuttlebone, and How Much Should They Have?
- Can You Overfeed Cuttlebone To Your Caique
- How to Use Cuttlebone For Your Caique:
- Where Can You Find Cuttlebones?
- How to Tell if Your Caique Needs More or Less Cuttlebone
- How do Cuttlebones Benefit Your Caique?
- The Importance of A Healthy Diet in Maintaining a Healthy Beak for Birds.
What is Cuttlebone and Why Do Caiques Need Cuttlebone?
Cuttlebones are calcium-rich bones that Caiques and other birds use to help maintain their beaks and nails.
They also help with digestion and can be a fun toy for your Caique to play with.
As mentioned above, cuttlebones are very rich in calcium; an essential mineral for your Caique’s health.
A cuttlebone will help to strengthen their bones and minimize the risk of injury, while also promoting healthy digestion.
Why Do Caiques Need Cuttlebone, and How Much Should They Have?
Typically, the intake is not measured but instead, you should simply provide your Caique with a cuttlebone whenever their beak or nails look like they need some care.
You can mount it in your Caique’s cage using a cuttlebone bracket or holder, or simply place it in their cage.
Overall, cuttlebone is an important addition to your Caique’s diet and care routine, as, without it, their beaks and nails may become both overgrown or weakened as the cuttlebone helps to combat Caique beak grinding.
Can You Overfeed Cuttlebone To Your Caique
As mentioned above, you will not need to feed or monitor intake as such, but rather provide your Caique with a cuttlebone to use if and when they need to.
If you do, however, notice your Caique is spending excessive amounts of time on the cuttlebone, or not eating much else, you may want to remove it from the cage.
In this case, you should discontinue the use of the cuttlebone and check with a vet to ensure that your Caique is healthy.
Overall, if used properly as part of a balanced diet for your Caique, there should be no issues.
How to Use Cuttlebone For Your Caique:
Having a mounted cuttlebone in your bird’s diet is always preferable to avoiding nutritional deficiencies or weakening.
You can maintain a constant and consistent supply of calcium by mounting the cuttelbone.
This also allows the bird to take small pieces as they please, again encouraging ongoing and consistent calcium intake.
It also aids in the reduction of dust, mess, and any food safety concerns.
Where Can You Find Cuttlebones?
Cuttlebones are very common in pet shops and online pet stores.
They are very inexpensive and you can often buy wholesale batches on Amazon. They also have a long expiry date and will last for months to years if unopened.
Cuttlebones also come in many different sizes, so they’re suitable for all types of birds including most reptiles as well.
They are pretty common across the US, Canada, and Europe.
How to Tell if Your Caique Needs More or Less Cuttlebone
If your Caique has a calcium deficiency or is hyperactive, it’s probably because you’re not feeding them enough cuttlebone.
If they have a calcium-related disease like kidney stones or osteoporosis, they may be eating more cuttlebone than the amount that’s recommended for their size and health.
But if they are just a normal, healthy Caique then you shouldn’t have any issues when leaving cuttlebone in their cage.
One way to tell if your Caique needs more or less calcium is by looking at the density and thickness of its feathers; a bird with healthy bones will get stronger feathers.
You can also tell by how they move-if their bones are weak and fragile, then it will be difficult for them to fly around your house.
Too much intake is just as bad…
If your Caique has too much calcium in its diet, it may develop kidney or liver problems, or even experience issues with bone density and fractures
To avoid these issues, it’s important to monitor the amount of cuttlebone that your Caique consumes by only placing it in the cage at certain times in the day or week.
How do Cuttlebones Benefit Your Caique?
As mentioned, cuttlebones are a great alternative source of calcium for birds who are not fond of vegetables like kale, bok choy or dandelion greens.
It does not replace them by any means, but nor is calcium its only function.
Cuttlebone also helps keep your Caiques beak and nails healthy and strong.
Since Caiques are unable to digest cellulose, they have difficulties absorbing calcium from vegetables and plants as a result.
Lastly, the cuttlebone also acts like a toothbrush for your Caique and will help them to keep their beak healthy by removing any leftover food, plaque, and bacteria from inside their mouth.
The Importance of A Healthy Diet in Maintaining a Healthy Beak for Birds.
A healthy diet with an adequate amount of calcium is essential for pet birds who are out of their natural habitat.
Birds need to maintain a certain amount of calcium in their diet in order to keep their bones and beaks healthy and strong.
Calcium is especially important for growing chicks, as it helps them grow and develop properly into adults.
Without sounding too repetitive, you should pay close attention to your Caique diet, beyond just calcium, as a bad diet is often the root cause of sudden death in Caiques