Is it essential to give cuttlefish bone to my budgie? He rarely touches it.

© Paul J. Morris

Cuttlefish bone serves as a source of calcium, which is lacking in seed. It also provides your budgie with a hard surface to gnaw on, which should help to prevent his bill from becoming overgrown. While cock budgerigars may not consume large amounts of cuttlefish, some hens will rip these bones apart. Hen budgies are most likely to consume cuttlefish bone when they are about to start laying, as they will require calcium for the eggshells at this stage.

If you are using a supplement containing calcium, then a cuttlefish bone may not be essential from a dietary standpoint, but it can still provide your pet with something to nibble on occasions, so always offer it. Be sure that the soft, powdery side is easily accessible. You can fix the cuttlefish up quite easily, using a special clip sold in pet stores, without the need to bend the bars of the cage for this purpose.