Hey everyone! I wanted to share with you guys, something that I came up with in order to get rid of those flimsy metal cuttlebone mounts. A while back I decided that I was tired of having my birds whittle away their cuttlebones only to have them fall down and scare my precious flock. I went to dollar general and bought a cheap pack of zip/cable ties and began poking holes in the cuttlebones to fit the ties. Anyway, I have created this tutorial to show you all what I did. It made my life a whole lot easier and no more frightened budgies.
First, take out those old, used cuttlebones that have been chewed on to death.
Now get your new supplies together. Including new cuttlebones, zip/cable ties, and a set of new pick tools:
Take the straight pick tool out of the pack, they usually come in a 4 pack. For now, you will only need this pick, your new cuttlebones, and a piece of cardboard.
Take your cuttlebone out of the package, and toss the chincey tin mount in the garbage, or set it aside for repurposing. You won't need it for this anymore.
Take the straight pick you took out earlier and put the tip about a 1/2 inch from center on the cuttlebone. This is where you will need the cardboard piece. Kids who are reading this, you may want to get an adult to help you here. Poke the pick through the cuttlebone until you hear and feel it break through the back. It's ok if the back chips, it only makes it easier to widen the hole a little.
Then do the same thing to the other side, just 1/2 inch from the center.
After you're done with this step, you'll have accumulated quite the pile of cuttlebone powder and chips. You can add the powder and break up and add the chips to your flock's food for that extra boost of calcium.
Next, get your 2 zip ties ready.
When you insert these into the holes, start from the back of the bone, and come forward. When you do this, make sure you do so, so that the zip/cable ties can be fastened backwards. This way it can be removed, and reused when the cuttlebones wear out. If you need help figuring out which way backwards is, make sure the splines are facing away from the tab in the big end.
Go ahead and pull it all the way through until you reach the big end.
Bend the zip/cable tie so you can insert it into the front of the cuttlebone.
Pull the zip/cable tie until it stops, fully inserted into the cuttlebone.
It should look like this from the back when you're done with these steps:
The next step is a little bit tricky if you have a bigger cage. You want the zip/cable tie to be on either side of 2 bars, like this:
Put the thin end into the big end and pull tight. Make sure you don't hear any clicking. If you do, you have fastened the zip/cable tie the way it's originally meant to be used. It will have to be cut off, and you'll have to try again. That's it! You're done! Your flock's new cuttlebone should be mounted nice and secure, and your birds will surly have a harder time ripping them off the walls, lol.
I hope this helps someone else out the that is totally fed up with chincy tin mounts for your cuttlebones, and doesn't want to spend too much on a solution. I hope you all enjoyed my tutorial!
Thank you for my wonderful signature Deb!!!
RIP Pepper, Peatri, Holly, Mini, and Quarty
Thanks for the great idea, Kristen.
My budgies haven't used the cuttlebone much yet. Maybe they will like this new holder.
I never saw that pick set before. It seems like a very useful thing to have around the house!
Member of the Year 2016//Exceptional Service Award August 2016//MOTM May 2013
What a simple and effective cuttlebone holder.
We use long screws, thumb screws and 2 washers with either wood flat beads or pieces of a branch in 1/4 to1/2" sections to separate the cuttle bone from the round brown iodine mineral salt wheel used for small rodents. We buy a case or large cuttlebones and sort full size and broken pieces and line them up on a surface that is safe to receive a drill bit. Then I take our cordless drill with a 1/4" drill bit and center each hole mid way for both vertical and horizontal.If using branch sections, chose a 3/4 to 1" diameter straight branch and saw cross sections about 1/4" wide along the branch. Then take the round pieces and drill a 1/4 " hole in the middle of each circle. This is great for toys as well. Assemble parts in order as follows: Working from rounded screw head on a 3" to 4" long screw with a 1/4" or 3/8" diameter , add a round wood section or flat bead then add the round mineral salt wheel then another wood section, then a cuttlebone with soft side facing the screw head, Then a 1" to 3" washer against the back of the cuttlebone. Place this assembly between two vertical or horizontal cage bars, and add 2nd washer and a thumb screw and tighten to desired fit. If the end of the screw extends too far beyond the cage we cut it off to fit the need. For small travel cages we use broken half size cuttlebone in the assembly. They last forever and combine 2 mineral sources in one. We hav a bird toy company assemble these for us in bulk but very easy to do your self for one or 2 birds. Blessings, Jo Ann
great minds think alike! i had a similar idea with one hole and a pony bead with string
I have 8 parakeets, a cat, a rabbit, 2 frogs, 2 newts, about 22 self cloning marbled crayfish, 7 fish tanks, and 2 bettas. my 9 'keets are beyond spoiled with my DIY toys and 2 big trees to play on
Leon - Butch (RIP) - Baby Bird - Pickles - Bowie - Bobby - Leo - Ace - Cheerio