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Member of the Month November 2014
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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!
 
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