Do Cockatiels Need Cuttlebone? {Cuttlebone vs. Mineral Block}

My cockatiel loves his cuttlebone, what about yours? Do cockatiels need cuttlebone?

What’s the difference between cuttlebones and mineral blocks? Do you need help to get your cockatiel used to using cuttlebones?

In this article, we’ll explore everything there is know about cuttlebones for cockatiels.

Do Cockatiels Need Cuttlebone?

Yes. Cockatiels benefit greatly from cuttlebone, which is a crucial component of their diet. Here a 6 reasons why:

  1. Cuttlebone provides a great supply of calcium, which is necessary for cockatiels’ healthy bones and beak formation.
  2. Grinding on cuttlebone prevents overgrowth and promotes good beak health.
  3. Chewing on cuttlebones stimulates their minds and keeps them from becoming bored.
  4. Cuttlebone calcium is essential for female cockatiels during egg development and helps to build robust, healthy eggshells.
  5. Cuttlebone comes from a natural source—the cuttlefish—and is a safe and effective calcium supplement for cockatiels.
  6. Cuttlebone provides a cheap source of calcium carbonate and other trace minerals.

Do Cockatiels Need Mineral Blocks?

Mineral blocks may be a useful addition to cockatiels’ cages and are helpful to them. The provide:

1. Mineral supplementation

Calcium and other trace minerals are provided in mineral blocks, which are crucial for a cockatiel’s general health and wellbeing.

Maintaining a cockatiel’s beak naturally by gnawing on mineral blocks helps to minimize overgrowth and preserve correct beak structure.

2. Mental Stimulation

Cockatiels like investigating and picking at everything in their environment, including mineral blocks, which stimulates their minds. It makes kids feel less bored and stimulates their minds.

3. Nutrition

Some mineral blocks are supplemented with extra vitamins and minerals to provide your cockatiel a well-rounded nutritional supplement.

Make sure the mineral block is composed of safe materials and is intended exclusively for birds. To ensure your cockatiel gets access to new minerals, keep an eye on it and change it as needed.

How Do I Get My Cockatiel to Use the Cuttlebone?

You may encourage your cockatiel to utilize a cuttlebone by doing the following:

  1. Place the cuttlebone inside the cage securely, preferably next to perches or in a readily accessible spot.
  2. Make sure it is placed such that your cockatiel can reach it comfortably.
  3. Keeping a cuttlebone in their cage will attract their attention. They could start looking into it and then use it later.

Cockatiels frequently have a strong want to chew on and investigate new things. They could naturally prefer the cuttlebone’s feel and flavor, which would increase their likelihood of utilizing it.

Set a good example

Gently scratching or tapping the cuttlebone with your finger will instruct the cockatiel on how to utilize it. This may catch their interest and entice them to engage with it.

Not all cockatiels take to a cuttlebone right away. They might need some time to feel at ease with it. Continue providing it as a component of their cage enrichment while being patient.

Keep in mind that cuttlebones shouldn’t be your only source of calcium. Make sure your cockatiel has a varied diet of fresh fruits, veggies, pellets, and other healthy items.

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How Often Do You Give a Cuttlebone?

Depending on a number of variables, you should give your cockatiel a cuttlebone more often than not.

1. Anytime

A cuttlebone should always be present in your cockatiel’s cage, according to expert recommendations. As a result, your bird will always have access to it anytime they feel the urge to chew or get some calcium.

2. Use caution

Pay attention to how quickly your cockatiel consumes the cuttlebone. It could be eaten rather fast by certain birds and somewhat slowly by others. Accordingly, alter the replacement schedule.

3. Analyze the situation

Check the cuttlebone frequently for symptoms of deterioration or wear. Replace it with a new one if it has severely worn down or if your cockatiel has eaten a sizable section of it.

Each bird has different demands, hence they may have different calcium requirements. While various cockatiels may have varied nutritional preferences, some may need extra calcium.

How Long Should a Cuttlebone Last?

The lifespan of a cuttlebone for a cockatiel can vary depending on factors such as the bird’s chewing habits and the frequency of usage.

  • On average, a standard-sized cuttlebone can last anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months.

Monitoring the condition of the cuttlebone is important. As your cockatiel chews on it, the outer layer will gradually wear down.

Once the outer layer becomes significantly depleted or the cuttlebone becomes brittle and fragile, it should be replaced with a fresh one.

Providing a new cuttlebone in a timely manner ensures that your bird continues to have access to a reliable source of calcium and keeps their beak trimmed and healthy.

What Is the Difference Between a Cuttlebone and a Mineral Block?

The functions of a cuttlebone and a mineral block are similar, although they differ significantly.


The cuttlefish’s interior shell, known as the cuttlebone, is primarily made of calcium carbonate. Its soft, chalky texture makes it simple for birds to chew and scrape. Cuttlebones help in beak trimming and are a natural supply of calcium.

Mineral Blocks

Mineral blocks, on the other hand, are often tougher and comprised of a mix of minerals including calcium, iodine, and iron. They require birds to peck at them and provide a wider variety of necessary minerals.

Mineral blocks offer a more varied mineral profile for general nutrition, whereas cuttlebones concentrate on calcium supplements for beak maintenance.

Are Flavored Cuttlebones Safe for Birds?

Flavored cuttlebones, which are cuttlebones infused with flavors like fruit or honey, may seem appealing to birds, but it’s important to exercise caution when offering them. Check for these:

1. Ingredients

Check the ingredients of flavored cuttlebones to ensure they are safe and free from harmful additives, artificial flavors, or excessive sugars.

2. Natural vs. Artificial Flavors

Opt for flavored cuttlebones that use natural flavors derived from real fruits rather than artificial additives.

3. Moderation

Introduce flavored cuttlebones in moderation to prevent excessive consumption or dependence on the flavored version.

4. Preference

Keep in mind that not all birds may enjoy or be attracted to flavored cuttlebones. Monitor your bird’s response and preferences.

Overall, it is generally safer to stick with plain, natural cuttlebones as they provide the necessary calcium without the potential risks associated with added flavors.

Best Cuttlebone for Birds

I like to pick an acceptable and high-quality cuttlebone for my bird. Here are some things to think about while choosing the best cuttlebone:

  1. Size: Take into account the species of your bird and the size of its beak when choosing a cuttlebone. It ought to be substantial enough for your bird to eat and handle without discomfort.
  2. Freshness: Select cuttlebones that are neither brittle or unduly dried out and that are in fact fresh. Birds are more inclined to eat cuttlebones that are still fresh.
  3. Natural and untreated: Opt for cuttlebones that are untreated and devoid of any artificial additives. Avoid cuttlebones that have undergone chemical or bleach treatment.
  4. Organic Choices: Some producers sell pesticide- and chemical-free organic cuttlebones. If bird owners are looking for organic items, these could be an excellent option.
  5. Reputable Suppliers: Buy cuttlebones from suppliers or businesses who have a reputation for producing high-quality bird items. For advice, read reviews and speak with other bird owners or avian specialists.

Keep in mind that cuttlebones shouldn’t be used as the only source of nutrients, but rather as a complement to a healthy diet. Keep an eye on your bird’s consumption and replace the cuttlebone as it gets worn out or exhausted.


Cuttlebones are a useful supplement to the diet of cockatiels and many other birds. They give a stimulating chewing activity, necessary nutrients, and support the health of the beak and beak muscles.

Pick a cuttlebone that is natural, of great quality, and of the right size. Take into account elements like freshness, organic choices, and reliable brands.

Even though flavored cuttlebones may be alluring, it’s preferable to stay with natural versions to protect your bird’s health and safety.

Always keep an eye on your cockatiel’s food intake, replace the cuttlebone as needed, and continue to offer a healthy meal in addition to the cuttlebone. Cuttlebones can improve your cockatiel’s general health and enrichment when used properly.


Thank you for visiting for the best information to help you enjoy the life of your pocket pet companion in a fun, safe & healthy way.


My name is Anna and I work full time in my local pet shop where we sell many animals that I write about on this site. I love all animals and love writing about them.