Feeding and Nutrition :: Pictures of Cuttlebone Backing

Turtle diets and eating habits discussed here.

Post Posted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 9:34 pm   Pictures of Cuttlebone Backing

There are a lot of posts about cuttlebone and what the backing looks like. I thought I'd post some pictures of the backing and one way to get the backing off.

This is what cuttlebone looks like. It varies in length, width, and thickness, but it generally looks like this. You can find it in the bird supplies section of pet stores, or even grocery stores.
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The side with the backing is shown. If you try to run your fingernail along this side, you will file down your fingernail.

On the opposite side, the soft side, it is easy to dig your fingernail into and make a gouge.
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When looking at the cuttlebone from the side, you can see one side has a yellow/off-white layer. This is the backing.
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I use a pointy butter knife to chip the backing off. I usually start by wedging the point just under the backing.
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Lift the point up, and a chunk (hopefully mostly backing) will come off.
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Here's what the cuttlebone looks like with the backing partially chipped off.
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If you run your fingernail across where you have chipped the backing off, it will be soft like the other side.
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Keep chipping away by sticking your knife just under the backing. It usually takes me about 5-10 minutes, depending on the bone. I would recommend doing this outside, since it can be messy.
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This is what the bone looks like with all the backing chipped off.
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Sometimes the backing comes off in nice big pieces, and sometimes in little tiny pieces. It really depends on the bone.

Finally, I usually cut the bone into head-sized pieces, which I give to my turtles every second day or so.
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As a minor note, I actually used ZooMed's "Turtle Bone" in the pictures. You still need to remove the backing from "Turtle Bone".
I usually do a couple bones at a time so it's ready when I need it.
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It is not necessary to use "Turtle Bone". Regular bird cuttlebone is just as good. Buy which ever you can get cheaper.
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BullDog
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Post Posted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 10:09 pm   

Finally. Can this be a sticky?

theres so many people who ask about cuttlebone.
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Chrisbarnett
 
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Post Posted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 10:13 pm   

You can also use a really sharp pocket knife and it will cut through it easily. Take only 2-3 minutes.
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Post Posted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 11:26 pm   

I agree - it would be a good sticky.
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mat012
 
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Post Posted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 11:30 pm   

im on board with this being a sticky. this should clear up all the confusion about cuttlbone. very nice job bulldog
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Post Posted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 9:18 am   

Stickied :-)
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jenaero
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Post Posted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 8:37 am   

Very helpful!!!!
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Post Posted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 11:35 am   

if "turtle" bones already had the backing off (which would make so much sense) i would buy them even if it was a dollar more hahaha
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Post Posted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 1:22 pm   

That's what I don't understand. I get what they're doing, but taking something off the shelf and putting it in a box with a turtle on it and calling it turtle bone is just shady.
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Post Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 10:09 pm   

untsmurf wrote:That's what I don't understand. I get what they're doing, but taking something off the shelf and putting it in a box with a turtle on it and calling it turtle bone is just shady.


Exactly what I thought. I just got back from buying Mary Jane her long awaited Mazuri and found that the place sold cuttlebone. Got 2 bags of Mazuri and 2 cuttlebones for under $10

I seriously have no clue why anyone would buy the turtle bone versus buying a super cheap cuttlebone and taking a few minutes to save some money.
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JimmyJam
 
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Post Posted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 12:36 pm   

Guys I have a question:
You just put the cuttlebone in the water?
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Post Posted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 12:40 pm   

ivonaa wrote:Guys I have a question:
You just put the cuttlebone in the water?

Yes, I put a piece in Sassamo's tank for the 1st time yesterday and she went crazy!

I buy 3 packs at the dollar store for $1 :)
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Post Posted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 5:07 pm   

How often should it be given?
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Post Posted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 5:49 pm   

kklemesrud wrote:How often should it be given?


Some turtles will only eat it when they feel they need it, and some will gobble it down regardless whether or not they need it.

I give mine a head sized chunk every 3 days or so. Some owners will throw the whole piece in and replace it when it all gets eaten, thus allowing the turtles to have constant access to the cuttlebone.

I suppose it depends on what is convenient for you and your turtles. For me, if I threw the whole bone in, one wouldn't touch it and it would get all soggy on the bottom on the tank, and the other would eat the whole thing in a couple days :roll: which is why I like to control what they get
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BullDog
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Post Posted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:08 pm   

My turtle prefers to have his pieces of cuttlebone attached to the wall of his tank in a veggie clip so they don't scoot away from him when he bites them.

Excellent explanation, by the way, BullDog. Really nice.
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