Um, I hate to tell you this, since you seem so set against them, but the main ingredient in mineral blocks is cuttlebone and some do contain artificial flavourings, colours and preservatives. Here's the ingredients to one I found:Very cute bird! I don't use cuttlebone because it's made out of the backbone of a fish... how terrible! Instead, I use a mineral block without any preservatives or bad ingredients and it works out fine.
Can I ask why you think it's so terrible? It doesn't seem any worse to me than the leather parts on toys.Cuttlefish, Iron Oxide, Calcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate,
Wheatgerm Oil, Aniseed Oil, Seaweed & Selected Grits.
I make cuttlebones into toys occasionally. Lofty loves the texture of them to crunch up. =)