I've never tried a bird bone for a bridge. Try it out and tell us how it does.
I typically use cow bones. The dog wears down the ends until just the middle is left (which is the hardest part) and I buy him a new one. Then I just wash up the old one and cut/shape into guitar nuts.
nearly all bird bones are hollow, much lighter in weight than mammal bones. Yep, listen to jason, you need a bone from a cow, sheep etc, and you need a dog to suck all the fat/ marrow etc out of it for a while first..
just gotta befriend some neighbours with dogs mate
This topic has come up before and while I risk thread jacking charges (I'm not encouring that kind of behavior), every time I think blues and bones, I think Black Cat Bone. Only knowing the barest of idea of "mojo", I decided to check the all powerfull Google, which lead me down the path of Wikipedia. Kind of interesting reading.
As a disclaimer, I'm not advocating anything that would run you afoul of the ASPCA. Just having worked with a fair amount of world music, has exposed me to some interesting experiences.
Back to the thread, another recomendation for cow bones.
I've used pet-shop cow bones. I cut 'em up with a dremel tool or a saber-saw--unpleasant experience. Finish with a belt-sander and hand-sanding to fine-tune the fit.
I,too, played around with chicken bones and found that they didn't hold up.
That's a bummer...I was just thinking how cool a whole chicken leg bone would look as a nut.
I use blank saddles from my local git shop. They run $5 and I can get 2 saddles for the price of one if cut right. They also have blank nuts for $7. The local pet shop has hollow bleached bones running as low as 4 bucks. I have also used these a time or two and see no difference. Except there is a lot more cutting involved using some rough hunk of bone versus the uncut blanks. I guess it is in what you have access to. I even tried using hard wood for the nut, not a bad sound either.
And as to the animal...I have no idea where they get the bone for my git shop buys...we do have lots of homeless around from time to time.
Indeed, the hollowness of bird bones was what had me worried about using them. I think the neighbour's dog left a bone in my yard somewhere.... I'll go hunt around for it later I suppose.
To add a little to BT Cohosh's response, if you're going to make a lot of nuts/saddles, the same $5 you spend for a single bone blank will get you a doggie bone (which is cow bone) from PetSmart that might yield 10-15 blanks. But you gotta cut it up, sand 'em flat, etc.
Just remember when you cut them up if you use anything but hand tools they really stink bad, yeck, almost enough to make you want to buy the next ones. Half way through I am thinking is this worth saving 2 bucks, but that is just me, love the smell of wood hate the smell of bone, I don't know how that guy who makes slides can stand it, Kudos to him he is a brave man.