easichick product ambassador Sophie (aka birdnerdsophie) tells us the benefits of easichick for parrots …..
“For many years, it has been traditional for parrot cages to have bars at their base. The thought process behind this is that it makes cleaning the cage easier, and prevents parrots from walking in their faeces. However, these bars can pose risks of their own, including trapping birds’ feet, building up dried faeces and prevent natural ground foraging.
Using easichick as a substrate base instead can allow parrots to express lots of natural behaviours. Cockatiels and budgies, two of the most common parrot species kept as pets, are natural ground feeders. In the wild, they spend 50-70% of their day foraging for food. However, under human care, these species are often fed their meals in bowls which are easy to access and require no effort to find. Whilst it’s important to see how much birds are eating, we can also allow them to simulate some of the essential foraging behaviour by sprinkling some of their food or favourite treats over the easichick. Parrots can then take themselves down to the base of the cage and kick and throw around the easichick in order to find their food. This is both mentally and physically stimulating for birds, it will keep them busy and also out of trouble!
Having a soft cage flooring like easichick is also kinder on a birds’ feet. When bars are used, birds’ feet can fall through, causing injury and distress. Whereas using easichick is smoother and much easier to navigate.
easichick is also very easy to keep clean. There are some myths that a substrate base will harbour bacteria, however that is not the case when using easichick. Faeces and fresh food will stick to the wood fibre bedding, forming clumps. These clumps are easy to see, and can be spot cleaned twice a day very quickly. I have three large cages for my flock, and it takes me less than two minutes twice a day to take out any faeces or uneaten food. The cages are then fully cleaned, scrubbed and replaced with a fresh easichick base once a week which takes about an hour.
There are some concerns in the bird community around dust; parrots have a very sensitive respiratory system, so any unsuitable cage floorings could pose a threat. However, easichick is an excellent option for parrots as its dust free, meaning there are no risks to their respiratory system when using this type of bedding, so parrots can forage their beaks around on the cage floor with ease.
If you have been undecided on using a substrate base, give easichick a go. It will open up an opportunity for your parrots to express natural behaviours like foraging in a safe and clean environment. It may also help with deterring unwanted behaviours such as screaming and feather plucking as birds that are busy foraging and working for food are not able to exhibit these undesirable behaviours at the same time”.