The Floor Birds of Europe

Many budgies sit on the floor of their aviaries for all or most of the day. Why do they do it and does it matter?

We all love our birds and I am sure that all decent budgie breeders don’t like to see their birds sitting on the floor for prolonged periods.  Budgies are meant to fly. Birds on the floor must therefore be quite miserable.

I suspect that there are many causes of budgies living on the floor. One obvious cause is large floppy wings that don’t provide good enough aerofoils to permit easy flight. Another is that perhaps wide shoulders make flying difficult or painful (IE cause arthritis). Wide shoulders do not occur in wild budgies – perhaps we are trying to make budgies look like us. Even the sheer size and weight of modern show budgies must make flying difficult for many.

The real worry for me is that birds on the floor may well have a low grade infection of E. coli, coccidiosis or a similar, possibly fatal disease in budgies. That is, these birds on the floor may transmit a lethal disease to other birds in the same aviary –they are carriers. I suspect that they are often the cause of serious disease outbreaks that kill dozens if not hundreds of birds. A low grade infection of these diseases causes lethargy and poor flying, but this can explode into a massive lethal problem overnight.

Over the years this has happened to me and it is a gut-wrenching situation. So perhaps it is too risky to have any Floor Birds at all.


Whatever the Standard of perfection dictates, surely we should all try to breed budgies that are vigorous, healthy and that can fly. If nothing else, this will minimise the chances of dreadful disease outbreaks.

SO…..Give any bird that sits on the aviary floor 1-2 weeks to recover….THEN (and I hate this part) euthanase it. No matter how good it is.

I would like to form a group of ethical budgie breeders who have NO FLOOR BUDGIES.  Care to join?

© Don Burke 2/11/2015.


Filed Under: BreedingFeaturedHealthNoticeboard



About the Author:

Don Burke lives in Sydney, Australia and is a qualified horticulturist and arborist.

He started breeding budgies in 1955 and specialises in rare varieties such as Clearwings, Blackeyed Whites and Yellows, Darkwings and Australian Goldenfaces.

He is patron of the Clearwing Budgerigar Society of Australia and is President of the Miniature Budgerigar Society of Australasia.

RSSComments (1)

Leave a Reply | Trackback URL

  1. allan Gordon says:

    How sad,
    Yes I have been breeding budgerigars since 1964….I never succumbed to the modern budgerigar standard…my birds still look much like the wild type…I have even on occasions introduced wild caught birds to my stock so as to maintain their incredible agility…how incredibly sad to see these floor bound birds simply unable to fly and even if able to fly,then not able to see where to fly…..sad sad sad

Leave a Reply