Petiska > Pets > Birds > Budgerigars > Why Can’t My Budgie Walk Properly? +What To Do?
This content is reviewed by Leslie Berry (Petiska Editor) Leslie Berry .
Silvester Lynton
Petiska Editor

Why Can’t My Budgie Walk Properly? +What To Do?

Your budgie may be unable to walk properly due to reasons such as injury, obesity, malnutrition, or arthritis.

Other causes can include neurological disorders, environmental toxins, or genetic abnormalities.

In such a case, immediate action like gently examining your bird, isolating it for comfort, limiting physical activity, and contacting a vet is crucial.

In recognizing a critical need for clear, accessible information about budgie mobility issues, I conceived the idea for this guide: “Why Can’t My Budgie Walk Properly? +What to Do?”.

This comprehensive content is meticulously planned and crafted based on my personal experiences, extensive readings, and observations from related videos and materials.

It is designed to be a valuable resource for budgie owners, bird enthusiasts, and even veterinary professionals who are searching for reliable insights and solutions to help their feathered friends.

Through this guide, I am confident that I can assist these individuals in understanding and addressing budgie walking issues effectively.

A budgie that eats at the bottom of the cage because it cannot walk.

Reasons Of Budgies Can’t Walk Properly

When you observe that your budgie isn’t walking as it typically does, the underlying causes could be diverse and complex.

Understanding these reasons is the first step towards addressing the issue and ensuring your budgie’s welfare.

Each potential cause is associated with distinct signs and symptoms.

Hence, observing your budgie’s behavior, diet, and living conditions closely can provide valuable insights.

It is crucial to remember that an immediate consultation with a vet is advised if your budgie’s walking difficulties persist or if you notice any alarming changes in its behavior or physical condition.


One of the most immediate causes that come to mind when your budgie isn’t walking correctly is physical injury.

Budgies are active and curious birds, which sometimes puts them at risk for various types of injuries.

They might hurt their legs or feet while playing, climbing, or during a clumsy landing.

Signs of an injury might include noticeable swelling, bleeding, or lameness in the leg.

Your budgie may also seem reluctant to put weight on the affected leg or may keep it lifted.

In such situations, it is crucial to minimize handling your budgie to avoid causing further discomfort or stress.

A vet examination would be necessary to determine the severity of the injury and the appropriate treatment.


Obesity is a common problem in budgies, especially those living in captivity.

Budgies are active birds and require a balanced diet and plenty of exercise to maintain a healthy weight.

However, a sedentary lifestyle combined with overfeeding can result in excessive weight gain.

Obesity can strain the legs, making walking challenging for the budgie.

An overweight budgie might show decreased activity, difficulty in flying, and breathlessness.

They might also have a noticeable increase in their overall body size.

It’s essential to monitor your budgie’s weight regularly and provide a balanced diet along with adequate physical activity to prevent obesity.


Proper nutrition is essential for your budgie’s overall health and vitality.

An improper diet can lead to malnutrition, resulting in weak bones and muscle wasting, which can eventually impact your budgie’s walking ability.

Symptoms of malnutrition can be subtle initially but can escalate if not addressed promptly.

These include changes in weight, feather condition, and decreased energy levels.

Your budgie may also exhibit changes in its eating habits, such as eating excessively yet losing weight or showing little interest in food.

If you suspect malnutrition to be a cause, a review of your budgie’s diet, along with a vet consultation, would be necessary.

The vet may suggest dietary adjustments or vitamin and mineral supplements to address any deficiencies.

Cage Size And Design

The size and design of the cage have a direct impact on the physical health of your budgie.

A cramped cage not only restricts your budgie’s movements but also limits its exercise opportunities, leading to muscle weakness over time.

Additionally, the design elements of the cage such as the type and positioning of perches, food and water containers, toys, etc., can influence your budgie’s ease of movement and overall comfort.

It’s important to provide your budgie with a spacious and well-designed cage, allowing it ample room for flight and play, which are essential for its physical well-being.


Just like in humans, budgies can also suffer from arthritis, a condition characterized by joint inflammation, stiffness, and pain.

Arthritis can be particularly debilitating for budgies, significantly affecting their ability to walk, perch, or engage in their usual activities.

Signs of arthritis in budgies can include favoring one leg, difficulty in perching, or reluctance to move around.

The condition can be diagnosed and managed under the guidance of a vet.

Providing a comfortable and stress-free environment, along with any prescribed medications, can help manage arthritis in budgies.

Footpad Problems

Footpad problems can be a significant cause of walking difficulties in budgies.

These problems might include infections, bumblefoot (a painful inflammatory condition), or cuts, all of which can cause significant discomfort.

If your budgie has difficulty perching, is reluctant to walk, or is favoring one leg, it could be suffering from a footpad issue.

Regularly checking your budgie’s feet for any abnormalities is essential.

If you spot something unusual or your budgie exhibits signs of pain, promptly consult with an avian vet.

Neurological Disorders

Neurological disorders are another potential cause for walking difficulties in budgies.

Conditions such as nerve damage or spinal cord injuries can affect leg control, thereby impeding your budgie’s mobility.

Symptoms can vary but often include loss of coordination, abnormal movements or postures, and general weakness.

Diagnosing neurological conditions can be complex and requires professional expertise.

If you suspect a neurological disorder, you should consult an avian vet immediately who can conduct necessary investigations and provide suitable treatment.

Vitamin Deficiencies

A balanced diet is essential for the health of your budgie.

Insufficient intake of necessary vitamins can lead to a weakening of muscles and bones, adversely affecting walking ability.

Vitamin deficiencies often manifest through a variety of symptoms, such as dull feathers, lethargy, and changes in appetite.

They might also lead to diseases like rickets, which directly affect the skeletal system.

Providing a diet rich in essential vitamins, as well as vet-prescribed supplements, can help prevent these deficiencies.

Age-Related Changes

As budgies age, they may experience several age-related changes that can impact their ability to walk.

Just like humans, their joints can become less flexible, and their muscles might lose strength.

Conditions such as arthritis or general muscle weakness are more common in older budgies and can significantly affect their mobility.

Aging budgies require special care and attention.

Regular vet checks can help identify and manage age-related health issues promptly, ensuring your budgie enjoys its golden years comfortably.


Certain medications can impact a budgie’s mobility, either due to side effects or if administered incorrectly.

For example, some drugs might cause drowsiness, imbalance, or muscle weakness, leading to unusual walking patterns.

Moreover, overdosing can lead to severe consequences, including neurological problems that might affect walking ability.

Always administer medication under the direction of an avian veterinarian, and monitor your budgie for any adverse reactions.

Infections or Diseases

Infections or diseases can cause a budgie to struggle with walking.

Conditions such as avian gout, psittacosis (a bacterial infection), or various viral or fungal diseases can lead to symptoms like lethargy, stiffness, or weakness, which can affect your budgie’s ability to walk or perch.

Immediate veterinary care is essential if you suspect your budgie is ill.

Early detection and treatment can greatly improve prognosis and your budgie’s overall quality of life.

Environmental Toxins

Exposure to environmental toxins can harm a budgie’s neurological health and consequently, its walking ability.

Budgies are especially sensitive to airborne toxins due to their highly efficient respiratory systems.

Common household dangers include certain types of non-stick cookware, aerosol sprays, cigarette smoke, and some types of plants or foods.

Exposure can lead to acute symptoms like difficulty breathing, but also longer-term issues like balance problems and muscle weakness.

Ensuring a toxin-free environment for your budgie is crucial for its overall health and well-being.

What To Do If My Budgie Can’t Walk? (Step-By-Step)

If you notice that your budgie is struggling to walk, it’s essential to take appropriate steps to support its health.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on what to do:

Examine Your Bird

Begin by conducting a gentle examination of your budgie.

Look for visible signs of injury, swelling, or deformities in the legs and feet.

Observe its behavior, such as whether it’s struggling to balance, walking unevenly, or showing signs of distress.

Isolate And Comfort Your Budgie

If your budgie is showing signs of difficulty walking, isolate it from other pets to prevent further injury.

Make it comfortable in a quiet, warm, and safe environment.

Avoid handling it excessively, which can cause further stress.

Limit Physical Activity

Until you know the cause of the mobility issues, limit your budgie’s physical activity.

Remove high perches or toys that might require strenuous activity, to prevent falls or further injuries.

Provide Support

Provide extra support for perching, if necessary.

This might include padding the bottom of the cage or providing lower perches or platforms that are easy to access.

Contact A Veterinarian

Reach out to an avian veterinarian as soon as possible.

It’s crucial to get professional help to diagnose and treat the issue.

Describe the symptoms you’ve observed in detail, including when they started and any changes over time.

Follow Vet’s Instructions (Prescribe Medications)

After your vet has diagnosed the issue, strictly follow their instructions for treatment.

This might include administering prescribed medication, applying topical treatments, or implementing physical therapy.

Adjust Diet (With Veterinarian’s Recommendation)

Your vet might recommend dietary adjustments.

For instance, if your budgie has a vitamin deficiency or needs to lose weight, they may suggest changes to the types and amounts of food you’re providing.

Maintain Hygiene

Keeping your budgie’s environment clean is crucial.

Regularly clean the cage, dishes, and perches to prevent secondary infections.

Also, ensure your budgie maintains its personal hygiene, which might include aiding it in cleaning if necessary.

Monitor Progress

Keep a close eye on your budgie’s progress.

Note improvements or any further decline in its condition.

Follow up with your vet regularly and update them on your bird’s condition.

Patience is key, as recovery can take time depending on the cause of the walking issue.


Can Infections or Diseases Impact My Budgie’s Ability to Walk?

Yes, infections or diseases can indeed affect your budgie’s mobility.

Conditions like avian gout, bacterial or fungal infections, and parasitic infestations can cause discomfort and weakness, affecting their ability to walk properly.

Always consult with a veterinarian if you suspect your budgie is ill.

How Do Environmental Factors Contribute to My Budgie’s Walking Problems?

Environmental factors can significantly impact a budgie’s mobility.

This includes issues such as improper cage size or design, inadequate or irregular perch surfaces, and exposure to environmental toxins.

It’s important to ensure your budgie’s environment is safe and conducive to their well-being.

Can Age-Related Changes Affect My Budgie’s Mobility?

Yes, as budgies age, they may develop conditions like arthritis or muscle weakness which can impact their ability to walk.

It’s important to monitor older budgies closely for any age-related changes in their mobility and consult a veterinarian for appropriate care and treatment.