Article kindly provided by Glenn Johnson
When newcomers start in the hobby, many aspects of aviary construction can be overlooked in the excitement of purchasing their birds as quickly as possible. When the decision is made whether to build your own, or to buy a pre-made aviary, one thing should be considered carefully. The floor of the aviary can be the most important part of the whole structure. Different breeders used different types of materials for floors. I will talk a little about each type that I am aware that breeders are using. No doubt there are probably a lot more being used that I am not aware of.
Concrete floors for shelters have no doubt been the most popular for many reasons. Concrete is easily swept, scrubbed and cleaned. Parasitic worms can be cut down dramatically, as they do not like concrete; it can also be covered by sand, which also keeps worms down. Concrete is a permanent dry and safe flooring.
Earth floors, which are covered in grass, look good and give the aviary a real natural appeal. The birds love fossicking around on earth floors, finding bits and pieces. Earth floors however have many problems they can become damp and take a long time to dry. Parasitic worms thrive in dirt especially damp areas. Mice and rats love to burrow in floors of this type. Cleaning these earthen floors can be difficult.
Pine Bark and Chips
Pine bark is finding some popularity with any breeders. Pine bark looks natural and because of the shape of the bark, water drains away quickly, so it dries fairly rapidly. It does have some problems, as small insects such as cockroaches and such, love living amongst the bark. Cleaning is usually done by running the rake over the bark, which usually scuffs the built up droppings off.
Blue Metal Gravel
Blue gravel is finding many friends amongst aviculturists because it is easily bought, laid down, cleaned and dries quickly. This type of flooring I find to be next best to concrete.
In my opinion a good type of aviary floor, especially for parrots, is the shelter being concrete covered in sand and a flight area of blue metal.
No doubt many breeders have their own idea as to the best material for flooring, so why not tell us which material you favour, and which you don’t agree with.