If you’re thinking about getting a pet bird or two for your home, grab your calculator and start budgeting – this is the cost of purchasing and caring for a pet bird.
Although raising a bird is certainly not going to make or break your budget, certain costs are associated with raising a bird.
It’s no secret that owning a pet bird can be expensive.
The cost of purchasing and caring for a pet bird is not always straightforward, but you can do it without breaking the bank with some planning.
Whether you want to buy or adopt your new feathered friend, there are many options to choose from regarding price points.
Here’s what you need to know.
How Much Does a Bird Costs for Housing, Care, and Food
Generally speaking, housing, feeding, and caring for a pet bird will be less costly than if you were trying to care for a cat or dog.
However, those costs are entirely variable, and they can fluctuate depending on your bird’s lifespan, age, and health.
Some species of pet birds live just as long as people! Plus, if your pet has any unique healthcare needs, you could pay much more for your pet bird than you might for any other pet.
The average first-year cost of raising a pet is around $300, with an annual fee of about $200 (don’t forget, you’ll have to factor in the price of buying the bird somewhere there, too).
The average lifetime cost that lives for one or two decades is around $2,000 to $4,000.
Although that’s still less than what you might pay for other kinds of pets, it is substantial – and something to be considered.
When caring for your pet bird, don’t forget that you’ll need to pay for things like food, treats, toys, cages, routine vet checkups, and more.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the average cost of pet birds by the type of expense.
While some are one-time purchases, it’s essential to keep in mind that some are recurring costs that you’ll have to cover every week, month, or year.
Plus, things do break and wear down. While you can often get several years out of many of these items, the wear and tear will be more aggressive if you raise larger birds (or multiples).
A Breakdown Cost of Pet Bird Supplies
- Cage: $50-$1500
- Food and water bowls: $10-40
- Toys: $25-$150
- Perches, ladders, swings, and play stands: $75-$300
- Nests (for smaller birds): $5-$15
- Birdbath: $10
- Grooming items (nail clippers, powders, wing scissors): $60-$100
- Cleaning supplies: $30-$40
- Bird food: $10-$50
- Travel carrier: $30-$100
- Veterinary costs: $50-$500
Many of these costs are one-time expenses.
You’ll have to pay for numerous ongoing costs, including new toys, cleaning supplies, routine veterinary exams, fruits and vegetables, vitamin supplements, bird seeds and pellets, and grooming.
As you can see where, even a tiny, inexpensive bird will have a severe monetary commitment. This breakdown of costs doesn’t even factor in the purchase of the bird itself!
Remember, the more giant or more exotic your pet bird is, the more expensive it will be not just to buy outright but also to raise.
Before bringing a pet bird into the home, make sure you have the time to devote to its care – and the financial resources.
You don’t want your bird to suffer simply because you made an impulse buy!
How Much Does a Pet Bird Cost at The Vet
Some bird owners are surprised to learn that their pet needs an initial visit by an avian veterinarian along with regular checkups.
These checkups will allow your vet to detect and treat any potentially life-threatening diseases early on.
You will need to pay various veterinary expenses to care for your bird correctly.
While some are one-time expenses, others require annual visits – and annual fee payments.
You’ll need to pay for a test for psittacosis along with vaccinations and microchipping. Some of these can be negotiated in cost or are optional.
A good vet will take the time to do any vaccinations needed and check your bird’s eyes, throat, and nares.
If your pet requires additional testing or treatment, you’ll pay at least $100 or more.
After The initial visit, the visit to the veterinarian will usually cost around $25 to $35 per bird.
You probably won’t need to take your pet bird to the vet as often as you might need to bring other kinds of birds.
Typically, about once every three years is plenty.
How Much Are Birds: Breakdown By Species
Curious about which kind of pet bird is the most economical to raise?
Here’s a species-by-species breakdown to give you an idea of the costs to factor in.
1. How Much Are Budgies (Parakeets)?
Budgies/Parakeets are some of the smallest birds you can raise, so it makes sense that they might be some of the most affordable.
Also known as budgies, parakeets cost around $10 to $40 per year.
You won’t spend a ton of money on food – since these birds are so diminutive, you will need to give them affordable foods like leafy greens, fresh fruits, and pellets.
2. How Much Do Finches and Canaries Cost?
The canaries are also tiny birds, so they’ll require about the same level of care and overall expense as parakeets.
However, when raising canaries, you’ll also have to make sure you provide them with plenty of room. These birds get bored quickly, too, so toys are essential.
This can increase the cost of raising your pet to up to $150 per year, depending on what kind of cages and toys you select.
Similar to the canary is a finch. These birds require identical care as parakeets and canaries, but they get lonely quickly.
Because of this, you’ll need to keep them in small flocks – so your costs will automatically be multiplied by population size alone.
Expect to budget around $100 per year or more for a flock of finches.
3. How Much Are Parrotlets Birds
Next on our list is the parrotlet. Parrotlets, which are essentially tinier versions of regular parrots, can live for two decades.
Because of this, your costs are going to triple. You’ll need more space than you might for finches, parakeets, and canaries.
Since these birds live so long, you’ll want to have around $300 set aside to devote to their care.
4. Cockatiels Bird Cost
Cockatiels are social birds, requiring regular interaction with you or with other birds. Therefore, you’re going to see your costs rise, too.
It would help if you handled these birds often. Expect to spend around $150 to raise these birds.
5. Cost of Conures Birds
Conures have particular dietary requirements, so you’re going to see costs rise substantially when raising these birds.
While they are relatively self-sufficient in the wild, able to eat all kinds of foods like nuts, fruit, and seeds, captive conures require a more balanced diet of pellets.
Pellets are supplemented with occasional fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts. You might spend anywhere from $200 to $600 to raise these pet birds.
6. How Much are Doves Birds
Doves are pretty easygoing, so they don’t cost a lot to raise despite being larger.
You’ll want to make sure the cage you select for your doves is large and airy.
Also, consider bird proofing a room in your home so that there is room for your doves to fly around during the day (remember that bird proofing does come with some additional costs, however).
This room should have plenty of escape routes and be free from household hazards (like wires or open windows).
You can expect to spend anywhere between $25 and $125 to raise doves.
7. Lories Price
Lories are members of the parrot family, so it might not come as a surprise that they are some of the costliest pet birds to raise.
These birds are unique in that they need nectar in their diets. This is the primary source of nutrition for these animals in the wild.
The good news is that you can purchase these nectar formulas at local pet shops and from specialty breeders.
The bad news? It was not cheap. It would help if you fed this formula with edible flowers, vegetables, and fruits. You can expect to spend around $500 to $1000 per year to raise lories.
8. African Grey Parrot Cost: How Much
African Greys are parrots known for their emotional intelligence and mental acuity.
Since these birds are so sharp and in tune with their feelings, they can also be quite needy. You’ll need to exercise and socialize with your parrot frequently.
Because of this, the costs are pretty high. As with doves, you’ll need to bird-proof your home.
Expect to spend around $700 to $2000 to raise an African Grey.
9. Macaws’ Cost
Macaws, like African Greys, are large birds that require lots of space and stimulation.
When macaws get bored and don’t have enough stimulation from their owners, they can chew on things and engage in other destructive behaviors.
These pets are expensive and high-maintenance and require more veterinary care.
If you decide to raise macaws, you must have the financial resources (and time) to care for them appropriately.
The average macaw will cost anywhere from $1000 to $5000 or more.
10. Cost of Cockatoos
Last but not least are cockatoos – perhaps some of the most expensive birds you can raise.
Cockatoos aren’t necessarily larger or more high-maintenance than any other birds on this list. However, what you need to watch out for with cockatoos is their weight.
These birds are prone to obesity, so you will need to monitor your cockatoo carefully for fat intake.
Feed your bird a small amount of seed mix and high-quality pellets and daily servings of fruits and vegetables.
The dietary expenses alone associated with these birds are sure to add up!
Of course, cockatoos also need time out of the cage each day.
At least three to four hours per day is recommended by most veterinarians. They’ll also need plenty of toys and things to chew on to prevent the likelihood of destructive behaviors.
As with macaws, you can expect to spend anywhere between $1000 and $5000 or more to raise these high-energy yet rewarding pet birds.
Other Commonly Asked Questions
How Much Does It Cost to Care for a Bird per Month?
Well on average depending on the size and how many birds it can range from $150-500 per year which boils down to $12.50-$42 ish per month.
Fortunately, it isn’t too pricey, but they still need quite a bit of management in order to live a long happy life!
Is a Pet Bird High Maintenance?
Yes, although pet birds live a long time in captivity, they are delicate so they are very high maintenance.
Typically, with pet birds the bigger the bird means the more upkeep (and more $) you will need to care for them and keep their living quarters tidy.
How Much Money Does a Bird Cage Cost?
Again, the answer depends on the size and the brand’s cage quality, but it can range between $60-$1000.
Now, who the heck would spend $1000 on a pet bird cage, I’m not sure. I guess if you have the money and it doesn’t matter then go for it!
How Much Does a Bird Cost Conclusion and How to Save Money
Many people enjoy owning pet birds, but it can be expensive to keep them happy and healthy. Some unexpected costs of owning a bird are veterinary care, food, cages, toys, etc.
There are a few ways you can save money. One is to build your birdcage, aviary, or bird room. In some cases, you may be able to raise your bird outside.
But this isn’t recommended for most tropical species unless you live in the right environment.
You can use homemade toys and accessories, such as perches made out of fruit tree branches (be sure to wash them well and not use branches sprayed with pesticides).
Other DIY toys you can build or gather include piles of dead leaves, pine cones, and more.
You may be able to grow your food for your birds by setting up a mealworm colony or creating a garden that you grow just for your pet birds.
You can even sprout your seeds at home. Collecting insects or growing your food will provide your bird with plenty of variety in its diet without requiring you to spend a ton of money in turn.
Ultimately, there are plenty of ways to save on the cost of pet bird ownership.
You have to get creative! That said, it’s essential to recognize that owning a pet bird does require a financial commitment.
It’s one you should recognize in full before shopping for your next pet.