TAG | cost
When you see a little budgie parakeet on sale for $15 you might think to your self “Hey I can afford that even on my college kid budget!”
It’s important to remember, however, that there is a lot more to keeping a pet then what you might think. Our calculations show that the average budgie ends up costing between $300- $500 a year to keep fed and happy.
The costs involved in parrot keeping range greatly depending on what kind of parrot, or parrots, you decide to get. Below we will give you list of items you’ll need for your parrot and a basic price breakdown for those items. You’ll see the price of the item if buying for a little Budgie Parakeet, and then the price if buying for a large Macaw. The price differences involved are mainly due to the size of the bird.
The Parrot itself
Parrots range in price depending on species, age, whether or not it is tame and, of course, good old supply and demand.
- Price for a Budgie Parakeet: $20-$50
- Price for a Macaw: $1,000 – $10,000 depending on the species
The Parrot Cage
When it comes to cages, bigger is better. Parrots are not gold fish, you cant just set up an enclosure for them in the living room and expect them to be happy little house ornaments. Natural selection has developed your parrot’s body and mind over millions of years to be fit for life in the wide open wilderness. That said, even your bird can be happy with a cage as long as he gets plenty of stimulation and play time out of the cage to get good exercise.
Some people will dedicate an entire room of the house to their bird in order to give him more freedom, others build large aviaries that allow their birds the freedom to fly freely inside their cage. Unfortunately most Americans who live in apartments can’t do this sort of thing so a good cage will have to do. Learn more about parrot cage selection here
- Cage price for a Budgie Parakeet: $35 – $100
- Cage Price for a large Macaw: $450 – over $1,000
Just use newspaper. Most black newspaper inks are soy based and cant hurt your bird. Some people claim that colored inks can be harmful so I recommend you stay away from that.
You can also use paper towels if you don’t get the paper but I don’t recommend going out and buying any pet bedding. Its a waist of money in my opinion.
Your bird will eat a lot of food for how small he or she is, and you’ll quickly notice that most of the food it “eats” ends up being ground to powder and falling wastefully on the floor. Your bird should be eating a combonation of bird pellets, fresh fruits and vegetables, and nuts. You will want to make sure and give your bird a variety of foods and treats to stay good and healthy.
Diet varies from species to species so make sure you know what your bird is supposed to be eating. You can learn more about parrot food here.
- Monthly food bill for a small Budgie Parakeet: $10 – $20
- Monthly food bill for a large Macaw: $30 – $60
Your bird needs things to do while he’s sitting in his cage and waiting for you to play with him. Wild birds spend 4 to 8 hours a day foraging for food. The average parrot spends his foraging time flying around in search of things to eat, chewing things to pieces to see whats edible, and fighting over the good stuff with his buddies. As a result, parrots are naturally curious, playful, and monstrously destructive. Your parrot needs toys that he can rip to shreds.
Toys should be frequently replaced as they become tattered and when your parrot grows board of playing with the same old thing over and over again. Learn more about parrot toys here.
- Monthly toy bill for a small Budgie Parakeet: $10 – $20
- Monthly toy bill for a large Macaw: $20 – $40
Parrots make constant messes. You’ll need the following basic items to keep your self sain:
- Dust pan with brush: $8
- Reusable rags cleaning up messes: $5
- Carpet Cleaner for spills and poos: $5
Some people use paper towels instead of reusable rags but that’s simply a waist of paper and the money spent will add up fast. These guys are that messy!
You may also want a hand held vacuum if you have a lot of carpet in your house. Read more about keeping your parrot clean here.
Parrot Veterinary Exams
In order to prevent health problems, you should see an avian certified veterinarian once a year for a routine checkup. I know that sounds silly to most of us who don’t even seen a doctor for our selves once a year but avian health is tricky to monitor on your own.
If you ever notice your bird acting strange, you should see a vet right away. Once a bird starts showing signs of illness, death can often follow very quickly if not treated.
Typical vet exam for any kind of parrot: $50-$75
Typical vet exam if the bird is sick and needs testing or medication: $200-$500
If you have a large parrot in your house like a Macaw, or a small loud parrot like a Sun Conure, you may want to think about sound proofing the rooms they will be staying in. That can be spendy but will make life much more enjoyable, especially if you have neighbors or roommates who don’t love your bird as much as you do.
Total Costs for owning a small parrot:
- Initial costs totaled together: $73 – $168
- Annual recurring costs: $315 – $555
Total Costs for owning a large parrot:
- Initial costs totaled together: $1,468 – $11,010
- Annual costs: $650 – $1,275