How Much Does It Expense to Buy & Look After an Animal Bird?

Owning a pet bird can be a rewarding experience. Birds make fun, intelligent companions. However, birds do require proper care and expenses. This article explores the costs of purchasing and caring for a pet bird.

Cost to Purchase a Bird Pet birds range greatly in purchase price. Cost depends on the bird breed, age, rarity and where it was bred.

Small Birds Finches

Canaries, budgies and cockatiels are small bird options. These smaller bird species often cost between $20-60 per bird. Unique color variations may increase price. Baby birds that are hand-fed cost more than adult birds.

Medium-Sized Birds

Moderately-sized parrots like conures, lories, small macaws and Amazons have purchase prices from $150-600 per bird. Well-socialized hand-fed babies are generally the most expensive.

Large Birds Larger

Parrots species tend to be the most costly birds. Large macaws can cost $1000-4000 depending on rarity, breeding and hand-feeding.

Other Purchase Considerations

Where the bird is purchased from also impacts price. Mass-bred birds from chain pet stores are generally the least expensive. Bird breeders and specialty stores have higher upfront costs but usually offer healthier birds.

Some breeders may allow price reductions if purchasing multiple birds. Exotic bird shows often sell birds below market rates. However, impulse buying birds at shows is not recommended.

Cage & Supplies

Cage & Supplies
A suitable cage and basic supplies are required, adding more first-time costs.

Cages

An appropriately sized cage is key for any bird. Bigger is better, especially for large parrot species. Well-made stainless steel or powder-coated cages cost $80 up to thousands. Expect to spend at least $250-500 on an adequate starter cage.

Perches

Toys & Accessories Natural wood perches, rope perches, bird toys and other cage accessories average $50-150. Extra costs may include travel carriers, play stands/gyms and bird diapers.

Food & Treats

A quality seed mix, pellet diet, plus bird-safe fruits/veggies will be recurring expenses. Most bird owners spend $20-50 per month on food. Treats like nuts, berries and birdie bread can be offered in moderation.

Grooming & Health Supplies

Nail clippers, styptic powder and grooming supplies average $20-30. First-aid kits customized for birds cost around $40. Be prepared with extra funds for emergency vet visits.

Ongoing Bird Care Costs

Besides the initial expenses, birds require continual investments of time, care and money. Lifespans between species vary widely, from 5 years to over 50 years for some large parrots. It’s a long-term commitment.

Food & Supplies

Healthy food, clean water and supplements need to be provided continuously. Cages and play areas should be kept clean. Toys need replaced when damaged. Expect to spend $30-100 monthly.

Vet Visits & Checkups

Annual exams and new bird quarantine exams average $100-150 per visit. Emergencies, injuries, surgeries or illness raise costs considerably. Put aside $100-500 yearly for medical needs.

Sitter Costs

A qualified bird sitter is vital when traveling. In-home sitters average $20-30 daily. Boarding facilities range $15-25+ nightly. Frequent trips can quickly increase sitter fees.

Time Commitment

Birds are very social and require substantial daily interaction. Minimum out-of-cage time ranges 2-6 hours for most species. Small birds need at least an hour. Larger parrots may need constant supervision when not caged.

Training Investment

Positive reinforcement training is highly recommended for pet birds. This helps manage behaviors and encourages mental stimulation. While doable yourself, professional training costs $100-500 for group or private lessons.

Enrichment & Toys

Rotating bird-appropriate toys helps prevent boredom and stress. Foraging and shredding toys provide mental enrichment. Expect to spend $20-50 regularly replacing damaged puzzle toys.

Companion

Birds Some birds do better housed with an avian partner, especially highly social species. But bonding multiple birds can take extensive effort. Expenses for a second bird includes doubling housing, food and medical costs.