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Old 12-26-2013, 08:47 PM
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Post Parrot Cost

Parrot Cost

Introduction

Recently, many people are wanting to purchase parrots. They are beautiful animals, sure to catch the eye of most guests. They are not pets. They are companions. They will demand your attention, and patience. But in return, they will be your best friend for the rest of your life. For people reading this, congratulations to you for wanting to get a parrot, and doing research. You don't find a thread like this by mistake! One of the most important considerations, and maybe one of the most overlooked, and skimped on next to diet, is price. People might spend $1,000 on their bird, and spend $100 on caging and supplies. This is not acceptable. if you cannot afford the bird, you cannot afford it's care.

A parrot is not cheap, no matter what species. A good example of this is a budgerigar. Although the initial cost of your budgerigar is around $25, it does not even scratch the surface on other items you will need to purchase. You will be looking into an initial cost of around $400 for a budgerigar (parakeet). This includes cage, stand, cage covers, pelleted food, perches, toys, dishes, fresh food, travel cage, measuring cup, first-aid kit, T-stand, scale, play stand, a book for care/health reminders, and most importantly, the first veterinary visit. It adds up! If you have a tight budget, although it can be done, a parrot might not be the best pet for you!

Caging

As an item itself, the cage is probably the most expensive item you will buy for your new pet. For most smaller birds, recommended size is 24x24x24 minimum. This will run you $50-$400+ depending on the cage you select. Medium sized bird require a cage with dimensions at the VERY LEAST 36x36x36, which will run you $150-$500, depending on material, and brand. Larger birds such as macaws should have a cage at least 36x48x60, which could run you $500-$5,000+. So that $25 budgie you just bought is costing you $100 now...and nothing is present in the cage yet!

The cage cannot be empty can it? You will need to purchase perches and toys for your parrot, which is a recurring cost, as all birds like to destroy their belongings. You will need to purchase at the very least 3 perches with varying lengths and diameters to keep the birds feet in shape. Be sure to have 6-10 toys ready when your parrot comes home, but don't cram the cage with them all. put a couple in at first, and as the bird starts playing and destroying the toys, you will have some to change in and out. Depending on the cage size, and toy size put more toys in. Remember your parrot needs room to move! more is always better. Now, you can never have too many toys for your parrot. You can have too many in the cage at one time, but never too many on hand. at the very least, have Some large macaws have been known to destroy their cages! As a side note, make sure the cage is the best brand, and make you can find. A poorly built cage is a hazard to your birds. Perches for a small bird will run $10-$20 a perch, so that's another $30-50 invested in perches....don't skimp and use the dowel-perches included in your cage, they are not healthy for your bird's feet. For a medium parrot expect to pay $15-$30 a perch, adding around $35-$65 to your bill. A large bird requires sturdy, large perches. these are the most expensive, and most frequently destroyed. expect to pay $20-$50 a perch, and this will add $50-$150+ to your bill. you must remember, these can and will be destroyed. We aren't done yet!

Toys for a small bird are relatively cheap, on their own. $5-$25 isn't so bad, until you are buying toys every week, in batches of 2-5. Expect to pay $40 in toys initially for your small bird. These don't usually get destroyed, unless that's what they are intended do. You will be buying more because your little feathered Einstein will get bored xD A medium bird will destroy it's toys, if it is made to be or not, and toys run from anywhere $10-$35. be prepared to pay $50-$70 initially on toys, and remember, this cost is recurring. Finally, the larger birds will destroy almost all toys you buy them. This is a happy bird xD Expect to pay $15-$50 on a toy, and have it demolished in minutes. Don't fret! You can always build toys provided you have safe materials, and proper equipment. A phone book will keep a macaw busy for a little while.... A play stand is pretty important aswell. A small bird will need a stand costing around $20-$50. A medium bird will require a stand demanding a cost of $30-$60, and a large macaw needs a stand of $100-$500. Java trees are a nice alternative for larger birds.


Food

In general food is going to be your main recurring bill next to to veterinary care, and toys. There are four main types of food you'll be preparing for your fid. Pelleted food, Fresh food, pre-made mixes, and cooked food. For a small bird, expect to pay $30-$50 a month on food. For medium birds $ 40-$70 is more the jist of things. A large bird, as being the most expensive parrots to keep in general, you will be paying $50-$150 a month on food, and countless hours preparing. Don't skimp on food either, if you can't afford your bird, you can't afford the care.

The Bird Itself

You may be shocked how much your bird will cost you. Smaller birds will cost from $25-$300, depending on species. If you Google the species of parrot you'd like to purchase, you will easily find the average price. A medium bird will cost you $250-$1,000+. A larger bird is anywhere from $800-$15,000!

Health/Veterinary Care

Parrots need veterinary care just like cats and dogs. Now costs vary for veterinary care depending on species, and what you are having done. Talk to your vet on what the recommended tests you should have done are, and frequency. I would have at least a $1000 emergency fund set in-case your birds needs emergency care, and surgery will cost many thousands more. Consider getting pet insurance for your birds for expensive emergency costs. your birds nails will need trimming monthly, and wing clips (optional). For small birds this will cost $5-$10, but this adds up yearly. medium sized birds will cost you $10-$20 month on grooming. Large birds will cost you $20-$30 monthly for clips/trims. It adds up! Other important purchases include a first-aid kit, which greatly varies in cost, and really can't be generalized. A scale will be important for tracking weight, and will run you $100-$500, depending on size and quality.

Conclusion

So, as you can see, the costs add up quickly, and you really can't skimp on any of the costs. You can, however lower total cost if you are on a lower budget, and have your mind set on a bird. You can always go on craigslist and get second-hand cages, and perches, but you will need to sterilize them, to prevent spread of disease. I've heard stories of people getting the cage worth $500 for $50, so secondhand supplies are a must to look at. Although the initial cost of your bird, and recurring costs of your birds may be high, it is worth it. This thread wasn't meant to discourage you from getting a bird, but more of a reminder that it isn't cheap an you should insure the very best for your pet. If you are considering a parrot as a pet, I hope you learned a little about the costs of your new fid!
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I am a little bird


"I did not cost thousands to buy. I am not a rare species you can brag about owning. I am found everywhere. They call me a 'starter' bird. They call me a beginner's bird. I am all too often an impulse buy that can be dismissed when I am too much trouble. They do not understand me, and breed more of my kind, when so many are already looking for homes. They lock me away. Ignore me. Sell me. They don't see me, they don't know me.

I AM rare. The price tag that is placed on me and my size do not define me. I am the only one of me you'll ever meet. I do not think I am small. In my mind I am a large bird with a personality and intelligence to rival the magnificent macaw or the beautiful cockatoo. I am intelligent. I am affectionate. I too deserve a big cage, respect, love, medical treatment, and adoration.

I am irreplaceable. You will never find one like ME again. Do not define me by my size, commonness or price tag. Love me and I will show you that those macaws ain't got nothin on me!"



Last edited by Wings; 12-26-2013 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 12-27-2013, 08:03 AM
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Re: Parrot Cost

Ok, I will bite on this one. I think this post has over exaggerated the cost of parrot ownership. With all the dollar amounts used throughout, one gets the feeling that only a rich person should own a bird which is definitely not the case. The statement made "if you cannot afford the bird, you cannot afford it's care" is your opinion, not fact. A bird owner should be smart in how their companion is acquired and cared for. Some people go overboard with the care of their fids while others do not. This does not mean either is a better steward for their pet.

$400 for caring for a parakeet! You must be kidding. A lot of the stuff you mention is nice to have or do but not mandatory for responsible bird ownership.

Last edited by Merlee; 12-27-2013 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 12-27-2013, 09:42 AM
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Re: Parrot Cost

Wow, I agree with the reoccurring cost, but the prices are nuts. What are you feeding your birds, filet?
Here is my real world experience:

Small bird: Pacific green parrotlet male

Bird: $150, bought at 6 weeks old. paid a bit more because he was a male (more talking capabilities over females)

Cage: I got lucky, $10 at goodwill. New runs around $50-$100 depending on how awesome they are

Monthly toy cost: $10. I'd buy him a toy here and there from the store that I thought he would really like. I mostly made my own for $0

Monthly Food: Pellots were I think $2.75/lb and a lb would last easily 2-3 months. Seed and fruit was around $5/mo because he loved the nutriball things that were $10 a can, and would last a couple months.

Time (outside of day-to-day interaction): 20 min a week.

Other: Vet visit was around $90 for a checkup, which was once a year or so. Outside of that, I guess you could count the electricity it took to vacuum around his cage every week. :/
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Old 12-27-2013, 09:54 AM
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Re: Parrot Cost

Large bird: Male Greenwing Macaw

Bird: Rehomed. Costed me around $1000

Cage: Can get pricey. You're looking at a minimum of $600 if you buy new. Look on craigslist, I'm selling my 30x40x70" calcage for $200, new is like $1000.
I went cageless and built a permanent perch, which cost around $200

Monthly Toy Cost: $20. Just like the parrotlet. I may pick one up every now and then if I think he'll love it, otherwise, make your own. Especially for a large bird because those toys are crazy expensive for a couple cut up 2x4 on rope.

Montly Food Cost: Maybe $15. Pellet is something like $3.75/lb, 1 lb will last around a month. Seed mix is like $4/lb and will last a month. Fruits and veggies are counted as free because they come from our food cost. I do usually buy a bag of clementines for him at $5

Time: Since he is cageless....10 min a week, maybe. Kitty-liter scoop his poop and change his water. Caged, your looking at probably 30 min. a week.

Other: Vet is the same, $90/checkup around once a year. Nails: $30 every 3 months or so.

Summary: Even a large bird is much cheaper than owning a dog. There can be large up front cost because of the species, but thats the same with a dog. Go buy a pure french bull with a crate, bedding, a month's supply of food, and toys and let me know how much a bird is in comparison.
Yes a bird can cost $15,000 (hyacinth macaw) but if its not in your reality, 90% cost under $1500. You dont always have to buy brand new bird and brand new everything also. Rehoming/adopting is HUGELY needed and will save you piles of money on getting your dream bird!
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Old 12-27-2013, 11:23 PM
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Re: Parrot Cost

I don't feel it was exaggerated THAT much, i paid $400 for initial cost of my bird Maybe I over-bought things, but it is nice to have at least that to start up with
__________________
I am a little bird


"I did not cost thousands to buy. I am not a rare species you can brag about owning. I am found everywhere. They call me a 'starter' bird. They call me a beginner's bird. I am all too often an impulse buy that can be dismissed when I am too much trouble. They do not understand me, and breed more of my kind, when so many are already looking for homes. They lock me away. Ignore me. Sell me. They don't see me, they don't know me.

I AM rare. The price tag that is placed on me and my size do not define me. I am the only one of me you'll ever meet. I do not think I am small. In my mind I am a large bird with a personality and intelligence to rival the magnificent macaw or the beautiful cockatoo. I am intelligent. I am affectionate. I too deserve a big cage, respect, love, medical treatment, and adoration.

I am irreplaceable. You will never find one like ME again. Do not define me by my size, commonness or price tag. Love me and I will show you that those macaws ain't got nothin on me!"


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Old 12-27-2013, 11:25 PM
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Re: Parrot Cost

I think you guys are right you can save quite a bit of money, but no offense, but don't you think 20 minutes a week for your parrotlet is skimping a little bit?


EDIT: Oops sorry. I read that completely incorrectly. My apologies.
__________________
I am a little bird


"I did not cost thousands to buy. I am not a rare species you can brag about owning. I am found everywhere. They call me a 'starter' bird. They call me a beginner's bird. I am all too often an impulse buy that can be dismissed when I am too much trouble. They do not understand me, and breed more of my kind, when so many are already looking for homes. They lock me away. Ignore me. Sell me. They don't see me, they don't know me.

I AM rare. The price tag that is placed on me and my size do not define me. I am the only one of me you'll ever meet. I do not think I am small. In my mind I am a large bird with a personality and intelligence to rival the magnificent macaw or the beautiful cockatoo. I am intelligent. I am affectionate. I too deserve a big cage, respect, love, medical treatment, and adoration.

I am irreplaceable. You will never find one like ME again. Do not define me by my size, commonness or price tag. Love me and I will show you that those macaws ain't got nothin on me!"



Last edited by Wings; 12-28-2013 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 12-28-2013, 12:08 AM
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Re: Parrot Cost

I guarantee that virtually everyone that wants a bird but can barely afford the initial costs who reads the OP or any similar information, will just turn their noses up at it and get a bird anyway (or cat, or dog, or ferret, or any animal).
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Old 12-28-2013, 02:22 AM
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Re: Parrot Cost

I dont think this is over exaggerated at all...

Especially if you live in Australia, or other countries where parrots are not as popular as America... and for your 20 dollar toys, we are paying 60 dollars!

Gosh original cost for Fargo was 5000 dollars.. plus the hundreds of toys he gets, and special pellets are alot harder to get here as well!

Nuts aren't too bad... I usually get a big bag of each, about 20-30 dollars each, and they last about 6 months ?

Bird tricks did an article about this.. They said-

Vegetable/pellet diet: $30 per week. $1560 per year.
New toy/accessory: $15 per week. $780 per year.
Vet bill: $5.75 per week. $300 per year.
Cage (based on replacing a $450 cage every 3 years): $2.90 per week. $150 per year
TOTAL: $53.65 per week. $2790 per year.


Now that is fair ^ I spend alot more than 780 dollars a year on toys, vet bill is spot on, cage same price...

but lets just say your bird lives for 50 years.. That is 139 000 dollars....


Even if you just did HALF of that... That is still 70 000 dollars....

Even if your bird only lived for 25 years.. That is still 35 000 dollars....
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Old 12-28-2013, 02:38 AM
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Re: Parrot Cost

Ill take a crack at it as well but i used to work at a bird store and I still get a discount there

Bird: Male Greenwing Macaw $1999

Cage: 600 dollars for a 40x30 cage

Food: about a 1 5lb bag a month at 25 dollars (Harrisons lifetime coarse)

Toys: 50-75 dollars a month

Nuts: 3 lb of mac nuts, 3 lb of walnuts, 3 lb pistachios for about 50 bucks

Fruit: around 25 dollars every 2 weeks.

vet visit once a year for about 55 dollars a visit


Im to lazy to add it up but i don't feel like I'm spending a lot on my bird

Last edited by Jlong1989; 12-28-2013 at 02:53 AM.
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Old 12-28-2013, 07:30 AM
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Re: Parrot Cost

I am fortunate that I have access to bird fairs which offers everything I could need at considerable savings. I purchase pellets in bulk. One of the items in the original post that is grossly exaggerated is the price of a scale. It states $100+. My vet said just to get a flat gram scale at Target which runs about $20 or so. Bird ownership can be expensive if you do not shop around or make things yourself. If you look at the toys for sale, you can see that the contents are easily found at a variety of resources, so you can make your own. Birds are different and not all are as destructive as others. As to vet costs, there really is no need to go unless you feel something is wrong. If you practice good hygiene with its living conditions, the bird has clear nares, eating and drinking with normal stools, and acting like the typical parrot it is, then there is no need to go to the vet. Going to a vet just stresses it out. If you feel going annually is right, then do so. As for wing and nail trims, you can purchase perches that will assist you or learn to do them yourself with a dremel or dog nail clippers. Learn to cut wings yourself. It will last until the next molt which is about a year. Again, there are ways to making bird ownership inexpensive. The initial purchase of a bird can be expensive if you let it. Many birds can be acquired with a cage and accessories making ownership affordable. The sentence "If you cannot afford the bird, then you cannot afford to own it" is so untrue. I choose to not spend ridiculous amounts of money if I do not have to. Just because one has money does not mean you will care for a bird better than one with less.

Last edited by Merlee; 12-28-2013 at 08:13 AM.
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