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Cost of Keeping a Parrot


***Please note:  This information was published in 2000 and some of it may be quite outdated.  We apologize but we haven't had the time to completely update this page. 

Purchasing and caring long term for a parrot can be costly.  Have you completely thought it through, on what all is involved financially in having a parrot as your companion? Please consider the information we are providing you with before you decide that you want a parrot.

Parrots are high maintenance pets. Not only are there "chores" you must contend with each day such as preparing meals, cleaning cages & food/water dishes, there are also the emotional demands that often involve several hours a day of YOUR time spent with your parrot.

    Initial Expenses (excluding parrot) $400 to $2,000

1. A good sized cage should cost from $250.00 for a Cockatiel sized cage to $1000 - $2000 for a Macaw sized cage.

2.  Play gyms, stands, swings $100 to $400

3.  Toys- $50 to $150

Something many people don't realize is that a parrot who must spend several hours a day, alone in his cage because you are at work, must have a very large cage to move about & play in.  In other words, consider buying an Amazon sized cage for your Conure, if the bird will be spending 8-10 hours during the day inside the cage.  Although large cages can house a parrot during unsupervised periods and at night, you should be offering your parrot as much time out of the cage as possible. We use many hanging play-gyms and manzanita tree stands around our home which gives them a great deal of freedom & much needed exercise. A small to medium sized room can be converted into a wonderful, enriching environment allowing your parrot a very happy life.

As a general rule of thumb, minimum requirements for a cage should be 3 to 4 wingspans wide & 2 to 3 wingspans deep.

Monthly Expenses


  Conure Grey/Amazon Cockatoo/Macaw


Seed/dry mix.  Make sure the mix is not full of "junk food".  Dried veggies, herbs if possible, nuts, seeds and small amount of fruits are best.  Pellets are suggested only if they are non-colored or organic.  Dry foods make up about 1/3 of our birds' diet. $20 - $30 $25 - $35 $30 - $40


Fresh fruit, germinated seed/lentils and vegetables.  1/3 of diet $10 - $15 $20 $20 - $40


Cooked mixes, birdie breads, etc 1/3 of diet $15 $15 $20

4.         Toys

$25 $40 $50 - $100



Monthly totals

$70 -$85 $100-$110 $130-$200

Yearly Expenses 


  Conure Grey/Amazon Cockatoo/Macaw


Veterinary bills (costs range based on region)

$150-$300 $150-$300 $200-$500


Vacation Boarding
(for 7 day stay)

$125.00 $125 $140



$1020 $1320 $1730





TOTAL per year to care for ONE parrot

$1445 $1745 $2370

Now you can see how much, on an average, what your annual financial commitment to a parrot will be.  You must be able to afford to take your parrot to a vet if it becomes ill and many people don't think about budgeting for this very necessary expense.  Even if your bird does not show symptoms of being ill, you should still have an annual exam for preventative measure.


  • In conclusion, can you realistically make the time required to keep your your new friend happy and healthy?

    Will you be able to include your bird in your life or will he or she sit alone in their cage while you are at your 8 hour a day job, away on business or out with friends for the weekend?

    Will you be able to keep your parrot for the rest of your life?   Remember, many of these parrot species can live for 50 years or more. What will happen to your parrot in the event of lifestyle change such as marriage, divorce, children, death of spouse or moving.  How will you ever find a responsible home for your feathered friend after you have gone.  Parrots mourn the loss of their human companions and their home...please think about this carefully.

    When your once beloved feathered companion matures into a bird that does not live up to your expectations and begins biting you or family members,  will you continue to be committed to your parrot for the rest of their life or will he/she be left alone in their cage, closet or garage?

    Please, think very carefully about adopting/buying a parrot as a companion. They aren't "just animals".  They are intelligent, emotional beings who have feelings...they are capable of feeling sadness and the pain of neglect or abuse. If you don't believe us, just visit a local parrot/rescue sanctuary and see for yourself.


    Respectfully.....Bird's The Word


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