A new pet is an exciting addition to any household, and birds are among the most popular, vibrant, and cheerful pets that you can own. However, owning a bird can be expensive, and it’s essential to understand the costs associated with owning one before welcoming them home. This article will explore the most common costs and provide tips for saving money when caring for a pet bird.
Bringing Home a New Pet Bird: One-Time Costs
There are several ways to introduce a bird to your home, such as visiting a breeder or adopting from a local shelter. However, each option comes with its own costs. Compared to adoption or visiting a breeder, it’s rare to find pet birds for free. If you do find someone giving away a free bird, use caution and make sure that you trust the person or know how the bird was treated and that the bird is healthy.
Adoption fees can vary depending on location and the bird that you’re planning on adopting. Some shelters will include classes for you to learn how to care for your new pet, raising the price even more. While small birds might cost under $100, large ones can be more than $500.
The reputation of the breeder, genetics, species, and sex of the bird play a significant role in the cost of purchasing from a breeder. When purchasing from a breeder, you’re looking at spending anywhere between $15 and $4,000. Some birds can cost even more depending on their popularity. Parrots, for example, are highly desired due to their vibrant coloring, trainability, and size, often costing a few thousand. However, a finch or another small bird can cost less than $100.
Initial Setup and Supplies
While birds may seem like simple pets, they require various supplies that can get pricey. The biggest initial cost for all pet bird species is the cage, which needs to be large enough to give your bird plenty of space to fly around while being sturdy and secure enough to keep your pet safe. If you’re interested in keeping large bird species, like parrots or cockatoos, be prepared to spend more on initial setup costs.
Other supplies that you’ll need to purchase include water bowls, feeders, bedding, perches, toys, cage liner, nest box, travel carrier, cage cover, nail clipper, treats, bird seed, cuttlebone, and a birdbath. The total cost of these supplies can range from $100 to $700.
How Much Does a Pet Bird Cost Per Month?
Purchasing your new bird and their supplies is only the first step in taking care of them. As with all pets, the responsibility doesn’t end once they’re settled in. You’ll need to add their needs to your budget for the duration of their lives. Many birds are much longer lived than most other pets, with a lifespan ranging between 15 and 100 years, depending on the species.
Health care is one of the most expensive ongoing costs for pet owners. You need to consider food, medications, pet insurance, beak care, and any routine or emergency veterinary visits. The biggest ongoing cost is food, which needs to be tailored to the needs of their species and take into account how much they eat, which can vary depending on their size. Different brands and the amount of food that you buy will affect the price, and if you need to buy specialized diets to treat medical conditions.
A bird’s beak doesn’t stop growing, and keeping it trimmed ensures that your pet stays healthy. You can handle your bird’s beak care at home by supplying them with tools for them to tend to their beaks themselves. Medications and veterinary visits for serious health issues can cost much more. Healthy birds won’t need to visit a vet every month, but regular visits throughout the year can ensure that your pet stays healthy.
Birds cannot be house trained, and this means that you need to protect your house against feathers, droppings, dust, and dropped food, even if your tiny canary never leaves their cage at all. The cost of bird-proofing your home or replacing items that might be damaged by a curious parrot needs to be considered. Regularly maintaining your bird’s cage, cage liner, and bedding is also essential, and the cost can range from $15 to $40 per month.
Providing various enrichment items for your pet bird to investigate is essential. Many toys can be purchased from pet stores, but you can keep costs down by making toys at home, provided that they’re safe for birds. The cost of entertainment can range from $5 to $50 per month.
While birds are lovely and exciting pets to have, they can be expensive to own. The initial purchase price, supplies, and ongoing health care costs can range from $50 to $400 per month. It’s essential to consider these costs before welcoming a pet bird to your home to ensure that you have the means to care for them and keep them happy for as long as they live. By understanding the costs associated with owning a pet bird, you can make informed decisions and save money where possible.