I remember as a child we got our first parakeet when one just flew into the house and decided to sit on my dad’s head. It didn’t want to leave, so we kept it! But if you aren’t so lucky, how much does it cost to buy a parakeet?
While the cost of a parakeet can vary depending on a number of factors, they are relatively affordable both in terms of cost and care. Today, we’ll explore the factors that determine parakeet cost and explain how much you can expect to pay for one.
We’ll also look at the cost of tfull guide to what you should feed your parakeet herehe essential equipment needed to create a habitat for your parakeet and how much it’s likely to cost to feed and care for your colorful feathered pet each year.
How Much Does It Cost To Buy A Parakeet?
Parakeets are small, beautiful birds that come in a huge range of colors. They’re popular pets, but they are also plentiful, so it’s not too challenging to find a lovely bird for a good price. You can expect to pay anywhere from $20 to $70 for a bird depending on where you buy it, the species, and how it’s been raised.
To put that cost in perspective, canaries usually cost between $50-$150, while parrots will cost $100-$300. Larger birds tend to be even more expensive.
Parakeets available at pet stores tend to be more affordable than budgies, as they are called in their native Australia, raised by breeders. There’s a good reason for this. Store birds usually have been raised with limited human contact and will have spent most of their time around other birds. This means they don’t learn to treat humans as part of their flock during the important formative months. As a result, they may always be a bit more stand-offish than birds raised by breeders.
Breeders will usually actively socialize their birds with humans by hand-feeding them. This teaches the budgies that humans can be part of their flock, too, and they will probably bond with you more quickly.
The downside with these birds is that they need human company to thrive and can become lonely and depressed if they are left alone all day while everyone is out of the house.
People who work long hours but love budgies might want to consider getting a store-raised bird so that they are more independent. It can also be a good idea to get two birds, so they can keep one another company. However, if you do have multiple parakeets, they are more likely to bond with one another than with you. The best choice depends on your lifestyle.
There are several different breeds of parakeet as well. The most common birds, originally from Australia, were initially all green but now have been bred in a variety of colors, including blue and yellow. These are the most affordable, and costs start from $20.
English parakeets are larger, 10 inches in length rather than seven inches, and they have more plumage around their beak. They are often bought as show birds and can be twice as expensive as regular budgies.
There are a range of more exotic parakeets, such as pink Bourkes, yellow rock pebblers, pastel Princess of Wales parakeets, scarlet-chested parakeets, and many more. These species are more rare and therefore tend to be more expensive due to supply and demand.
If you prefer to adopt rather than buy, there are also bird rescues around the nation, many of which specialize in parakeets. These can be birds that have been given up for adoption because their owners can no longer take care of them, or they may be birds that have flown out of their cage and become lost and now need a new home.
Parakeet Cage Costs
Of course, if you decide to bring home a parakeet, you’ll also need a birdcage to create a habitat for them. You can probably expect to pay around $100 for their initial cage setup. This includes $50-$75 for the cage and another $25 for necessary accessories.
Since birds do need room to stretch their wings, they need quite a large cage. If you have just one budgie, you’ll probably want a cage at least 25 x 25 inches. If you have two parakeets, you’ll want to double the size. The cage should be as tall as possible to give them room to climb.
This VivoHome cage is popular and almost 60 inches tall, made in durable wrought iron. It has a number of levels for your bird to inhabit and enjoy. It also has an external perch for when you want to open up the cage and give them some freedom. It comes with a variety of perches and feeders included, so while it is quite expensive, you are economizing on accessories.
For something more affordable for a single bird, consider this 36-inch cage by Best Choice Products. It also comes with perches, feeders, and a variety of toys, representing excellent value for money.
In addition to the cage itself, you’re going to want perches, food and water dispensers, and a variety of toys to keep your parakeet entertained. Anything they can climb is ideal, and they often enjoy bells and mirrors.
The bottom of the cage should also be lined with something that absorbs odor, since this is where all their waste will fall. Most cages have a removable tray at the bottom to allow for regular cleaning and changing of the lining. Good lining choices include wood pellets, recycled paper, natural sand, or specially designed cage liners.
As an aside, parakeets should be kept in temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures below this can lead to serious health issues and even death. If you live somewhere cold, keeping the area around their cage properly heated can be an extra expense.
Parakeet Food Costs
Once you have your parakeet habitat set up, the next biggest expense is food. It’s probably reasonable to budget around $200 per year for food expenses, and a well-cared for budgie can live 15 to 18 years.
Budgies should have a stable diet of seeds or pellets, or a mixture of the two, which should be about 75% of what they eat. The small birds don’t eat much and, depending on their size, might eat just 0.5-1.5 teaspoons per day.
In addition to this, they should also be eating fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts in small quantities. You might be giving them small amounts of the same fresh produce that you eat, so this cost can go unnoticed.
But while you might give your parakeet a slice of apple, without seeds, when you’re eating one, parakeets should not be eating food prepared for people. Read our full guide to what you should feed your parakeet here.
Parakeet Healthcare Costs
Many first-time bird parents think they won’t be going to the vet with their bird. Sure, your bird is less likely than a puppy or kitten to have a physical accident or break into the kitchen and eat a bag of something toxic, but they do still have healthcare needs.
The conditions most likely to affect parakeets are poor diet leading to obesity or malnutrition, viral diseases, mites, and egg binding. All of these might warrant a trip to the vet. You might expect to pay $85 for a single vet visit. Or you might choose to get pet insurance for your bird to protect against the unexpected. Premiums will probably cost you between $10-$20 per month.
There are a few clear signs to look out for that indicate your parakeet might be ill and that you might want to speak to a vet. Lethargy and sleeping during the day are concerns since buddies are active birds. Changes in the color or texture of their droppings can also be one of the first signs that something is wrong.
If their feathers seem dull or are falling out, this is also an indicator of an underlying health problem. If they puff up their feathers and shiver frequently, this is also a cause of concern. They might have a viral infection if there is gum on their nostrils, their eyes become swollen, or their feathers sticky.
As a pet parent, you should always have emergency funds available in case something goes wrong with your bird and you need to pay for their care.
Parakeet Cost FAQs
How much does one parakeet cost?
You can expect to pay between $20-$70 for a single parakeet depending on their species and whether they were raised in a store or hand-fed by breeders.
Are two parakeets better than one?
Parakeets are flock animals, so they do get lonely on their own. For this reason, many people suggest that two parakeets are better than one. However, if you have two or more parakeets, they’re likely to bond strongly with each other and less with you.
If you’re at home a lot and are looking for a companion, you will probably be happiest with a single parakeet with which you can form a close bond. If the house is empty most of the day with everyone out, then two parakeets will be happier if together.
Is a parakeet a good pet?
Parakeets are among the most popular bird pets in the world for a number of reasons. First, they are relatively small, which means they don’t need enormous cages and don’t come with a huge food bill. They are also very pretty birds and come in a range of delightful colors. Finally, they’re sociable animals that like being around people. They are active and entertaining during the day, tend to tweet quietly and happily, and can be trained to sit with you and do other entertaining things when outside of their cage.
Can you put two male parakeets together?
In many cases, you can’t put two males of the same species together in a habitat because they will fight for dominance, but not so with parakeets. Males not only get along well, but they will serenade one another, too.
Can parakeets talk?
Parakeets are very vocal birds and love to twitter away. They can also mimic some of the sounds they hear, such as the doorbell or the telephone. However, unlike parrots, they are not good at mimicking human language.
Do parakeets get aggressive?
Parakeets are rarely aggressive. They may peck you or another bird if you do something to hurt them, such as hold them too tight, or if they are competing over the same piece of food. But this is a momentary warning rather than dangerous aggression.
The Cost Of Parakeets
It’s not expensive to bring a parakeet home. They can cost as little as $20, and you may even find one in need of a home that you can adopt. They do need a few things when they arrive to create a habitat for them, but you can generally expect to pay around $100 to set up their cage. Budgie parents are then advised to budget at least $200 a year for food and maybe an additional $100 a year for medical care and unforeseen expenses.
This makes parakeets relatively affordable when compared to many other pets, and they are well worth the investment! If you haven’t had a parakeet before, you may be surprised how friendly and affectionate they can be.