If you want to become a pet bird parent, getting a small parakeet or two might have crossed your mind. But before you take on this responsibility, there are some things you have to consider, and one of them is your budget.
As affordable as owning a bird can be, especially compared to caring for other pets, owning a parakeet calls for many expenses besides the actual bird. But how much does a parakeet cost?
That is precisely the question that we’re going to answer in this short guide. We’ll also include some info on the other accessories you’re likely to spend your money on so that your decision of getting two parakeets birds is as responsible as possible.
Table of contents
How much does a parakeet cost?
Parakeets have become increasingly popular over the years, and that’s because they don’t require a lot of time and effort. Moreover, the birds themselves don’t cost a fortune, which means that they’re accessible to almost anyone.
A pair of parakeets can cost anything from $40 to $70, but the parakeet price can vary a lot from one store to the other. It also depends on a variety of factors that we’ll discuss in one of the sections below.
Besides the pet parakeets, you will also have to invest in additional items. Some of them you will have to buy once and others, such as food, you’ll have to get every month.
We’re going to cover all of that in this post, but we’d like to urge you to consider your decision judiciously and realize if this is a responsibility that you can handle.
It doesn’t all come down to the parakeets’ cost. You’ll also have to devote enough time to clean their cage, interact with them, and keep an eye on them in terms of health problems.
One-time parakeet supplies you need
In the beginning, you will need a cage and several cage accessories, particularly a feeder and a waterer. However, since not all of these products are made equal, especially in terms of quality, you should look for the best one you can afford.
Getting the wrong item can both lead to it breaking down ahead of time, but it can also make your parakeets unhappy.
- There are many parakeet cages for sale these days. If you are feeling baffled as to which one you should pick, we’ll tell you that the cage size is the most important aspect to take into account.
- The cage should be at least 18 inches in width and also tall and long enough for your pet birds to feel comfortable in it. The bars have to be set approximately half of an inch apart so that none of the parakeets is at risk of getting one of their body parts stuck between them.
- According to the Animal Humane Society, the cage should be at least 14-in long, 17-in wide, and 16-in high (1). Such a cage can set you back anything between $75 and $100 or more if you get a bigger one.
- One of the first cage accessories you’ll have to get is a perch. Perches are essential for budgies, but they need to be the right size for the bird’s feet. If it is too big, the parakeet might not be able to grip it with ease and could accidentally fall off of it.
- The cost of a perch can be anywhere around $8 to $15 and more.
- While the vast majority of cages come with a number of parakeet supplies, including some toys, a feeder, and a waterer, you will have to buy them separately if one of them breaks or they are not included.
- There are automatic budgie feeders available for around $17, but you can get a standard plastic one for as little as $7. A waterer is even cheaper and most of those we’ve come across are priced under $10.
How much do budgies cost in terms of repeat expenses? Since no pet birds are capable of living off air alone, you’ll have to get some supplies once every couple of weeks or once a month. Here are some of the things that you’ll have to constantly invest in.
Parakeets are among the cheapest pets when it comes to food expenses. For example, a 4-pound bag of parakeet food can set you back around $12. A bigger, 25-pound one can cost just under $25, but this is just to give you an idea.
After all, the type of food you buy, the brand, and its ingredients all have a say when it comes to what you’ll eventually spend on it.
How much is a parakeet in terms of the treats you’ll get? Not much. The most common form of parakeet treats currently available are sticks. There are ‘corn’ cobs or spray millet available, too, and they don’t cost a fortune either.
Two treat sticks can cost just under $20, a mineral block can cost less than $3, and you’ll spend less than $20 on a pack of spray millet.
Budgie toys are inexpensive, too, and that’s why they are mostly sold in sets that contain a variety of them. For example, you could spend around $17 on a generous set containing a hammock, a bell, a swing, and a range of other such toys.
What’s important to note in this case is that you should get the safest possible toy from the most trusted manufacturer or seller.
For blocks, make sure they are made of wood and that the paint on them is non-toxic. All of the pigments have to be edible and the materials need to be as safe as possible. Even the plastic parts have to be extremely resilient so as not to be accidentally swallowed by the birds.
The avian vet cost of a regular check-up doesn’t amount to much, with most veterinarians charging anything from $30 to $40 if there’s nothing wrong with your pet bird.
However, if a parakeet disease is diagnosed, you’ll have to be prepared for expenses in the range of several hundred dollars.
If the situation is even more complicated and your budgie requires surgery, your vet expenses might go up to and beyond a thousand dollars.
Startup cost – If you get two budgies, a cage, and some accessories, food, treats, and toys, the initial cost of all of these things will be around $220-$300.
Monthly cost – Budgies are cheap birds when it comes to their monthly expenses. In most cases, you aren’t going to have to spend more than $50-75 on food, treats, and toys, at least not in a month.
First-year cost – Adding your initial expense (and the budgie price) to your monthly costs, you’re most likely to spend around $900 in your first year as a parakeet parent.
Annual cost – Since in this case, we’re eliminating the cost of the cage and accessories, you’ll be happy to know that you aren’t going to spend more than $500-600 per year.
Total lifetime cost – Calculating the lifetime cost can be a little complicated as you have to consider the lifespan of parakeet birds, too. With the right care, a parakeet can live for up to two decades (20 years), so that would amount to an impressive sum, just under $4,000 – $10,000 per bird.
Note: These numbers are so high only if you want to offer your pet birds the best care in the world. According to Kiplinger, you could spend less than $200 per year, and the total lifetime cost of a parakeet would amount to less than $4,000 (2).
How many parakeets should you buy?
If you’re looking to buy parakeet birds and you’re feeling unsure as to whether you should get a pair or just one budgie, we’ll tell you that they are very social, so you’ll have to get at least a couple.
It would be ideal to avoid getting them from different parakeet breeders as they tend to create bonds with each other. If you get a pair from the same place, they’ll most likely get along perfectly.
If you don’t want to become an accidental breeder yourself, it would be a good idea to get two females or two males. The genders in a pair can be mixed, but the likelihood of them laying eggs is very high.
If you get more than two parakeets, you will have to invest in a bigger cage, more accessories, more food, more treats, and your vet bills will be pricier. Also, parakeets need to have their nails trimmed regularly.
Do not try to tend to this task on your own if a vet hasn’t instructed you properly. Otherwise, you run the risk of hurting your parakeet. It’s not uncommon for an untrained person to trim a parakeet’s nail too much. These tiny birds have only so much blood in their bodies, so causing a hemorrhage can be very dangerous. Trimming a pair’s nails cost under $40 if a professional does it.
Factors that affect the price of a parakeet
There are budgies for sale at various marketplaces, be they physical or online. But you will notice that the cost varies a lot from one seller to the next, and it also depends on the specific type of bird you’re getting.
Breed – Parakeets prices can vary so much because some of the breeds are rarer whereas others can be found across the globe. For example, exotic parakeets can be sold for as much as $700 per bird while a standard budgerigar doesn’t typically cost more than $90 (and that’s a maximum).
They’re available in a wide variety of colors nowadays, but the most common breed you’ll come across is the green one, that’s native to Australia. This is also the cheapest variety as colors such as blue (like that of the English parakeet) are more expensive.
How they were raised – Petsmart parakeets, for example, are usually priced at around $20 per bird. These are typical budgies that you can find almost anywhere and that were raised in captivity. This means that they get along better with other birds rather than with humans.
Bird age – Younger parakeets tend to be a little more expensive compared to their older counterparts simply because you will get to be able to enjoy their company for more time. You’ll also be able to train them easier and better.
But how can you tell the age of the bird? Compared to mature parakeets, younger ones have lines above their cere (right above their beaks).
Price compared to other pet birds
How much do parakeets cost in comparison with other birds you can keep? How much does a parrot cost or other types of pet birds? To find out the answer, simply check out the table below.
Where to buy parakeet supplies?
If you’re searching for parakeet food Walmart could be the first place on your mind. But the truth is that lots of other shops, including those that sell budgie supplies online, have fairer prices and you don’t have to worry about the quality of the treats or food.
You can get a variety of supplies at many online retailers, but if you are feeling wary about doing so, we’d suggest you try several out and decide on the one you prefer.
Chewy.com is one of the favorite marketplaces of most pet bird parents right now simply because it doesn’t disappoint when it comes to costs, delivery times, and also the quality of the products.
It’s such a massive retailer that you might find anything you want in terms of cages and accessories, but also a broad range of food varieties, treats, toys, and everything you might ever require. Fortunately, the Internet has made it a lot easier for pet bird parents to shop.
Where to buy parakeets?
In the end, one of the most important questions you have to ask yourself is where to buy birds that are healthy and happy. You have several options available. You can get the parakeet pair from an actual breeder or you can go to a pet shop.
You can find breeders online on sites like Craigslist, but we urge you to pay attention to the bird’s health when you meet up with that person. It definitely wouldn’t hurt if that breeder would be a reputable one, one who’s been reviewed by other pet bird parents.
How much does bird cost amount to if you go to a pet store? You can get parakeets for sale at Petco for anything from $22 to $30, which is not something to say if you were to get them from a breeder. The cost of a healthy, well-kept, and socialized parakeet at a breeder can be anything between $50 to several hundred dollars.
Petco parakeets are usually kept in healthy conditions, but one can never know if overcrowding was ever an issue to have affected your future budgie.
Another store to try would be Petsmart, where you can get parakeets for as little as $20, which is cheaper than other places.