The Cost of Keeping Budgies
The cost of keeping a budgie, also known as a parakeet, can vary depending on various factors such as where you live, the quality of care you provide, and any additional expenses you choose to incur.
- Initial Purchase: The cost of acquiring a small parrot can vary based on factors such as the species, its age, and whether it is hand-reared or parent-raised. Certain color mutations or rarer species may command higher prices. The initial purchase price can range from $100 to a few hundred dollars.
- Cage and Accessories: While small parrots require smaller cages compared to larger parrot species, it is still essential to provide them with a spacious and stimulating environment. A suitable cage for a small parrot can range from $100 to $300, depending on the size, materials, and additional features. Accessories such as perches, toys, and food bowls also add to the overall cost.
- Diet: Small parrots have specific dietary needs that must be met to ensure their health and well-being. They typically require a balanced diet of high-quality pellets, fresh fruits, vegetables, and occasional seeds or nuts. The cost of their food can vary based on the brand, quality, and availability of certain items. Annual food expenses for small parrots can range from $150 to $300.
- Veterinary Care: Regular avian veterinary check-ups are crucial for the health of small parrots. These check-ups help identify any potential health issues, provide necessary vaccinations, and offer guidance on proper care. Avian veterinarians may have higher fees compared to general veterinarians due to their specialized knowledge. The cost of veterinary care for small parrots can range from $100 to $300 or more per year.
- Toys and Enrichment: Small parrots are intelligent and active birds that require mental stimulation and physical exercise. They need a variety of toys, perches, and interactive puzzles to keep them entertained and engaged. The cost of toys and enrichment items can add up over time and may range from $50 to $150 per year.
- Miscellaneous Expenses: Additional costs can include bedding materials, cleaning supplies, travel carriers, and grooming tools. These expenses can vary based on personal preferences and needs, but they typically add up to around $50 to $100 per year.
The cost of budgies can vary depending on several factors such as the bird's age, color mutations, and where you purchase them. On average, the price of a budgie ranges from $10 to $50 USD. However, certain rare color mutations or specially bred budgies can be priced higher, ranging from $50 to $200 USD or more. Prices can vary depending on your location and the specific breeder or pet store you choose to purchase from. It's always a good idea to research local pet stores, breeders, and rescue organizations to find the best options and prices in your area.
A spacious, good quality cage.
What does the price of a budgie depend on?
Budgie prices vary according to the mutations they have, the mutations they have at the same time, and the rarity of the mutations they have.
Some budgies such as albino budgies, although not rare, are highly sought after by people, so their prices can be high. In addition, budgerigars that have multiple mutations at the same time, such as rainbow budgies, have become popular in recent years. These budgies have price tags that vary depending on whether they are rare or not in each country.
As for show budgies in particular, these budgies are priced in a very large price range. Show budgies often have rare mutations. In addition, they are desired to be used in breeding budgies. This is why show budgies typically have high price tags.
Where to buy or adopt a budgie?
When looking to buy pet birds, there are several options available. Here are some common places where you can find pet birds for sale. Visit your local pet stores, including chains and independent shops. They often have a selection of birds, including common species like parakeets, cockatiels, and finches. You may also consider going to a bird breeder. They can provide you with information about the bird's lineage, health history, and proper care. Avian expos are also a good option because these events bring together bird breeders, sellers, and enthusiasts in one place. Attendees can view different bird species, talk to breeders, and often purchase birds directly at the event. Lastly, consider classified websites. Many websites and online classifieds platforms allow people to advertise birds for sale. Examples include websites like Petco, BirdBreeders.com, Hoobly.com, and Craigslist. Exercise caution when buying online and ensure the seller is reputable and follows proper ethical practices. Consider adopting a bird from a rescue organization or bird-specific shelter. These organizations often have birds of various species available for adoption. Adopting a bird can provide a loving home to a bird in need.
The reason why I prefer adopting birds
People should consider adopting budgies rather than buying them for several reasons. Firstly, adoption gives these lovely birds a second chance at life. Many budgies end up in shelters or rescue organizations due to various reasons, such as their owner's inability to care for them or changes in their living situations. By adopting a budgie, individuals provide a loving home to a bird in need and contribute to reducing the number of birds in shelters.
Secondly, adopting budgies is often more affordable than buying them. Most rescue organizations have lower adoption fees compared to the prices of pet stores or breeders. Additionally, many adopted budgies may already be vaccinated and have received basic veterinary care, saving the adopter from additional expenses. Adopting budgies promotes ethical considerations. By adopting a bird, individuals avoid supporting the breeding and pet trade industry, which can sometimes prioritize profit over the well-being of animals. Adoption helps combat overbreeding and reduces the demand for commercially bred budgies.
Furthermore, adopted budgies can bring great joy and companionship to their owners. These intelligent and social birds can form strong bonds with their human caregivers, providing hours of entertainment with their playful antics and cheerful chirping. Adopted budgies often come with unique personalities and histories, adding a special charm to the relationship between the bird and its adopter. Adopting budgies is a compassionate and responsible choice. It provides a loving home to birds in need, saves money, promotes ethical considerations, and offers the opportunity to form a special bond with a unique and wonderful companion.
Setup and accessories
The ideal cage for budgies is a spacious and inviting haven that allows them to thrive and feel comfortable. It should be large enough to provide ample room for them to fly and play, with dimensions of at least 74 cm (29 in) wide, 54 cm (21 in) tall, and 38 cm (14 in) deep. My boys sleep in a Vision Bird Cage by HAGEN (Model L01). Budgies are active and energetic birds that require a lot of space to move around and exercise. Providing the largest cage you can afford is essential for their physical and mental well-being. A good rule of thumb is to provide a cage that is at least twice the bird's wingspan in length, width, and height to ensure they have enough space to move around comfortably.
A budgie's cage should contain a variety of items to keep them healthy, happy, and engaged:
- Perches: Budgies need perches to rest on and exercise their feet. It's important to provide perches of varying widths and textures to promote foot health and prevent foot problems.
- Toys: Toys provide mental stimulation and prevent boredom in budgies. Toys can include swings, mirrors, bells, and puzzles, and should be rotated regularly to keep the budgie interested.
- Food and water dishes: Budgies require fresh food and water daily. The food and water dishes should be securely attached to the cage to prevent spills and contamination.
- Cuttlebone or mineral block: Budgies require calcium for healthy bones and beaks. A cuttlebone or mineral block can provide a source of calcium for the budgie to gnaw on.
- Nesting box: If you plan to breed budgies, you may need to provide a nesting box. However, if you don't plan to breed your budgies, it's best not to provide a nesting box as it can encourage breeding behavior.
The ideal budgie toy is one that combines engagement, stimulation, and safety. It should be specifically designed for budgies, taking into account their small size and unique physical abilities. An ideal budgie toy would have various elements to keep the bird entertained, such as bells, cork, swings, and different textures to explore. It should also encourage physical activity, providing opportunities for climbing, swinging, and perching. The toy should be made of non-toxic wood, ensuring the bird's safety in case they decide to chew on it. Additionally, the ideal budgie toy would be easily cleanable and durable, able to withstand the bird's natural curiosity and playfulness.
You can make engaging toys with bay leaves, leather string, and cork.
Cat fountain 'Catit' converted to a budgie bath.
Annual Medical Expenses
Within one or two weeks of bringing your budgie home, you should take him to the veterinarian for a checkup. Never put a new bird together with your other healthy birds, I recommend quarantining it until you take it to the avian vet. This will give you a good idea of your pet’s health so you can keep an eye out for any developing conditions. In the future, you’ll be able to seek veterinary care at the first sign of an issue. See more information on how to find avian veterinarians near you. Remember, only avian vets can understand and treat your bird!!
Here are some of the health problems to which budgies are prone:
- Liver disease
- Psittacine beak and feather disease
- Protozoal infections
- Fungal infections
- Yeast infections
Plan to take your budgie to the avian vet two times a year for a checkup and budget $50 - $200 for this cost. If your budgie requires testing or treatment, you should expect to pay $300 or more. Most of the time, these additional costs are unnecessary unless your bird shows symptoms of illness.
Many pet owners consider pet insurance when they think of the unexpected costs associated with veterinary care for their pets. The thing to remember, however, is that these plans are most cost-effective for traditional pets like dogs and cats. Many pet insurance companies don’t offer plans for birds and exotic pets and, if they do, the monthly premium is likely going to be higher than your annual spending. The takeaway is that you shouldn’t consider having a pet bird if you can’t afford their medical bills in case they come down with an illness.
Example of an avian medical bill from 2022.
Total Annual Cost Of Owning Budgies
Budgies are far from the most expensive pet to keep, but you will have to spend money on food each month and on veterinary care a minimum of twice a year. Before you bring home a new pet, make sure you can handle the financial commitment and provide your budgie with the life it deserves for the next 7 to 10 years. You must be financially stable to bring a pet into your home. If you are unemployed, worry about yourself first. Birds aren't low-maintenance pets despite popular belief. Birds aren't toys that entertain you while you have nothing to do at home!
Here’s a quick summary of the estimated annual cost for keeping budgies:
- Purchasing/Adopting = $10 to $100
- Cage and Setup = $125 to $400
- Annual Veterinary Costs = $35 to $1000 (less than 1000$ the bird is healthy and needs no further testing)
- Monthly Food and Supplies = $15 to $50 (always buy organic, high quality toys and food)
These costs may vary depending on what choices you make for your budgie’s cage and the cost of additional veterinary care. You can’t really predict exactly how much your budgie will cost you. In Germany, one visit to the avian vet is 26 EUR, a bit more expensive than a visit with a cat or dog (ironically). Last year, Hatchin had megabacteria (avian gastric yeast) and bacterial infection. His parents originate from a rescue center so their contracting diseases was inevitable. I took him back several times over the course of half a year to get his antibiotics, antibiotic resistance screening, probiotics, antifungal medication, and lab testing. How I manage Hatchin's megabacteria will be revealed in another blog.
Here is my price breakdown for 2022 (Location: Germany, Number of Budgies: 2):
Visit to the vet with a small bird (1 x Azuki, 6 x Hatchin): 28,88 x 7 = 202,16 eur
Stool and crop examination (gram stain): 20,00 x 5 = 100 eur
SAB plate test (fungi) : 31,09 x 4 = 124,36 eur
Amphotericin B : 41,10 x 2 = 82,20 eur
Doxycycline injection/ dose: 15,13 x 6 = 90,78 eur
Vitamin B complex/ dose: 21,68 x 1 = 21,68 eur
Bene-Bac Probiotics: 15,15 x 3 = 45,45 eur
Lab testing (antibiotic resistance, fungi, bacteria) with express shipping: 51,10 + 17,82 = 68,92 eur
Vitamin Complex Powder: 13,27 eur
Bird Playground: 18,99 eur
Ac-i-Prim Probiotics: 36,57 eur
William JW Hunter Activity Toy: 9,00 eur
Mini Toy Bird Kabob: 11,00 eur
Premium Cork Seat: 19,99 eur
Bird pool / Cat fountain: 23,99 eur
Food (2kg, purchased every 3 months): 24,20 x 4 = 96,80 eur
VISION cage: 154,44 eur
Toys: 100,00 eur
Kitchen rolls: 6,00 x 5 = 35,00 eur
Vegetables, fruits, nuts, etc: 100,00 eur
Total: ~ 1.278,04 eur
How much does budgie food cost?
Feeding costs for budgies are minimal because these birds are small and because their food isn’t expensive. You’ll mainly spend money on a high-quality seed mixture or pellet with daily rations of greens and small amounts of fruits. Expect to spend between $10 and $40 per month. They only drink non-sparkling mineral water brought from the store.
How much does a budgie cage cost?
The cost of a budgie cage varies depending on the size and materials. Your budgie deserves a cage large enough that it can fly in, especially if you don’t plan to give the bird much time outside the cage. You should plan to spend $150 to $400 on your budgie cage. I highly recommend VISION cages by Hagen. Read more here about the ideal budgie cage.