Date: 31/05/19
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How expensive are parrots

How much does it cost to keep a parrot?

So you’ve decided you want to buy a parrot, but you’re not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered. We discuss every eventuality you will experience when buying a bird, all things considered, to help you make an informative decision on whether a parrot is right for you.

It’s important to realise that parrots are long term commitment. It’s a friend for life, they are intelligent and sociable animals that enjoy interaction with humans and thrive from play time inquisitiveness.

Different breeds have different live spans, Cockatiels will live for up to 25 years with African Grey’s living up to 60 years. Some birds can become bored and irritable if they aren’t allowed out of their cages on a daily basis. You also have to consider the commitment to cleaning their cage, feeding them and making sure they have an enjoyable environment to live in.

If you’re thinking of buying a parrot, why not consider adoption? We are partnered with All Star Parrots who give homes to the UK’s sadly unwanted parrots.

Are you ready for a lifestyle change? Then read on.

Buying your parrot

Similarity to dogs and their sub breeds, parrots have very different personalities, lifestyles and needs, dependant on their species.
Some parrots will be more vocal than others, for example Cockatiels can whistle, you can get specific songbirds that ‘chatter’ and birds like Macaws as they are bigger, will produce a louder sound when squawking.

We’ve done a little tally up of all the average prices for the most commonly bought parrots online. Here you can see which birds are financially suited to you.


If you consider adopting a parrot you need to be aware that they may not warm to you as quickly as a baby parrot. They may be older and frailer, like humans they may be set in their ways about humans not being friendly if they have previously had a bad experience with an owner. Some may have been neglected or abused so you must act with caution and extra care to ensure they feel safe and you don’t cause stress to your parrot. If this does occur you bird may experience feather plucking, think of it as them getting anxious and biting their nails like a human would, we have devised a special blog post dedicated to how to look after birds with feather plucking.

How much will it cost to take my parrot to the vet?

A check up for your parrot may range from £50 to £100 dependant on the vet practise’s rates and the type of parrot you own. A bigger bird may need more specialist avian care. Bear in mind if this is your first check-up it may cost more as they will need to do a full check of everything. Microchipping is one of the cheapest options available to your bird and would be highly recommended, this is very quick and can be done as part of a check up.

If your bird requires their blood to be taken for examination this could cost up to £70, X-rays for £100+. An anaesthetic may be required for small things like beak and nail trimming, this could be anything upwards of £20. This is of course all very dependant on where you live in the UK and the Vet’s own rate’s.

How much does it cost to insure a parrot?

When buying a parrot one of the essential elements most people overlook is the cost of ongoing treatment if your bird is sick, the cost of recovery if your bird is injured, because even if you’re going in for a general check-up, you may find there is something wrong and be left with a £1,000 bill to settle before treatment goes ahead. Delays in finding this kind of money up front could cost your bird their life, so it’s important to have this covered.

One option is insurance for your parrot. We cover up to £5,000 for exotic birds and you only have to pay the first £30. There are lots of different options that you can add on or take off for your exotic pet’s insurance cover, something other insurance companies don’t offer for parrots. Our exotic pet policies start from £8.14 a month, to get your quote give us a call on 01444 708840 or click here.

Buying parrot food

A typical parrot diet should consist of 1/3 seed mix, 1/3 pellets and 1/3 fruit and veg/human foods. Seed mixes will differ on price depending on the type of parrot you own, Macaw’s being the most expensive up to £50 for a 15kg bag of seed mix. Where as conures and budgies don’t eat as much, and you can buy these from £7.99 per 2.5kg bag.

These bags might contain:

  • Sunflower seeds

  • Oats

  • Raisens

  • Other dried fruits

  • Peanuts

  • Walnuts

  • Corn kernels

  • Barley

  • Flax seeds

  • Buckwheat

Parrot pellets can vary in price depending on the brand, some of the most popular are Beaphar, Nutribird, Pretty bird and Harrisons. All of these vary in price from £6.99 to £13 for 1-3kg bags.

If you’re interested in making treats for your bird at home we have an article on 3 DIY bird food recipes for your parrot, quick and easy snacks for your parrot.

How much does a parrot cage cost?

The type of cage you need will depend on the type and size of bird you have, different birds require different set ups. To have a look at some of our favourites take a look at our Pinterest board for inspiration.

Some models come with perches either side of the bars, which creates a nicer environment for Parrots, and wheels so they can be conveniently moved around your home. Generally, the bigger the better, as birds need to have room to stretch their wings out fully and to move around comfortably. These range from £90 to £350. Cages can come with stands and often have pull out trays and grills, these types of cages will often also come with detachable seed catchers too. We recommend Scarletts Parrot Essentials as a reputable company that will offer free delivery and deals on cages for all types of parrots.

Buying parrot housing and decorations

There are so many options when it comes to bird toys , perches, swings and interactive feeders. These are affordable with most being between £1.99 and £20. Made form wood and some containing food, these are versatile to go with any type of cage and can be hung inside or to play with when outside. A perch is a good idea for birds that need regular activity, this way they can be free and play but have somewhere to sit if they get tired but don’t want to return to their cage yet. Perches can cost £30 upwards, this will depend on the size and style.

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