Have you ever wanted an African grey parrot? Do you have any idea how much will it cost?
Owning an African grey is like having your own personal comedian or musician in your home. They’re one of the most intelligent parrots out there, and you’ll never be bored with one.
But there is one thing you need to know before considering buying an African grey parrot… It’s not cheap.
Looking back, I probably wasn’t ready to own one when I wasn’t sure how much it would cost.
An African grey parrot can cost anywhere from $800 for a hand-raised African grey to up to $4000. That is just the one-time purchase price.
Here is a breakdown of the other main costs you can expect:
- Cage: $250 to $ 500
- Travel Cage: $50 to $100 (optional)
- Perches: $15 to $30 each
- Toys: $5 to $15 each
- Food and treats: $40-$90 per month
- Veterinary Check: $40 to $100 per check-up visit
- Insurance: $10 to $30 per month based on your plan
Tips: There are two African grey species on the market: Congo African Greys and Timneh African Greys. The African congo greys are typically the most affordable because they are usually a common option.
Extra Cost Comes With The African Grey
Now let’s get down to the paperwork. Say you’ve bought your African grey; what’s next?
Cage, Toys, and Accessories
Firstly, you need a cage.
A typical birdcage for African grey alone can cost anywhere between $250 to $ 500. You want a large and secure cage to have fun.
The price primarily depends on the size of the cage; the bigger, the higher price is.
Now, you’ll have to decide what accessories to go in:
- Food bowl for dry foods
- Food bowl for wet foods such as vegetables and fruits
- Food bowl for water
- Chewing Materials
- Perches, ladders, and swings
That is going to cost you another $80 to $100.
As your African grey gets tired of these old toys, you will have to take out your wallet and fill the cage with new toys every few months.
Let’s say you do that twice every year; that’s nearly $200 on toys and perches every year.
Food and Treats Cost
We can’t live without food or water neither can the birds.
The food supply for African grey averages from $40 to $90 every single month, depending on the brand you choose and, of course, the appetite of your African grey parrot.
The basic elements of an African grey’s diet consist of:
- Vegetables and fruits
- Grains and beans
Once in a while, you would also want to give them treats or dried fruits like yogurt, dried blueberries, or raisins. That’s some extra cost for you.
Opt-in for Veterinary Check
You’ve paid a lot for your bird already. Why would it hurt to spend on a yearly checkup?
As an owner of an African grey parrot, I would also recommend getting pet insurance that covers unexpected medical bills and diseases related to African grey parrots. This will protect your budget from the future.
Vet visits can be expensive but essential— this can cost you around $40to $100 per checkup visit, $100 or more per emergency visit.
Don’t hold back. Once you’ve decided to have an African grey, this is the least you can do to keep your African grey happy and healthy.
Take your African grey to the vet for a checkup at least once a year. Remember, your grey is like a family member whose health condition and well-being play an important role.
Insurance for Your Grey
As described above, a veterinary check can be a heavy bill. Thus, to cover part of the cost, you will want to buy your grey insurance.
Although it is not a must to go for, if you’re paying $200 to $500 for a vet visit every year, that’s a good reason for your African grey to be insured.
The basic plan starts at around $10 per month.
One of the benefits the insurance covers is in case your bird either dies or has to be put to sleep by a Vet from an injury caused by an accident or illness, you will get the loss of what you paid for the bird.
The Annual Cost Of Keeping An African Grey Parrot
It is essential to understand the costs involved in the first place. It gives you the upper hand in making the right decisions with your pet.
The actual amounts may vary depending on where you live, but it gives you a general idea of what you should budget for:
Toys and perches: $160 to $200
Food and treats: $480 to $1,080
Veterinary Check and Insurance: $240
All in all: The annual cost of keeping an African grey parrot is at least $880. If you add up the initial cost for the cage, say $300, that is around $1,180.
Why Are African Grey Parrots Expensive?
Unlike other parrots, African grey parrots are not cheap, and there’s no getting around it. But they are expensive for good reasons:
Smart As A Four-Year-Old Child
The African grey parrots’ high intelligence and the ability to talk are the top two reasons they are so expensive.
African grey parrots can compete for their intelligence with chimpanzees, dolphins, and four-year-old children, considering how small a body and a brain it has.
They have great learning potential and can easily imitate sounds, words, phrases, and actions. Not only do they develop outstanding vocabularies, but they can also understand concepts of
- Same or different
- Bigger or smaller
- Taller or shorter
- Here and there
African Greys can count up to eight and spell or even use words correctly—just like a toddler!
What’s the bottom line: African grey parrots are incredibly intelligent wild parrots. Though they may have similar thought processes to humans, they sense things differently.
However, not all African greys are guaranteed to talk, just like no business in the world is guaranteed to succeed. Each individual is unique, but it is safe to say that African greys have an excellent chance of talking.
A Lifelong Partner Which Money Doesn’t Buy
African greys are always the happiest bird in the room, guaranteed. What’s more surprising is that they also make great lifelong partners.
Well, is it true? Hear this: An African grey parrot can live about 50 years in captivity.
Where will you even be when your parrot gets 30, 50, or maybe even more?
Above all, your African grey needs you to be a loyal friend, a long-term commitment who won’t run away from the first signs of trouble.
Here is the deal:
If you split the cost throughout the years that an African grey parrot lives, this could be the smartest pet investment you’ve ever made.
Come on, who doesn’t want a lifelong partner who can speak to you, share your joy and grief, and keep you company?
African grey parrots can be an extra member of your family.
If you think about the average lifespan for African grey is up to 50 years; it is such a great companion bird and an excellent talker. It is totally worth the price.
The Rarity is What Makes African Greys High-Ticket Pets
Another great reason that causes African grey parrots expensive is their rarity.
The overall population of African greys has seen a decrease in recent years. However, the passion for bird keeping and overall interests in African greys have seen a rise.
Such a high demand and low supply are what’s fueling the prices.
I certainly don’t want to rush you into buying one before the price goes too high.
It is a long-term commitment rather than an object or merchant you later can ditch.
With African grey or any other pet, you can’t!
What Should I Know Before Buying An African Grey?
So, you’ve made your decision to buy an African grey.
Before you act, it is worth knowing some of the key facts that will save you tons of money and effort.
Age: Key Factor That Affects the Price
When it comes to purchasing an African grey, age does matter!
So, what is the best age to buy African Grey Parrot?
Ideally, you want to buy a baby grey whose age is between 3 to 5 months old.
Why 3 to 5 Months?
It has been weaned already by the breeder or the pet store.
Weaning is a process by which a baby bird starts to eat by itself, so this could save you tons of hassle.
Tips: Never buy a parrot that still needs on hand-feeding formula. You can accidentally kill it.
Some breeders may, by all means, convince you to wean a baby parrot yourself. But let’s face it. This could save your money, but as in return, you will be spending a lot more in the long run while weaning the baby parrot. What’s worse than that is that any wrong or inappropriate action you do can cause unwanted or even sad consequences.
Here is a list of what can go wrong:
- Is the amount of formula right? Feeding too much or too little can both cause problems.
- Is the temperature right? Too cold the formula can cause a sour crop. On the flip side, too hot may burn the crop.
- Is the formula too thick? The formula is too thick can cause a sour crop and bacterial problems.
The list can go on and on for what mistakes you could make to mess up your African Grey’s health.
Now, you might think that it is too much hassle and a waste of time just for one bird.
But trust me when I say this: You will have saved yourself from the cost or problems if you start off right with a fully weaned African grey.
Best Places to Buy African Grey Parrots
If you think that buying or selling birds is as simple as buying a pack of peanuts, then you got his all wrong.
African Greys, in particular, are subject to some strict regulations and should be treated with caution when purchasing. Each state in the US has its own rule and regulation in the US, so put yourself in your own place.
Why should an African Grey parrot not be mistreated?
Pets need to be loved and cared for, and that is the very reason that the animals we keep and maintain at home have been named pets (the dictionary meaning of a pet is “favorite or darling”). This is because pets are their owners’ source of joy and happiness.
In the case of African grey parrots, various governments worldwide are doing their utmost to safeguard any illegal trades.
So as socially responsible citizens, we have to, on our part, ensure and educate everyone around us not to subject any creature to cruelty or inhuman behavior.
Never try to save money by purchasing such a pet on the black market. The chances are that the bird was smuggled or a stolen one.
Instead, buy from someone you can trust or an experienced, reputable breeder or organization.
There are several places where you can buy the African Grey Parrot.
- Private Owners
- Avian Stores
- Bird Breeders
- Bird Rescue Organizations
It is worth exploring a few options before making your decision. It won’t cost a single penny if you want to search the name on google to find out how’s the reputation.
If you see any red flags, stop it!
Report anything that seems suspicious and let the law investigate it further.
To Wrap Everything Up
Now hopefully, you have the idea of how much African grey parrots cost.
Being well informed and making a decision based on what you know and how much you can afford is important because It shows a great deal of maturity and responsibility.
If you feel it is the right one for you, go for it!
It is a remarkable bond that you will forever be grateful you had the opportunity to experience.