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Your Bird, Your Money: Add Up The Flock

Factor in costs when deciding to get a new pet bird

By Susan Chamberlain

From the pages of BIRD TALK magazine

When you already share your home with one or more birds and are considering adding another, make sure you are financially prepared for a new addition. Research what type of bird suits you and your existing pets, and then budget accordingly. Adding a new budgie may not cause a ripple, but the purchase and maintenance of a large pet bird will have an impact in costs. Before you make the commitment to a new bird, do the math. 

Prices for a pet bird often fluctuate depending on availability, time of year and geographic area. In states with numerous breeding facilities, prices may be lower than in states where shipping is figured into the price.

Your Bird, Your Money: Have A Plan
Follow this budget strategy when preparing for a new pet bird. More>>

Ask about health guarantees and any tests or inoculations the birds have had, which may affect the price. Health guarantees are sometimes contingent on a visit to an avian veterinarian. Ask the seller what tests are required to validate the guarantee, and add the price of the vet visit and tests to the cost of the bird. Visit several bird shops to compare quality and price and to see what pet bird species are currently available.

If you are prepared to adopt a bird, adoption fees typically range from $10 for small birds and up to $150 for larger birds, according to the Parrot Education and Adoption Center (PEAC). Seminars and special training may also be required, so these costs should be factored in as well. 

Prepare Your Home
Factor in the price of a new cage. Even if the new bird will eventually live with the established bird (if they are deemed compatible), it will need a cage for the quarantine period. A larger cage will be necessary in order to accommodate two birds comfortably. Figure the price of additional accessories as well, such as perches, dishes, toys, a cage cover and other necessities.

Toys and food will be ongoing expenses and can more than double your current expenses. With an additional pet bird in the house, it may be more economical to purchase larger packages of bird food with costs per pound being typically lower than smaller sizes. Watch for point-of-purchase or package coupons to help defray the cost of your birds’ favorite food.

Establish a relationship with an avian veterinarian before you have an emergency. Taking each pet bird to the vet for an annual checkup is a good way to do this. 

Expect bird-sitting or boarding costs to increase with the addition of the new bird. As with veterinary services, inquire about a multi-bird discount. If the birds are housed in the same cage, that may factor into discount calculations.

Getting a new pet bird is a very special event, but it is also a financial commitment. Calculate your current single bird’s costs, and double it. If you can’t make the payments, it would be better to get a new bird at another time.


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Your Bird, Your Money: Add Up The Flock

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Reader Comments
Too many people don't know this
Qing, Rochester, NY
Posted: 1/31/2012 4:16:19 PM
A very good article.
Dan, Sandy Valley, NV
Posted: 9/19/2010 7:16:17 PM
ANOTHER GREAT ARTICLE TO REMIND US OF THINKING BEFORE JUMPIMNG IN
PATRICIA, MILFORD, NJ
Posted: 8/23/2008 9:48:02 AM
great
v, d, OH
Posted: 8/23/2008 8:36:57 AM
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