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How Much Does an African Grey Parrot Cost? 2024 Price Guide

Adam Mann

By Adam Mann

african grey parrot

Few birds get quite the same reaction as the African Grey parrot. They’re big and beautiful birds that can learn many tricks, but large birds also come with a large cost. From the cost of the bird to all the supplies they need, these pets can be surprisingly expensive. Not only is the upfront cost something to be aware of, but there are also costly monthly expenses you’ll need to factor in. It’s a lot to keep track of, which is why we came up with this guide that breaks down everything you need to know about how much it costs to purchase and care for an African grey parrot.
As a general answer, you might expect to pay $250-$5,000 to acquire this bird, plus spend $115–$265 per month in maintenance. Let’s look at the details.

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Bringing Home a New African Grey Parrot: One-Time Costs

There’s no escaping it; bringing home a new bird is quite expensive. But while you’re likely already thinking of one-time expenses like the cost of the bird itself, the cost of their supplies can be quite the expense too.

Free

While finding an African grey parrot for free is extremely uncommon, it’s not entirely unheard of. The most common way is to find someone you know who is rehoming their African grey parrot, but once in a blue moon, you’ll find someone rehoming their bird on a social media page or something similar.

african gray parrot
Image Credit: PTSilly, Shutterstock

Adoption

  • $250–$750

If you have a pet rescue near you, it can be one of the most affordable ways to get an African grey parrot, but you’ll often wind up with an older parrot, and sometimes they’ll come with health issues.

Not only that but finding a genuine African grey parrot at a rescue can be a challenge. Still, it’s worth checking out since you’ll be rescuing a parrot in need, plus it can save you a bundle!

Breeder

  • $1,000–$5,000

By far the most common way to get an African grey parrot is to find a breeder. The cost of an African grey parrot from a breeder can vary depending on the bird’s pedigree and the breeder’s quality. When shopping from a breeder, get a health guarantee and do your research before spending your money.

close up on a African Grey Parrot
Image Credit: kungverylucky, Shutterstock

Initial Setup and Supplies

  • $995–$1,545

While the initial cost of an African grey parrot can create quite the sticker shock, the same thing is true for their supplies. Spearheading this cost is the price of their bird cage because African grey parrots require lots of space. Expect to spend at least $800 if you get them a new cage.

You can keep costs down a bit by shopping for used supplies or only getting them the bare minimum, but before long, you’ll find you’re spending more and more money on your feathered friend!

List of African Grey Parrot Care Supplies and Costs

Bird Cage $800–$1,200
Perches $50–$100
Bird House/Tent $10–$20
Toys $50–$100
Food/Water Bowls $10–$25
Carrier $75–$100

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How Much Does an African Grey Parrot Cost Per Month?

  • $115–$265 per month

Even after you drop the money to get your African grey parrot and all the necessary supplies, you’re not done spending money on them just yet. That’s because there are recurring expenses that come up each month, and while you have some control over how much you spend monthly, it’s still going to add up over the course of their life.

You need to know what to expect when you bring them home, which is why we highlighted each expense and how much you can expect to spend.

African Grey Parrot
Image Credit: Tracy Starr, Shutterstock

Health Care

  • $25–$50 per month

No matter how well you take care of your parrot, you need to expect that, every once in a while, there will be some expenses that affect their health care. There will likely be months where you don’t need to spend anything, but when those expenses do occasionally come up, they can quickly add up. Because of this, it’s best to put some money aside each month. That way, when those large expenses do arise, you already have the money since it is budgeted for.

Food

  • $25–$40 per month

While the African grey parrot is a large bird, they still weigh less than a pound. Because of this, they don’t eat too much, and even with many high-quality diets, you don’t have to spend more than $25 a month to feed them.

However, if you want to feed them a premium diet and get them a variety of treats, you can still achieve this by spending less than $40 a month.

African Grey Parrot Feeding
Image Credit: Ian Fox, Shutterstock

Grooming

  • $10–$15 per month

Most months you don’t need to put anything back for grooming, but when you do need to pay for grooming, you can expect to spend between $40 and $50 for a single visit if you hire somebody. Since African grey parrots need to go to a groomer two to three times a year, putting a little bit aside each month can completely cover these expenses when it’s time to keep their nails and beak trimmed. However, these are also things you can do on your own for free if you have the knowledge.

Medications and Vet Visits

  • $0–$25 per month

Most African grey parrots don’t require any monthly medications, but there’s nothing to say they won’t develop health problems in the future that require consistent medication. And while you’ll need to take your parrot to the vet at least for annual checkups, if you’re already paying for pet insurance, there might not be any additional expense for this.

Veterinarian examining sick African grey parrot with stethoscope at vet clinic
Image Credit: Lucky Business, Shutterstock

Pet Insurance

  • $15–$70 per month

Not every pet insurance company will cover birds, but Nationwide offers some excellent pet insurance plans that do cover African grey parrots. These plans can range from $15 to $70 a month, depending on several factors, so reach out to Nationwide to get a quote for your parrot.

Environment Maintenance

  • $30–$40 per month

You already took care of most of the essentials, but the last thing you’ll need to account for when caring for your bird is everything you need to keep up with their cage. Specifically, you’ll need to invest in a low-cost cage liner and some bedding so that you can keep everything sanitary.

These items don’t cost much, but since you need to replace them frequently, it will still add up to between $30 and $40 a month

Cage Liners $15/month
Bedding $15/month

Entertainment

  • $10–$25 per month

Part of the joy of having a parrot is watching them play with all different types of toys, but while many pets get a one-time toy cost, that’s not the case with parrots. Not only do they wear out and destroy toys by playing with them, but you need to give them plenty of toys to cycle through so they don’t get bored.

You can also choose to go with a subscription box to keep new toys coming each month, but often these cost significantly more compared to going out and buying a few toys each month.

Total Monthly Cost of Owning an African Grey Parrot

  • $115–$265 per month

Now that you know roughly how much you’ll need to spend monthly to properly care for an African grey parrot, you can put in an accurate line item in your budget to ensure you can get them everything they need. While you might be able to get away with spending a little less most months, the months that do go over can throw a huge wrench in your plans if you’re not putting enough money aside ahead of time.

african grey parrot sits on a perch
Image Credit: Teirman, Shutterstock

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Additional Costs to Factor In

While we’ve already highlighted all the typical costs of owning an African grey parrot, there are still some occasional expenses you’ll want to at least think about before getting one. For starters, African grey parrots are notorious for getting into things and causing damage, and replacing these things can vary quite a bit in cost.

Additionally, every time you plan on heading out of town, you’ll need to get somebody to watch them, and unless you have a good friend or family member who’s willing to do it, those costs can quickly add up. It’s all things you can easily take care of, but if you’re not thinking about it in advance, they can come as unexpected expenses.

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Owning an African Grey Parrot on a Budget

If you’re on a tighter budget and you already have an African grey parrot, it doesn’t mean you need to get rid of them. Instead, you’ll just need to get a little creative with how you care for them. To start, try to incorporate the foods you eat into their diet in addition to their pelleted diet. This can help keep their dietary costs down.

Next, consider health insurance. While this is an additional monthly expense, it’s an expected monthly expense. It lets you put it right into your budget, and you don’t have to worry about unexpected costs.

Finally, while your parrot needs new toys, nothing is saying you can’t make them yourself! There are plenty of great parrot toy ideas out there you can make, and these things can take that cost to near zero.

African Grey Parrot stepping onto a hand
Image Credit: Allen.G, Shutterstock

Saving Money on African Grey Parrot Care

If you’re heading out of town and need someone to watch your African grey parrot, it can be quite expensive. The best thing you can do is try to get someone you know to watch them, or at least put out a post to see if you can’t get a local teenager or someone like that to watch them while you’re away. However, make sure you do your due diligence and only leave your pet with someone you feel you can trust. You’ll need to put in a little extra work to teach them everything they need to do, but it makes a big difference to your bank account.

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Conclusion

Now that you know a little more about how much these birds really cost, it’s time to take a hard look at your budget to see if you can actually afford one. You might need to save up for a bit to get all their supplies, but once you do, it’s easy to see why these birds are so popular.

African grey parrots are great companions, but they’re also a big commitment since they can live up to 80 years in captivity. You’re getting a companion for life, so keep this in mind before you bring one home.


Featured Image Credit: manfredrichter, Pixabay

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