Canaries are among the easiest birds to care for, which makes them incredibly popular for new bird owners. They’re also sought after for their singing ability, the vibrant colors of their plumage, and their long lifespan. All these things, along with where you plan to purchase the canary, affect how much your new pet will cost.
You can introduce a canary to your home through adoption or purchasing through a breeder, but the initial cost isn’t the only important factor that you should consider. Before you decide to take on the responsibility of a new pet, you also need to think about the cost of supplies and routine veterinary visits. Generally, depending on the characteristics of the canary, one of these birds can cost between $10 and $400.
Whether you plan to breed canaries, enter bird shows, or just brighten up your house with the songs of a feathered friend, these expenses are crucial to consider. Here, we go over the costs of keeping canaries, so you can be sure that you can afford them.
Bringing Home a New Canary: One-Time Costs
When you first introduce a new pet to your home, there are many expenses to consider. You need the right supplies, and you must decide where you’re purchasing or adopting from. Canaries are easy to look after but expensive to purchase.
Unlike many other birds, though, they don’t mind being on their own so you’ll likely only need to purchase one. For this reason, the prices listed here cover the cost of a single bird. If you plan on purchasing or adopting two feathered friends, remember to increase, if not outright double, all expenses.
Finding a canary for free is unlikely but possible. The popularity of these birds and the simplicity of their care generally make them expensive pets to purchase, and it’s rare to find these birds for free.
You might have a friend, neighbor, or family member who can no longer take care of their canary, though, and would be willing to let you adopt them. By taking in a canary this way, you’ll likely receive the supplies that you need to care for them, especially if it’s the only canary that the person owns.
It can be challenging to find canaries to adopt, but you should check your local bird shelters and rescues just in case. Although canaries are relatively easy to look after, they’re long-lived and do have many care needs. Some owners underestimate the time that they have to care for these birds and surrender them to shelters instead. You won’t know much about the bird’s lineage or health, but adopting enables you to give them a loving home.
The adoption fee depends on the shelter or rescue and where you’re located and can be anywhere between $10 and $150.
Although breeders are the most expensive option when it comes to owning a canary, you can be assured of your new pet’s health and lineage. Many canaries sold by breeders are hand-reared, which makes them much friendlier than canaries that aren’t handled as often.
Make sure to do your research when it comes to local canary breeders. Finding a reputable breeder takes time, and you should meet the parent birds and the breeder themselves to see how the canaries are cared for.
Initial Setup and Supplies
Canaries will always be expensive for bird lovers who have never owned birds before. For many existing canary owners, though, many of the necessary supplies are already owned, so the initial setup is cheaper.
A few of these costs, like the toys and perches, can be relatively cheap, but a decent cage can cost up to $200 if you want enough space for your active canaries to fly in.
List of Canary Care Supplies and Costs
|Bird Feeder and Water Containers:||$5–$17|
How Much Does a Canary Cost Per Month?
Once you decide to purchase a new pet, the excitement of meeting your new family member can make it easy to forget about the ongoing costs. Canaries might be low-maintenance animals, but they have plenty of monthly expenses to remember and budget for before you make the final decision to buy one.
Monthly and other ongoing costs include veterinary visits, feeding costs, and any grooming needs.
Emergency visits to the veterinarian are expensive for any animal. There are times when your canary will develop sudden health conditions or get injured.
Treatment costs can range from $60 for routine veterinary visits to $150 or more for emergencies, depending on the illness or injury that needs treating.
There are two main options when it comes to feeding your canary: seeds or pellets. Both are available at local or online pet stores and are tailored to provide the nutrients that your canary needs to stay healthy.
As a small bird species, canaries don’t eat as much as larger birds, and a good bag of feed can last for a while. Food can still be expensive, though, and remember that it’s an ongoing cost for the duration of your canary’s lifetime. Most seed mixes and pellet diets cost between $15 and $25.
Canaries don’t have many grooming needs and tend to care for themselves, provided that they have a bathing bowl in their cage. You can also buy perches that will naturally keep their claws in shape, so they won’t need trimming as often.
However, you can trim their claws yourself or ask your veterinarian to trim them for you. Some veterinarians will also file your canary’s beak to make sure they’re as healthy as possible. Although these grooming costs are relatively affordable, hiring a professional is always more expensive than doing it yourself.
Medications and Vet Visits
While canaries are long-lived and relatively healthy, they are still susceptible to a few serious health issues. A routine cost that you should expect is veterinary visits.
Most issues are related to infections due to fungal, bacterial, or viral issues, but other diseases can affect your bird too. Regular visits to a veterinarian can help you catch developing issues before they become serious problems.
If your canary has a chronic health issue or you adopt a canary without knowing their health history, you might need to purchase medication to treat their illness or manage their condition.
Keeping the environment that your canary lives in clean and well-maintained is essential if you want your canary to live a long and happy life. Unlike the initial cost of supplies and the purchase price of the bird, maintaining their cage and purchasing food and vitamins are ongoing costs.
While you might not replace a few of these items that often, monthly costs of canary care to consider include cage liners, bird feed, seed mixes, and vitamins and minerals to supplement their diet.
|Bird Feed:||$3–$30 per month|
|Seed Mixes:||$9–$30 per month|
|Vitamins and Minerals:||$2–$15 per month|
|Cage Liners and Litter:||$5–$35 per month|
Canaries love to play as much as they love to fly around, and you can keep them entertained by placing a few toys in their cage. These can range from swings, bells, and mirrors to more expensive options, like toys from subscription boxes designed for birds. The boxes can be pricey, though, and not the best option for every canary owner, especially if you have a tight budget.
That said, subscription boxes can help you acquire new supplies for your canary. Depending on the box that you choose, you can receive treats, new toys, or supplies like new feeders every month.
Total Monthly Cost of Owning a Canary
After the one-time cost of buying your canary, the food, grooming, medication, and veterinary visits are the most expensive part of pet ownership. For a single canary, you can expect to pay anywhere between $15 and $150 every month, depending on how fast you go through food or visit the vet.
These monthly expenses are necessary to keep your canary as healthy and happy as possible. You need to make sure your budget can cope with the ongoing costs of canary care and the initial setup fees.
Additional Costs to Factor In
It’s not just where you purchase your canary that affects the cost of this bird. They can be more or less expensive depending on their coloring, lineage, and sex.
Beyond yellow, canaries can be red, orange, yellow and black, and many other colors. Since some colors are less common than others, the color of the canary that you plan on purchasing will affect their price.
Just like other pets, canaries often appear at bird shows. Many breeders will feature their birds at these shows, and some of the canaries that you can purchase will be descended from champion breed lines. The more successful their parents are in the show circuit, the higher the price for the chicks will be.
Male vs. Female
When it comes to owning canaries, many bird owners prefer males over females because the males sing and the females don’t. Male canaries are more expensive than females because they’re more popular.
Owning a Canary on a Budget
A canary isn’t one of the most expensive pets to own, but they can still be pricey overall. That said, it is possible to own a canary on a tight budget. The first step is to establish what your budget is. To do this, you need to consider the average cost of owning a canary and your existing responsibilities. Think about how much you spend on bills, food, school or work supplies, fuel, and other necessities. Once you have an idea of how much you can spend per month, you can figure out how much you can afford to spend on your canary.
Saving Money on Canary Care
If you need to save money on canary care, try shopping around for supplies. It’ll take a while, but it will help you save money. Shopping around gives you the chance of finding cheaper or secondhand supplies.
Canary owners might sell their supplies if they can no longer care for their birds or if they’re upgrading to a bigger cage. Secondhand supplies are often much cheaper than purchasing brand-new items. As long as the supplies are well-maintained and clean, they can benefit your canary too.
Sought after for their coloring and beautiful singing voices, canaries are popular birds to keep as pets. They are, however, a bit expensive when you first introduce them to your home.
Depending on the bird’s lineage, sex, and coloring, you can pay anywhere between $10 and $400 or more for individual birds. Male canaries are often the most expensive because they are more highly sought after due to their singing abilities. If you plan on purchasing two canaries at once, the price also increases.
The initial supplies that you need to keep your canary safe and happy should be considered as part of the purchase price. For example, the right cage can cost up to $200, and you’ll need water, food, bathing bowls, and a few toys to keep them entertained.
Even if you can afford the supplies and initial purchase price, there are a few extra costs to consider. Your canary’s ongoing care needs will be a monthly expense for the rest of their lives. Although their food, toys, and other supplies are affordable, veterinary costs can be expensive, especially for emergencies.
We hope that this guide has helped you figure out whether your current budget will enable you to keep canaries.
Featured Image Credit: Jumpstory