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How Much Does It Cost to Own a Lovebird? (Updated in 2021)

Nicole Cosgrove

August 4, 2021

Owning a lovebird can be a lot of fun, but these birds require lots of attention and care, just as any animal does. In addition to the amount of attention and time commitments to maintaining a safe and happy home for them, there are some serious financial commitments to consider – in addition to the one-time purchase price of the animal itself. A lovebird is to be a part of your family, and it should be treated as such. Here is what you should know about the cost of owning a lovebird:

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Bringing a New Lovebird Home: One-Time Costs

The cost of purchasing a lovebird to bring home can vary depending on the source you decide to buy it from. You can expect to pay anywhere from nothing to more than $100 on this interesting bird species. Below you will find a breakdown of the most common purchasing methods and price points for the lovebird.

Free

You may be able to score a lovebird for free by scouring your local newspapers and online advertising outlets. Social media is another good place to find a lovebird in need of a home. People within your own community may be looking to rehome a cockatiel to a place like yours. So, even if there are no ads looking for new lovebird owners, do not be afraid to post some advertisements of your own letting others know of your intentions. You just might get a response!

Lovebird
Image Credit By: PublicDomainPictures, pixabay

Adoption

Adopting a lovebird is different from buying one from a breeder, because you would be adopting from an animal rescue facility. These places do not care about making a profit. Instead, they simply try to recover the costs of caring for and preparing an animal for a new “furrever” home. Adopting a lovebird could cost you anywhere from $20 to $100 depending on the type of care it has been given, the length of time it has been at the shelter and the skills it already has.

Breeder – $25 – $1500

Buying from a breeder will require the biggest financial investment. A breeder will consider the bird’s specific species, talking and whistling skills, coloring and markings, and general disposition in mind when pricing their cockatiels. You can expect to spend anywhere from $25 to more than $150 on a cockatiel from a breeder. In fact, some lovebird species can go for as much as $1500! The more expensive the bird is, the rarer it is or the more trained and ready to interact it is when it gets home with their new family members.

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4 Species and the Average Cost

Peachface Lovebirds $25
Masked Lovebirds $30-50
Fishers Lovebirds $50-75
Abyssinian Lovebirds $100+

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Supplies

There are lots of supplies you will need to keep on hand when caring for a lovebird of any type. Not everything is needed at first. Basic housing and a couple of toys, along with some food and water will do. But you may want to build up to the other supplies on our list to optimize your lovebird’s quality of life as time goes on.

List of Lovebird Care Supplies and Cost

Caged Habitat $30-$100
Habitat Cover for Cold/Sun Protection $30-$50
Habitat Litter $10-$20/month
Cuttlebone $10-$15
Nail Clipper (optional) $5-$10
Litter Scoop $5-$10
Toys $50
Carrier $50
Food and Water Bowls $10-$20

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Health Care

Just like any other pet, every lovebird needs healthcare attention from a qualified veterinarian. They should have checkups and vaccinations done when necessary as dogs and cats do. The costs of healthcare can really add up, so expect to spend between $50 and $5,000 a year on healthcare each year depending on your lovebird’s overall health and whether they get into any accidents or end up with serious health problems.

Fishers Lovebirds
Image Credit: Peter Békési, Wikimedia Commons

Check Ups

  • $25-$100 per year

You can expect to take your lovebird in for checkups once or twice a year depending on their age and health condition, and you will pay a fee for each visit – usually around $25 unless medications or other health treatment costs come into play.

Vaccinations

  • Up to $100 per year at first, then less than $50 per year

Lovebirds should get most of their vaccinations while they are still young, which can cost up to $100 a year for the first year or two. Afterwards, you may experience years with no vaccination costs, while experiencing other years where necessary vaccinations can add up to the range of $100.

Treatments for Parasites

  • $10-25 per year

Parasites are a common occurrence in birds like the lovebird, but luckily treatments can be done at home with over the counter or prescription medications. The most important thing you can do to keep your lovebird free of parasites is make sure that they have a clean place to spend their time in and that their feathers do not become compacted with dirt. Even the most well care for lovebird can contract parasites however, so a monthly or quarterly parasite treatment might be necessary.

Emergencies

  • $250-$2,000

Anything can happen, so it is important to put a couple of hundred dollars away in case an emergency happens with your lovebird. A couple hundred dollars can act as a down payment for the emergency services your loved bird needs so you have time to find the rest of the monies needed to pay for the services outright. The more money you save, the better when it comes to dealing with emergency problems.

Food

  • $10-$25 per month

Lovebirds should eat a commercial pellet food as their main source of nutrients. A couple tablespoons of seeds and grains can be offered as well. Also, a quarter of the diet should be made up of fresh fruits and veggies like apples, oranges, pineapple, carrots, and celery. Kitchen scraps are acceptable fruit and veggie foods for your bird if they are well minced.

Peach-faced Lovebirds
Image Credit: Marianna, Flickr

Environment Maintenance

  • $50-$200 per year

Taking care of a lovebird requires a fresh supply of litter, deodorizer, and toys on hand. Here are the environmental maintenance costs you can expect to acquire while caring for a lovebird throughout the year:

Cage $25/year
Deodorizing spray or plug-ins $15/year
Toys $15-$35/year
Bathing supplies $5-$10/year
Perch maintenance $0-$25/year

Entertainment

  • $0-$100

The truth is that you can spend whatever you want when it comes to entertainment. Want to entertain your lovebird without spending a dime, take out some paper bags and boxes or other household goods to make some homemade toys that are sure to enjoy. If money is no object, you can spend a hundred dollars or more on store-bought toys to keep your lovebird occupied throughout the day.

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Total Annual Cost of Owning a Lovebird

  • $25-$500

In extreme health circumstances, you may spend thousands of dollars on your lovebird to keep it alive. But generally, you can expect to spend anywhere from $25 to $500 on your pet lovebird depending on the type of lifestyle you intend to provide it with.

Lovebirds
Image Credit: Ripton Scott, Wikimedia Commons

Owning a Lovebird on a Budget

It is possible to own a lovebird while on a budget if you are willing to collect floor coverings for their cage from outdoors and make them toys to enjoy out of old supplies that you find laying around the house. However, it is not possible to skimp when it comes to professional healthcare, which every lovebird in captivity deserves.

Saving Money on Lovebird Care

To save some money on lovebird care, you can hunt for wild seeds, grains, nuts, greens, and fruits in your local area if possible. If a forest reserve is nearby, go find some free food for your lovebird! You can grow foods like carrots, cantaloupe, and collard greens to feed your lovebird throughout the year too. Another way to save money is to create homemade perches out of tree branches found outside, as well as homemade swings made from wire coat hangers.

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Conclusion

It is our conclusion that the lovebird is beautiful, fun, and fairly easy to care for compared to other companion animals like cats and dogs. They are easily adaptable, they get along well with other birds, and they never turn down an opportunity to interact. Are you interested in adopting a lovebird? If so, why? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment down below. We would love to hear from you!


Featured Image: Lucky Business, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.