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10 Most Affordable Parrots to Keep as Pets

Kathryn Copeland

If you’ve decided that you want to bring your first parrot home, but you’re worried about the costs, you’re not the only one. The outright price of most parrots can be quite high, but many people don’t take into consideration the expense of taking care of a parrot for the rest of its life.

We’re going to have a look at 10 different species of parrot that are more affordable than others. Generally speaking, these are all smaller birds (compared to Macaws, for example), which means smaller costs. These selections are also for a single parrot. If you opt for a pair, you can, of course, expect your costs to double.

divider-birdsJust a Few Words Before We Begin

Of course, we can’t predict everything that can happen in your bird’s life. Any pet you bring into your home needs to be taken care of, and certain costs should be expected.

The upfront cost of your bird, the cage, toys, and food will be very high, but the upkeep after the fact doesn’t have to break the bank.

Also, make sure you are buying your bird from a reputable breeder or pet store. There’s a big problem with parrots being illegally trapped and sold, which is also causing a decline of these birds in the wild. Plus, you’re much more assured of purchasing a healthy and well-adjusted parrot.

Just be sure to research the parrot you’re most interested in and remember that incurring costs will include the (hopeful) one-time cost of an enclosure as well as food, toys, and vet care. In addition to loads of love and attention from you.

1. Budgerigar/Parakeet

Quaker Parakeet
Image Credit: Jean van der Meulen, Pixabay

The Budgie (also known as the Parakeet in the United States and the Budgerigar everywhere else) is a very small bird that also happens to be the most popular pet bird around the world! You’re looking at an average of $200 to $300 per year for the upkeep of a healthy Budgie.

They are sweet, friendly, and affectionate birds that can live for 5 and up to 18 years and are about 6 to 8 inches. They also make great pets for any first-time bird owners.

They require less food and a smaller enclosure than their bigger relatives, so the Budgie makes an excellent option for the budget-conscious bird owner.


2. Caique

Caique Parrot
Image Credit: Hannah M., Pixabay

The Caique has grown in popularity as of late thanks to their striking appearance and their unique personalities. They average about 9 to 10 inches in size and can live about 30 to 40 years.

They are funny and outgoing but can also be stubborn and aggressive with other birds. You can expect to pay an average of $300 to $400 every year.


3. Cockatiel

Cockatiels in the cage_ Natalie Mnhc_Shutterstock
Image credit: Natalie Mnhc, Shutterstock

Cockatiels are right up there, just behind the Budgies, as some of the most popular pet birds out there. They are larger than a Budgie but still small for a parrot.

They are about 12 to 13 inches and have a lifespan of about 15 to 30 years and you can expect an average annual cost of about $200 to $350. Cockatiels are also affectionate, playful, and gentle birds that love to hang out with their owners.


4. Cockatoo

Gang-gang cockatoo
Image Credit: AmyJo_Freelance_Artist, Pixabay

Cockatoos are definitely larger than the other birds on our list, but they certainly aren’t the largest parrots out there. There are many species of Cockatoos that will range widely in price, but the average size is about 15 to 20 inches, and they have a 40 to 70-year lifespan!

These birds tend to be very intelligent, but they need a lot of attention, or they will exhibit destructive behavior. The annual upkeep might range from about $400 to $700.


5. Conure

Cinnamon Green-Cheeked Conure front view_Jida Xiu_Shutterstock
Image credit: Jida Xiu, Shutterstock

The Conure is another small parrot – the Green-Cheeked Conure being one of the more popular species. They are about 10 to 20 inches in size and have a lifespan of 15 to 20 or more years.

Conures are not low maintenance as they can be affectionate but are also known to be moody and can nip if they aren’t in the mood to be handled. The average yearly cost might range from about $200 to $300.


6. Lovebird

lovebird perched on wood
Image Credit: minka2507, Pixabay

Did you even know that there were this many small parrots? Lovebirds are popular parrots that are smart and playful and, against popular belief, can live without another Lovebird, provided you give it enough attention.

These birds are about 5 to 7 inches and live for 10 to 20 years, and might cost about $200 to $300 every year.


7. Parrotlet

Parrotlet
Image Credit: klickblick, Pixabay

These pocket parrots are amongst the smallest at about 4.5 inches to 5.5 inches, and they live about 20 to 30 years. These are feisty little birds that are very active and need a lot of attention and handling.

The most popular species is the Pacific Parrotlet, followed by the Green-Rumped Parrotlet. You can expect an average of about $250 to $300 per year.


8. Pionus Parrot

Pionus Parrot Closeup_Panga Media_Shutterstock
Image credit: Panga Media, Shutterstock

The Pionus is a small to medium-sized parrot, and if you’re looking for a quiet and more laidback bird, the Pionus will be a great fit. These parrots can live for about 20 to 40 years and are about 9 to 11 inches (depending on the species).

The Pionus is very friendly and affectionate, but also independent, and the annual cost might range from about $300 to $400 every year.


9. Quaker Parrot

Quaker Parrot
Image Credit: V.S.Anandhakrishna, Shutterstock

The Quaker Parrot is also called the Monk Parakeet. These birds are about 11 inches and have a lifespan of approximately 25 or 30 years.

They are playful and energetic birds that would make a great addition to your family, and you can expect an average of about $250 to $350 annual costs for this parrot.


10. Senegal Parrot

A senegal parrot perched on a fence
Image Credit: HeikoAL, Pixabay

Senegal’s are relatively quiet parrots that are intelligent, playful, and affectionate. They are about 10 inches and can live for 20 to 30 or more years.

Senegals might not be noisy, but they are chewers, so you’ll need to be sure to provide them with plenty of toys and items to chew on. The annual cost could range from $200 to $300.

divider-birdsConclusion

The general rule of thumb to consider is that the smaller the bird, the less you’ll spend. But of course, this all depends on each individual bird. For example, the Caique requires a much more specialized diet, which will definitely cost you more.

Additionally, if your parrot develops a health issue, your vet costs will increase your expenditures by quite a bit. So, it’s always a good idea to be aware of unexpected expenses that might creep up on you over the course of your pet’s life.

It’s also good to keep in mind that parrots do live a very long time – with 80 years not being unheard of! So, these are long-term commitment pets whose annual expenses will add up. Owning a parrot is not for the faint of heart!

Just remember that trying to save money while taking care of your parrot is fine – you just shouldn’t cut back on the important stuff, like high-quality food, for example. The health and well-being of your parrot are much more important than saving a few bucks.


Feature Image Credit: Suju-foto, Pixabay

Kathryn Copeland

Kathryn was a librarian in a previous lifetime and is currently a writer about all things pets. When she was a child, she hoped to work in zoos or with wildlife in some way, thanks to her all-consuming love for animals. Unfortunately, she's not strong in the sciences, so she fills her days with researching and writing about all kinds of animals and spends time playing with her adorable but terribly naughty tabby cat, Bella. Kathryn is hoping to add to her family in the near future – maybe another cat and a dog.