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How Much Does a Parrotlet Cost? (2021 Price Guide)

Ashley Bates

Introduction

If you’re a first-time bird owner, one thing you’ll want to know is how much you can expect both to pay upfront and annually for your pet. If the little parrotlet caught your eye because of its compact size and big personality, you’ll want to tally up the expenses.

Also, before you choose to buy a parrotlet, you need to fully digest that this is a long-term commitment. Parrotlets don’t short lifespans like some caged animals. They can live up to 20 years—and sometimes beyond!

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Bringing Home a New Parrotlet: One-Time Costs

When you buy your parrotlet and all their supplies, that will usually be your biggest cost. After you have the main supplies, like the cage, bowls, toys, and perches—you can focus on recurring expenses.

There are certain areas where you can save money when it comes to ongoing care.

Free

You might get lucky and find that someone you know needs to rehome their parrotlet. Perhaps, they’re not trying to make a profit, they’re just trying to give their bird a forever home.

If they decide you’re a fitting candidate, you might just get a parrotlet and all the accessories for free. This situation is rare but possible.

a parrotlet on a rock
Image Credit: klickblick, Pixabay

Adoption

  • $50-$300

If you adopt a parrotlet from a rescue group, you can pay between $50 and $300. Typically, the bird would come with the cage and accessories included. Parrotlets usually have their necessary vetting and a clean bill of health.

Another upside to adoption is that you give the parrotlet another chance at a happy life—how can you beat that?


Breeder

  • $100-$300+

Buying one from a breeder might be more expensive, but it’s also more specific, with a parrotlet costing between $100 to over $300. You can choose the exact parrotlet type you’d like. There are many color choices, temperaments, and markings to choose from.

You can select a licensed breeder that has a history of successful hatchlings. These people are very educated in parrotlet health, meaning they can give you valuable information on how to care for them. This method of purchase is also a terrific way to verify temperament and health.

Most Common Parrotlet Types

Pacific Parrotlet $250-$350
Green-rumped Parrotlet $150-$600
Spectacled Parrotlet $900
Yellow-faced Parrotlet $300-$500
Mexican Parrotlet $325-$500
Albino Parrotlet $325-$475
Fallow Mutation Parrotlet: $350-$550
Dilute Parrotlet: $200-$450

Related Read: Where Should You Buy a Parrotlet?


Supplies

  • $130-$360

You won’t need a ton of supplies to keep your parrotlet happy, but there are some required expenses. Many things that you buy will last up to several years, but some others—like food and liners—you will have to replenish regularly.

List of Parrotlet Care Supplies and Cost

Cage $50-$150
Toys  $10-$30
Perches $10-$40
Food $15-$20
Grooming Supplies $20-$50
Water Bottle $5-$10
Cage Lining $0-$10
Cleaning Supplies $5-$8
Travel Cage $15-$50

Annual Expenses

  • $300+ per year

General care is usually based on a spectrum. Some parrotlets will be more of a financial burden due to health issues or defects. Others will just need annual vet visits and minimal restrictions. It’s hard to pinpoint what you will get.

But your minimum annual expenses should be $300 and above.


Health Care

  • $260-$320+ per year

Parrotlets usually run costs that are less than that of a dog or cat in terms of health, but anticipate anything. Birds need vet care and emergency visits just like any pet on the planet.

There is no way to foresee certain problems, especially with something like an injury. It’s best to know beforehand just how much you can spend for various circumstances.

Blue-Winged Parrotlet Bird on tree branch
Image Credit: KAROLINEZAMLUTI, Shutterstock

Check-Ups

  • $60-$90 per year

For annual check-ups, the cost can vary depending on your area and how much your avian vet charges. Exotic vets seem to charge a bit more for care, but the visits will be less frequent than some other house pets.

Checkups are a terrific way to spot any potential issues. Sometimes things might appear fine on the surface, but most parrotlets don’t show signs of sickness right away. It’s always best to be safe rather than sorry.


Vaccinations

  • $0 per year

Most domesticated birds don’t require vaccinations. However, if you have concerns or want to go over options of vaccines, speak to your vet directly.


Treatments for Parasites

  • $0-$80+ per year

If you’re at a routine check-up or you take your bird in for other reasons, you might find the presence of parasites. Most infections are treatable with safe antibiotics. The cost can vary quite a bit depending on the medication needed, lab testing, and exam fees.

Some of the most common parasitic infections in parrotlets include giardia and mites.

Yellow-Faced Parrotlet Side view_Agami Photo Agency_Shutterstock
Image credit: Agami Photo Agency, Shutterstock

Emergencies

  • $0-$300+ per year

Even in the world of birds, emergency visits can cost a pretty penny. The total cost will depend on exactly what is ailing them and the solution to the problem. Some vets might charge modestly, while other facilities can rack up the dollars.

It’s always best to have some funds set aside in case anything happens to your feathered friend.


Medications for On-Going Conditions

  • $0-$150+ per year

Your bird might have some type of condition that requires a prescription or supplement. While not every parrotlet will have this expense, it’s critical to understand that every bird’s needs will differ.

Especially as your parrotlet ages, you want to expect the unexpected—factoring in potential atypical costs like treatments, vitamins, or other necessities.


Insurance

  • $0-$400+ per year

Having exotic pet insurance isn’t a requirement, but it can certainly come in handy. Typically, pet insurance charges a monthly fee—much like all insurance.

Depending on how you tailor your plan, it can cover:
  • Accidents
  • Illness
  • X-rays
  • Lab fees
  • Prescriptions

Food

  • $200-$300 per year

If you try to cut corners with parrotlet costs, don’t let diet be an area you skimp on. Malnutrition and other deficiencies are highly common in domesticated birds. They require a vitamin-fortified, well-balanced birdseed or pellet diet.

In addition to the standard meal, you can offer delicious fruits, vegetables, seeds, and some nuts.


Environment Maintenance

  • $80+ per year

Luckily, when it comes to maintaining their cage, you won’t have too high of an expense. Birds require a clean, sanitary living space with lots to entertain them. You need to make sure you stay stocked on cage liners (if you choose), perches, and lots of fun toys.

Most cages come with a removable tray, making mess clean-up an easy task.

Cage Liners $30/year
Perchesaa 20/year
Toys  $35

Entertainment

  • $35+ per year

When it comes to providing your parrotlet with fun activities, you can get as fancy or frugal as you want. You can make toys, puzzles, or mazes out of things you find in your home. Or, you can go to the pet shop and buy lots of exciting premade things for them to enjoy—both outside and in their enclosure.


Total Annual Cost of Owning a Parrotlet

  • $300-675+ year

With medical expenses included, you can pay over $600 a year for your parrotlet, but it will likely fall in the $300 to $400 range. You can work to minimize your costs without skipping on important aspects of care.

It helps to have extra funds set aside, or have pet insurance for your parrotlet in case of emergency.

Parrotlet
Image Credit: klickblick ,Pixabay

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Owning a Parrotlet On a Budget

There are some areas that you shouldn’t try to cut back on when it comes to care. But if you want to avoid big spending and stay within a budget, try these tips!

Saving Money on Parrotlet Care

  • Use Newspaper—rather than wasting money on cage liners, you can use old newspapers laying around. It’s a great way to reuse items and save money.
  • Make Toys—bird toys can get expensive, especially if your bird loves to tear them to shreds. You can buy cheap or free supplies and lookup DIY tutorials online to inspire creative ideas.
  • Whittle Perches—take a branch from a parrotlet-friendly tree, whittle off the bark to expose bare wood, and make your own perches.
  • Buy Secondhand—things like cages can be very costly. Luckily, there are tons of sellers all over who are ready to get rid of theirs. You can chop prices in half by opting for a used enclosure.
  • Tip: You should never cut corners with diet. Malnutrition is a big problem for domesticated birds, so always make sure to buy a vitamin-fortified, complete diet for your parrotlet.

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Conclusion

Anticipating any expense is the best way to go about parrotlet care. You never know when something unexpected could happen. On the lower end, you could be looking at upwards of $300 annually. With medical costs included, you could pay up to well over $600.

Be prepared for anything so you can ensure the health and safety of your parrotlet.

Additional Parrotlet Reads: 


Featured Image: Alessandro Chiezzi, Flickr

Ashley Bates

Ashley Bates is a freelance dog writer and pet enthusiast who is currently studying the art of animal therapy. A mother to four human children— and 23 furry and feathery kids, too – Ashley volunteers at local shelters, advocates for animal well-being, and rescues every creature she finds. Her mission is to create awareness, education, and entertainment about pets to prevent homelessness. Her specialties are cats and dogs.