There are different types of parrots and for any parrot pet lover, you must have already distinguished the fact that African Grey Parrots are expensive in comparison to other species.
For some of us, we may still wonder why this particular species is expensive. I will be providing an in-depth look and answering some of your questions here.
So, why are African Grey Parrots so expensive? African Grey Parrots have become a very rare species. They also have a life span of about 50 years. They are considered an exotic species and breeding them takes resources such as time and money which can be very costly for the breeder. Poaching is a huge contributing factor as well as habitat loss.
Keep reading to find more pointers that contribute to the African grey parrot being expensive. There are different reasons why a grey parrot is expensive, some of these include the subspecies, where you get one, how old the parrot is, nutritional requirements among others.
It is also important to factor in how much work goes into breeding the parrot, the costs of breeding and factors such as how much the feeds costs. When looking into getting yourself an African grey parrot and considering its price. It is important to factor in the following points.
What is the initial cost by a breeder
You must conduct your research before buying your parrot from a breeder. It allows you to compare different prices for different breeders. On average, an African grey parrot costs between $ 600-$1200.
A Congo African Grey costs around $700 while a Timneh African Grey costs around $900 from a private breeder. This cost can go up if you bought your parrot from a pet store.
Being very exotic pets, breeders usually have to put in a lot of work which justifies the cost of the parrot.
They need a sizeable cage for breeding
African grey parrots are playful and this will require you to get them a sizeable gage which can be more costly for you. It is important to ensure that you get just the right size to enable them to have room and the freedom to be themselves.
An iron-wrought cage can cost you approximately $120.
Annual visits to the vet
Maintaining a healthy parrot is very essential. An African Grey parrot requires an annual check-up with the vet which can be a bit costly. A single visit to the vet averages between $200-$250 depending on your location. When they are sick, this cost can go up.
African grey parrots are very playful. You need to constantly buy them toys to destroy. On average per year, you can spend up to $100 on toys alone if you have a very destructive African grey.
We highly recommend that you have a look at baby toys. Some of them can be used for parrots as well. We have created an entire article on baby toys for parrots – you can read it here.
They may need a sitter
If you love traveling, you will need to get your parrot a sitter or carry them with you. A sitter can cost you up to $30 a day.
The cost of food
African grey parrots enjoy feeding on seeded, pellets, fruits and vegetables. One pound of a bag of seed mix that contains dehydrated fruit and vegetables costs about $4.25. You also need to ensure that you give your parrot supplements that contain calcium and vitamins.
There is a recommended diet percentage that you need to offer your African Grey parrot. As a breeder, it is important to ensure that the diet is as follows:
- Grains should constitute 50% of the diet
- Vegetables and fruits should make for 45% of the diet
- Dairy and meat constitutes 5% of the diet
- seeds and nuts should constitute 1% of the diet
Licenses and permits
If you would like to own an African Grey parrot, licenses and permits are an essential part of the process. There are places where it is not legal to own one. You may need to check on this before buying one. Depending on where you get your parrot, licenses can go up to $500.
Costs associated with hygiene
A parrot’s nails and feathers need to be trimmed. For this, you may need scissors that can cost up to $10. Clipping their feathers ensure that you prevent them from escaping.
Maintaining their cage clean is also very important to avoid the growth of fungi and your bird getting sick.
To help you with cleaning the birdcage and also to save you some money and time, we have created a couple of articles here:
Adopting from animal shelters
Adopting from an animal shelter can be a great option, you will not only be saving on costs but also providing a parrot with a home and a good companion.
Why adopting is the best option for you
Most African Grey Parrots go through hardship and loneliness with owners who do not care for them as they should. There are breeders who are out to make profits for themselves and they end up weaning them when they are too young which interferes with their feeding patterns.
A good rescue organization ensures that they prepare the parrot for the next owners. They help you find a bird that is most suitable for your lifestyle. It is important to take into consideration the points below while adopting an African Grey parrot.
Your soon to be African Grey Parrots could be in a shelter because their previous owner was experiencing financial constraints or died or they were given up for adoption.
It is important however to also focus on the costs involved while adopting an African Grey Parrot:
- The first thing you need to consider is their lifespan which can go up to 50 years. Take into consideration when working with a budget
- The costs from an adopting agency can be lower than that from a breeder. Be sure to check for agencies that offer great prices
- You should also ensure that your parrot is evaluated for any psychological problems. This is likely to increase the cost for you if you take in a sick bird
- The time it will need to acclimatize to its new home and owner. African Grey Parrots love interaction, it is important that you put aside time to socialize with them, having had a previous owner means it can take them more time to get used to you
Do African Grey parrots need a companion? Absolutely! Once you keep them as a pet, this means that they do not have the same freedom as other parrots in the wild. It is important provide them companionship by spending time with them, playing with them and feeding them. The estimated amount of time that you need to interact with your parrot should be 4 hours a day.
Is an African grey parrot a good pet? They are a popular pet bird who is considered to be intelligent and talkative. They make for great pets that provide great companionship. They are great at learning and they can learn up to 1500 words in their lifetime. They are also able to mimic different voices.
How many African Grey parrots are left in the wild? There has been a big decline of the grey parrots in the wild because of the pet trade and deforestation. The approximate number of birds is not known but their population has decreased and they are now considered a rare species.