The Cost Of Owning A Budgie

Budgies/Parakeet May 29, 2020
Written by Kate Barrington | Updated May 28, 2021
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The Cost Of Owning A Budgie

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The Cost Of Owning Budgies

If you’re thinking about a pet bird, you’ve probably considered the parakeet. Parakeets, also known as budgies, are small birds native to Australia. These birds remain fairly small and they have friendly personalities which makes them a great choice.

The thing to remember about keeping parakeets or budgies is that they require a lot of social interaction and they to tend to make a fair bit of noise. These birds can sometimes be taught to speak as well!

Here’s what you need to know about how much it costs to keep a pet budgie.

Bringing Home A New Budgie – One-Time Costs

Before you bring home a new pet, it’s important to make sure you are prepared for the responsibility you’re taking on. Budgies may not be the largest pet birds, but they do require a significant amount of space on top of routine veterinary care and a healthy diet.

When it comes to considering the cost to keep a pet budgie, you’re probably most concerned about the start-up costs.

Here’s what you need to know about one-time costs for pet budgies:

Buying A Budgie

Pet birds can become quite expensive, with larger birds like parrots and conures costing hundreds of dollars. Fortunately, the average cost for a budgie is about $10 to $35, though the cost may be higher depending where you purchase your bird.

The easiest place to find budgies is often at the local pet store, particularly larger pet store chains. Prices may range from $20 to $65, but you’ll be able to interact with the bird a little bit before purchasing.

Another option is to purchase from a breeder. The cost here may be lower, but you may have to travel a bit to find a breeder or connect with one online. It’s not recommended that you purchase a budgie from a breeder who wants to ship the bird – it isn’t safe.

The final option to get a pet budgie is to adopt one. Because parakeets are such popular pets, they often find their way to local shelters. You should expect to pay $30 to $100 to adopt a budgie, though you’ll probably receive a cage with it.

Budgie Cost

SourceAverage Cost (Low)Average Cost (High)
Pet Store$20$65
Breeder$10$35
Adoption$50$100

Supplies And Setup

Though buying a budgie itself isn’t a major expense, the cost to purchase your budgie’s cage and supplies could be. Your pet will need plenty of space along with certain supplies, toys, and food.

Parakeets spend the majority of their lives in a cage, so you need to provide one large enough for your pet to spread his wings and fly short distances. You can choose a slightly smaller cage if you plan to give your budgie time out of the cage or you plan to keep a separate flight cage.

The minimum recommended size for a budgie is 16x14x18 inches, though this won’t accommodate flight. Keep in mind as well that budgies require a lot of social interaction, so unless you plan to spend a lot of time with your bird you might consider getting two.

Plan to spend between at least $50 up to $200 on your budgie cage.

In addition to the cage, you’ll need perches, toys, and bowls for food and water. These costs vary depending what you choose, but it’s smart to budget $30 to $75. You’ll want to budget an additional $10 to $20 to get started with a month’s worth of budgie food.

The final start-up cost to consider is your budgie’s initial vet visit. It’s always a good idea to have your new pet seen by a vet within the first few weeks of ownership just to make sure it’s healthy.

Many veterinarians aren’t trained to care for birds, so you may need to find an exotics vet or an avian specialist. Plan to spend between $35 and $50 for the visit itself. Fortunately, budgies don’t require vaccinations and you shouldn’t have any other costs unless the vet recommends testing.

Spay and neuter surgery isn’t required for birds like parakeets. Behavior adjustments and keeping the sexes separated is enough to prevent unwanted breeding.

Budgie Supplies and Setup

Cost TypeAverage Cost (Low)Average Cost (High)
Cage$50$200
Cage Supplies$30$75
Initial Food$10$20
Spay/Neuter CostN/AN/A
Initial Vet Visit$35$50
Total = $125 to $345

Cost Of Budgie Ownership – Annual Expense Breakdown

Once you bring home your new budgie and the initial costs are covered, all you have to worry about is monthly and annual costs. This includes food and treats, of course, but you should also prepare for veterinary costs and unexpected costs that might pop up occasionally.

Here’s what you need to know about annual costs for pet budgies:

Annual Medical Expenses

Within a few weeks of bringing your budgie home, you should take him to the veterinarian for a checkup. This will give you a good idea of your pet’s health so you can keep an eye out for any developing conditions. In the future, you’ll be able to seek veterinary care at the first sign of an issue.

Here are some of the health problems to which budgies are prone:

  • Tumors
  • Psittacosis
  • Goiter
  • Liver disease
  • Cnemodocoptes mites
  • Polyoma virus
  • Psittacine beak and feather disease
  • Megabacteria
  • Protozoal infections

Plan to take your budgie to the vet once a year for a checkup and budget $35 to $50 for this cost.

If your budgie requires testing or treatment, you should expect to pay $100 or more. Most of the time, these additional costs are unnecessary unless your bird shows symptoms of illness.

Many pet owners consider pet insurance when they think of the unexpected costs associated with veterinary care for their pet. The thing to remember, however, is that these plans are most cost effective for traditional pets like dogs and cats.

Many pet insurance companies don’t offer plans for birds and exotic pets and, if they do, the monthly premium is likely going to be higher than your annual spending. Instead, set aside a few dollars each month in an emergency fund to have in case you need it.

Estimated Medical Costs for Budgies

Cost TypeFrequencyAverage Cost
Veterinary CheckupAnnual$35 to $50
Dental CleaningN/AN/A
VaccinationsN/AN/A
Occasional TreatmentsOccasional$100+
Emergency ExpensesOccasional$100+

Food And Supplies

The most frequent expense in caring for pet budgies is the cost of food.

Your budgie’s diet should be founded on a high-quality pellet food that provides the optimal balance of nutrients. These should make up 75% to 80% of your budgie’s daily diet.

On top of pellets, supplement your budgie’s diet with fresh fruits and vegetables. You can also provide some seeds as treats but avoid seed mixes because budgies tend to just pick out their favorites and leave the more nutritious bits behind.

Plan to spend $10 to $20 per month on your budgie’s diet, though the cost could be lower if you buy your food in bulk. Budget an additional $5 per month for occasional costs to replace toys or bowls.

Food and Supply Costs for Budgies

Cost TypeFrequencyAverage Cost
Food and TreatsMonthly$10 to $20
Additional SuppliesMonthly$5

Total Annual Cost Of Owning Budgies

Budgies are far from the most expensive pet to keep, but you will have to spend money on food each month and on veterinary care once a year. Before you bring home a new pet, make sure you can handle the financial commitment and provide your budgie with the life it deserves for the next 7 to 10 years.

Here’s a quick summary of the estimated annual cost for keeping budgies:

  • Purchasing/Adopting = $10 to $100
  • Cage and Setup = $125 to $345
  • Annual Veterinary Costs = $$35 to 50
  • Monthly Food and Supplies = $15 to $25

These costs may vary depending what choices you make for your budgie’s cage and the cost of additional veterinary care.

You can’t really predict exactly how much your budgie will cost you, but these estimates will help you prepare for the commitment.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a budgie cost?

Budgies are not an expensive bird to purchase. You can find them for as little as $10 and you shouldn’t pay more than $100. Prices may vary depending where you shop.

How much does it cost to neuter/spay a budgie?

Budgies do not need to be spayed or neutered. Because these are birds that lay eggs, simply making adjustments to the cage or to the bird’s routine is enough to discourage nesting. You can also keep the sexes separated to discourage breeding.

How much does a budgie vet checkup cost?

Many veterinarians are not trained in bird care, so you may need to find an avian vet or an exotics vet. Plan to spend $35 to $50 for each bird for a vet visit.

How much does it cost to microchip a budgie?

The cost to microchip a pet is usually a one-time fee of $35. This procedure is not recommended for budgies, however, because the microchip is typically embedded under the skin on furry pets.

How much does budgie food cost?

Feeding costs for budgies are minimal because these birds are small and because their food isn’t expensive. You’ll mainly spend money on a high-quality pellet with daily rations of greens and small amounts of fruits. Expect to spend between $10 and $20 per month.

How much does a budgie cage cost?

The cost of a budgie cage varies depending on the size and materials. Your budgie deserves a cage large enough that it can fly in, especially if you don’t plan to give the bird much time outside the cage. You should plan to spend $50 to $200 on your budgie cage.

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Kate Barrington is avid pet lover and adoring owner of three cats and one dog, her love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. She has been writing about pet care and pet products since 2010
3 Comments
  1. Archie

    this was really helpful thank you!

  2. LaTonya P Boutte

    This was really helpful, because of the important information, visuals, and breakdown of all cost spent on having a budgie.

  3. bibe

    Thanks soo much I hope this is accurate

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