Budgies, or budgerigars, are also known as parakeets. These tropical birds are in the genus Agapornis, making them a small type of parrot. They originally hail from the grasslands and dry outback of Australia. Today, they are the most popular species of pet birds on earth! Many enthusiasts recommend them for beginning bird owners.
Budgies excel as pets because of their bright colors, social behavior, and cheerful songs. They whistle, chatter like other parrots, and can learn to mimic and respond to human speech. The more you train and spend time with your budgie, the more it will bond and interact with you.
This article addresses the cost of buying a budgie and its accompanying necessary equipment. You’ll need a cage, toys, and food, not to mention savings for regular vet visits and unexpected emergencies.
Keep reading to learn about the cost of budgies – we’ll discuss one-time expenses and what it costs each month for maintenance.
How Much Does a Budgie Cost?
A budgie, also known as a parakeet, is a species of parrot (Melopsittacus undulatus) popularly kept as a pet. Depending on where you obtain your budgie and its coloration, prices range from $10 to $40.
When you first take your budgie home, you’ll need to set aside about $225 for one-time expenses. These include the purchase price of the bird, the cage, cover, liner, bowls, and the first vet visit. It’s up to you if you want to purchase pet insurance too.
Budgies are smaller parrots so you won’t need to shell out more than a couple hundred dollars for a cage. Do consider buying a travel cage to place your budgie in while cleaning and refreshing its full size cage.
All cages should be at least 20” x 18” x 18”, but we recommend at least 2’ in all dimensions, especially if you’re buying a pair of birds. For every additional bird, we recommend adding at least 4” of space in each direction.
|Cost of Keeping a Pet Budgie
|Type of Cost
|Animal Purchase Fee
|Cage, Cover, & Liner
|Initial Vet Visit & Vaccination
|Subsequent Vet Visits
How Much Does a Budgie Cost Per Month?
Upkeep costs of a pet budgie might not be as expensive as you think. There are regular costs, just as with keeping any animal. Food, toys, and vet visits are the three biggest fund sinks for budgie maintenance.
The ongoing prices of a budgie are smaller than that of other parrots. Since budgies are the most popular pet bird species in the world, there are many different affordable toy and food options. You don’t have to stick to budgie-specific toys. Branch out and try other parrot or cockatiel toys.
Food is a non-negotiable expense. Feed your budgie pellets, not seeds. Seeds should only be fed as treats. Feeding seeds too often can result in the bird refusing to eat any other food.
A single bag of budgie food might last a couple months. Other treats you can feed include fruit and vegetables, except avocado, which is toxic to budgies.
You don’t need to buy extravagant toys each month for your budgie. They are entertained by paper towel rolls, shredded paper, and DIY strings of beads. You could even make a swing out of cardboard tubes. It is crucial to provide toys in order to give the bird challenges and mental stimulation.
Should I Buy One or Two Budgies?
We recommend buying two budgies if you have the space and time. Budgies are gregarious parrots that live in large flocks in the wild. It’s possible to take the bird away from that busy, sociable environment and keep it happy, but it requires a lot of effort and social interaction on the part of the owner.
The best compromise is to purchase two budgies instead of one. Experts recommend situating small mirrors around the cage so that the birds can see their reflections.
Instead of recognizing themselves, the birds will assume that there are other birds nearby. It reduces their stress and increases their perception of safety – if they’re in a crowd, they can’t be picked off by predators.
Don’t worry about chicks, even if you get a male-female pair. You can simply remove the eggs from the cage; without heat, they will not hatch.
It’s easy to tell males and females apart:
- Males are more vocal and able to mimic human speech than females.
- Females (known as hens) have a brown or pink strip of skin above their beak. Males’ skin here is blue.
- Males are more active and engaged with toys, each other, and their owners. Females are usually sedate and calm.
How Long Do Budgies Live?
In captivity, pet budgies usually live between 5 and 8 years. In the wild, their lifespans are shorter because they are exposed to the elements and predators. Captive budgies may vary in lifespan depending on factors of their environment.
A healthy and positive environment can contribute to bird longevity. If you regularly interact and play with your budgie, give it engaging toys, or provide it with a mate or friend, it will live longer.
Budgies are great pets whether you’re an experienced pet bird owner or just beginning your bird ownership journey. They don’t require the multi-generational commitment of large parrots but they are still social and friendly.
You can teach them words and train them too. Just make sure to do all your research before bringing a budgie home. With the right equipment and loving environment, it is sure to thrive.
Anna is a wildlife biologist who graduated from Texas A&M in 2020. She enjoys feeding, studying, and taking photos of wild birds and hummingbirds. She once worked as the hummingbird department manager at a Wild Birds Unlimited store.