Buying a parrot for a pet is an incredible decision, no matter how old you are. They are excellent birds to bond with and learn to take care of another being. They are not the easiest to take care of but are generally beginner-friendly. They teach you responsibility but award it with their love and devotion.
When choosing a pet, many people opt for a cockatoo. This bird is indigenous to Australia, Indonesia, and the surrounding islands. Today, thousands of cockatoos are bred as house pets so people could easily adopt them.
Although, one important question comes to mind, how much do they cost? You should make sure that your budget is enough to not only buy a bird but maintains its health and happiness in the new home!
There is no set price tag for a cockatoo as several factors influence its price, such as age, coloring, health, breeder, etc. The average for this parrot is between $500 to $1200. The only exception is Umbrella Cockatoos that are rarer and cost more – from $1000 to $3000.
Cockatoo is a bit different from the majority of parrots when it comes to looks. They are fair with a colorful “fleece” that resembles a fashionable 70s girl or a punk rock star! They look both adorable and badass. Besides, they are intelligent birds that can learn human words.
When discussing costs for a pet, the initial price tag is rarely the end of the story. Numerous expenses are ahead. So, let’s discuss the cost of taking care of the first as well!
What Cleaning Supplies Are Needed for A Cockatoo?
Proper hygiene is crucial for a parrot. To keep all its features fresh, clean, and healthy, do not neglect the basic essential and regular maintenance. Overall, as you buy the initial hygiene and cleaning set, maintaining it will not cost much.
The hygiene kit you’ll have to acquire with a parrot contains a special shampoo and beak cleaner. It’ll cost you around $15. Buy once and groom the bird at home instead of sending money to “pet beauty salons.” A grooming service will cost twice as much just for one visit – $35. Although, if you have such a wish, spoiling your bird with occasional professional care is a great little present for the pet.
In addition to bird hygiene, the cleanliness of the cage is crucial. Before you buy a parrot, know that birds are messy, and you’ll have to clean up often. Thus, make sure you have the necessary cleaning supplies at hand. Do not use chemicals where your parrot eats, though! Overall, no more than $10 will be sufficient.
Are Veterinarian Visits Expensive?
There will be times when you need to visit a veterinarian. And it’s better to choose a knowledgeable professional. And this will be a substantial part of your overall pet bills – around $100 depending on your issue. Make sure to take your bird to the vet twice a year if there are no issues. Just for a check-up. Additional treatment will cost extra.
Depending on the area you live in, vets who have knowledge on how to treat parrots may be a rarity – thus, more expensive.
Make sure that your bird is healthy at all times, and call a vet immediately as the need arises. Pay close attention to the following parrot problems:
- pancreatic disease
- heart and liver disease
- joint and bone health
- weight maintenance
These are all possible for a pet in a relatively decent environment. I suggest finding a good vet in the area beforehand to know where to go as the need arises.
How Expensive Is Food?
Obviously, the larger the bird, the more food it requires. Cockatoos are definitely in the middle range of parrots, sometimes tending to the bigger side a bit. Thus, they’ll need more food than a budgie but less than a macaw, for example.
Now, to the actual food. Parrots are frugal in their appetites and don’t require gurme packets as cats do. There are small packs of parrot food with minerals and vitamins you’ll have to buy separately. It costs $15 per week max. I’d say even less on average. As a bonus, parrots enjoy making products that you already have at home, like grains or veggies.
Make sure to consult your vet and keep your bird on a healthy diet, as cockatoos are prone to obesity. Plus, diabetes is a sneaky condition that crawls slowly.
How Much Do Accessories Cost?
The last must-have point on the list that you cannot neglect is a cage. Your parrot needs a home and a cozy one at that! A bird should have enough space to stretch its wings inside and be active. Considering that cockatoos are not the smallest, your cage will not be cheap. And do not look for cheap uncomfortable options – your bird will spend the majority of its time inside. It needs comfort and space. It’ll cost you around $300. You can also opt for a more expensive one with even more space. But $300 will guarantee you a decent cage. A bird is not a hamster; this is a long-term investment.
You can also look for a used cage online but make sure it is in good condition and super clean. You don’t want to risk injuries or some harmful bacteria.
And now come the cute and useful accessories and toys that are not essential but good to have for your favorite pet. You should buy your cockatoo a scratcher and a bed. But the nice things once and forget about replacing them until they break. Combined, they cost around $20.
Plus, dedicate around $20 a month for toys that will keep the bird busy and develop its intelligence. Find some interesting bird riddle boxes. If your cockatoo breaks a toy, be sure to remove it from the case to avoid injuries.
Is It Expensive Overall?
All in all, taking care of a parrot is less expensive than keeping a dog or cat. They are not very demanding with food and are less damaging to the stuff and house around.
They are cute and intelligent pets that you can teach cool phrases and talk to when you need a friend. However, just like with a friend, be sure that it is always happy and healthy. After all, we are responsible for those we tame.
Even among other talking parrots, they are not the most expensive. You can check the article on Talking Parrots prices to compare the reasonable price of an average cockatoo with some of the other rarer birds.
Their maintenance overall you be cheaper than having a macaw or an African Grey. They both cost more and require more spending as you bring them home. Starting from the obvious – a cage.
Overall, a cockatoo is a great friend and pet to have at home. The investment of worth every cent! Follow your heart and buy a talking parrot.