Lovebirds are among the smallest of the parrot family. They can grow from 13 to 17 cm long and weigh about 50 grams. There are nine species of lovebirds in existence, eight of which are native to Africa and one of which is from Madagascar.
Unlike their parrot relatives, lovebirds cannot typically talk or sing, but they can make sounds nonetheless. However, if trained from a young age, they can mimic certain human sounds.
Lovebirds possess strong monogamous pair bonding and are known for long sitting periods with their pair. In fact, that’s how they are noted for their name.
How Much Are Lovebirds’ One-Time Expenses?
It is always a better choice to head to a bird rescue center rather than go directly to a pet shop. Lovebirds’ adoption fees range from around $20 to $100 depending on the species, the type of care it has been given, and the skill set it has. International Bird Rescue, Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue, Bird Rescue Center, etc. are some of the adoption facilities you can consider.
Breeders of lovebirds, on the other hand, charge higher prices depending on the birds’ characteristics and can charge anywhere from $100. Rare lovebird species can be priced as high as $1500.
|Lovebird Species||Average Price Range|
|Black Masked lovebirds||$200-$350|
Meanwhile, some of the immediate costs attributed to owning a lovebird are the following:
- Physical Features
Lovebirds become attractive with their contrasting color variations. Its physical features, such as the shape of the head, the size of the beak, the color of the feathers, etc., are cost-determining factors.
- Transporting Cost
Lovebirds can move around easily as long as they have a carrier that gives them enough room to spread their wings. A bird carrier costs around $20 to $80 that already has a carrying strap and a perch.
- Shelter Cost
The minimum cage size for a pair of lovebirds is 24 x 24 x 24 inches with ½ inch bar spacing. As is true for every other bird, the bigger the cage, the better for your lovebirds.
Bird cages with accessories can range from $200 (32″× 21″ size) to $2000 (85″ × 61″ size). These cages have wood perches, feeder stations, plastic trays, stainless steel, non-tip bowls, toys, and more. Small cages that carry a single lovebird can cost from $20 to $100.
A bird’s cage should have at least three bowls. One bowl should be for water, one for pellets/seeds, and one for fresh fruits and vegetables. If your choice of cage does not include bowls, you may purchase a 10 oz. bowl in a price range of $5 up to a 20 oz. bowl worth $15.
A perch is also important for your lovebirds’ health; in fact, it keeps them from getting arthritis. For every pair of lovebirds, provide at least three perches made of different materials, such as natural branches, wood dowels, cement, and therapeutic perches, but not plastic or sand-covered perches.
If your choice of cage does not include perches or if you need to add more, prices vary from a $3 wood perch dowel to a $50 Java wood branch. To avoid contamination of food and water with feces, make sure not to put these perches over the bowls.
By giving them a nest, you’re meeting their natural need to find a special place to sleep. Nest boxes are available for between $5 and $20. Don’t forget to give one to each lovebird.
- License and Permits
Currently, there are not many restrictions for owning pet lovebirds in the United States except in the cases of importation, exportation, and traveling with your lovebirds. Before acting upon any of these, read or research for more information in order to avoid violations. When importing lovebirds from other countries to the US, they will be subjected to various agencies like the USDA, APHIS, etc.
What are Included?
In Mickaboo, people who want to adopt have to take a free class on how to care for birds first. The organization also provides cages and covers any necessary medical expenses.
Meanwhile, Birdbreeders.com offers “Free Next Day Shipping” upon purchase and a bird replacement of equal value if the lovebird is diagnosed by an Avian Vet with a life-threatening illness within 5 days of receipt.
Birdsnow’s adoption fee comes with the promise of a refund if the lovebird does not work out in the adopter’s environment. Also, some of the items for sale have “Free Next Day Shipping.”
Recurring Cost of Owning Lovebirds
- Food Cost
As is true of every animal, lovebirds too need sufficient amounts of nutrients. In fact, your lovebird’s diet would be a good topic for discussion with your vet.
While most lovebirds are dubbed “seed-aholics,” seeds alone cannot sustain their entire well-being. According to experts, 75–80% of a bird’s diet should contain pellets. Choose your lovebirds’ pellets that are specially made for them with the least amount of chemicals, if not without.
Lovebird pellets made of real fruits and vegetables range in price from $15 for 4 pounds to $60 for 20 pounds. Since most lovebirds can be sustained with one tablespoon of pellets per bird, per day, 4 pounds can already last for months if you only have at least a pair of lovebirds.
Putting these pellets in a freezer can help avoid spoilage and ensure freshness. In addition, clear out the bowls of any pellet leftovers after 2 hours, as this may cause contamination. As a rule of thumb, fresh food and water must be readily available for them.
- Hygiene Cost
Cages and perches require regular cleaning, while cage liners must be replaced once a week with a newspaper. Toys, perches, and dishes must be replaced once worn or damaged.
For daily sanitation, dishes must be cleaned with hot water and dish soap. An animal-safe dish soap may cost $10, which is already good enough for several cycles of cleaning the whole cage and other accessories.
Lovebirds are fond of baths, and giving them baths twice a week might excite them. Do it with clean, lukewarm, and chlorine-free water. Alternatively, you can use a spray bottle to spray your lovebird with water that costs at least $2.
- Medical Cost
As of now, a standard office visit to an avian vet costs $25 to $100. A doctor could perform a full physical exam and a thorough review of diet, lifestyle, and care recommendations in 45 minutes.
On the other hand, when diagnostic tests and medications are needed, this can lead to extra costs.
Lovebirds’ toys come in different kinds, such as a ladder, swing, bridge, or a wood wheel, among others. These may cost from $2 to $20.
Since lovebirds’ toys are likely to be changed from time to time, observe which ones best suit your lovebirds’ tastes.
What Affects Lovebirds’ Price?
Typically, lovebirds are less expensive than their other parrot relatives. Their prices mainly differ according to their species and the way they are raised. Lovebirds’ sex can be a factor, as well.
Common lovebird species such as peach-faced, Fischer’s, and Masked have a stable price range and are typically available at local pet stores. Remarkably, pet owners tend to buy male lovebirds because they are deemed to be more easygoing and less territorial. Therefore, male lovebirds are a bit more expensive.
Meanwhile, the rare species and mutations can be more expensive than the common ones and are not easy to find. Hand-raised lovebirds, too, are a bit more expensive, with prices ranging from $40 to $130 more than a parent-fed lovebird.
Adoption fees from bird rescue homes are likely to be less expensive, although the species still plays a great factor in this. Nevertheless, considering that some rescue organizations offer free bird care classes and are willing to spend the necessary medical expenses, opting for adoption can still be the best option.
- Decide whether to own a single or at least, a pair of lovebird. Choose only one lovebird if you intend it to be closer to you than with another lovebird. For a pair of lovebirds, expect that they will bond with each other more than with you.
- Get yourself a young lovebird. Young ones will likely have a more efficient trainability than the old ones. Choose one that is between six to eight weeks old and always confirm the bird’s age with the breeder before purchase.
- Hand-fed lovebirds are easier to bond with. These birds typically exhibit more trust in humans, thus, they show less aggression. To test if a lovebird is hand-fed, hold out a finger and see if it’s confident enough to step on your finger.
- Go for an alert and lively lovebird. These demeanors also suggest that the birds are properly and well taken care of. Constantly fluffed-up feathers can mean fear and aggression.
- Keep an eye on details. Upon buying a lovebird, check vital signs that determine their entire health. Be wary of deformed feet, eyes or nasal discharge, and fluffed feathers.
- Always purchase from a responsible breeder who would be willing to provide a health certificate for the birds.
- Be a responsible pet parent.