Lovebirds are among the smallest of the parrot family. They can grow from 13 to 17 cm long and weigh for about 50 grams. There are nine species of lovebirds in existence, eight of which are native to Africa while one is from Madagascar.
Unlike their parrot relatives, lovebirds cannot typically talk and sing; but they can make sounds, nonetheless. However, if trained from a young age, they can mimic certain human speech.
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 good choice heading to a bird rescue center rather than going directly to a pet shop. Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue is one of the rescue organizations dedicated to the welfare of birds and has made bird adoption possible.
However, Mickaboo does not reveal specific adoption fees for lovebirds except for a possible price range of $75 to $200. Adoption fee varies according to species.
There are also quite a number of online websites selling lovebirds. Birdbreeders.com, for one, offers mostly Peach Face lovebird at a price range of $79.99 to $200, Fischer’s lovebird at an average price of $99 and Black Mask lovebird at $80.99 to $87.99 each.
Birdsnow, on the other hand, has a platform of birds both for sale and for adoption that connects the buyer or adopter directly to the breeder. Lovebirds price ranges from an adoption fee of $40 to a selling price of $500 total of 8 lovebirds with a bonded pair along with some hatchlings.
Meanwhile, some of the immediate costs attributed to owning a lovebird are the following:
- Transporting Cost
Lovebirds are not actually hard to mobilize given that they are provided with a carrier that has enough room for them to spread their wings. A bird carrier costs around $22.49 which 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 it is true to every other bird; the bigger the cage size, the better for your lovebirds.
Bird cages can amount from $129.99 (31 x 20.5 x 53 inches) up to $461.65 (46 x 36 x 78.2 inches). These cages feature easy rolling casters with an inclusion of either three stainless steel, non-tip bowls or four plastic double cups and three wood perches or one hardwood perch.
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 at a price range of $4.88 up to a 20 oz bowl worth $13.89.
A perch is also important for the wellness of your lovebirds; in fact, it prevents them from developing arthritis. For every pair of lovebirds, provide at least three perches made of different materials such as natural branch, wood dowel, cement, and therapeutic perches but not the plastic or sand-covered perches.
If your choice of cage does not giveaway perches or if you need to add more, prices vary from a $2.99 wood perch dowel to a $39.99 Java wood branch. To avoid contamination of food and water with feces, make sure not to put these perches over the bowls.
Providing a nest addresses your lovebirds’ natural need to find a special place for resting. Nest boxes are available at prices $6.07 to $19.49. 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.
What are Included?
Prior to adoption’s approval in Mickaboo, adopters have to attend a free bird care class. The organization also provides cage and covers any necessary medical expenses.
Meanwhile, Birdbreeders.com offers a “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 a promise of a refund if the lovebird does not work out in the adopter’s environment. Also, some of the items for sale have a “Free Next Day Shipping.”
Recurring Cost of Owning Lovebirds
- Food Cost
As it is true to every animal, lovebirds too, need sufficient amount of nutrients. In fact, your lovebird’s diet would be a good topic for discussion with your vet.
While most lovebirds are dubbed as ‘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 of chemicals, if not without.
Lovebirds pellets that are made of real fruits and vegetables can cost from $14.28 with a net weight of 4 pounds to $54 weighing 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 lovebird.
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 a regular clean-up 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 a dish soap. An animal-safe dish soap may cost $10.47, which is already good enough for several cycles of cleaning the whole cage and other accessories.
Lovebirds are fond of bath and giving them baths twice a week might excite them. Do it with a clean, lukewarm, and a chlorine-free water. Alternatively, you can use a spray bottle to spray your lovebird with water that costs at least $1.97.
- Medical Cost
As of now, a standard office visit to an Avian vet costs $54. In 45 minutes time, a doctor would already render a full physical exam and a thorough review of husbandry/diet/care recommendations.
Additional costs, on the other hand, may occur whenever diagnostic tests and medications are necessary.
Lovebirds’ toys come in different kinds such as a ladder, swing, bridge, or a wood wheel and many more. These may cost from $1.69 to $18.99.
Since lovebirds toys are likely to be changed from time to time, observe which ones of them best suit to your lovebirds’ liking.
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 lovebirds 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, for about $20 to $50.
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 at prices ranging from $40 to $130 than a parent-fed lovebird.
Adoption fees from bird rescue homes are likely to be less expensive, although the lovebird’s species still play a great factor in this. Nevertheless, considering that some rescue organizations offer free bird care class and are willing to spend 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.