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How Much Is an African Grey Parrot?

First published:  May 9, 2023
Last updated: February 3, 2024
How Much Is an African Grey Parrot?
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  • African Grey parrots are smart, long-lived parrots that can mimic human speech. This makes them popular but expensive pets.
  • Upfront costs range from $500 for an adoption to $4000 for a bird from a top breeder. 
  • Initial supplies like a cage and setup items add $200-$700 more to startup costs. 
  • Monthly costs range from around $100 for food and toys, up to $1400+ for emergency vet visits. 
  • Food, toys and entertainment average $100-$150 monthly. Annual vet visits cost $100-$500. 
  • Long 40-60 year lifespan means a major commitment. But monthly costs are less than a dog or cat.
  • Proper budgeting and preparation are essential with an African Grey. But they can be rewarding companions for bird lovers.

Many pet lovers all around the globe love to keep African grey parrots as their pets because they are smart, super-loyal, fun-loving, friendly, and affectionate. However, these parrots also have massive health and maintenance costs.

African Greys are intelligent birds, famous for mimicking human speech much more clearly than any other parrot species. These expensive birds with black beaks can learn around 1000 words and use them with correct context!

Do you want to keep these entertaining and beautiful birds? Are you looking forward to comprehending the financial cost of keeping them? Though there is no obvious price to keep these parrots, it falls between $500 and $4,000. You can jump into this blog post to understand the details.

Factors That Influence The African Grey Parrot Cost?

african grey parrot

African Grey Parrots stand among the most popular and intelligent pet parrot species but are relatively expensive. Therefore, you need to invest in them based on these given factors.

Eggs Cost

Aspiring pet parents buy African Grey Parrot eggs that typically cost from $30 to $100; however, the survival rate of these parrots is relatively low, and they generally demand a ton of care.

Parrot’s Age

A baby African Grey Parrot, which is featherless, is less expensive; however, a young African Grey is costly as it has been socialized and trained. Like a baby parrot, an older African Parrot is also cost-effective.

Hereditary Diseases

A healthy pet is expensive compared to a sick pet. 


Female African Greys are generally more expensive than males, with a price difference of $200-$500, because breeders can charge more for proven, mature breeding females that regularly produce fertile eggs.

Females are in high demand by owners seeking egg layers, even with no breeding plans. However, factors like age and health also impact pricing for both genders. And some owners may prefer less hormonal male companions. So higher cost doesn't mean females necessarily make better pets.


A reputable bird breeder demands a higher price based on pet health, vast experience, selling cost, and bird knowledge.


There are two different African Grey subspecies - Timneh African Grey (P. e. timneh) and Congo African Grey (P. e. erithacus). Timney Grey parrot is more expensive and is a less common species. In contrast, Congo is relatively common among Grey lovers.

The factors mentioned above affect the initial one-time investment, but there are some ongoing costs that a pet owner is supposed to consider before buying a bird, such as food and treats, cleaning agents, toys and games, perches, pet sitters, cages, vet care and insurance, a legal permit (in some states), etc.

Tip: Don't use an old cage or essentials for your pet, as it can spread various germs and diseases.

What Is The Average Cost Of An African Grey Parrot?

african grey parrot close up

According to VCA Hospitals, the Congo and the Timneh are the two subspecies of African grey parrots because both species come from different parts of Africa. Timneh grey parrots grow to a length of 13 to 15 inches as opposed to the 14 to 16 inches of Congo. They stand out from other parrots as they have bright crimson tail feathers. Additionally, they have slightly darker grey feathers that distinguish them from others.

Though the parrot's price varies depending on age, DNA, and various ongoing factors, a new Timneh African Grey would cost you around $2000-$3500, while a Congo African Grey would be priced a little lower at $1500-$2000.

Cost For Buying A New African Grey Parrot- One-Time Cost

african grey parrot cost

Getting a free African Gray Parrot as a pet bird is just a dream because it is impossible in reality. Whether you plan to get it online or from the market, nobody offers a free parrot. You have to spend money to buy them- it's a one-time cost. However, these costs vary with the option you pick- it can either be an adoption or from a proper breeder. Let's have some insight into the subject.


Often, pet owners don't have sufficient resources to feed their pets, or due to a packed routine, they cannot give them appropriate care and love. That's why they try to find a bird lover who can care for their beloved pet and give away their Grey for adoption.

Adopting an African Grey Parrot is cheaper than buying one from a breeder, which is out of the range for many people. Usually, a person can adopt the parrot for $500 to $1,000.


If you have a considerable budget, you are advised to buy the bird from a breeder instead of adopting it. No doubt, the breeder prices are very high, but they offer free travel cages, bird toys, free shipping, and other such perks. 

Breeders also keep records of the pets’ health and if they had ever suffered from any diseases like feather disease, Circovirus, feather picking, Respiratory diseases, etc. Overall, buying from a reputable breeder, you get more peace of mind.

When you buy the bird from a breeder, its exact cost varies based on gender, type, age, and various other factors, but you can anticipate paying $500 to $4,000. Try to look for a seller who can offer you your favorite parrot at the most affordable price.

Initial Shelter And Supplies - $231–$700

Your African Grey needs a home; we recommend getting a good size cage that can host the bird and accessories, which will typically cost you around 100 to 120 dollars. Expect to spend another $10 on stainless food bowls (for food and water), and between $20 and $50 on other cage setup items like toys and perches.

Bear in mind that we don’t recommend using an old cage for your new parrot, unless it’s the same cage from a previous owner of the same bird. Getting a new cage will help avoid the spread of germs and other parasites that can make your pet sick.

Usually, you get a transportable cage with the purchase of your parrot; otherwise, expect to shell another $80 to get one. 

In addition, licenses and permits are also unavoidable expenses in some American states. So, think twice and do your homework before bringing a Grey from Africa to a state in the US where you might be asked to pay the permit fee between $111 and $565.

You will probably also be asked to get a health certificate after a veterinarian’s evaluation; the price depends on the vet you choose to go to. 

How Much Does An African Grey Parrot Cost Per Month: Ongoing Cost

african grey parrot monthly cost

African Grey Parrots have monthly costs like other pets, but monthly care for these birds is less costly than caring for dogs or cats. Generally speaking, all you need to give your parrot is food, amusement, and, if required, medical attention.

Compared to pawed animals, the monthly expenses are low if your Grey Parrot becomes ill or needs veterinary care. However, for medical purposes, we strongly advise purchasing exotic pet insurance.

Here is the breakdown of the ongoing monthly cost of your beloved pet:

Emergencies and Vet Visits Cost - $0–$1450 Per Month

African Parrots require physical stimulation, a healthy diet, and mental nourishment. Giving them the proper nutrition and a clean cage would keep them healthy and increase their life expectancy.

Experts often say that your African Grey might not need yearly vet visits, but it is ideal to spend $100–$250 for its healthcare. Fortunately, these parrots have no specific medical investment until they get old or sick. Most of the time, providing your pet with proper nutrition and clean surroundings will be enough to keep it healthy.

These unique parrots do not frequently get ill, but if they do, emergency care will cost between $300 and $1,200, depending on the illness type. Besides this cost, the payment for the vet visit is separate. For a single visit, most vets charge between $100 and $250.

Food Cost - $45–$70 Per Month

The most significant monthly expense of these pets is their food cost; the average food cost of these parrots falls between $45 and $70 a month. However, this cost is almost the same as the cost of dog or cat food. 20% of Parrots' diet is associated with occasional fruits and veggies, but 80% comes from pellets; the other items you can feed them include nuts, seeds, and grains.

One of the most considerable parrot expenses is their food, but it still costs less than other pets. However, sometimes, it becomes affordable when you diligently keep an eye on deals and sales. In addition, food coupons can help you get more reasonably priced pet food.

Insurance: $20–$40 Per Month

If you invest in an African Grey Parrot, we strongly advise taking pet insurance. The annual insurance cost ranges between $200 and $400, roughly $20 to $40 monthly.

You might also open a parrot savings account; when your parrot is hurt, this savings account will come in handy; moreover, it will save your insurance cost. In either case, ensure you have a backup if your bird becomes ill.

Entertainment - $20–$50 Per Month

You likely need to give more regard to one significant expense: entertainment. Since we all know these parrots are very intelligent, they require entertainment to keep themselves engaged. These birds will grow melancholic and destructive if you don't provide adequate mental stimulation.

Birds frequently destroy their toys while playing, which is unfortunate, but if you find any damage in the toys, get them a new one to avoid any problems. Although it seems expensive, it is an essential expense.

Also, ensure the cage has plenty of room for the bird to move around and exercise. Providing varied landscape and perches will help keep your Grey entertained. 

Additional Costs

In addition to standard monthly costs, a pet owner must consider various other factors. For instance, anytime you go somewhere, you must board your bird. If you have any companion who knows how to care for a bird, you are fortunate enough to leave your pet in their care until you're back. Otherwise, you are advised to keep your pet with you while on vacation.

So, taking your African Grey with you while traveling, especially internationally, will require a travel cage (costing around 80 dollars) as well as a CITES 1 permit (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species). This permit is intended to regulate pet trade for endangered species and stop illegal trade and traffic. 

In case you were wondering, yes, it is possible to take your parrot with you on a plane as long as it is a household pet, not a wild one. 

Total Annual Cost of An African Grey Parrot

In extreme cases, the annual cost of keeping an African grey could  reach $3,200, but it can be even less, depending on the scenario. Below is the price breakdown:

  • Toys: $240 – $360
  • Vacation boarding: $150
  • Insurance: $200 – $400
  • Veterinary care: $100 – $500
  • Emergency care: $300 – $1,200
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables: $240 – $360

Remember that these are estimates, so your actual expenses may be slightly higher than the maximum (in a worst case scenario) or be lower than the minimum.

Can You Own An African Grey Parrot On A Budget?

african grey parrot on a budget

If you have a limited budget, purchasing a Grey Parrot is not a wise idea because there is no specific way to cut the cost while having them. However, you can save a few bucks by adopting the parrot instead of buying it from a breeder. If the bird gets injured or sick, the monthly prices skyrocket, and the monthly bill payments can annoy the owner. Thus, insurance is a great strategy to protect yourself from going over budget.

Buying and selling these parrots needs legal ownership, which is why they are very expensive. In addition, their long lifespan ( 40 to 60 years), intellect, and advanced cognitive skills are also factors that make them highly-priced. 

Closing Thoughts

If you are a pet lover and want to buy an African Grey Parrot, be prepared to spend a significant amount for its better living and well-being. The price of the bird can reach $4000, but the other initial first-time costs can reach $700. Then, if the bird becomes unwell, you will pay roughly $200 for a vet visit.

Apart from the initial price of the bird itself and cage setup, you should expect to annually spend between around $1100 and beyond $3,000 to keep your exotic bird in good mental and physical health. 

In short, if you want to keep this parrot as a pet, be prepared for every expected and unexpected scenario, and keep a handsome amount (at least $500) handy. We are always at your disposal if you want to know more about African Greys.

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