Lovebirds (Agapornis) are among the cutest parrots you can keep as pets. Due to their small size, lovebirds are cheaper to care for than many other Psittaciformes.
Peach-faced, Fischer’s, and Black-cheeked lovebirds are easy to obtain and cost an affordable $100-300. You’ll need to budget for the cage set-up, totaling around $350, and ongoing costs will set you back about $460 a year.
Although lovebirds don’t cost as much money, they require lots of playtime and affection. You’ll need to spend quality time with your lovebird daily to keep it happy.
How Much Do Lovebirds Cost?
Depending on the type of lovebird you want, expect an initial outlay of between $100 and $1500.
In truth, most lovebirds don’t cost as much as $1500 – this price tag is reserved for the rarest species. Most will cost between $100 and $300, which is much more reasonable.
You’ll need to invest in the cage set-up, which costs about $250.
You’ll also need to budget for ongoing costs like food, toys, healthcare, and cleaning – setting you back about $350-460 per year.
How Much Are Lovebirds?
Lovebirds are among the cheaper parrots (Psittaciformes), partly due to their small size.
That said, the costs of lovebirds can vary, depending on their species, age, and personality. Check out the table below to see how much each lovebird species costs:
|Species||How Common in Pet Industry?||Cost|
|Peach-faced Lovebird (Agapornis roseicollis)||Common||$100- 200|
|Fischer’s Lovebird (Agapornis fischeri)||Common||$150- 300|
|Black-cheeked Lovebird (Agapornis nigrigenis)||Common||$200-300|
|Yellow-collared Lovebird (Agapornis personatus)||Somewhat common||$200 – 300|
|Black-winged Lovebird (Agapornis taranta), also known as Abyssinian Lovebird||Quite rare||$250 – 500|
|Grey-headed Lovebird or Madagascar Lovebird (Agapornis cana)||Quite rare||$250 – 500|
|Red-headed Lovebird (Agapornis pullarius)||Quite rare||$300 – 500|
|Black-collared Lovebird (Agapornis swindernianus)||Rare – due to dietary requirements||$500 – 1000|
|Lilian’s Lovebird (Agapornis lilianae)||Rare||$500 – 1500|
How Much Are Rare Lovebirds?
As can be seen from the table above, the rarer lovebirds cost between $300 and $1500.
According to ABE International, these lovebirds cost more because they’re hard to breed in captivity:
- Grey-headed Lovebird
- Lilian’s Lovebird
- Red-headed Lovebird
Black-collared lovebirds are rarely found in captivity as their diet is predominantly figs.
Well-trained albinos and lovebirds can garner a much higher price tag than normal lovebirds.
If you’re interested in purchasing a rare lovebird, you can contact the African Love Bird Society, as they have a list of affiliated breeders.
What Is the Cheapest Lovebird?
The cheapest lovebirds are Peach-faced and Fischer’s because these species are more widely bred.
Another way to find a cheap lovebird is to go the adoption route. According to Science Direct, there has been a rise in parrots ending up in shelters and sanctuaries over the last two decades.
Adopting a lovebird from a shelter can be a good choice as you’ll not only be giving a new lease of life to a lucky parrot, but it’ll cost you less money to buy your lovebird.
Most shelters ask for a donation of just $25-50 when adopting a lovebird. If you’re interested in this option, contact local shelters to see if they have any lovebirds available.
Cage Set-up Cost for Lovebirds
Before bringing a lovebird home, you’ll need to set its cage up. Here are the costs you can expect to pay for a lovebird cage set-up:
|Cage||$120||Minimum cage requirements are 24 x 24 x 24 inches, with no more than ½ inch space between the bars.|
|Cage Cover||$25||Lovebirds are very active; using a cage cover can help them to calm down at night.|
|Cage Liner||$0-20||50 sheets of cage liner cost around $20; you can also use newspaper and paper towels, but you will need to change it regularly.|
|Travel Cage||$25-30||You will need this for transporting your lovebird.|
|Food/Drink Bowls||$15||Stainless steel is typically the easiest to keep clean.|
|Toys||$25||Toys will allow your lovebird to express its natural behavior and stay healthy.|
|Perches||$20||2-3 natural wood perches are needed for your lovebird.|
|Bath||$5||According to MSPCA, buy a shallow bath for your lovebird or use an earthenware dish.|
Cages for Lovebirds
It’s best to buy a cage specially made for lovebirds, as the dimensions will be most appropriate.
As mentioned, the distance between the bars should be a maximum of ½ inch. This prevents your lovebird from escaping or getting caught between the bars.
According to the Center for Animal Rehab, a lovebird’s cage should be at least 24 x 24 x 24 inches to give the parrot plenty of space to fly.
If you plan to get a pair of lovebirds, the cage will need to be bigger.
If you choose a secondhand cage, ensure it hasn’t been altered (as this alteration might not be secure), and avoid antique cages as they may have toxic lead.
Toys for Lovebirds
Lovebirds are sociable and active, so they need plenty of toys to keep them entertained. The following toys are highly recommended for happy, healthy lovebirds:
- Log ladders/climbing equipment
- Fruit holder (foraging toy) – foraging toys are great as, in the wild, a lovebird will forage for food.
- Crinkle paper
- Wooden slats
- Foot toys (e.g., rattle)
- Seagrass tent
You can even use sisal rope to build your toys for your lovebird.
As mentioned, you should budget $25 for an initial stash of toys and add to this haul regularly so that your lovebird doesn’t get bored. Toys aren’t a place to “scrimp” on, as very cheap toys may break easily and become a health hazard.
Perches for Lovebirds
When choosing perches, choose a material that benefits your lovebird. This can include:
- Natural Wood (Birch, Hazel) – Helps to sharpen claws.
- Seashell Wood Perch (around $8 per perch) – These contain natural minerals that are healthy for your lovebird to chew on and can help wear down the claws.
Avoid plastic perches because they aren’t natural and won’t wear away the claws.
Ongoing Expenses for Lovebirds
Other costs that you’ll need to meet include the following:
Without a well-balanced diet, your lovebird may be more vulnerable to Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD), Egg binding, Adenovirus, and more.
According to TandFOnline, wild lovebirds eat seeds, leaves, plant fruits, dung, and even soil. At home, it’s best to feed your lovebird a mix of pellets, a good-quality seed mix, veggies, fruits, and water.
It will cost between $6 and $24 to feed your lovebird per month. Buying pellets and seeds in bulk will help to keep your costs low.
|Item||Cost per month||Details|
|Lovebird pellet food||$2-6||Choose pellets formulated specifically for lovebirds, as larger parrots have slightly different dietary requirements.|
|Seeds||$2-6||Look for one low in sunflower seeds and fortified with essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Healthier seeds include safflower, buckwheat, and pumpkin seeds.|
|Veg/Plants||$1-6||Carrots, green peas, tomatoes, dandelion, parsley, watercress, broccoli (high in calcium), and kale.|
|Fruit||$1-6||Bananas, berries, watermelon, figs, plums.|
|Total per month||$6-24|
Broccoli is a great snack to give a lovebird as it contains plenty of calcium. Calcium is necessary to keep the bones strong and prevent egg binding.
You’ll need to stock up on cleaning supplies to help keep a lovebird’s cage clean. According to VCA, lovebirds are especially vulnerable to yeast infections (candidiasis) and certain bacterial infections.
You can help to prevent this by regularly cleaning the following:
- Food and water bowls
- Cage floor
Choose a non-toxic cleaner from a pet store (approx. $5-10). You may also wish to buy cleaning gloves ($2) and cloths ($5). You’ll also need to keep a stock of cage liner ($20 for 50 sheets) or paper towels/newspaper.
Budget about $3-5 monthly on cleaning supplies or $36-60 per year.
Providing a range of textured perches and foot toys for your lovebird will help keep its nails at the right length. That said, the lovebird will still need to get its nails trimmed from time to time.
Nail clippers for lovebirds cost around $15. It’s a good idea to get your vet to show you how to trim the nails safely before you do it. Some people prefer having their vet trim their lovebird’s nails, but this could become costly.
You should budget for healthcare costs for your lovebird – ongoing as well as emergencies.
The average check-up would cost $25-50, though some pet care insurance policies will include check-ups.
Indeed, it may be best to opt for a lovebird insurance policy that covers regular check-ups.
Monthly policies will range from $5-30 per month. If you choose not to get insurance, then it’s recommended that you budget at least $250 per year for your lovebird’s health costs.
According to Lafeber, lovebirds are sociable and love to play. Contrary to popular belief, they can live alone, but if you choose to have just one lovebird, you’ll need to give it attention and toys to play with.
Variety is key, so budget for at least 5 new toys a year. This would be at least $25 and more if you’d like to invest in more complex toys.
If any of your lovebird’s perches are made from rope, then you should check these regularly and cut off areas of the rope that have unraveled (because these could become a choking hazard).
Your lovebird may come quite attached to its sleeping perch, so you don’t need to necessarily switch it out unless it becomes damaged/worn.
You should position a range of perches at different levels to encourage your lovebird to move and climb.
You should budget around $50 per year for perches.
Things To Consider Before Getting a Lovebird
Lovebirds are bright and beautiful birds, but that doesn’t mean they’re the perfect pets.
One of the most affordable parrots – both in terms of initial costs and upkeep costs.
Smaller than most parrots, they can fit into smaller homes, although they might not be suitable apartment pets as they’re quite noisy.
Sociable and friendly – you’ll never feel shut out by a lovebird.
Beautiful – no matter which species you choose, their feathers are bold and beautiful.
Need lots of toys/attention – if you don’t want to invest much energy in your pet, a lovebird isn’t for you.
Vulnerable to yeast and bacterial infections, you’ll need to clean the cage.
Very noisy (but don’t talk much) – Lovebirds can become very noisy, especially if they feel ignored. This makes them adorable, but the noise can get on some people’s nerves.
Lovebirds live up to 25 years. A budgie might be more suitable if you’re looking for a small bird that doesn’t live as long.