Lovebirds (Agapornis) are among the sweetest and most loving parrots you can keep as pets. Thanks to their diminutive size, male and female lovebirds are cheaper to care for than most parrots.
Peach-faced, Fischer’s, and Black-cheeked lovebirds are easy to buy for $100-300 each. You’ll also need to budget for the cage set-up, totaling around $350, with ongoing costs of about $460 a year.
Although lovebirds don’t cost as much as many parrot family members (psittacines), they require ample one-on-one attention. You’ll need to spend 2-4 hours per day with a lone lovebird to keep it happy.
Of course, you could get a second lovebird to keep it company, but that would be more expensive because you’d need a bigger cage, and the monthly costs (food, vet fees, etc.) would be higher.
How Much Do Lovebirds Cost?
In truth, most lovebirds don’t cost as much as $1500 – this price tag is reserved for the rarest species. Most lovebirds have a $100-300 price tag, which is more affordable for most families.
You’ll need to pay for the cage set-up, which will be $250-350. You’ll also need to budget for food, toys, vet care, and cleaning products/materials, setting you back $350-460 per year.
The price of lovebirds varies, depending on their species, markings, age, gender, and personality. Check the table below to see how much a lovebird 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 albino lovebirds can also fetch a much higher price tag than regular lovebirds.
To buy a rare lovebird, contact the African Love Bird Society for a list of affiliated breeders.
What Is the Cheapest Lovebird?
The cheapest lovebirds are Peach-faced and Fischer’s lovebirds because they’re more widely bred.
Another way to find a cheap lovebird is to adopt one from a bird sanctuary. According to Science Direct, there has been a rise in parrots in shelters and sanctuaries over the last two decades.
Adopting a lovebird from a shelter can be a good choice because you’ll give a loving home to a lucky parrot while spending less money on a lovebird.
Most shelters request a donation or reduced fee (perhaps $50-100) when adopting a lovebird. If you’re interested in this option, contact local shelters to see if they have any lovebirds available.
However, some lovebirds end up in a bird sanctuary due to behavioral problems, like biting. Ask about the bird’s history because many are just victims of changing circumstances, like a no-pets tenancy.
Cage Set-up Cost for Lovebirds
Before bringing a lovebird home, you must set its cage up. Here are the costs of 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.|
|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
Buying a cage specifically for lovebirds is recommended, as the dimensions will be optimal.
As mentioned, the distance between the bars should be a maximum of ½ inch. This prevents the 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 it ample space to fly and explore. It also allows for more toys and enrichment.
The cage must be bigger if you plan to get a pair of lovebirds because parrots are highly territorial.
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 contain toxic substances like lead.
Toys for Lovebirds
Lovebirds are friendly and active, so they need many toys to entertain them. The following toys are highly recommended for happy, healthy lovebirds:
- Log ladders/climbing equipment.
- Fruit holder (foraging toy).
- Crinkled paper.
- Wooden slats.
- Foot toys (e.g., rattle).
- Seagrass tent.
You can even use sisal rope to build toys for lovebirds.
Budget $25 for an initial stash of toys and add to this haul regularly so the lovebird doesn’t get bored. Toys aren’t an area to scrimp on because cheap toys can break easily and become a health hazard.
Perches for Lovebirds
When choosing perches, choose a material that wears down the claws and minimizes the risk of food conditions, like bumblefoot. Potential options include:
- Natural Wood (Birch, Hazel) – Helps to wear down and sharpen claws.
- Seashell Wood Perch (around $8 per perch) contains natural minerals (like calcium) that are healthy for a lovebird to chew on and can wear down the claws.
Avoid plastic perches because they’re unnatural and won’t keep a parrot’s claws at the right length.
Ongoing Expenses for Lovebirds
Other costs you’ll need to meet include the following:
Without a well-balanced diet, a lovebird may be more vulnerable to Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD), Egg binding, Adenovirus, and other health conditions.
According to TandFOnline, wild lovebirds eat seeds, leaves, plant fruits, dung, and even soil. At home, it’s best to feed a lovebird a mix of pellets, seeds, nuts, vegetables, and fruits.
It’ll cost $6-24 to feed a lovebird per month.
|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|
You’ll need ample cleaning supplies to keep a lovebird’s cage clean. According to VCA, lovebirds are especially vulnerable to yeast infections (candidiasis) and certain bacterial infections.
Choose a non-toxic cleaner from a pet store (approximately. $5-10). You may also want to buy cleaning gloves ($2), cloth(s) ($5), and cage liners ($20 for 50 sheets).
Budget about $3-5 monthly on cleaning supplies or $36-60 per year.
Providing a range of textured perches and foot toys for a lovebird will help keep its nails at the right length. That said, the lovebird may still need their nails trimmed occasionally.
Nail clippers for lovebirds cost around $15. Asking a vet to show you how to trim the nails safely before you do it is recommended. Some people prefer having their vet trim their lovebird’s nails.
You must budget for healthcare costs for a lovebird – ongoing and emergencies. The average check-up is $25-50, although some better pet care insurance policies include check-ups.
Monthly policies will range from $5-30 per month. If you decide not to get insurance, it’s recommended that you budget at least $250 per year toward the lovebird’s health costs.
Lovebirds are friendly and love to play. Contrary to popular belief, lovebirds can live alone, but if you choose to have just one lovebird, you’ll need to give it attention and toys.
Budget for at least 5 new toys a year, which will cost at least $25 if you want more challenging toys.
If any perches are made from rope, check them regularly and cut off unraveled areas because they could become a choking hazard.
A lovebird may come quite attached to its sleeping perch, so you don’t necessarily need to switch it out unless it becomes badly damaged and worn.
Position a minimum of 3 perches at different levels to encourage the lovebird to fly, hop, and climb.
You should budget around $50 per year for perches.
Things To Consider Before Getting a Lovebird
Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of lovebirds as pets:
- One of the most affordable parrots in terms of initial and upkeep costs.
- Smaller than most parrots, they can fit into modest-sized cages/homes.
- Sociable and friendly – you’ll rarely feel shut out by a lovebird.
- Lovebirds are cuddly pet birds that may preen your hair and nuzzle against you.
- Beautiful – no matter which species you choose, their feathers are bright and colorful.
- They’re intelligent birds that can be tamed and learn fun tricks.
Lovebirds are colorful and sweet-natured, but that doesn’t mean they suit everyone.
- Need attention – A lovebird isn’t for you if you lack time due to work and family commitments.
- You must clean the cage regularly to remove harmful bacteria and unpleasant smells.
- Vocalize near-constantly, but they aren’t good talkers like Amazon parrots and African greys.
- Lovebirds live up to 25 years, making them a lengthy personal commitment.
- Despite their sweet nature and appearance, they’re usually feistier than cockatiels and budgies. Females are more likely to experience cage aggression than males.
- Like all parrots, lovebirds can become jealous and territorial.
Lovebirds make good pets for beginners, but they require more attention than budgerigars. However, if you get a pair of lovebirds, the demands on your time will be much-reduced.