Why Are African Grey Parrots So Expensive?

Why are african greys so expensive?I never really had a proper idea regarding how much it may cost to buy a feathery pet or how much the expenses go when it comes to bringing home an African Grey Parrot and taking good care of it.

But, now that I have raised more than five parrots and one of them being the African Grey parrot, I can say for sure that parrots can be expensive depending on the species you plan to buy.

And if it’s an African Grey Parrot on your mind, then know for sure that it will cost you a lot.

So, why are African Grey Parrots so expensive? African Grey Parrots are expensive compared to the other species of parrots because the very process of obtaining legal ownership over this rare species of parrots is costly. And then there is also the proper maintenance and upbringing cost of these parrots which tend to live for around 50 years.

For those who like to have an intelligent and inquisitive animal as a pet, then African Grey Parrot is certainly the ideal choice for a smart feathery pet.

But, having and raising an African Grey Parrot can be expensive as well as a daunting task. To know more about why having these ‘Einstein of the bird world’ is so expensive, read on.

The reasons for African Grey Parrots being so expensive

What’s so special about African Grey Parrots

African Grey Parrots are considered to be the most intelligent, charming, and brilliant mimicking and talking birds among the entire parrot family.

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    Due to their stunning abilities to mimic sounds and talk, African Grey Parrots enjoy quite a reputation among the bird lovers and enthusiasts.

    Considered to be great companions, these parrots are smart, top-talkers, and take the full attention of any avian pet lover.

    African Grey Parrots are not just any pet that can be left on their own; rather, as an owner, you need to spend a considerable amount of time with them since they seek attention, care, and love. Unlike any other parrot species.

    African Greys are highly sensitive as well as a bit demanding. Due to their sensitiveness, they require great care, as even the slightest changes in their daily routine or them getting bored in any way lead to their behavioral issues.

    How much do African Grey Parrots cost

    Considering all the specialties of African Grey Parrots, their price is also special. Yes, to get yourself an African Grey Parrot you might have to spend around $1500 to $3500.

    Depending on whether you buy the parrot from a private breeder or from a pet store, the price for an African Grey Parrot may vary. The price for such a parrot may also vary depending on its subspecies which are Congo African Grey Parrot and Timneh African Grey Parrot.

    Remember, no matter what size or what subspecies you choose, purchasing an African Grey is not at all cheap in any way. The cost of the exit papers for the legal import and export of African Grey Parrots are really high.

    Since the birds are becoming rare because of the loss of their natural habitat and poaching, obtaining legal ownership of African Grey Parrots becomes even more difficult, making the purchase cost of these birds go higher.Why do african grey parrots cost so much?

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      What are the factors that impact the price of African Greys?

      When purchasing an African grey parrot, there are certain factors that affect the price of the bird. Let’s take a look at what those factors are that impact the price of African Greys:

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        • Age: While a featherless baby African Grey is less expensive but requires tremendous initial care, a young African Grey that can consume adult food is a lot more expensive. After a certain age, the older an African Grey becomes, the cheaper it gets
        • Genetics: The quality of the genetics of an African Grey also impacts its price. It is through a DNA testing which can be done for some additional costs; one can know for sure its genetic lineage or whether the African Grey is a breed of its two subspecies i.e. Congo and Timneh which impacts the purchase price
        • Looks: Depending on how beautiful or healthy or free from blemishes an African Grey is, the price of it varies the more desirable or pleasant the bird’s attributes are, the higher the price goes
        • Location of purchase: The location from where one buys the bird also impacts its price. For example, while for people living in Western Africa purchasing this native bird is easy, for people in America it automatically gets expensive due to that country’s laws and regulations related to registration, licensing and purchase

        Why raising an African Grey Parrot is expensive

        Apart from the expensive purchase of African Grey Parrots, raising them adds to more expenses. African Grey Parrots enjoy a long lifespan of around 50 to 70 years when in captivity and are well cared for.

        Hence, buying this amazing smart bird is not the only high expense, rather the great care that this species of parrot requires on an everyday basis and considering the long lifespan of it, raising African Grey Parrots do get expensive.

        • Purchasing suitable toys and perches

        As African Grey Parrots tend to get bored easily, hence, in order to keep them active and entertained, one needs to invest a lot in keeping enough toys and suitable variety of perches in their cages.

        African Greys love to explore and play. Hence, in order to keep them occupied and stimulate them mentally, proper toys must be given.

        Though toys for birds may seem to be cheaper and not an added expense that an African Grey Parrot owner may find worth worrying, considering the sharp beak of these parrots with which they can turn a piece of wood into dust in no time, don’t underestimate repurchasing cost.

        • Buying a strong large cage

        In case a proper cage is not included with your purchase of an African Grey Parrot, know that you need to buy a large and suitable cage for this avian friend of yours.

        The cage needs to be strong, large and secure with separate play stands or play tops for cage activities and play. And when it’s a large cage to keep a bird like African Grey Parrot comfortably, know that the cage doesn’t come cheap.

        In case you think about buying a second-hand cage for your African Grey Parrot to control the high expenses, know that there’s always a risk of the cage being infected and causing viral disease to your valuable bird.

        For an expensive bird like African Grey Parrot, buying a strong new big cage is always strongly suggested.How much does it cost to keep african grey parrots

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          • Maintaining a good quality diet

          A good quality healthy diet is a must for keeping African greys healthy, energetic and happy. From healthy seed mix to good quality pellets, loads of fresh vegetables and fruits on a daily basis, occasional treats are the basic necessities for the proper diet of African Greys.

          This is something you cannot think about saving money on as a pet owner.

          • Opting for necessary avian veterinary treatments

          When you buy an expensive bird such as the African grey parrot, make sure to keep it safe from diseases and sickness of any kind. Therefore, there are the pet insurance coverage costs and the bills of vet visits for ensuring the good health of your feathery friend.

          In the end, it can be said that, though African Grey Parrots are great companions, energetic and intelligent pets to have, they cost a lot both financially and in terms of a pet owner’s time, attention and energy.

          Only those who are willing and capable of bearing both the non-financial and financial costs should opt for having African Greys as pets. Remember, African Grey Parrots are not just any pet, but an expensive long-term major commitment.

          Related Questions

          Can African Grey Parrots be good pets? African Grey Parrots are considered to be one of the most intelligent birds ever studied and are believed to be great pets. When they are properly cared for, they can be amazingly affectionate and wonderful. For those wanting an avian pet with longevity and maturity, greys can be a great pet.

          What is the average lifespan of African Grey Parrots? African Grey Parrots can live between 50 to 70 years in captivity, if provided with proper nutrition and are well cared for. However, in the wild, these parrots are believed to live longer which is up to 80 years. When kept happy and healthy, their lifespan may go beyond 70 years even in captivity.

          What is the ideal sleeping time for an African Grey Parrot? Usually, parrots need at least 10 hours of sleep a day. However, African Grey Parrots require at least 12 to 14 hours of sleep a day. Often, it is the incomplete and insufficient amount of sleep that leads to grumpiness and behavioral issues such as plucking their own feathers, in grey parrots.

          Photo of author

          Gaurav Dhir

          Gaurav is an animal enthusiast. He lives in beautiful Ontario with his energetic family. As a part of his work at beautyofbirds.com, he has been working with ace parrot trainer, Cassie Malina to understand bird behavior and learn more about how he can train his feathered companions.

          4 thoughts on “Why Are African Grey Parrots So Expensive?”

          1. Please do not encourage anyone to purchase a parrot of any species that is imported. All parrots kept as pets should be captive bred only! My African Grey is 30 years old and was bred in the United States. I do not even recommend purchasing a bird (or dogs and cats) from a pet store. Many animals sold in pet stores are bred by disreputable breeders under horrific conditions ie. pet mills. To ensure that your future companion is as healthy as possible they should be acquired either directly from a quality breeder or an animal rescue group.


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