Macaws are truly breathtaking birds. It comes as no surprise to learn that they are a parrot in such high demand. But how much does this bird cost to purchase, own, and care for? What can you expect and what is a fair and commonly seen price? Here are all the financials to be aware of.
So, how much do Macaws cost? The average Macaw species typically costs between $1,000 and $5,000, for the bird alone. Although, the total cost depends on the species; where the Hyacinth Macaw is typically the most expensive and can cost up to $40,000. Other upfront costs of ownership, such as supplies, will generally cost between $500-$1000.
Like with owning any pet, it is imperative to consider the financial responsibility that comes with their care.
Costs do not just stop at the price of the bird alone.
Besides, macaws are not short-lived – with the average species reaching between 30-50 years of age!
And then there is the matter of whether you intend to keep just one.
I’ve seen my fair share of reports whereby owners end up with multiple macaws due to the fact that they enjoy owning them so much.
For this specific species of parrot, they are known for their intelligence while being fun and affectionate in nature.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of bringing a Macaw home that you forget to run through the financials and figure out if you can ultimately afford them.
So, let us know look at all the costs involved in much further detail.
We will be looking at all the additional and ongoing costs and where you can buy one if you are still committed and serious about taking this wonderful bird in.
Average Price To Buy A Macaw
The average price of a macaw parrot will vary greatly on the species of Macaw you decide to get.
Besides, there are a lot of factors that go into the price including: breeder, location, local demand, and local supply.
Thus, the following prices are merely estimates, and prices may vary accordingly.
|Blue and Yellow Macaw||$1,200|
|Red and Green Macaw||$3,500|
As you can see, it’s quite the range, although most species fall within the $1000-$3500 range.
If this price of the Hyacinth macaw frightens you, consider that this is because they are a vulnerable species due to population decline, and few are available to be kept as pets.
Equally, they are native to Central and South America so procuring such a species is somewhat difficult.
Other Costs To Consider When Buying A Macaw
When purchasing a Macaw, you will need to consider that the cost of the bird is not the only expense you will need to cover.
You should expect to pay anywhere between $220-$850 on additional expenses, based on the following:
Macaws need a pretty large cage, with sufficient space for them to be able to flex their wings and move about somewhat.
They are very active birds, so you will also need to consider some space outside of the cage for them to roam too.
Cages for a Macaw generally cost in the region of $100-$500, although may cost a bit more if you are looking for a double cage or one that could house more than one bird.
You do not want to get a cheap cage or a smaller one to upgrade later, as this will just cause you more frustration and costs in the long run.
Equally, keeping your macaw in a cage too small for them can lead to both physical and emotional problems.
Thus, cages should be at least 30″ (76 centimeters) deep, 48″ (122 centimeters) wide, and 60″ (152 centimeters) tall.
You cannot just expect your bird to live in an empty cage!
You need to purchase some initial cage supplies so that they can live comfortably and properly inside.
For example, they need somewhere to perch and sleep on.
The main accessories you will need to consider include: perches, water and seed cups (feeder bowls), and a UV bird lamp.
Some cages may come with these features in-built already, but it’s a good idea to consider investing in a few more for them.
Overall, you can expect these to cost in the region of $50-$125.
These products are normally built to last, and you shouldn’t need to worry about replacing them for some time if they are taken care of properly.
You will also need to make sure that your Macaw has food from the moment you bring them home.
We’ll go into a little more detail about what this entails later.
While it is not immediately expensive in comparison to other things, it is something you will be paying for on an ongoing basis.
Bags of food can cost anywhere from $20-$100 each time depending on the brand, quality, and size.
Initial Veterinary Bills
When getting a Macaw, it comes strongly advised to have an initial veterinary exam; just so that your bird can be checked over to ensure they are in good health.
This may include some initial vaccinations (which will come at a cost), although they may have already been given these by the breeder/rescue center.
It typically costs between $50-150 for each avian exam, although it may cost more depending on if medication or shots are required.
Ongoing Costs Of Owning A Macaw
Like with any other pet, Macaws are not a one-time expense.
Beyond just setting up their habitats, you’ll also have some things that you will need to purchase on a recurring basis.
While these are nowhere near as expensive as the initial set-up, these are numbers that do add up over time.
Remember, these birds live a long time. So you will need to finance and budget accordingly.
Many of these things need to be purchased and replenished monthly (or even weekly).
The diet and nutrition a Macaw receives is very important.
You need to ensure they receive a varied diet to keep them healthy and strong (which will consequently help with vet bills).
Although some foods may try to advertise as an “all-in-one” option, a healthy parrot diet is made of several different components.
It’s important that we try to replicate these birds diet that they get in the wild; a variety of seeds, nuts, fruits, berries, and vegetation.
When kept in captivity, however, this can be quite a challenge.
A general rule of thumb is that you, therefore, feed your macaw three different types of food.
Each of the following components should make up a different amount of the diet. This should help prevent them from taking in too much fat or an imbalance of nutrients.
Seed mixes are commonly provided as the basis of most birds’ diets. Although, feeding them exclusively will result in problems and likely ill health in your bird.
In reality, seed mixes should make up between 5-10% of total dietary intake.
Macaws love eating seeds, and there is some place for them, but they are not nutritionally complete.
This dry food can be purchased at nearly any pet shop, or online store like Amazon, and is easy to store if you buy it in larger qualities.
It’s a smart idea to invest in a brand that was designed for Macaws specifically. This way, you know that the formulation was put together with these birds in mind.
A good quality bag of seed mix will cost you around $15-$50 each time.
Pellet food should make up at least 75% of the diet. Pellets have been designed to be nutritionally complete and you can even get some for birds of different ages, sizes, and of different health statuses.
This fundamental food is something you can also find at most pet stores and online, and equally store for longer periods of time.
You must make sure that you get one that is specifically meant for Macaws.
It’s really not a good idea to try to substitute it for pellet food of another animal, say a guinea pig or rat, if you run out of time or want to save costs!
A good quality bag of pellet feed will cost you around $20-$60 each time.
The final component of their daily diet (10-20%) should come from fresh food.
By fresh food, this means fruits and vegetables.
You don’t need to make any special trips for your Macaw, instead, you can pick up some fresh fruits and veggies at your local grocery store.
There are some foods that are better than others, and it’s important that you take this into consideration when devising their diets.
Avocado has been reported toxic, and high water lettuces provide no nutritional value and can prove problematic. So these need to be avoided.
It’s also important to note that, like people, Macaws also have favorites.
There are some things that they would prefer to eat more than others. Just make sure that they get a nice balance of different things regardless of their preferences.
Getting fruits and vegetables will cost you around $5-$15 each grocery trip.
In order to keep your Macaw happy and healthy, you need to keep their living space clean.
This will involve the purchasing of some bird-safe disinfectants, cleaning wipes and it’s also a good idea to get some hand gel for yourself too.
Thankfully, these last and you can buy large containers of such products, but they do cost between $25-$100 each time.
Any while this may seem expensive, you do need to be particular with the items you use.
You want to make sure that any cleaning products you get are non-toxic, just in case your bird happens to consume it or come into contact with it.
When it comes to the bedding at the bottom of the cage, you can often substitute store-bought supplies for newspapers.
Macaws are incredibly intelligent and social. They can’t just sit in a cage all day and do absolutely nothing – they will quickly get bored.
Bored Macaws will cause problems in your house by being disruptive or unfriendly.
It’s crucial that you keep your Macaw entertained with a variety of different toys.
You can find these toys quite easily, either at any local pet shop or online.
You may notice that they often come in large packs – and this is for a good reason.
Not only do you want to have some variety, so they don’t get bored, but they also will go through these toys pretty quickly.
The wooden blocks and woven ropes are safe but not really built to last.
Macaws find joy in chewing and throwing them, so you should expect to need replacements rather regularly.
Just to play it safe, you should plan for a monthly budget on Macaw toys – around $50.
Visits To The Vet
The most expensive ongoing expense is the veterinarian.
Just like we have to go to the doctor, your pets need to visit a vet regularly.
While this is expensive enough on its own, accidents and emergencies can be incredibly expensive all at once.
It’s advised to try to have a bit of money set aside just for this reason. It also may be worth looking into pet insurance, just in case.
This list also does not take into consideration other things you need to think about, such as the costs of keeping your house warm or how much to pay a pet sitter if you want to go on vacation.
Why Is A Macaw So Expensive?
Macaws are expensive due to the fact that they are quite challenging birds to breed and raise. Plus, it’s pretty costly on the breeder too – especially if vaccinations are provided.
Learning about the art of breeding parrots requires also carries a special level of expertise, so the prices of their birds often reflect this.
Equally, several of the species are quite rare; and are native to some pretty distant locations – typically in forests (especially rainforests) and woodland/savannah-like habitats.
Therefore the actual procuring process is a challenge, and these factors are taken into account for the price of the bird upfront.
And as we now know, macaws are expensive to take care of and keep.
They are large and active birds that require a lot of space.
Plus, they do eat quite a bit of food and being intelligent, need a lot of stimulating toys and accessories to keep them entertained.
Where Do I Purchase A Macaw?
Purchasing a Macaw is not as easy as it is for some other pets.
Macaws require a lot of special care and space, so they need experienced individuals to raise and watch over them.
Because of this, only special pet shops and breeders generally carry Macaws.
If you really want a particular type, you will likely need to research quite a bit and search pretty hard.
Beyond this, rare or endangered breeds may be illegal to obtain without a license.
So, you must be sure that the Macaw you purchase was legally obtained. Otherwise, you may face significant fines.
You may also consider contacting a local animal shelter or rescue group, these birds are a challenge to keep and so are sometimes given away.
Moreover, due to their length of life, it has been known for owners to pass on and the birds have to be given to rescues for their care.
Remember, these are things to think about before you bring your new bird home. Always do your due diligence and ensure that everything looks and seems right from the outset.
Macaws are quite an expensive bird to purchase and own.
You’re looking at around $3500 for the bird, and then a further $750 on the cage and additional accessories upfront. From there, $100-$200 per month should be expected.
However, it could be more, or it could be less. This is just an average and it does depend a lot on the species, where you live, and where you buy your supplies.
Nevertheless, these birds are not known to come cheap.
But, do not let the price alone put you off potential ownership.
Many owners often report how their macaw makes for an amazing pet. They are known for their intelligence, easy-going nature, and affection.
They do require an attentive owner; being relatively high maintenance and not being necessarily the easiest pet to care for – especially in the beginning!
Having some level of experience and being willing to put in the research will set you in good stead if you are looking to take on this bird.
Ultimately, you just need to be sure that you are fully ready for the costs, responsibility, and commitment that come with owning one of these colorful parrots.
The cheapest species of macaw is often a hybrid; especially those that are smaller in size and bred from two of the more common species. Some of these birds sell for between $750-$1000. Although, research and due diligence is required to ensure you are purchasing from legitimate sellers using ethical and legal practices.
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.