Macaws are amazing creatures and can make a great addition to any family that loves large pet birds. However, buying a macaw can be costly, so why is it so? Let’s get to the bottom of this.
The high cost of keeping a macaw is due to the fact that they are both rare and challenging to breed. Macaw chicks need extra attention from their caregivers, frequent handling, and veterinary visits. Breeders put in a lot of work to raise healthy macaw chicks, so they command a higher price when they’re ready to sell.
How much do macaws cost? You can get a macaw for as little as $850 and as much as $30,000. The smaller macaw is the cheapest at $850, while the Hyacinth Macaw is the most expensive and is sold for $30000 and above.
Owning a macaw is like having any other pet in the house. For example, there are the initial supplies that you must buy, like a cage, toys, etc., and then there are the running costs that include feed and veterinary bills.
Keep in mind that macaws live for a long time—over 40 years. Having a macaw is a long-term commitment, and you must have what it takes to care for these amazing pet birds.
So, let’s break down the additional and ongoing costs to expect with a macaw as a family pet.
Buying a Macaw
As was previously mentioned, the price of a macaw varies widely depending on the type of bird you’re looking for.
However, there are many variables that can affect the price of a macaw, such as where you buy the bird (a breeder, a pet store, etc.) and how much demand there is for the bird in your area.
The following table is an estimate of what you can expect to pay for a macaw pet bird:
|Macaw Species||Price Range (USD)||Avg Price (USD)|
|Smaller Macaw||$700 to $1000||$850|
|Blue and Gold Macaw||$1200 to $1500||$1350|
|Scarlet Macaw||$2000 to $3000||$2500|
|Hybrid Macaw||$1000 to $5000||$3000|
|Spix Macaw||$10000 to 18000||$17000|
|Hyacinth Macaw||$10000 to $20000||$30000|
There are other species of macaw, like the military macaw, Hahn’s macaw, severe macaw, red and green macaw, and yellow-collared macaw, that sell for between $1200 and $2500.
As you can see, the average price of a macaw for most species is between $1000 and $3500, with the exception of the Spix and the Hyacinth Macaw.
Why are Hyacinth Macaws so expensive? Since their numbers are dwindling, these birds are prohibitively expensive to purchase from pet stores or even breeders. They are also native to South and Central America, so buying them is problematic.
Supplies You Will Need for a Macaw Pet Bird
Like any other pet, macaws need supplies to stay happy and content in your home. You can expect to spend anywhere between $250 and $900 on additional expenses, as follows:
A Spacious Cage
Macaws are large birds that need plenty of room to fly around in their cage. As active pets, these birds need a cage with ample outside space for flying and hopping around.
How much does a macaw cage cost? A simple macaw cage measuring about 30” deep, 48” wide, and 60” tall costs around $500. A quality macaw cage sells for $1000 to $1500, and aviaries for Hyacinth macaws sell for $1500 to $3000.
Don’t make the mistake of buying a small cage and then upgrading it in the future; instead, invest in a large cage so you won’t have to replace it anytime soon. Also, a small cage is not good for a macaw’s health because the pet bird might feel constricted, leading to emotional and physical problems.
If you prefer to keep a Hyacinth macaw, you should get a large double-corner cage that is made of stainless steel. These birds have powerful beaks, so the cage should be made of sturdy material. A double-corner cage is great because it saves a lot of space in your room without impacting the bird’s space.
A macaw cage should have all the accessories you can expect for any pet bird, like a perch and a place to sleep. Some high-end cages have these accessories already fitted on, but if yours doesn’t, then you’ll need to consider the following:
- Feeder bowls
- Cage covers
- UV bird lamp
These items are not costly, and you can expect to spend anywhere between $50 and $125 for quality, long-lasting products.
Macaws are active, curious, and intelligent pet birds that need toys to stimulate the brain. Buying toys for Macaws is a running expense because they love destroying things. A set of macaw toys that come in large packs goes for about $40.
However, if you are creative or you simply don’t want to keep buying toys for your macaw, you can DIY some macaw toys. Some toys that you can make at home for your macaw include woven ropes and wooden blocks.
There are grooming supplies sold online and in physical pet stores for cleaning and grooming a pet macaw. Grooming supplies for a pet macaw include:
- Nail and beak trimmers
- Shower perches
Prices vary widely depending on the manufacturer and model, but you can expect to spend around $70 for one of these that will last for several months. Keep in mind that you’ll need to frequently clean the cage and replace the bird cage liners, which will cost about $20.
Visits to the Avian Vet
This is the most expensive part of owning a macaw as a pet bird because they require regular visits to the vet. Apart from a yearly medical examination to keep your macaw in good condition, you should have some funds set aside in case of an emergency.
When caring for an exotic pet, such as a Macaw, it is imperative to invest in exotic animal insurance. This type of insurance covers all medical expenses and emergencies, and it also covers you in case of theft.
Macaws should be taken to an avian vet with experience dealing with exotic birds, especially when ill. You should expect to spend about $150 to $1000 or more on yearly medical expenses for a macaw.
Macaws require a balanced, healthy diet to thrive, and they, therefore, eat a variety of foods that can be expensive.
Some favorite foods for macaws include:
- Pelleted foods
- Quality seed diet
- Whole foods
You will spend roughly $50 to $70 per month to feed your macaw a balanced diet.
There are other running costs that you can expect when you have a macaw as a pet, such as:
- Repairs to the Macaw cage
- Food supplements
- Medications, etc.
These additional costs won’t exceed $10 a month, but it’s a good idea to budget for them just to be on the safe side.
Where Can I Buy a Macaw?
Macaws are sold by special breeders and are also available in selected pet shops. Keep in mind that some species are rare, and you cannot keep them without a license. It is your responsibility to conduct research in order to find a macaw that is not only affordable but also legal to keep.
As we’ve already established, one of the reasons macaws are so costly is that they’re so uncommon. The process of raising and caring for one of these animals is time-consuming and requires the attention of skilled breeders.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does age affect the price of a macaw?
Yes, weaned or young macaws, especially adolescent or young adult macaws, are expensive compared to baby or older macaws.
Can I buy a baby macaw?
Yes, you can buy baby macaws, and while they are inexpensive, they require a significant amount of time to care for. Only experts should handle baby macaws because they are delicate.
Don’t let the hefty price of a macaw keep you from owning this amazing pet bird. Depending on the species that you choose, macaws are amazing family pets, especially if you have grown kids. However, they are high-maintenance pets, especially in the first few months but everything falls into place once you get the hang of it.