How Much Does a Cockatoo Cost? A Comprehensive Guide

How Much Does a Cockatoo Cost?

When considering adding a feathered companion to your home, it’s essential to understand the financial commitment involved. Among the various species of parrots, cockatoos are known for their intelligence, affectionate nature, and striking appearance. However, they are also one of the more expensive types of birds to purchase and maintain. So, how much does a cockatoo cost? This article from Doshared aims to provide a detailed breakdown of the expenses involved in owning a cockatoo, ensuring prospective owners are well-prepared for the financial responsibility.

How Much Does a Cockatoo Cost? Initial Purchase Price

The initial purchase price of a cockatoo varies significantly based on the species, age, and source. Here’s a detailed look at the cost of different cockatoo species:

  1. Umbrella Cockatoo: Known for their friendly and playful nature, umbrella cockatoos are priced between $1,000 and $4,000. Their distinctive white feathers and expressive crest make them a popular choice among bird enthusiasts.
    Umbrella Cockatoo: How Much Does a Cockatoo Cost?
  2. Moluccan Cockatoo: These large, salmon-colored birds are highly sought after for their affectionate temperament. A Moluccan cockatoo can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000.
  3. Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo: Recognizable by their bright yellow crest, sulphur-crested cockatoos are priced between $1,000 and $3,000. They are known for their lively and social nature.
  4. Goffin’s Cockatoo: Smaller and more affordable, Goffin’s cockatoos cost between $800 and $2,000. Despite their size, they are just as entertaining and affectionate as their larger counterparts.
    Goffin's Cockatoo
  5. Citron-Crested Cockatoo: With a striking orange crest, citron-crested cockatoos are rare and can cost between $3,000 and $4,000. Their rarity and beauty make them a prized possession for bird lovers.
  6. Bare-Eyed Cockatoo: Priced between $1,000 and $2,000, bare-eyed cockatoos are known for their quirky personalities and relatively easygoing nature.
  7. Rose-Breasted (Galah) Cockatoo: These pink and grey cockatoos are priced between $700 and $3,000. They are popular for their striking appearance and playful demeanor.

Rose-Breasted (Galah) Cockatoo

Additional Costs

While the initial purchase price is a significant expense, there are several other costs to consider when asking, “How much does a cockatoo cost?”

Cage and Accessories

A suitable cage is essential for the well-being of a cockatoo. Given their size and activity level, cockatoos require a spacious cage with sturdy bars. A high-quality cage can cost between $200 and $1,000. Additionally, perches, feeding bowls, and other accessories can add to the initial setup cost.


Proper nutrition is crucial for maintaining a cockatoo’s health. A balanced diet includes a mix of pellets, fresh fruits, vegetables, and occasional nuts. The cost of food can range from $300 to $600 per year, depending on the bird’s dietary needs and preferences.

Veterinary Care

Regular veterinary check-ups are essential to ensure your cockatoo remains healthy. Annual visits can cost between $100 and $500, depending on the complexity of the examination and any treatments required. It’s also wise to set aside funds for potential emergencies, as avian medical care can be expensive.

Toys and Enrichment

Cockatoos are intelligent and active birds that require mental and physical stimulation. Providing a variety of toys and enrichment activities is essential for their well-being. Budgeting $50 to $200 per year for toys and enrichment items is reasonable, though some owners may spend more to keep their feathered friends entertained.


Regular grooming is necessary to maintain your cockatoo’s health and appearance. This includes nail trimming, beak maintenance, and feather care. While some owners choose to perform grooming at home, professional grooming services can cost between $20 and $50 per session.

Total Annual Cost

When considering how much does a cockatoo cost annually, it’s essential to add up all the recurring expenses:

  • Food: $300 – $600
  • Veterinary Care: $100 – $500
  • Toys and Enrichment: $50 – $200
  • Grooming: $20 – $50 per session (estimated 4 sessions per year: $80 – $200)

Total annual cost: $530 – $1,500

Long-Term Financial Commitment

Cockatoos are long-lived birds, with lifespans ranging from 40 to 70 years depending on the species and care. When contemplating how much does a cockatoo cost over its lifetime, it’s crucial to consider the cumulative expenses. For example, the annual cost multiplied by an average lifespan of 50 years can result in a lifetime cost of $26,500 to $75,000, excluding the initial purchase price and any unexpected medical expenses.

Factors Influencing Cost

Several factors can influence the cost of owning a cockatoo:

  1. Source: Purchasing from a reputable breeder typically ensures a healthy bird but may come at a higher price compared to pet stores or rescue organizations. Rescues may offer lower prices but could involve additional costs related to the bird’s rehabilitation or medical care.
  2. Age: Younger birds are generally more expensive due to their longer potential lifespan and the demand for younger pets. Older birds may be more affordable but could come with health issues requiring additional care.
  3. Health: Birds with health issues may have lower initial costs but higher long-term medical expenses. It’s essential to consider both immediate and future veterinary care when budgeting.
  4. Species Popularity: More popular species or those with unique characteristics can command higher prices due to demand.


So, how much does a cockatoo cost? The answer encompasses more than just the initial purchase price. Prospective owners must consider the total cost of ownership, including housing, food, veterinary care, toys, grooming, and other incidental expenses. While the initial outlay can be significant, the ongoing costs are also substantial and require careful budgeting.

Cockatoos are intelligent, affectionate, and long-lived companions that can bring joy and entertainment to their owners for many years. However, they also require a considerable financial commitment. By understanding and preparing for these costs, you can ensure a happy and healthy life for your cockatoo, making the investment worthwhile.

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