how many pet birds in the us

Learn about current trends in the bird food segment, including the move to natural and organic as well as economic challenges caused by the pandemic.

As pet ownership has increased in the past few years, smaller animals have become the beneficiaries of changing economic attitudes toward pets. While dogs and cats still make up the majority of pet-owning households, growth in desire for smaller, more portable pets has resulted in a boost for animals like birds, small mammals (such as hamsters and rabbits), reptiles and fish.

According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA)’s 2021–2022 National Pet Owners Survey, 8% of U.S. households (5.7 million homes) have pet birds, and almost 50% of new bird owners said the pandemic was a factor in their acquiring their feathered companion. Bird owners are also likely to have multiples; according to the survey, the average number of birds per bird-owning household is 2.46.

Animals kept as companions

Dogs Cats Birds Horses
Percent of households owning 44.6 26 2.5 0.2
Dogs Cats
Number of households owning 62M 37M
Average number owned per household 1.46 1.78
Total number in United States 83,739,829–88,853,254 60,217,861– 61,910,686
Veterinary expenditure per household per year $367 $253

Nutrition key to pet bird owners

In comparison to other pet ownership segments, according to APPA%E2%80%99’s survey, more than half (59%) of bird owners stated they spent more money on their animals in the previous 2012 months. Unquestionably, during the pandemic, people have spent more time at home with their pets, strengthening the bond between people and animals, and causing an increase in spending on everything from daily food to treats and even gifts (80% of bird owners said they bought gifts for their birds, according to a survey).

“The bird space is growing in the independent channel precisely because the store owners focus on the birds and educating their owners,” said Mary Wyld, owner of Wyld’s Wingdom, a U.S.-based wholesale pet bird supplies distributor. “It is a personal relationship that is the strength of the independents, and the birds win. Trends of toys and accessories will continue to grow as bird owners learn and respond to the fact that birds are like little children and have many of the same needs: good foods for healthy bodies and great stimulating toys for their innate inquisitive nature, and the inborn need to forage.”

An increased emphasis on bird nutrition has been a component of that education. Even as more bird owners move from seed-based diets to more formulated pellets, one-fifth of bird owner respondents to the APPA survey stated their pets are on a special diet, and supplementation is a major focus of pet bird nutrition.

According to Wyld, “the trend we see is the continuous increase in parrot owners switching from seed-based diets to formulated foods (pellets and the like).” “Within that category, organic foods are also growing. These patterns indicate that owners are becoming more knowledgeable and are prepared to spend more for proper nutrition for their birds. Furthermore, our supplement business is thriving for owners who choose to feed natural fruits and vegetables and seeds rather than just pellets to improve the nutrition of their animals. ”.

Economic challenges affecting the pet bird space

Inflation and supply chain problems have affected the pet bird market, affecting the availability of different bird species as well as the food side.

“First, we are seeing a slight move to value,” said Tim Norsen, vice president of sales, pet specialty, for Vitakraft Sunseed, a U.S.-based pet food and treat manufacturer. “This happens whenever we have big ripples in the economy and translates to share gains in less expensive formulas and larger pack sizes. Second, we are seeing declines in treat sales. This is also typical of the economic climate as consumer spending tightens and impulse purchases decline. Third, we are seeing that foods for smaller species continue to grow. Parakeets, Conures and other small parrots have all grown in ownership due to availability and that has driven those categories forward. The availability of Cockatiels continues to be an issue which has weakened this normally robust segment.”

Cockatiels are very popular birds to own due to several factors, including their smaller size, quieter demeanor and social temperaments, according to Dr. Laurie Hess, DVM, Diplomate ABVP, with the Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics, who spoke with PetMD (“All about Cockatiels,” about the brightly colored animals. In fact, they come in just behind parakeets (which more than 25% of bird owners have as pets, according to APPA survey data) in terms of popular bird types to own.

Because bird owners are reportedly very brand loyal and prefer to stick with the products they know their pets enjoy, industry experts believe the current economic problems will pass quickly.

According to Norsen, “bird owners are highly loyal to brands and specific types of diets.” “In 2021, supply chain disruptions made it difficult to get many popular items.” Retailers are keeping stock in all departments and the supply chain is now more predictable, which is encouraging customers to return to physical stores. As the economy strengthens and the initial shock of rising prices and inflation wears off, I believe we will witness a return to premium. What’s most encouraging is that, despite other categories declining in 2022, the bird category has remained remarkably stable. ”.


How many Americans have pet birds?

According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA)’s 2021–2022 National Pet Owners Survey, 8% of U.S. households (5.7 million homes) have pet birds, and almost 50% of new bird owners said the pandemic was a factor in their acquiring their feathered companion.

How many pet birds are there?

There are some 35 to 45 million pet birds in the United States. Modern bird owners are continuing a pet bird tradition that goes back at least 4,000 years to the ancient Egyptians, who are often credited with keeping the first pet birds. The ancient Chinese are known to have kept pheasants.

What percent of pet owners have birds?

The APPA’s 2021-2022 National Pet Owners Survey, a comprehensive annual report exploring trends in pet ownership across the U.S., revealed that 8 percent of households now have pet birds, with nearly half of new owners stating that their decision to acquire a bird was influenced by the pandemic.

What country has the most pet birds?

How Many Pet Birds by Country. According to a recent study, Brazil has the highest number of pet birds with around 20 million.