Thinking about bunnies or chicks for Easter? Read these tips first!

The Top Considerations Before Giving a Bunny or Chick This Easter

Make no mistake about it, videos of children finding baby bunnies and chicks awaiting them on Easter morning are adorable.

Not much is cuter than a fluffy little chick or a bunny with big, floppy ears. Combine that with squealing children and you’ve got yourself a memory to last a lifetime…

basket of Easter eggs
This Easter, you may want to stick to hard boiled eggs instead of bunnies and chicks!

A memory to last a lifetime until that cute little critter starts to grow, stink, need attention, and is no longer new and exciting.  Then what? Unfortunately, thousands of bunnies and chickens die or are severely neglected as the result of a gift the family was not prepared for.  Most shelters report that 70-80% of their rabbits are abandoned Easter gifts. If this is a gift you’re considering giving, please take into consideration the long-term impact on the animal and your family.

The Top Considerations You MUST Take Into Account Before Giving a Bunny or Chick This Easter

 

  • Bonding- Both of these animals are social animals.  They do best with a strong bond to other animals like themselves, and to their caretakers.  This will mean an incredible amount of work on your end. You won’t be able to toss them in a crate in the yard and watch them thrive.  It’s also best to have at least two rabbits and at least 6+ chickens. This accounts for a lot of care over the years!

  • Housing- Rabbits and chickens have very specific housing needs.  In order to be cared for in a humane and ethical way, you’ll need to put in a lot of work.  Their homes require frequent cleaning which can be quite messy and time-consuming. Rabbits cannot be left outside all the time and chickens need coops.

  • Smell- Both these animals STINK.  There’s nothing that will turn up your nose quite like chicken droppings.  The smell goes along with housing, frequent and thorough cleaning is an absolute must to keep your animals healthy and well.

  • Salmonella- The trend of backyard chickens is growing.  While this is an excellent way to provide food for yourself, it can also come with a risk.  Proper care must be taken of the chickens, their diet, their water, their habitat, and even their social and emotional well-being.  Salmonella from backyard eggs is a real concern. It is especially present in their bowel movements and can easily get onto children’s hands while they’re holding the critters or gathering eggs.

baby chick sitting on a person's hand

  • Gentle Hands- These are delicate baby animals.  They need to be treated with great care.  It’s far too easy for young children to severely injure or even kill them.  This results in great trauma for the animal, and the child!

  • Travel- If you travel often this can disrupt your critters.  As we said above, they’re social animals. Chickens will sometimes go into great stress when their owners leave and may even stop laying eggs or get ill.

  • Normal critter behavior- Know what bunnies do?  Chew on things. Know what chickens do?  Peck things. And they both poop… a lot… Plus, chickens are loud!  Research adult chicken and rabbit behavior before making your purchase.

  • Length of care- These animals can live 6-12 years or longer.  The novelty of the cuteness on Easter morning will wear off well before this time.  Are you willing to commit to caring for this critter who will bond to you for its entire life?

  • Vet care- Rabbits need a good amount of vet care.  And chickens can get sick easily and need care themselves.  This accounts for cost and time for your family.

bunny in the grass

  • Cost- People are often surprised at the long-term cost of caring for their critters. They’ll cost you several hundreds of dollars a year to provide adequate food, shelter, and care.

  • Breeding practices- Most bunnies and chicks available for Easter have been inhumanely bred and hatched.  One of the most powerful ways to shop is with our dollar and purchasing these animals as gifts encourages this breeding practice.  If you are willing to commit to the animal, find one from a local farm you trust that has ethically raised the parents and cared for the young.

 

If you’re still interested in purchasing bunnies or chicks, do your research.  Visit local farms or animal shelters to find out all the care that’s required. Make sure your children are committed to helping out too.  It should be a full-family discussion before any purchase is made. Rabbits can make great friends and pets, and chickens love to snuggle and be cuddled.  Just ensure you’re committing to adding them in as members of the family for the next decade so that you can all bond and enjoy life together!

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