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Sat March 23, 2013
Easter Chicks (and Bunnies, Too)
Seasonal pets are rarely a good idea for either the humans or the animals. That includes the baby chicks and bunnies that are so popular at Easter. They may be cute and fuzzy but they come with certain requirements for basic care, and a commitment for years, not just days or weeks!
This coming Easter, some folks will be tempted by the idea of a soft fuzzy live chick in the Easter basket. And for the first few weeks after Easter, the chick will stay cute and fuzzy, and healthy if it is kept in a brooder, which could be something as simple as small wire mesh cage or even a cardboard box. Remember, the chick is a baby, and must be kept warm.
Be careful about letting children handle the chick, both for the animal’s safety and for their own – if they forget to wash their hands after touching it, they could be risking salmonella infection.
You’ll notice that cute little chick grows quickly, and will soon need a larger space. That’s when you have to start thinking about a chicken coop. You should also study up on the dietary needs for your fuzzy chick, make sure to provide some kind of litter and, as with most other pets, clean water. With proper care, your new pet chicken could live fifteen years or more.
By now, you may be realizing you really were not intending to raise chickens. Instead, a bunny may make a great Easter pet. After all, they’re cute, soft, fuzzy – what’s not to love?
You might want to know that a bunny also requires a cage. The minimum recommended size is one that is about six times the size of an adult rabbit. Do not get one that has an all-wire floor, because that can cause problems with the bunny’s feet.
This is another animal that needs litter, proper food, clean water and some toys to play with. Your bunny will need to be brushed and loved, but not really held so much. Rabbits like to be on the ground, not high up in the air. With proper care, a pet rabbit can live about ten years.
Unless you really want a rabbit as a pet, or you’re planning to raise chickens, getting a live baby animal for Easter is not a good idea. In fact, the majority of those that manage to survive their first few days end up abandoned or surrendered to an animal shelter. It’s not a great outlook for an Easter pet. An artificial stuffed animal makes a great substitute. Or, for me, you can make mine chocolate – or marshmallow – when you’re speaking of Easter pets!