This weekend, some of us may find ourselves tempted to buy baby chicks or bunnies for Easter presents for the children in our lives, but in general, this is a really bad idea. Unless you’re someone who is experienced in raising rabbits and chickens are are willing to take care of the animals, it’s best to avoid the Easter weekend temptation to buy a cute animal for Easter.
Here’s a short list of some really good reasons to resist that temptation:
1. Those cute babies grow up and require food, shelter, a proper home, and good care. When we see the cute babies, it may be easy to forget that they are going to grow up and be farm animals that require work.
2. These animals often end up in shelters and are euthanized when they grow up and are not wanted anymore because they’re no longer “cute and little.” Animal shelters report that 80% of the rabbits that end up in shelters are abandoned Easter presents.
3. Some of these Easter presents face an even worse fate when people let them “fend for themselves” in yards or the wild, where they can easily starve.
4. It’s also important to understand that chickens, even the cute baby chicks, can carry salmonella, and chickens poop a lot. When we had a sick baby chick in our house for a few weeks last summer, I estimated that little guy pooped about 70 times a day! I’m not exaggerating.
Children are the ones most likely to contract salmonella from chicks because they don’t wash their hands properly or touch the chicks with their mouths. Salmonella is serious and can make people very sick.
5. Finally, getting animals for Easter presents just seems like a bad idea to me in that it can so easily teach children that these animals are similar to “toys” and are simply objects for our entertainment.
Of course, if you’re reading this and you’re a farmer or you raise these animals, then you know what you’re doing, and your children may be able to handle an Easter gift like this very well. However, most children are not, and I think it’s important to understand that it’s generally a bad idea to get bunnies and chicks as Easter presents.
Unless you’re ready to teach children the responsibility of caring for a bunny or chicken for ten years or so, it’s a good idea to stick to chocolate bunnies. Better yet, visit a local farmer and help your children learn about the awesomeness of these animals without all of the responsibility.