Live furry bunnies and fuzzy chicks are hard to resist. Lots of people like to get them as pets for Easter. But if you take one home, you will need proper things to care for them, experts tell us. Because if you don’t, these animals will be sad their whole lives and could die painful deaths.
It’s best not to even take one home during the holidays, says Nancy LaRoche of the Colorado House Rabbit Society.
“If you wouldn’t get a reindeer for Christmas, you shouldn’t get chicks or rabbits as Easter presents or decorations. Animals aren’t decorations or toys. They are living creatures, who have a lot of needs, just like we do.”
There are important things you need to know about rabbits and chicks.
In order to get chicks, you have to contact the city to ask if it’s OK. Usually it is, but you can’t tell if a chick is a rooster or a hen until they get older and most cities don’t allow roosters because they make lots of noise and disturb neighbors so it’s best to get an already grown hen than a chick so you don’t get any surprise roosters!
Chickens need to be protected from Earth’s elements as well as predators, such as opossums, raccoons, cats and dogs, but they also need lots of space to spread their wings. They also need shade, water and clean straw.
If you do these things, chicks and also ducks can make great pets, says Raul Arce-Contreras of Humane Society International. “Talk with your parents and think about how much time, money and care these little creatures require. And if you do decide a rabbit or hen is good for you, always choose adopt or rescue.”
Bunnies need lots of space and exercise, and they can live up to 14 years. Bunnies need to be handled safely, and they can get bored so they need lots of toys and a companion. They also need healthy vegetables to eat.
“Many people take the time to learn about rabbits’ needs, and make a commitment to care for them their entire lives,” LaRoche says. “And if you can’t, you should get a stuffed animal or a chocolate one instead.”
For more information:
> Rabbit/bunny care tips: http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/rabbits/tips/rabbits_as_pets.html?credit=web_id516230465
> Rabbit indoor housing tips: http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/rabbits/tips/rabbit_housing.html?credit=web_id516230465
> Chicken care tips: http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/chickens/tips/adopting_chickens.html?credit=web_id516230465