Easter is right around the corner, and we hope you have Easter Egg hunts and Photos With the Easter Bunny to look forward to! But, before getting too wrapped up in the holiday season, we want to focus on our furry and feathery friends who do not wish to participate.
Did you know that in the weeks after Easter, thousands of unwanted baby rabbits and chicks are dropped off at animal shelters or left in the wild to fend for themselves?
Rabbits are NOT just a cute, cuddly Easter Bunny
We agree, baby rabbits are fluffy and adorable! It can be tempting to bring one home with you, but please resist this impulse unless you have done the research and know that you can care for this living creature. Given proper care, they can live 8–12 years—rabbits are a commitment!
Rabbits are not an easy “starter pet” for young children and require specialized, often time-consuming care. As a rule, do not leave young children unsupervised with any pet, but especially rabbits. If dropped, a rabbit is at elevated risk for broken bones. Rabbits also have limited flexibility in their vertebrae, and their spine could snap if held incorrectly.
Despite looking cuddly, rabbits are prey animals. Gaining their trust takes time. Some rabbits LOVE being held and are highly affectionate, but this is entirely dependent on each animal’s disposition. Each bunny is unique—like you are!
What is a rabbit’s favorite activity? Here is a hint: it involves chewing on anything and everything they can get their teeth on. So, to protect your sanity, belongings, and rabbit’s health, you will need to bunny proof any areas your little friend can access.
Most commercial rabbit cages are far too small for full-time living quarters. In addition, rabbits need room to move around and stretch their legs, and they cannot do so in a cage. Therefore, some people bunny proof an area of their home so their pet can free roam in a safe environment.
What happens if you decide you can no longer care for your rabbit? Please, contact your local animal shelter for resources. Surrendering a pet is never easy, but sometimes it is the best option. Never release a domesticated rabbit—or any other pet—into the wild. They do not have necessary survival skills and can also damage the local ecological environment.
If, after research, you decide that you can care for a rabbit, please consider adopting one! Shelter rabbits need loving homes.
Chicks and Ducklings
Live chicks and ducklings are neither Easter decorations nor toys and, like any living creature, should be treated with respect. They start as adorable fuzz balls, but they grow up fast. Do you have the proper environment and housing to give a full-grown chicken or duck the quality of life it deserves?
Another critical factor to keep in mind is that your city might not allow keeping fowl. Many areas also require you to acquire a permit before keeping them on your property. Interested in learning more about Michigan cities that allow keeping chicken and those that do not? Check out this interesting article!
Instead of taking chicks or ducklings home with you, consider taking your children to tour a local farm. We believe it is never too early to foster a love of nature!
Pets are entirely dependent on us to provide proper care and shelter. They rely on us for everything! So before welcoming a new friend into your family, always do your best to research.