They are so cute, aren’t they? Baby bunnies and chicks are fluffy and soft and can elicit an “Aww!” from even the most hardened soul. Baby bunnies and chicks are in abundance this time of year and make quite an adorable Easter display…but should you bring a bunny or chick home for your chlid’s Easter basket?
Before you run off to the pet store for your live Easter gift for your child, consider what you are getting into – because you are getting into more than one day of unbearable cutness. Bunnies and chicks are live animals, and need to be treated as such. You need to be able to bear the longer term responsibility of pet ownership as well as the initial soft and fluffy.
Babies grow up
Just like human babies, animal babies grow up. Baby bunnies grow up to be big rabbits and chicks grow up to be hens and roosters. Along the way, they need appropriate food, shelter, a place to do their “business” (have you ever heard of a potty trained chicken?). You need space and resources to take on any pet, including bunnies and chicks. Are you prepared to offer that in the long term to this animal, long after it as outgrown the cutness?
In addition, there may be legal issues. Not all municipalities allow chicken-keeping, for example. If you are a renter, will your landlord allow the pet?
The long term
That said, bunnies can make great pets. If you do your research, and have all the supplies you need, it can be the start of a terrific experience in love and responsibility for your child – with supervision. You need to read up on rabbits on pets and make sure that your whole family is ready to take on the animal and understand its needs in terms of breeds, environment, nutrition, veterinary care, and behaviors.
With the rising popularity of urban and suburban chicken-keeping, baby chicks can be the start of something completely new and different – and fun. If, again, you have done your research on breeds, environment, nutrition, care and behaviors, and have the appropriate equipment and space, you may have a colony of hens before you know it and lots of fresh eggs for some delicious breakfasts.
Live pets for Easter can be cute and cuddly, but they also come with real long-term responsibility. Take the time to understand what you are getting into before you place that bunny or chick in your child’s Easter basket.
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