Who doesn’t love the Easter bunny? Of course, we all do!. Easter is a beloved holiday and spring is a lovely time of year. This is when all of those adorable, cuddly, baby bunnies, ducklings, and chicks are born. Many parents want to give their children these live animals as an Easter present. As cute as they are, however, pets for Easter gifts are never a good idea.
They take years of dedication and are a lot of work! Sadly, pets for Easter gifts are often abandoned once the uneducated owners realize this.
Kids Will Be Kids
Children tend to be rough by nature and baby animals can be incredibly fragile. Innocent roughness can be detrimental to them, causing broken bones or worse. Kids typically prefer a fluffy friend they can actually hold and cuddle.
These adorable baby animals may be little when you first bring them home, however they will grow up. Within a month or two; these itty, bitty, babies will grow into adults that require a lot of care. With their short attention spans, children usually get bored with these pets within a matter of weeks. Guess who then becomes the primary caregiver? Yep, that’d be you.
They Have Specific Needs
Not unlike newborn human babies, ducklings, chicks, and baby bunnies need near constant care and it can be quite time-consuming. They need indoor and outdoor time. This is especially true with chickens and ducks. They need plenty of ultraviolet sunlight to produce vitamin D, which helps them absorb calcium from their food. Without this, their bones can become brittle and are more likely to fracture. This would also increase their risk of developing a condition called “binding” in which their eggs get stuck together inside of them. Therefore, providing shelter, exercise, feeding, and specialized veterinary care are only a fraction of the responsibilities that come with these pets.
The Health Risks
Most people know that we can get salmonella from eggs, but this is also a concern with live birds. It is spread by the animals’ fecal matter, and since kids are notorious for not washing their hands properly, or as frequently as they should, this can pose a serious health risk.
Rabbits, in particular, are prone to developing serious issues such as congestive heart failure, and uterine cancer in unspayed females. As we stated before, baby animals are very fragile. Rabbits can literally be frightened to death and this doesn’t bode well when you consider how loud and crazy some kids can be.
In it for the Long Haul
The average lifespan of a rabbit is 8 – 14 years. While chickens and ducks typically live between 7 – 10 years. Unfortunately many never make it that long. Due to neglect or mistreatment, these animals tend to die young. If they do manage to make it into adulthood, they face confinement in a shelter or worse. Worse meaning they are sentenced to die out in the elements after being “set free” by naive people.
We all remember that episode of Friends where Joey adopts an abandoned chick. Sure, the chick was absolutely adorable. While he and Chandler made it look easy, the reality is much different.
So, this Easter, leave out the live bunnies or chicks. Try giving your little one some chocolate, a wind-up lookalike, or a stuffed animal instead. You could even use this holiday as a teaching opportunity for your child. They can learn about being a responsible pet owner and how to show empathy for our feathered or furry friends by visiting your local animal shelter or donating to their cause. Children are generally happier receiving toys, and candy anyway, trust us!
Have a happy and wonderful Easter from all of us at Animal Magnetism!