Each year, people sometimes give rabbits and baby chicks as Easter gifts, thinking that these types of pets are perfect for the holiday and easy to care for. However, many people don’t realize the amount of care these pets need. This results in rabbits and baby chicks ending up being abandoned or dropped off at animal shelters. Those who are considering giving these pets as gifts for Easter should be aware of the responsibilities involved for the recipient.
Rabbits as Gifts
Rabbits are often seen as easy pets to care for due to a few mistaken beliefs about these animals and their behavior. People might buy them believing that they’ll only live for a couple of years, but rabbits can actually live to be up to 12 years old when they’re cared for properly. That’s a long-term commitment and financial investment when it comes to taking care of a pet. Rabbits are also believed to be cuddly and content with spending most of their time in a cage. However, these pets would rather be petted than held, and they need at least a few hours of exercise per day to keep them healthy and prevent boredom.
When rabbits are given as Easter gifts, recipients who don’t really know how to care for them might abandon them outdoors or leave them at a shelter. Keep in mind that pet rabbits can’t protect themselves from predators like wild rabbits can. Rabbits also rank among the top three animals that are euthanized the most in animal shelters, since it’s hard to find homes for them.
Baby Chicks as Gifts
Baby chicks are usually given as Easter gifts for similar reasons as rabbits. People believe that they’re easy to take care of, but they’re not thinking about the fact that these small chicks grow up to be adult chickens. Those who aren’t prepared to properly care for fully grown chickens might bring them to a shelter or set them loose outside, where they are easy prey for predators.
Having baby chicks around the home can also be a health hazard. These birds can carry Salmonellosis, which is an infectious illness that can cause serious health problems for seniors and younger children.
Coloring Pets for Easter
Baby chicks are sometimes dyed vivid colors for Easter. This practice has raised concerns about the effects it might have on these birds, especially since some are injected with dye when they’re still embryos. Baby chicks, ducklings, rabbits and other animals should not be dyed for Easter.
Instead of giving rabbits or baby chicks as pets for Easter, consider giving more practical presents instead. For example, give chocolate or candy in the shape of these animals, or stuffed animal rabbits and chicks instead of live ones.