I post this yearly, because it is important. Please read and share this information with others. Little lives depend on it...and you.
Every year hundreds of baby bunnies, chicks and ducklings are bought as Easter gifts. While much thought is put into the “surprise” factor, little is put into the long term care and commitment. Consequently, the animals will suffer abuse or neglect. Many will be released into the wild, ultimately facing death.
It has been reported by the U.S. Humane Society that “within the initial weeks following Easter, 30% of these novelty Easter pets will die. Another 60-70% will be released or left at a shelter.” Most of those released or left at shelters are already ill or suffering.
Every Spring, shelters are inundated with bunnies, chicks, and ducklings that are dumped once the fun of the holiday is over. Little or no thought was put into their growth or care. They were purchased solely for human enjoyment, into homes not equipped for their needs.
Before purchasing any pet, do your research. Ask the right authority, go to the proper source. Read, go online, learn about the animal’s needs, proper care, and expected lifespan. See what is involved to keep the animal healthy. Know what the possible pitfalls are with the particular pet you are considering, such as the fact that chicks and ducklings are known to carry salmonella.
Following are some facts and links provided by the Humane Society of the United States. Please read, consider, and take this to heart. These are real live beings with beating hearts.
RABBITS: Average lifespan: 7-10 years
Rabbits may not do well in a household with young children. They often do not like being lifted or held.
Rabbits like to dig and need to chew.
If you get multiple rabbits they should be spayed and neutered as soon as possible.
Multiple rabbits will often fight.
Weekly expenses can be in excess of $25.00 for food alone, per rabbit.
DUCKS: Average lifespan: 8-15 years
Ducks are very social animals, and do better kept in groups (a “paddling” or “brace” of ducks).
Ducks need a lot of space and a shelter to keep them safe.
Ducklings will need to be kept in an indoor pen/cage for the several weeks.
CHICKENS: Average lifespan: 5-8 years
Chickens naturally scratch, peck, and dig. If housing is inadequate, they will cause damage.
Many towns and cities have regulations concerning chickens, regarding them “livestock”.
Health and zoning boards should be consulted.
Chickens are noisy, but roosters are especially noisy!