By Dr. Norette L. Underwood
Rabbits and Chicks As Easter Gifts
With Easter approaching here are some top tips about giving rabbits and chicks as Easter Gifts.
1. Say no to live rabbit and chicks as Easter gifts
- Around Easter, many pet stores stock up on hot items including live chicks and rabbits. Theses animals are often given to young children as presents.
- Often many folks think rabbits are low maintenance pets that only require a small cage and pets.
- Truth is, they have dietary requirements that include a balanced diet of pellets, fresh lettuce and other vegetables, and grass hays. They also require daily exercise and space enough to perform 3 consecutive hops in a cage.
- Young children tend to be rougher and not understand that rabbits can easily break their backs when handled. Plus rabbits have long toenails that leave deep scratches especially if handled improperly.
- Chicks can carry salmonella and E. coli that may cause serious diarrhea and possible death to young children.
- Chicks grow into chickens. Roosters when they hit sexual maturity, have the potential to become aggressive.
- Rabbits are the third most relinquished pets to animal shelters, which are usually equipped to handle only a few rabbits and rodents at a time.
- After Easter many shelters, are overwhelmed by the number of relinquished rabbits and have to euthanize several.
- Rabbits are also often released to the wild to fend for themselves and those that do not starve to death, become easy prey for predators in the wild.
- For more details check out the Make Mine Chocolate Campaign by the HSUS and the American House Rabbit Society.
For more information contact dr. Norette L. Underwood of the Trumann Animal Clinic and Best Friends Vet Mobile Service at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about pets as Easter gifts.