I’m not sure where the tradition of giving bunnies and chicks and ducklings for Easter came into being, but I am hoping that people have read enough about the stupidity of the decision, not to do it again this year. But I’m sure that they haven’t. It was brought home to me yesterday while I was in a feed store looking at some “stuff” for my horse. There was a large brooder up front FILLED with baby chicks, ducklings and baby turkeys. And there was also a cage full of baby bunnies. And of course I stopped and looked at them, and petted the bunnies. And I was standing there reminiscing about all the ducks and chicks that we had on the farm while I was growing up. There are some sweet memories. And some not so sweet.
And just about the time that I had talked myself through those memories, up came another flock of squawking chicks. Girls with their Mom screaming “Please, oh please….let us have a chick and a duck. They are sooooo cute”. I just rolled my eyes and said a little prayer for the poor victims that they would choose and take home.
People don’t realize how much work chickens (and that’s what cute baby chicks grow into) and ducks (those fuzzy, cuddly ducklings are in a few months) can be. And if you’re not prepared to devote time and energy and resources into the care of these animals, it’s really cruel to get them. I heard the girls picking out chicks and saying how cute the colors and markings were on them. Those dumb clucks don’t realize that they aren’t going to stay that color. In fact, when chickens are losing the fuzz and getting their permanent feathers, they are quite ugly. And ducks require LOTS and LOTS of water, that must be cleaned frequently. And ducks can live 10 years or more if given the right treatment. Rabbits too. That’s as much of an investment as a cat. And these animals aren’t even as affectionate as a cat (which we all know is one-sided anyway…LOL).
Too many times, the Animal Shelters get the calls from the parents of the children who don’t find their Easter gift so fun and cute anymore. Or then there are the parents that just take the animals to the nearby woods and turn them loose, to starve or be eaten by predators. It’s really pretty sad. I took my horse treats to the counter and checked out and left.
Get your child a stuffed bunny or duck. They will probably last a whole lot longer, and they aren’t so hard to “donate” when your kid gets tired of it.