Skip the Pets for Easter

Rabbit bunny and duckling are friends

Every Easter we’re inundated with images of cute chicks, ducklings and baby bunnies. They’re used to sell candy, Easter baskets and to advertise holiday sales. If you’re a mom and your child is old enough to talk, you’ve probably heard pleas for a pet rabbit or chick for Easter. It’s hard to say "no" to a child’s holiday request, but in this case, you should skip the pets for Easter. Here are some reasons for you to use to explain to your children why buying a baby rabbit, duck or chick is a bad idea.

Baby Animals Need Their Mother & Extra Care

Even very young children can understand the concept that babies need the care of their mother. Chicks and ducks may not live long on their own. It would be heartbreaking for a child to find their pet dead. Chicks must be kept warm and fed properly. If not, they’ll get sick and vets are unlikely to be able to treat a sick baby chicken. Baby rabbits may fare slightly better than chicks if they aren’t very young, but they can still suffer separation anxiety, refuse to eat or get sick.

Babies Grow Up

You’ll need a coop outside for a chicken, and both indoor and outdoor accommodations for a grown rabbit. Children will almost always lose interest in caring for a grown chicken. Adult rabbits need large habitats and need to spend time outside. Are you prepared to set up a chicken coop and care for an adult chicken for the remainder of its life? Does your neighborhood (and climate) allow livestock? Is your child old enough to keep a rabbit’s cage clean and spend time with it outside? Do you have time to clean a cage daily and take the rabbit out if your child can’t? The answer to all of those questions is probably “no.” Keep in mind that adult rabbits, chickens and ducks can also be aggressive. A peck or a bite often results in the animal being taken to a farm or shelter.

Almost every town or city has a petting zoo where children can interact with all sorts of small farm animals. You can often find petting zoos at local farms or regular zoos. Explain the needs of chicks, ducks and bunnies to your children, and then buy stuffed animals instead. It’s better for the live animals and your family!