It’s easy to tell that Easter is approaching by the amount of advertisements containing cute bunny rabbits and fuzzy little chicks! Often, parents looking for a first pet are inspired by these ideas, and will surprise children with a baby chick or a bunny in an Easter basket. While both species can be very rewarding pets, there is a lot more to them than meets the eye!
Rabbits can make wonderful pets, but they require more work than a dog or a cat!
Below, Kingsbrook Animal Hospital reveals some facts about rabbit and chicken care.
Rabbits need to be spayed and neutered, just like dogs and cats. Intact male rabbits often
This bunny is a lop! Lops have very long ears.
become aggressive, and over 80% of intact female rabbits will develop invasive and fatal reproductive cancers before 5 years of age. Healthy, well-cared-for rabbits will live for 10-12 years!
Bunnies require very specific housing conditions. They need solid-floor housing–wire-bottom cages and shelves can cause a condition known as “bumblefoot,” which is a painful infection and swelling of the feet. Rabbits cannot have wood shavings of any kind, and cages should be in a well-ventilated area to minimize the risk of
Rabbits, just like cats and dogs, need to be seen by a veterinarian at least once a year.
There are “good” and “bad” veggies when it comes to rabbits. It is important not to feed sweet or starchy fruits and veggies such as apples, sweet potatoes, or carrots, because they can actually slow down a bunny’s digestive tract and cause life-threatening GI stasis.
Baby chicks require lots of specialized care until they are old enough to live outdoors.
Rabbits like romaine, Swiss chard, endive, and red- or green-leaf lettuce. Even more important is a constant supply of fresh timothy hay.
Baby chicks need to be kept inside until they are fully feathered–this can take around 5 months for some breeds. Chicks need a very temperature-controlled environment
Chickens are birds, which means they will make noise and can be fairly messy!
(~95 degrees is ideal) which means a heat lamp is a requirement. Also, chicken feces contain salmonella bacteria, so baby chicks need lots of clean-up to keep the bacterial populations to a minimum.
Chickens are birds, which means they can fly(to an extent)! This sounds obvious, but it means that either the chickens will need a very tall fence, at least 7 feet, to prevent escape– or they will
If a chicken is going to be a good pet, it needs to be handled from a young age.
require regular wing trims to prevent flight. Keep in mind that if a chicken can’t fly, it can’t escape from a fox or raccoon!
Many city ordnances and homeowners’ associations (HOAs) prevent owning chickens or any “farm” animals. Be sure to research all laws and by-laws thoroughly!
“All parts of the daffodil plant, which is a member of the lily family are toxic – especially the bulb which can prove fatal if consumed. If a dog eats or chews the bulbs, leaves, flowers, or even drink the water these flowers stand in, it can develop signs of poisoning. Cases of daffodil poisoning peaks around Easter, with most dog owners unaware of their potential danger.
The lethal dose can be as low as 15g of bulbs – this could be as little as just one bulb!
Rabbits are a familiar symbol of the Easter holiday. In the days leading up to it, they appear on television commercials and packages of candy, and stores are filled with stuffed rabbits. It is no surprise that children beg their parents for a bunny of their own. Ill-prepared to care for these unique creatures, their “owners” often quickly tire of them. In the months following Easter, local humane societies and rabbit rescues are flooded with rabbits, former Easter gifts whose “owners” no longer want them. The unlucky ones are dumped outside where predators, cars, illness, and injury virtually guarantee an early death.
In 2002, in an attempt to address the problem, the Columbus House Rabbit Society began a campaign to educate the public on the realities of living with a rabbit, and to discourage giving live rabbits as Easter gifts. Our goal is to educate the public of the challenges of properly caring for rabbits and to encourage them to purchase chocolate Easter bunnies rather than live rabbits.
To buy Chocolate Bunnies visit: http://www.rescuechocolate.com/products/make-mine-chocolate-bunnies
For More Info Check out: http://www.rabbit.org/easter/2011release.html