Abandoned Rabbits and Chicks After Easter

Easter bunny
By  | 

RENO, Nev. -- Easter holiday is usually associated with cute bunnies and chicks. Those fuzzy animals are the most popular impulse gifts for children this holiday, but they're also some of the most high-maintenance animals to care for.

It's a big commitment when you bring home a pet, but animals like chicks, ducklings and rabbits aren't meant to be pets. They lose their appeal after the holidays are over and then abandoned on the streets or in the wild.

Owners should prepare for at least a six-year commitment with poultry and at least 10 years for rabbits.

The biggest problem people face is realizing the amount of responsibility these animals require.

"They're not meant to be pets. People mistake that they are livestock. They are live production animals. They are raised for meat and eggs. That's their primary purpose in life," Scott Green, owner of Green's Feed said.

Green says poultry need be kept in a designated and contained area to keep water, food and heat. Chicks and ducklings need to stay warm in a 90 degree environment. Owners need to change the food and water at least twice a day. It take about 6 to 8 weeks for the animals to feather before it's safe for them to be outside. Then, they will need about 2 square feet per bird in a contained area that will keep them away from predators like raccoon and household pets.

These animals can cost you more than you expect, so if your heart is set on raising livestock as pets, you should plan to do some research.

People are encouraged to leave live animals out of the Easter celebration. Instead, they are encouraged to buy stuffed animals or edible treats for gifts.