Critical: Show Your Humaneness At Easter (Original-April 16,2011)

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Here is a re-posting before easter. This is about the 3rd or 4th time that I have reposted. Yes, this is a boring topic and I do not have any pics to go along with this post. I should have gone to the feed store and taken a few photos there. The last time I went to one of the 4 feed stores that I patronize, there were baby chicks, ducklings, and some rabbits. These, however, were not ordered from the hatchery just for an easter sale but for individuals to add to their flock or for first timers wanting to keep a few backyard chickens or other poultry. These new chicks will produce lovely eggs before the year has ended. Please continue reading.

Easter is April 20th this year. Do you have little ones chirping- quacking- hopping or hoping for a wee baby chick, duckling, or bunny? If so, don’t leave this page without reading a post. I hope that after reading this entry, you can say NO to your child or children if they have been bugging you for a live Easter gift.

Easter will be here in about 3 days. What do you give your child/children as an Easter gift? A live bunny, a baby chick or, a duckling? Think long and hard about your choice. Baby chicks and ducklings are very small and their little bodies simply can not hold up to being passed around between children or even just one child. Chicks and ducklings grow and become larger. How would you keep that chick or duckling safe from the family cat or dog? How would you care and house that chick or duckling? Even if the chick managed to grow to adult hood you will have a mess to deal with. Children can catch several diseases from that baby chick. Serious diseases. What will you do when that baby chick/duckling expels very malodorous excrement on your child or in your child’s hands while holding the chick/duckling. The small bird in all probability will die for it does require special care. A cage, chick/duck food, a watering bowl, and a small feeder designed just for baby chickens or ducklings. Cages must be changed  daily. Clean black and white newspaper( not colored parts or adds of the newspaper.)  should be used. Are you prepared to deal with that? Or are you one of those people who figure “oh well. It’s just one of millions of chickens/ducks and the life of one baby chick/duck doesn’t matter that much.”

What about that cute bunny that you saw in the pet store? As it turns out that bunny also needs special care. A cage, (made just for rabbits) water (preferably a water bottle) that the rabbit can sip from- keeps the water clean, a dish for rabbit pellets, hay for the bunny to eat,  and small amounts of  raw fruit and vegetables to keep its digestive tract healthy. But it does not end there.  The cage should be cleaned daily to keep the bunny healthy. Rabbits should also be vaccinated for 2-3 diseases. The rabbit should be spayed or neutered before 6 months of age.  A rabbit should be held a certain way because the delicate back  is easily broken just from twisting and turning or letting it fall to the floor.  They really do not like to be picked up and handled. If you just turn it loose in the back yard it can easily meet its demise in the jaws of a dog or cat or a hawk can swoop down and make a meal of the bunny  and lets not forget that Great Horned Owl that will snatch it up at night or early in the morning. How will you keep it safe from over zealous children that want to carry it around or simply pet the bunny many times a day. Bunnies grow up and become large rabbits. Are you going to just turn it loose in your backyard or take it to the local shelter to give it up because it is just too messy and difficult to keep in the house. Bunnies are also capable of biting and then you will worry about a possible infection from the bite. Now if you still want a rabbit for your child there a a few more things to consider such as disease transmission to you or your children. A plethora of diseases also are on the list of why a rabbit is not a good choice for your child. Pasturella, coccidiosis, giardi, E-coli, toxoplasmosis, and the list goes on. If you keep the rabbit outdoors they are also susceptible to heat stroke and also need warmth in the winter. Remember: these are domestic rabbits which are much more delicate that a native wild rabbit.

So let your conscience by your guide. Just don’t give a chick or bunny as an Easter gift unless you want a lot of work and the real possibility that the animal will die. If it doesn’t succumb to disease or neglet your children will grow tired of that chick or bunny and then you are faced with what to do with that Easter gift.

Be smart and humane; omit anything live for your young child. There are many things to give your child. A stuffed rabbit or a toy chick or duck  are great and you will not have all of the work and worry. 

Of course there is always the Easter candy but beware of the chocolate that the family dog can and will eat. Chocolate is deadly for dogs. If your dog ingests chocolate take your pet to the animal emergency where it can get the proper care to keep the chocolate from being absorbed. Special care is required for after care. PRECAUTIONS ARE THE KEY WORDS.

The care and consideration that you show toward a “lesser” bird or animal will have an impact on your child’s emotional development. How your child will treat you later in life and how much empathy your child has for other human beings and animals is learned at a young age. This is something that can be taught but not at the expense of a small helpless animal. Your child can learn how to treat others and animals by following your example- good or bad.

After Easter the animal shelters become filled with bunnies and chicks. Don’t be guilty of adding to the shelter’s  already over flowing facilities.

12 thoughts on “Critical: Show Your Humaneness At Easter (Original-April 16,2011)

  1. Lottie Nevin says:

    This is an excellent and timely post Yvonne. I’ve got to be honest, I’ve never seen chicks, bunnies or ducklings sold as ‘Easter pets’ in the UK but that’s not to say it doesn’t happen here. When we lived in Jakarta I used to regularly see ‘bird men’. They would stand at the side of busy roads in the sweltering heat surrounded by tiny cages crammed full of ‘dyed’ small birds and chicks. I have no idea what they had been dyed with but they were bright blue, bright pink, yellow etc. So unbelievably cruel – I wish that I could have bought every single one of them and set them free.

    • Hi Lottie. I’m waaay behind but I’m trying to catch up. Email will be on the way soon.The weather has turned colder again and a freeze is predicted again for tonight. I moved lots of bedding plants to the shop where thye’ll be protected from the cold. The weather is still iffy here in Texas. I have not forgotten you. Just not feeling so hot but of past few days began feeing some better.

      It’s awful that Indonesians must resort to selling precious wildlife. Some of those birds are becoming fewer and fewer yet that government continues to turn a blind eye. There are strict laws concerning native wildlife here. At the same time people are still buying exotic species and then have no idea how to care for or afford to keep the birds and animals in the proper way. I’m not sure how these things continue to get into the country.

      I’ve heard that selling poultry and rabbits at Easter time has diminished but I’m not sure of that. Thanks so much for commenting. ~yvonne

  2. Go into your dashboard.
    Click on posts.
    Then this post will come up and click on quick edit.
    At the right hand side is an option to enable comments. Unclick that. WordPress is using silly boxes instead of ticks now for some bizarre reason, but it is the same. You want that funny blue box to disappear, it is the equivalent of a tick.

    • Thanks Ms Gib. I appreciate the information. I had found the “place” in the past but for the life of me I could not last evening. I’ve decided that I will turn this blog to just info. I’m not up to worrying about comments and how I’ll reply to those comments. I’m still on the mend and getting a bit stronger with a new cardio MD and a med change. But it’s uphill all the way. :-)

      • That’s a shame Yvonne, I always look forward to your posts and enjoy the comments and responses on here.

        I turned off the comments on my last post because I have other things to do, and it seems silly to say, ‘i’m not around on here’ and then have to reply to a load of comments.

        But at least it lets people know I am taking a break for whatever reason. Otherwise I get people asking me when I’m posting. Mind you, someone asked me that on the previous post :D

        I send you my very best wishes that your health improves, that’s far more important than blogging. Take care, and hope all your lovely animals are well.

        • Thank you.It’s kind of you to say you look forwrd to my posts. I have a rather severe case of inferiority and know well that I “can not run with the big boys” in blogland. That is one factor plus my health and time for wanting to turn off the comments. That way there are no expectations of the tit for tat thing when following someone’s blog.

          I do enjoy the comments very much and I feel honored for you to say that you too like to read the comments. The interaction here with the readers is the best part of this blog.

          Your blog is in a different league than mine and classy compared to my attempts. I can well understand someone asking for your next post. I envy your writing ability very much.

          Thank you for the good wishes for my health and mention of the animals.

  3. Office Diva says:

    Well, dang! Now I can’t order a purple bunny for myself next Easter? Surely no raptor birds would bother with a purple bunny; they would think it was a plush toy.

    Yvonne, you constantly amaze with your deep and abiding respect and thoughtfulness for animals. I wonder, did you ever want to be a veterinarian? I think you would have made an excellent one. Or dog whisperer. :O)

    Very good post!!

    • Thank you but no I never considered being a vet. Don’t have the brains and I know my limitations. Nursing was as complicated as I could stand. I did encourage Lisa though. She wanted to be a vet at three years old. Hard to fathom a three year old that could think that far ahead. “Mama, all I ever wanted to be was a veterinarian. That is all that I know how to do and now look at me. I feel hopeless”

      Words escape me. I am sure that all she has been through has put me over the edge. It is hard not to think about the arthritis which is a curse from hell for her.

      That post was Lisa’s idea and I titled it and wrote with most of the info that Lisa gave me.I added my spin to make it a story of sorts.I worte that when I was writing the blog for her web site. I think her site might still be up. I need to look.

  4. Andrew says:

    A good, timely post. When we were kids we had no cats or dogs but we did have some oddities – gerbils, hamsters, tortoises etc. And then one day we acquired a rabbit. Her name was Penny. Dad built the hutch and the deal was the kids would look after her. Of course we were too busy playing soccer or rugby etc (and homework now and again) so dad ended up doing all the work. And we discovered you can’t really take a rabbit out on a lead. But this story had a happy ending. Penny moved to a children’s home run by friends of the family, along with a lot of toys and books. She was loved and spoiled by the kids there. But acquiring pets on impulse or though kiddie pressure is not always the best way to do it! Oh! And the tortoise “ran away”. Went out grazing in the back yard one day and disappeared. Never seen again :-(

    • I enjoyed reading your comment about the pets during your growing years. The rabbit was very lucky to get such a good placement. The problem with gerbils and hamsters is that they are short lived. The little rodents are so cute. I never had one and my children didn’t need one since we had a mini-mini farm on this one acre. They had to help me with care and did a pretty good job when I did not supervise them. Mostly I made sure that all the animals received proper food and water. We had chickens and all of then died of old age. Lisa still loves chickens and wishes that she could have some.

      Hope all is well with LuLu. Poor little thing. I feel sorry for her. Her fur was her crowing glory.

  5. TexWisGirl says:

    i do not like this practice, either.

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