What’s more adorable than the sight of recently hatched chicks roaming in a pen or outdoor area for the kids to play with on Easter morning?

Or for that matter, a live bunny rabbit.

However, sometimes folks fail to realize that what looks cute one day becomes a responsibility the rest of the time.

And that’s why animal rescue organizations have issued a warning against buying rabbits and chicks as Easter pets – as they easily become abandoned, and eventually left to die.

Nancy Beall, president of the Atlantic County SPCA — mentions that while animal cruelty awareness has become move prevalent in recent years and stricter animal abuse laws have been put in place, the trend of people buying bunnies and baby chicks as Easter presents is still very much in play.

New Jersey state law prohibits people from abandoning a domesticated animal or selling, offering for sale, bartering, giving away or displaying live baby chicks, ducklings and rabbits that have been dyed or artificially colored, which had become a common trend in recent years.

You cannot sell, offer for sale or give away living rabbits, baby chicks and ducklings under 2 months of age for use as household or domestic pets is also illegal.

According to this from the Press of Atlantic City:

“People forget that those little fluff balls turn into full-grown hens or roosters, which are even harder to adopt out since they don’t produce eggs, Beall said.


Beall sums it up by stressing the importance of knowing that if you're buying a pet, be ready for the full commitment of taking care of it for the rest of it's life, otherwise, “or don’t go buying these poor little things. Buy a chocolate bunny, or better yet, buy a stuffed bunny — it’s less calories, and they’ll stay cute and small forever.”

Unless I had made sure to have the proper enclosure to care for either the chicks when they eventually were to mature, or a rabbit; and made sure to study the proper procedure in the caring for the animals – no amount of coaxing from the kids would get me to buy them.

I remember my uncle had bought my cousins some chicks one Easter.

They were kept in a small enclosure in a back room in the house until they’d grown enough to be placed in a pen in the back yard.

Some time later – I forget how long it was – one of the chicks, which we later found out was male – used to crow with the approaching day.

Not too much appreciated in my old neighborhood.

So my uncle took matters into his hands and served the poor animal as dinner one night.

Needless to say, my cousins had sworn off chicken for a good while.

If you’re making the commitment to buy live rabbits and chicks for your kids this Easter – realize, much like any other house pet that it’s a commitment and not just a one day thing.