Every year right before Easter pet stores, farm stores and other places that sell live animals stock their shelves with cute small animals. People buy them because they are "so cute and small." Yes, chicks, baby ducks and other small poultry are cute. So are baby rabbits, goats and lambs. They give these "pets" to their kids for Easter and within a few days many die - from neglect, starvation or abuse. Many that survive past the first weeks are taken to parks or other public places and released. Some are even less fortunate and just put outside to fend for themselves. This is cruel - and it does not teach your child anything except that there is no need to worry about animal welfare. It sends a loud and clear message that life - human or animal - doesn't matter so you can do as you please. This is not a lesson children should be learning!
Not everyone who makes the decision to bring home poultry or rabbits for Easter treats them this way - some get them for themselves or their children - and do take care of them. Many people take the time to teach their children how to care for their new pets and take it one step further by making sure their children do take care of their pets long term. Some of these animals live long, healthy, happy lives. Adults who understand that these animals need care - and that they are the one who is ultimately responsible to give these animals that care - do exist. I applaud them. Below are some things to consider before getting a cute small animal plus links to products I recommend from companies that I have an affiliate relationship with. I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.
Why You Should Not Get Your Child An Easter Pet
Children - even some in their teens - often lack responsibly. Only you know your child well enough to know if they are responsible enough to care for a pet. Even if they are - you as the adult still need to take the responsibility to see that the pet you bring home is cared for. Kids forget. They get distracted. It happens - and sometimes it is very unintentional. This is why you should not get your child an Easter Pet unless you are going to make sure that pet is cared for. Now I am not saying to not teach your child responsibility by making them care for it, I am saying make sure that animal has proper shelter, food, water, vet care and any other necessity it needs - and see to this yourself. Do not rely on your child - no matter how responsible they are - to completely care for an animal on their own without your help.
Consider where you live. Rabbits are easy to keep in cages indoors but do need to be exercised and cared for. Poultry do not belong indoors - although some people do keep theirs in diapers inside. Many laws prohibit having poultry within the city limits. Find this out ahead of time. Nothing is more heart breaking then truly loving your chicken, duck or other poultry and having to get rid of it quick because you can't legally keep it where you live.
Children - especially young ones - hold these baby animals too tightly and hurt them. Not all children, but some. I have even seen young children throw them when they got tired of playing with them. Animals are not toys - nor should they be a replacement for toys. Would you allow your child to treat a baby in the same manner they treat an animal?
Of course there are some positive reasons to get your child an Easter pet. First, if you live on a farm your child is likely already accustomed to being around these types of animals so using it as a way to teach your child to care for their own pet - again as long as you oversee the care - often turns out well.
Possibly you want the animals for yourself or your farm and are prepared to properly care for them. Buying those "cute baby animals" at Easter time can be rewarding and a great family experience but please do not buy them on impulse. Think it through. Consider if you have the time and resources to care for them - not only as babies but as adult animals.
Please do not buy them and think you will find a local farmer to pawn them off on after a few weeks. Honestly, sometimes it is great to get those unwanted animals dropped off - and sometimes it is a real burden because even farmers are not always prepared to feed another mouth or care for another animal.
Do you have questions? I invite you to leave your comments below.
I highly recommend the following articles:
- Raise Happy, Healthy Backyard Chickens With Purina® Organic Poultry Feed
- Homestead Chicken Coop Tips
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