Think twice before you buy that fuzzy bunny as a holiday gift

Think twice before you buy that fuzzy bunny as a holiday gift
All About Animals

POSTED: Saturday, April 7, 2012 - 1:30pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - 2:47pm

What's better than the Easter Bunny? A real-life rabbit, of course. Every year rabbits, chicks, even baby ducks are sold as Easter presents, but caring for them long-term can become a problem, if you're not prepared.

"We do have a tendency to sale more of them at Easter because of the Easter Bunny..." said Rahonda Moore, Critter Co. Owner.

Keeping them alive and healthy can be a bigger challenge than you think. Moore says bunnies can be great pets. However, like any other pet, they require a large, clean cage, plus, food and water.

"It has teeth so you want to make sure and have something for it to chew on so its teeth stay nice and filed down," said Moore.

Some good advice for parents planning to get an Easter pet this year: Expect to do most of the work.

"make sure its a pet they would want to take care of because the adult is ultimately the one who takes care of animals," said Moore.

Sold by the side of the road, and places like Paul's Farm and Garden Supply, baby chicks and ducks are also popular right now.

"You want to keep food and water out at all times," said Necole Mitcham, Paul's Farm & Garden Manager.

They're tiny, but they're not easy to take care of. They require a lot of TLC.

"They do have to have a heat lamp to get under to regulate their own temperature," said Mitcham.

Baby ducks need to be watched carefully for several weeks.

"They're babies they don't have real feathers - baby fuzz. So when they get wet they can cold and sick and die," said Mitcham.

A final tip, have a long-term plan.

"Most people think they'll get some chicks for egg purposes, which is fine, we do have females," said Mitcham.

Moore's son's bunny got them involved with four-h.

"So they can learn about care and how to feed it and how to house it and everything," said Moore.

The Center for Disease Control reports that chicks and baby duck's can carry bacteria like salmonella. Young children, pregnant women and the elderly are urged to keep away from them because they're more susceptible to infection.

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