Solutions to the Baby Chicks and Bunnies Dilemma
While out picking up items for my veggie and herb garden over the weekend, there was a sign on the barrier surrounding tubs of live baby chickens. It stated that the chicks were for agricultural use only. None would be sold as pets.
The labeling of baby chick displays is necessary this time of year. Well-intentioned parents who aspire to bring joy to their children on Easter morning are responsible for the abandonment of too many baby bunnies, chicks and ducklings every year. There are lots of media sites that warn, beg and otherwise try to sway parents into not purchasing live baby animals for young children as they describe the aftermath animal shelters filled with traumatized, fluffy baby animals.
Rather than jump on the scare-tactics bandwagon, I prefer to offer solutions. There are other ways to bring joy to children on Easter morning without sacrificing the wellbeing of an innocent bunny or fowl.
Visit a local farm or zoo during Easter break. I call this the grandparent solution. Children can visit grandparents for the day, but then they leave and go home again. Grandparents love this. They can enjoy their grandchildren, and vise-versa, without any of the responsibility or commitment. Not only does this work for grandparents, but it also works with baby chicks and bunnies and other animals kids love. After a wonderfully exhausting day gazing at and, in some cases, feeding or petting baby goats, sheep, chickens, bunnies and more, the animals can return to their farm or zoo life and the children can return home. Everyone is happy. Here are a few suggestions for area animal visits:
If allergies or the natural smells of farm life deter you, the stores are filled with toy chicks and bunnies. The artificial solution requires only a gentle wash cycle now and again until big brother or sister accidentally rips an ear or beak off the plush animal. When that does happen, at least the ear or beak can be mended. And when the child tires of the toy, it can be donated or handed down to a younger sibling.
Of course, the chocolate solution works well, too. For my boys, the rule is that only chocolate bunnies and chicks are purchased for Easter. And if they lose interest in their Easter animals, I am right there to pick up the pieces and devour them.