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Spring is here and the Easter holiday is around the corner, which means farm and feed stores everywhere have cute baby animals, such as bunnies and chicks, available for purchase. While you may be tempted to bring home a bunny or some chicks as a holiday gift for your children, West Virginia University Extension Service Agents Natasha Harris and Jesica Streets have shared a few considerations before making the investment.
“Spring is associated with new growth, new life and fresh starts. When you walk into a feed store in the spring, you are going to see all the fluffy baby bunnies and adorable peeps. It's hard to walk past and resist the urge to add them to your family.”
“Before taking the leap and purchasing small baby animals, like chicks or bunnies, you should consider if you have adequate space, shelter and time to care for them. Just like people, animals need taken care of daily. On average, a chicken can live five or more years and a rabbit can live up to nine years. Is your family able to make a long-term commitment to care for them and financially provide the necessities of shelter, water and food? Keep in mind, these animals also grow quickly, are messy, and once they mature, are not as cute and cuddly as they once were.” – Natasha Harris, Extension instructor and Upshur County agent, WVU Extension Service
“If you have already purchased a bunny or some chicks, that's OK. If you can commit to caring for them and are able to support them financially, you are on the right track. You can reach out to your local WVU Extension Service office for resources on how to care for your new additions. If you are on the fence and are second-guessing your decision, reach out to a local producer, your WVU Extension Service office or the place you purchased them from and try to find them a more fitting home.”
“Adding some baby chicks or rabbits to your home can teach your children how to be responsible and caring, and you could reap the benefit of some fresh eggs in the future. But, be sure to do your research before making an impulse decision and adding them to your home.” – Jesica Streets, Extension instructor and Tucker County agent, WVU Extension Service
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WVU Extension Service
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