Do Dyed Chicks Make Good Pets for Kids at Easter?
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Do Dyed Chicks Make Good Pets for Kids at Easter?

Every Easter some stores sell dyed chicks and ducklings as kids pets, this is generally frowned upon as being cruel and there may be health risks for the children. Learn why buying chicks for Easter pets is not a good idea. Learn what to do if somebody gives your child a pet chick for Easter.

Every Easter some well meaning parents buy a couple of chicks as cute Easter pets for their children. There are several problems with doing this, one of which is: “What happens to the chick after Easter?”.

In some areas chicks are dyed while still in the shell, colored bright yellow, purple, green, blue and pink. Of course their natural color is yellow. The bright colors make them quite appealing to children, but even the natural color chicks (and ducklings too) are sold.

In some cases there are concerns to how safe the dye is for the chicks, but it often does not matter, most do not receive proper care after purchase and perish in a few days.

When the chicks are sold they are often sold with a small back of chick starter. The problem is that chicks require more than chick starter. They need a proper enclosure, usually with a heating lamp, bedding, and proper waterer that will keep the chick dry. If chicks fall into a water bowl they can get very ill.

Of course chicks do not stay chicks for long, and not everyone lives where keeping pet chickens is allowed, so sadly these cute little creatures are no longer “pets”, and people want to get rid of them.

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There have been concerns in regards to children getting salmonella from the chicks. The Centers for Disease Control recommend against letting children under 5 years of age handle chicks, or if they do they should wash immediately afterwards. As well parents should note that even the gentlest of child can easily hurt a chick by squeezing too tight, grabbing too quick, or by accidentally dropping it.

Easter chicks, and ducklings, are not toys, they are living, breathing, animals and deserve to be treated with the same consideration that a person would give a new puppy or kitten.

If you are a parent and somebody has given your child a pet chick for Easter, and you are not in a position to care for it, rather than letting it die, or releasing it into the wild (it would not survive), ask it if it can be returned to the place of purchase. Some places that sell chicks do accept them back (money is not refunded, you can consider it a “rental”) and the chicks are resold to local farmers.  If worse comes to worse the unwanted chicks may be surrendered to your local animal shelter.

Instead of giving your child a live chick for Easter, consider a chocolate one, or stuffed toy. The same applies to Easter bunnies too, these are not pets to get on a whim, they are lifetime commitments.

Note this does not imply that chickens, or ducks, do not make good pets.  Both can be great pets for people who are properly prepared for them.

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