What are you hoping the Easter bunny will bring to your house? If it's breathing, there's something you and the bunny should know first. Bunnies and chicks look so cute in Easter baskets, but what happens the day after Easter and the day after that?
Dr. Ron Warner is not just an Epidemiologist at the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, which means he studies how to control diseases, but he also happens to be a veterinarian. He says the first thing people tend to forget is it is almost impossible to house-train a bunny or a chicken. However, there are more serious reasons than that to keep these little treasures out of your household.
"The major risk that they present are Gastro Intestinal Diseases as a consequence of bacterial contamination either on the animal or in the environment where the animal resides and many children may not wash their hands appropriately and consequently can transfer the bacteria to their mouth and their GI track," said Dr. Ron Warner.
He adds that Salmonella poisoning is the most common offender. If you must buy one of these critters, he says at least ask the store several important questions. First, is the animal coming from an approved hatchery? Ask if any of the animals in the group have been ill and ask if there is a place in the store where kids can wash their hands before and after handling the animals, which he says should become routine practice if you end up buying one.
Another important question some people forget to ask themselves, where are we going to keep this chicken or bunny after the holiday? And don't forget that chickens grow up fast so buy a baby chick for Easter and you'll have an big chicken by Memorial Day.