PICKENS COUNTY — Baby chickens and ducks make for adorable Easter scenery, as their soft feathers and diminutive size make them a natural draw for inquisitive and loving children just looking for a new pet. But those little winged cuties will grow up into adult animals, which often make them impractical Easter treats for the average family.
When purchasing chicks or ducklings, many people may not realize just how quickly these animals grow. Pekin ducklings, one of the more popular species of duck available, can reach adult size between four and five weeks of age.
Chicks can transform from that small puffball of yellow or white feathers into an adult-sized bird in mere months. Some chicken breeds weigh four pounds between seven and nine weeks of age.
Many families find that once chicks and ducklings outgrow their initial nesting box they become impractical. They need suitable shelter as well as a space to enjoy the outdoors.
Animals are often abandoned if their needs become too much to handle.
The animal resource Vet Street also advises that ducks and chicks tend to be messy pets. They shed feathers constantly and can deposit waste all over. Ducks and chicks may also like to kick up bedding when nesting. The birds also may pass diseases to people through their fecal matter, which is why humans must wash their hands after contact.
Many people also think that chicks and ducks are perfect for little kids. But the animals can become stressed by rough handling and peck or scratch to avoid perceived danger.
Instead of live ducks and chicks this Easter, well-meaning parents or grandparents are better sticking with the chocolate varieties.