POSTED: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - 5:49pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - 4:09pm
TYLER — Easter is only a few weeks away, and every year bunnies and chicks are a popular holiday gift.
But experts say make sure you know what you're getting into before you buy.
NET Animal Control says they often end up in their hands after that "cute and cuddly factor" wears off and reality sets in.
"The chicks, unless you're out in the county and you have a chicken coop, I would advise against it," said Mary Fowler of NET Health Animal Control. "They are cute as babies, but there is a lot of maintenance to them."
Fowler says if you realize you don't want the responsibility of a chick, call Animal Control ... just don't turn them loose.
Coyotes and Chicken Hawks will pick them up in no time.
What about your own Easter bunny?
Employees at Petland in Tyler say bunny rabbit sales go up around Easter time.
They make sure customers know the care involved before they commit.
"They're not something you can just take home for Easter and put in a cage and then ignore," said Kim Matthews of Petland.
Matthews says unlike what some people think, bunnies aren't rodents and require a lot more work.
"They need about four hours of attention a day minimum," Matthews said. "They actually can get sad whenever they don't get enough attention from people."
Bunnies need a bath every month or two, and long-haired rabbits should be brushed two to three times a day, Matthews said.
But Matthews and Fowler say if you're ready, bunnies can make nice pets.
"Kids and rabbits go good together as long as you have a hutch and a place to keep them," Fowler said.
"They'll be more of a long-term friend for your child or even an adult," Matthews said.