KALISPELL – A popular children’s Easter gift is live baby chicks.
But Murdoch’s animal specialist Franchelle Mummert has some words of caution, “unless you’re in it for the long haul commitment, yeah baby chicks are not good as pets.”
Mummert told MTN News that it’s common at Easter for children to come into the store wanting a baby chick as a pet. But she says this is not a smart idea for several reasons.
“It takes a lot to raise a baby chick and they don’t stay little very long. You need water and feeders and heat lamps and electrolytes in their water,” Mummert explained.
“They can’t just go outside and you can’t just keep them in your bedroom and pet them all day long because then they’ll die,” she added.
After Easter, the novelty of the baby chicks wears off and many end up at animal shelters or abandoned.
If you ever find yourself in this position, Humane Society of Northwest Montana Director Lori Heatherington advises what never to do.
“The worst thing to do is to release that animal back out into the outdoors because they’re domesticated, they don’t have the survival skills outdoors and they become bate,” Heatherington said.
Mummert advises people to get a plush toy or find a friend that has baby chicks that you can see, but don’t have to purchase and take home.
If you do decide to buy and raise chickens you need to ensure you give them the proper care.
According to Purina Animal Nutrition, new chicks need a safe, clean, draft-free environment.
Heat lamps or a brooder stove are also needed to keep the baby chicks warm. The correct food must contain electrolytes and feeders and waterers are also needed.
Reporting by Maren Siu for MTN News