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Easter Pets

April 19, 2019
By Jane Whitmore , Emmetsburg News

Visiting with an area farmer recently, he related having chickens on the farm. His children routinely collect the eggs and they have enough to share with family and friends.

I shared that my niece and her family also have chickens. They collect enough eggs to sell at a roadside market.

Then my mind shifted to having chickens of my own in my youth - at Easter time. The farmer looked at me most curiously when I said, "We used to go to the hatchery in West Bend and purchase colored chicks at Easter time."

It's true - we saved our allowance and purchased pastel blue, pink, purple and green baby chickies. We carried them home in a little box. The box then required water and food for the baby chicks, and shredded newspaper for them to make a nest for sleeping.

We took such good care of the baby chicks and when they were old enough they could go outdoors. When they outgrew their color and became chickens, they went to the farm to live. We also had a pair of ducks that we took to the farm. Of course we could go and visit if we wanted to.

We had a rooster we called Big Milt who matured and lived in the back yard. He claimed a perch in the willow tree and we could hear him crow a block away from home.

Inevitably, some of our colored chicks would die before they could grow very big. We really tried to keep them alive, but they were totally out of their environment, living in a cardboard box. When they died, we would cry and have a funeral in the back yard.

In today's world, Easter "pets" are probably frowned upon by animal advocates. When in doubt, Google it! Dyed baby chicks are still available in some locations. The pictures showed vibrant purple, green, blue, orange and pink chicks. There was even a "how to" guide to dying chicks.

The Humane Society reports an increase in chicks, ducklings and bunnies being dropped off after Easter. One rancher will accept the baby chicks back at his place of business after the chicks mature, the color is gone, and the "newness" has worn off.

Stories about Easter "pets" are "interesting" at best.

One more -- Another Easter pet was a big white rabbit. Sylvia Tinkerbell Lilly lived in the back yard, too. I'm not sure if each of us chose a name for the rabbit for it to have three names. If that was the case, I probablly chose Tinkerbell.

 
 
 

 

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