Bunnies and Chicks for Easter
There is a trailer around the corner from my subdivision that has had a sign up for a week or two now advertising baby bunnies and chicks for $1 for easter. I really really hate it and "cringe" everytime I see it. It should be illegal to be able to retail live animals for any reason, but this is driving me nuts. What do people do with the chicks and bunnies after the holiday!? Do they just let them into to woods thinking they will survive? They certainly don't keep them....or even eat them. It would be "great" if the local churches would tell their congregations "not" to purchase these living animals for the holiday. I don't believe they will..... >:(
At least the Atlanta Journal Constitution posted something about it today. I guess those selling the bunnies and chicks don't read the paper....I hope some of those buying (or about to buy) do....
I can't believe this is still going on...way back in the 60's it was made illegal where I grew up to have "seasonal" animal sales...I think because they were dying the bunnies and chicks in "easter" colours and not using animal-friendly dyes to do it. What price cupidity.
Strange that the rabbit is associated with Easter anyway...I never have figured that one out. I suppose it's just the cuddly factor, or what people *percieve* as a cuddly animal. The article's right, rabbits don't like to be cuddled.
Sidelight: there's a very good book called "The Private Life of the Rabbit" that reveals the true character, needs and lifestyle of these creatures. Many people are suprised to discover just how independent and downright fierce a buck rabbit can be! They will fight each other and draw blood, etc. Pretty far from the cotton-candy cartoon image some think of.
Davedrum - It depends on how big of a fuss you want to make in your own neighborhood (sometimes it's about picking your battles), but they likely don't have a seller's permit and if the land is zoned single family residence then raising and selling rabbits and chickens is probably another code violation.
Yabbitgirl – Here’s what I heard about the Easter, rabbits, and eggs.
Rabbits and Eggs: When birds migrated, they would settle down for the night in fields. They didn’t want the extra weight of an egg, so if they were carrying eggs, they would lay them in the field before they took off the next morning. When the Saxon people walked through the fields, they would see rabbits and these eggs. Not having a better explanation, they decided the eggs came from the rabbits.
History: Easter is a mix between Christian and Pagan themes. To make Christianity more attractive to the masses, Christian holidays were planned at the same time as Pagan holidays, so there was some transference of symbology. The name Easter, rabbits and eggs came from a Saxon spring equinox celebration.
I always thought the whole origins of easter (outside of aspects which have been christianized) were buried in celebrating the returning fertility of the earth with the spring time, and the rabbit was connected as a symbol of fertility. everyone know rabbits breed like, well... rabbits.
Yeah. That's what I heard, too.
There are a bunch of theories. The symbols for Ostara, the Norse spring goddess of spring and fertility, were rabbits and eggs. Some people think Ostara was a revamped version of Eostre (Easter), the Saxon goddess of spring and fertility. What I had heard was that way back in time, back when people thought mice came from straw because they were seen together, they also thought eggs came from rabbits because they were seen together.
Ahhh yes, the old "spontaneous generation" thing...like frogs come from mud. Well in a sense, some do, as they hibernate in the mud... 8)
To get sorta back on the topic of chicks for Easter. I was trying to find an article I read either in the Uvalde (probably not) or San Antonio newspaper over the weekend about how it should be a no-no. I googled and found this article instead:
It's funny and sad. It's almost enough to make me reconsider whether I want chickens as pets at our next house. I'm urging my DH for a place with at least two acres of land out in the country. (I want a real garden!) He says he knows how to look at the pin feathers and sex the birds and how also to neuter the roosters. He says males and females have different pin feathers. I am very skeptical.
I'm going to look at home for that article. I'm pretty sure it was in the hard copy of a newspaper we bought over the weekend. It's illegal for grocery stores and pet stores to sell chicks for Easter pets but the feed stores have them to sell (to be raised as livestock) and people go there to get their Easter pets. The article says don't do it, of course.
I was appalled when I walked through the mall by my house last year... this is a suburban mall mind you... there was a vendor with a cart full of baby chicks for sale. Kids could bring them home in little colourful cardboard houses. I just walked by, staring in shock.
Is selling Easter animals a regional thing?
I've lived in northern (pro-environment), central (anti-environment), and southern (blasé) California and I can't remember ever seeing live Easter chicks. I'm sure I'd remember if they were dyed.
My husband's family raised chickens while he was growing up and I just emailed him off this question, can you tell sex by pin feathers. I know they didn't like to have roosters but the fact that they ever had any made me think there wasn't really a way to tell early on. So he replied that he has never heard of that and thought there wasn't a way to tell but quick google resulted in this:
There is a way to tell, it doesn't involve feathers, and it's not for the novice. For what it's worth.
As for this being a regional thing... I don't think so... I think it's just not a very common thing any more, because of the problems it caused. My dad and aunts have told me of the dyed birds being sold when they were kids. I myself have only seen easter chicks and ducks for sale once. This was in McKeesport, PA, at a florist shop of all places.
Some people say it with flowers, some people say it with chickens, I guess.