Easter is a happy holiday to celebrate with your family. It’s also the time baby chicks, ducklings and bunnies are born. These animals are precious to look at and adorable to hold, and many people rush out and purchase or adopt these cute creatures, thinking that they’ll make great pets. Unfortunately, these little animals don’t stay little forever, and many new pet owners are disappointed when their tiny bundles grow up into big, often-messy, time-consuming burdens. So if you are considering getting a bunny, chick or duckling this Easter, think twice. You may want to stick with the chocolate versions of these animals and appreciate them instead by learning these fun facts.
Baby chicks and ducklings each have an egg tooth — a small protuberance at the tip of the upper beak — to
help them break out of their eggshells at hatching, since their beaks and claws
aren’t developed enough to penetrate the shell. This egg tooth falls off a few
days after hatching.
bunnies nurse from their mothers only once a day for about five minutes for about
three to four weeks. They start to eat small amounts of solid food after about
one to two weeks of age.
ducklings (and geese and turkeys) undergo the phenomenon of imprinting, in
which they form a bond with their mother (or anyone they see as their mother,
including humans) instantly after hatching when they start to walk. Studies
suggest that this imprinting period lasts about 24 to 48 hours after
may live as long as eight to 12 years (with some reported to live as long as 20 years!)
but are able to lay eggs for only five to seven years.
should be kept warm and dry for the first three to four weeks of life until they have
feathers. Ironically, they shouldn’t be placed in water, or they can drown. This is because ducks and other waterfowl have
a preen gland at the base of their tails that spreads waterproofing oil over
their feathers. Ducklings, however, aren’t born with a functioning preen gland
and depend on the mother duck to spread oil from her gland onto their feathers.
Ducklings without a mother will not have this waterproofing and will be unable
to swim safely, even in a shallow dish of water, for anywhere from four to 12
teeth grow continuously throughout life. They should be given wooden toys and blocks to
chew on to help wear their teeth down. If they don’t properly wear down their
teeth, they can develop dental problems.
don’t see well at night, as their retinas lack a structure called a tapetum,
which in other animals’ eyes amplifies light that enters the eye.