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Tag Archive | "bunnies"

Spring brings baby wildlife and a reminder to let them be


It’s common to see baby animals like this in the woods, seemingly alone. Don’t worry, the mother is almost certainly nearby, waiting to come back when it’s safe. Learn more about what do when you come across baby animals or injured wildlife, at Michigan.gov/Wildlife.

Baby bunnies are nestled in their nests, fawns will soon find their way through the forest, and songbird and waterfowl nests are popping up all over.

A rabbit’s nest. 

Remember that it’s not unusual to come across baby wildlife in springtime. Many wild mothers leave babies unattended and hidden to protect them from predators, but almost always are nearby and return periodically to care for their young when they feel it’s safe. Even most young birds found on the ground are under the watchful eyes of parents.

“The best thing you can do to help young wildlife is to simply leave them alone,” said Hannah Schauer, DNR wildlife communications coordinator. “Many wildlife, such as deer and rabbits, will leave young unattended as a survival strategy. Even though it may appear that a rabbit’s nest or a fawn is 

Your best decision is to leave a young animal in the wild where the mother can care for it and teach it how to survive.

On the rare occasion you come across an animal that is injured or truly abandoned, keep in mind that, in Michigan, it’s illegal to keep the animal unless you’re a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. Under the current “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive order, some wildlife rehabilitators may have had to suspend services; call ahead to see whether they are able to assist at this time.

Additional information on what to do if you find a baby animal is available at Michigan.gov/Wildlife.

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This Easter, give toy bunnies, not live ones 


N-Give-toys-not-bunnies

From the Kent County Health Dept.

Baby bunnies and chicks grow up to be rabbits and chickens. Before you decide live Easter pets would be a cute gift for your kids, be sure you do plenty of homework. Adults should consider the life cycle, as well as health and safety issues, of giving bunnies or chicks to children for Easter. The Kent County Health Department recommends giving children toy stuffed animals instead.

“Those who adopt these pets should be aware of the responsibilities and the health-related concerns that come with these pets—both human and animal health concerns,” according to Adam London, Administrative Health Officer for the Kent County Health Department. “Municipalities may have restrictions on adult

chickens. Be sure you know what the legal or neighborhood association requirements are before you buy chicks.”

Every year, the Kent County Animal Shelter receives dozens of unwanted rabbits from people who can’t care for them. The shelter no longer takes in unwanted or stray chicks or chickens.

Raising chicks and other poultry is popular and can be safe, but in recent years, there has been an increase in Salmonella outbreaks in humans. Salmonella is common in baby poultry and spreads from contact with the birds or their environments. Birds with Salmonella may appear healthy, but in humans, the bacteria can cause diarrhea, stomach cramping, fever, and dehydration. Illness can last for up to a week and can be serious in young children, older adults, or those with weakened immune systems.

Children under the age of five should have adult supervision when handling chicks or chickens. Be sure to wash your hands and your child’s hands thoroughly after handling chicks or chickens. Don’t let children snuggle or kiss chicks. And never allow chicks or chickens into bathrooms, kitchens, or areas where food is

prepared, stored, or eaten. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more information at http://www.cdc.gov/features/salmonellababybirds/.

Rabbits can live seven to ten years. Pet rabbits have specific health needs, special diets, and must live indoors. While they can be very social with the right care and supervision, they don’t like to be held or cuddled. Releasing a house-raised rabbit into the wild leaves the animal vulnerable to predators.

If giving or receiving plants for the holiday, make sure they stay out of the reach of any pets. Some items, such as lilies and daisies, can be toxic to pets. For a complete list, check out: www.aspca.org/Pet-care/poison-control/Plants.

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Bunnies, chicks grow into rabbits and chickens


Think twice about giving them to children for Easter

Spring is approaching, and many parents are shopping for Easter gifts for their little ones.  Some will shop for baby bunnies and little chicks to give as gifts. There are several responsibilities that come with these animals, as they will grow into adults. Rabbits can live 7 to 10 years, while chickens can live into their teens.  The Kent County Health Department encourages adults to consider the longevity, as well as health and safety issues, if giving bunnies or chicks to children for Easter.

“After the Easter holiday is over, the Kent County Animal Shelter receives dozens of unwanted domesticated rabbits and several chickens,” according to Adam London, acting Health Officer for the Kent County Health Department. “Adults need to recognize that adopting or buying these cute little pets typically means a long-term commitment.” Pet rabbits have specific dietary needs and must live indoors.  They can learn to be very social pets with routine handling and care.

Raising chicks and other poultry has become popular, but it has also led to an increase in Salmonella outbreaks in humans. Last year, there were eight outbreaks connected to live poultry in the U.S.  Salmonella is common in baby poultry, and spreads from contact with the birds or their environments. Birds with Salmonella may appear healthy, but in humans, the bacteria can cause diarrhea, stomach cramping, fever and dehydration. Illness can last for up to a week, and can be serious in young children, older adults or those with weakened immune systems.

“If you handle a chick, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly when finished,” London says. “Don’t let children under the age of five handle chicks, or let kids snuggle or kiss chicks.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more information:

http://www.cdc.gov/media/dpk/2013/dpk-live-poultry-salmonella.html.

The Kent County Health Department suggests giving children toy stuffed animals this Easter.  Also, if giving or receiving plants for the holiday, make sure they stay out of the reach of any pets.  Some items, such as lilies, can be toxic to pets.

For a list, check out:  http://www.aspca.org/Pet-care/poison-control/Plants.

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