It's Easter time which means we are getting closer to seeing those wonderfully colored eggs and chocolate bunnies but also chickens? It is very common for Easter to be associated with chickens because rabbits obviously don't lay eggs. Well this Easter the chicks (baby chickens) have already hit farm stores and are going to homes, but are they good homes?
It is advised to think before purchasing chicks as to whether they will have a big enough area to call their own once they are older. Chick's do require a lot space when learning to forage for themselves as they grow and hunt for insects so it's best to have a big space with some plant coverage.
Another thing to consider is where the chicks came from. Did those chicks come from some sketchy alleyway farm or did they come from a source that is NPIP certified. That means that the chicks come from a source that tests their birds voluntarily for certain diseases that could severely impact the flock of birds, no matter their age. Some hatcheries do offer to have their chicks vaccinated when ordering them which is increases the price but in the end is worth it when they make it to adulthood.
The big question that should be asked is if you get chicks as a gift for Easter will they be going to a child? Poultry do have the possibility to carry some diseases, such as salmonella, that could cause some severe sickness in those infected. The United States Department of Agriculture recently released a mini game, Flock Defender, which helps those wanting to get chicks realize if they are ready for the task by testing their knowledge.
The game is simple, you answer questions and advance on the board while testing your knowledge. There is also a second version, Flock Defender 2, which allows those to further test their knowledge. Before you head on over to a farm supply store to look at possible Easter chicks as gifts just take a second to think if you need those birds or if Peeps would work instead.