Bunnies and Chickens: NOT Gifts, Toys or “Practise” Pets

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No matter how the connection with Easter originated, rabbits and chicks have not benefited from the association. The Easter holiday seems to bring out the bunny and chick lovers in people who think these animals are perfect “starter pets” to teach children responsibility. And So, Easter sadly sees a rise in people gifting rabbits or chicks to children without considering the long-term responsibilities needed to keep them happy and healthy. 

Below, we explain some of the challenges that can come along with owning these types of farmyard pets to assist prospective families with their decision to adopt a rabbit or chicken.


Rabbits are cute and cuddly but they are a prey species, and as such, do not enjoy being picked up and held.

Bites and scratches are therefore highly likely!

Their fragile digestive systems could result in many expensive trips to the Vet and they also have a knack for destruction and your home and garden will bear the consequences of a rabbit that is bored or frustrated!

•They need regular veterinary care to keep their health in check

If you have a rabbit that you no longer wish to keep, please do not release them into the wild,  they will not survive!

Rather, contact our Inspectorate by calling (021) 700-4158/9 or 083 326 1604 (after hours)

And remember animal abandonment is a criminal offence in terms of the Animals Protection Act No.71 of 1962 punishable with a fine of R40 000 or a prison term of up to 12 months.


Chicks can be quite messy.

They are extremely fragile and can die from over handling or being dropped, especially in the first few days before a child’s excitement wanes.

Many people who buy adorable Easter chicks have no capacity or intention of caring for adult fowl. 

Plus, at hatch, male and female chicks are the same weight, and neither males nor females show any distinguishing secondary sexual characteristics.

The most accurate way to sex chicks is to watch them grow, this means you could well end up with a Rooster and as fun as it can be to have a Rooster “Alarm clock,” it may well become an annoyance to you and your neighbours.

Permitting requirements for keeping a Rooster in a residential area may also prevent you from doing so, even if you want to!

Like bunnies, unwanted chickens and Roosters are often handed over to shelters or worse – abandoned outdoors where they have no experience foraging or avoiding predators.

Pumpkin the Rescued Rabbit

If you are looking to adopt a rescue rabbit, chicken or rooster,
please email hcuadmin@spca-ct.co.za or call 0217004173

Donate towards our Farmyard NOW !

Only at Easter are eggs chocolate and delivered by a bunny!

If you’d like to support the real ones, please consider a donation towards our Farmyard this Easter and please, don’t support the live trade of animals this Easter!

Our farmyard sees many abandoned and neglected rabbits every year.

They love the company of other rabbits
They love the company of other rabbits

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Thank you for everything you do to help make this a better world for all animals.


Keep our Field Officers on the road to help eradicate ignorance which is a top cause of cruelty to animals.

Your continued dedication, ongoing support and passion for preventing cruelty to animals is what makes us successful.

Contact Our Inspectorate

The SPCA is the only organisation that offers a 24-hour Inspectorate service.

Contact our Inspectorate by calling us on
(021) 700-4158/9
083 326 1604 (after hours)

Articles: Education for All

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