Ducklings & Baby Chicks are NOT Easter Toys! Take Action!

Ducklings Are Not Easter Toys!

Tell People the Cruel Truth & Protest Tractor Supply

Each year, parents and others buy ducklings, baby chicks, rabbits, and goslings on impulse for Easter. Most of these animals are discarded once the charm of “oh, how cute” wears off. Often they are purchased as gifts for friends who never asked for them. Most people have no idea how to care for these fragile creatures, and few if any buyers spend money on veterinary care. Millions are dumped in the woods or near water, where they will not survive. Many are already sick, lame, malnourished, and dehydrated by the time they reach the store.

Bill Crain, cofounder of Safe Haven Farm Sanctuary in New York, writes this year:

March is coming and stores will be selling ducklings. Last spring, our farm sanctuary received an average of two or three calls a day from people who purchased ducklings but discovered they require more care than anticipated. We tried to tell them that people need to demonstrate responsibility for the animals they adopt. On occasion, the caller listened, but most did not listen.

When we told one man that his continued care for his ducklings, despite the trouble, would be a good model for his children, he changed his mind and said he would keep them. But the overwhelming majority of callers say it’s too difficult.

Most of the ducklings are white Pekin ducks. The largest single seller in our area is Tractor Supply. Other feed stores sell them, too. People also order them online.

Some people just dump the unwanted ducks in parks or along roadsides. We get calls from people who see them wandering about, desperately trying to survive.

The problem extends beyond ducks and includes chickens. Tractor Supply and other commercial enterprises sell many chicks in batches that usually include roosters most people cannot keep. But last spring, ducks were the largest species in our area that people didn’t want. The problem was much greater than in previous years. It was a crisis, and I fear it will continue to be one. – Bill Crain, February 2021

See “What Can I Can Do?” at end of next article.