Every year for Easter, chicks and bunnies aplenty can be found for sale in various places. Oftentimes these animals are dyed in pastel colors and marketed almost like toys would be to create a desirous and cute impulse buy. In the end, they are frequently treated like old toys and discarded, or cared for improperly and forced to suffer with preventable illnesses or even death.
The best case scenario these animals face still is not without issue. If they are lucky, someone will swoop in and they will end up re-homed in a place that will turn their little lives around. While this is as good as it gets, it does not always get that good. When a surplus of animals is created, there is not always someone to come around and pick up the slack. Those that find homes are fortunate, but many others wind up in shelters hoping for a home while plenty still meet much more unpleasant fates.
Having taken notice of the Easter chick problem, a farm in Johns Island, South Carolina, has a vision that aims to change, or at least improve, the lives of Easter chicks. Legare Farms has seemingly recognized that not all children (and parents) have the attention span necessary to care for a chick as it grows once the fun wears off. To prevent unwanted chicks from dying or being abandoned, they have created the Rent-a-Chick program.
The goal of this program is to seemingly allow families to scratch the chick itch without the long term commitment of owning and caring for a hen or rooster for years to come. For $25.00, a pair of chicks (that are not dyed) can be rented for two weeks. At the end of the two week period, chicks are returned and get to rejoin the flock at the farm. Upon return, program participants are given a certificate for a dozen eggs, which they may pick up in the fall when their rental chicks have matured and began laying eggs.
While it may come as a surprise that such programs as rental chickens are popping up, maybe they truly are a good alternative to people selling gimmick chicks without regard for where they will ultimately end up. If chick rentals can save lives on the back end, the program in my eyes is a success.
The fewer pink chicks that are abandoned and die tragically, the better, and if it takes a rental program to make such a reality come to be, then rental chicks it is!