Baby chicks not meant as Easter gifts

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — They are so cute and cuddly and adorable, but in about 22 weeks a baby chicken grows to about 2 feet tall and the experts say they should not go into the Easter basket.

Liz Henson at Henson Menagerie in Bolton only sells baby chicks in orders of six or more because the birds do better in a flock and it also eliminates the people who want to buy the chick for Easter, put it in a basket, and then forget about it.

“If you want a chicken, you have to get six or more because they are a flock animal and they are year-round work and not just a one day event. They are not like a cat or dog. They are not going to know to stay outside or come in when you call, they do their own thing.”

At the Central Connecticut Co-op in Manchester, you can find everything from poultry food to chicken coops on their shelves, but they won’t start selling baby chicks until after Easter because people who want to buy one for a basket just don’t understand the animal.

Samantha Levesque works at the co-op and says they try to educate all potential new owners before they buy.

“We even have a seminar ahead of time with a doctor from UConn to make sure people know what they’re getting into. He will answer any questions that are asked. We just want to make sure anybody who is getting chickens realizes the responsibility.”

New owners don’t realize the chickens grow fast and can weigh 5 to 10 pounds apiece in just a couple of months. Amanda Winchell, who also works at the co-op, says many times people just turn their chicks loose when they get too big, and they cannot survive in the wild.

It is not going to fit in your hand anymore, it is not going to fit in the basement. Or any small quarters, you actually have to put them outside eventually.”

The chicks are difficult to properly get rid of after you buy them. Most farms won’t take them back for a bio security reasons, and they usually do not survive when released into the wild.

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