Make Mine Chocolate – Don’t Buy Rabbits for Easter (recipe for DIY Peeps)
I maybe a little late with this, and some of you may have already done this but if I can catch you before you make a mad dash to buy that precious bunny for your precious children that you take time to read this. My good friend from BUNNYSREVIEW.COM is bunny owner and member of the HRS. She has a few of these gorgeous creatures and has told me a lot about how adorable they are but also how much attention and care taking they require. You cannot just lock them in a cage on the back-porch like we see Opie have on old re-runs of the Andy Griffith show when we watch Nick at Night.
For example they are indoor animals who eat your cords, require romaine lettuce (they don’t much like Iceberg) and other fresh veggies. Below is some more info including just SOME Of the care requirements. Let’s face it, we may say “You must be the one to water and feed this pet! He/She will be your responsibility!” But in the end who takes care of the pets? We parents do! Do you have the time to invest? Are you willing to rabbit proof your house and resolve to the fact that those shows/chairs/electrical cords/furniture/BOOKS will be chewed! SO instead, Make yours a chocolate one, or better yet, make a bunch of DIY bunny peeps~ (shameless recipe plug).
RABBIT RESCUE ORGANIZATION WARNS PARENTS AGAINST IMPULSE PURCHASE OF RABBITS FOR EASTER
House Rabbit Society (HRS) strongly urges parents not to buy their children live “Easter bunnies” unless they are willing to make a 10-year commitment to properly care for the animals. Each year, thousands of baby rabbits, chicks, and ducks are purchased as Easter gifts only to be abandoned or left at shelters in the days, weeks and months that follow Easter.
“Make Mine Chocolate” campaign created by the Columbus, Ohio, chapter of HRS. “Rabbits are not ‘low maintenance’ pets,” says DeMello; they require at least the same amount of work as a cat or dog, and often more. Chocolate rabbits are a great alternative; kids can enjoy them for 10 minutes, and they won’t have to take care of them for the next 10 years.”
Mary Cotter, vice-president of HRS, says that many of the rabbits purchased as Easter pets will never live to see their first birthday. Some will die from neglect, while others will be abandoned in local parks or left at animal shelters. “It is irresponsible for pet stores to push rabbits and other so-called Easter animals during the holiday,” says Cotter. “Unless parents are willing to take full responsibility for the possible 10-year lifepan of a live rabbit, they should buy their children chocolate rabbits instead.”
Most children want a companion they can hold, carry and cuddle, but rabbits are fragile, ground-loving creatures who break easily when dropped. Additionally, rabbits are easily frightened by loud noises. It is unreasonable to expect a small child to make a 10-year commitment to taking care of a rabbit. All too often, the child loses interest, and the rabbit ends up neglected or abandoned.
Does this mean no families with children should never have pet rabbits? “Not at all!” says DeMello. “But what it does mean is that parents must be actively involved on a daily basis, and willing to supervise any interactions between rabbits and children. Otherwise, chocolate is the way to go!”
For families willing to make the long-term commitment , here are a few points to consider before acquiring a rabbit:
Housing: Bunnies need a roomy indoor cage that is approximately four times the size of the adult rabbit. The cage should not have a wire bottom, as the wire can cause sores on the rabbit’s feet. There should be room for a litterbox, toys, food and water bowls.
Playtime: Rabbits need plenty of exercise and should be allowed at least 30 hours out-of-cage running time in a rabbit-proofed area of the home per week.
Outdoors: Rabbits should never be left outdoors unsupervised. They can , literally, be frightened to death when approached by predators such as dogs, cats, raccoons and owls. They can also dig under fences to escape.
Litter Box: Rabbits, once spayed or neutered, will readily use litterboxes that are place in one corner of the rabbit’s cage; the rabbit’s running space should contain at least one additional box. Use dust-free litter–not the clumping kind, and no softwood shavings.
Diet: Bunnies need fresh water, unlimited fresh, grass hay, 1-2 cups of fresh vegetables, and a small serving (1/4 c per 5 lb. rabbit) of plain rabbit pellets each day.
Health: Like dogs and cats, rabbits should be spayed or neutered. The risk of uterine cancer in unspayed female rabbits is alarmingly high., and unneutered males are likely to spray.
Grooming: Rabbits shed their coat 3-4 times per year; use a flea comb and brush away excess fur.
A person who chooses a baby rabbit as a pet must:
Have lots of time, a household that can withstand some chewing, and a stable residence.
Expect an unneutered/unspayed baby will spray urine on the walls. Know that neutering/spaying (at four to six months) will stop the problem.
Expect accidents when baby forgets the location of the litterbox.
Allow the energetic young rabbit at least 30 hours a week of free time outside her cage.
Know the cute baby will soon be an adult rabbit and may have a different personality.
If you think you would enjoy sharing your home with a rabbit, please contact your local animal shelter, HRS chapter or rabbit rescue group for information about adopting a rabbit. No matter where you live, you are probably within 10 miles of a rabbit who desperately needs a safe, indoor home. If you are not sure you can make this kind of commitment, please consider buying your child a chocolate bunny this Easter instead.
About House Rabbit Society
House Rabbit Society is an international, volunteer-based nonprofit organization with two primary goals: 1) to rescue abandoned rabbits and find permanent homes for them; 2) to educate the public and assist humane societies in teaching proper rabbit care. For more information on HRS and to find the chapter nearest you, please contact House Rabbit Society, 148 Broadway, Richmond, CA, 510-970-7575, or visit our web site at www.rabbit.org
HOME MADE BUNNY PEEPS
I have been making this recipe for peeps for years ever since finding Martha’s recipe. I have adjusted it however as usual…
This recipe from the April 2001 issue of Martha Stewart Living It does require working with hot piping and though you can use a ziplock freezer bag, gallon size, I would suggest using a heavy piping bag with a nice tip!
I have adjusted the recipe over the years and have come up with a few changes.
• Use a large piping bag, other wise the first time you make these the marshmallows will already begin drying out before you get done with your batch… in fact every year I do this it happens if I try to use the small ones. This is why I discovered using a large ziplock bag works in a pinch!
• I do not pat them down, it makes it look clumpy, let’s face it Martha is a witch and can make burnt parsnips look good. Just leave the spike.. gives that bunny an edgier look!.
• The recipe asks you to make royal icing, and pipe on their little eyes. Screw that make them look more authentic and make it easier on yourself. Black gel food color or cocoa powder and water applied with a tooth pick.. voila!