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Make Mine Chocolate – Don’t Buy Rabbits for Easter (recipe for DIY Peeps)

One of the reviewers over at

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).


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 shelterHRS 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


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!

Home made Marshmallow Bunneh’s (Bunnies for all you Philistines)
  • Martha Stewart Living, Volume 89 April 2001
  • Marshmallow Treats
  • The fresh taste of homemade marshmallow treats beats that of the cellophane-wrapped variety any Easter.
  • Tools and Materials
  • Rimmed baking sheet or several small bowls
  • Fine crystal colored sugar or turbinado sugar
  • Luster dust or sparkle dust (optional)
  • Piping bag and tips
  • Marshmallow for Piping recipe
  • Royal Icing recipe
  1. Pipe a small marshmallow mound onto sugar, about 1½ inches long and ½ inch tall. Pipe two smaller mounds on either end for the head and tail.
  2. Pipe the ears, starting from the top of the head onto the body, pulling forward and off to finish. With a damp finger, pat down any marshmallow spikes formed from piping.
  3. Immediately sprinkle sugar over the entire surface of the bunny. Allow a few minutes for the shape to set.
  4. Pipe on a royal-icing face with a #1 Ateco icing tip; lift bunny out of sugar with a spoon or small offset spatula. Place in a parchment-lined airtight container until ready to serve, or for up to 2
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  1. rabbits are my favorite animals .need special attention in raising rabbits .give nutritious food for the rabbits to live healthy
    Show me some love!

  2. I tried to have a rabbit once and found that to be a big mistake. We tried having the cage in my room. We were told that the rabbit was female and then found out that it was a male. Let’s just say that not everything stayed in the cage. It also was not very social. It did not like to be touched. We ended up having to give him away to someone that could keep him outside. “Fake” bunnies are so much better – less maintenance and much easier to take care of. If you want a rabbit, make sure to do lots of research first.

    Happy Easter Everyone!
    Show me some love!

  3. Rabbits or bunnies which ever you want to call them is more than just a pet. They are a family member like a cat or dog. yes I have 4 of those wonderful creatures and my life will never be the same because of them. They require so much care it is amazing. Think of that high-maintenance woman you work with. If you think she is expensive then you do not know anything until you are owned by a bunny.
    So please consider that special child in your life and purchase a stuff or chocolate bunny for them. Purchasing a bunny at either a pet or feed store is supporting back-yard breeders.

    Suzie & 4 Bunnies (Velvet, Coal, Shankan, Cup Cake)
    Show me some love!

  4. Good article. Hope people will think very seriously before getting a pet bunny, as they do need a great deal of attention if they are to be happy, healthy bunnies.

    Happy Easter. 🙂

  5. I agree with parents ending up to take care of pets. Most children never do last. Good thing what we bought was a turtle, not much sensitive.


  1. Still thinking about a bunny as a pet for you child? - [...] Make Mine Chocolate – Don’t Buy Rabbits for Easter (recipe for DIY Peeps) ( [...]
  2. Make Mine Chocolate – Don’t Buy Rabbits for Easter (Cabin Goddess) - [...] This post was originally published on Cabin Goddess (click to visit)…

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