Of course they’re cute and fluffy… but don’t fall prey to that wiggly-pink-nose routine. If you cave in, it’ll cost you – to the tune of $730 per year.
USAA magazine reports that rabbits top the list for annual pet care expenses, beating out large dogs ($650), guinea pigs ($635), and cats ($495). Turns out that fish are a bargain at $35 per year.
So what’s behind those figures? A lot of poop, it seems. According to the ASPCA, more than half ($415) of your bunny’s annual bill will go toward litter, twice the amount you’ll spend for rabbit food. (For the 3rd place guinea pig, it’s a 1:4 ratio between what goes in and what comes out.)
Still can’t squelch the Easter spirit? It’s not too late to jump on the backyard chicken wagon. By next spring, those baby chicks could be laying an egg apiece every 1-2 days. And while the ASPCA (or neighborhood association) might not approve of your rabbit pot pie recipe, who can turn down some organic Easter eggs?
So will your chickens earn their keep? Using a “completely nonscientific formula”, one blogger divided the number of eggs her chickens had produced to date by her food and material expenses and figured that each egg was worth about $1.50. (She obviously didn’t spring for the $3,500 tri-level luxury urban chicken coop by RAAD Studio, complete with four private nest rooms, a solar-powered fan for summertime cooling, and open, loft-like spaces to “liberate the lifestyles of modern chickens”.)
RAAD’s not the only one looking out for your chickens’ comfort. As of January 1, a new European Union directive requires that hens be kept only in “modern cages” with at least 750 square centimeters for each hen to stretch her wings and move freely. Some farmers have shut down their operations rather than face the cost of coop upgrades, and EU egg production has since fallen by 10 to 15%, leading to shortages just in time for the traditionally peak Easter demand.
Others can continue using their existing coops until August but can only sell eggs in liquid form. “And everybody knows liquid eggs make lousy decorations.”
Related: Old MacDonald’s Backyard