Larz’s Mission: Don’t Buy Pets as Easter Gifts this Spring

Hi folks,

Spring has begun. The flowers will soon be blooming and warmer temperatures are on their way. Some of you might also be planning to celebrate Easter. Here at Urban Hermits, we are celebrating our own special holiday: Larz’s 1st Hatchday! Along with this holiday, however, is an important story.

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Larz was found by a staff member at the Bronx Zoo last April. He was left at an office doorstep in a dog carrying crate. The staff member suspects that he was an Easter gift, likely for a child, but that the owner’s family lost interest or did not know how to care for him.

Unfortunately, this is a common issue during the spring. Spring chicks and bunnies are beloved but inappropriate Easter gifts. Zlati Meyer of the Detroit Free Press recently penned an article about the challenges of giving chicks as gifts. While the article particularly focuses on the spread of salmonella, it brings up issues associated with giving birds as gifts. Caretakers need to be committed to a long-term relationship (chickens can naturally live more than 10 years) and should understand a birds’s dietary, behavioral, and habitat needs. Immediately, it becomes evident that this is above the head of young children. The same goes for bunnies. Often, families decide that these obligations are too much and they decide to either put the animal up for adoption or sadly, release them into the wild to fend for themselves. A few friends of mine recently adopted a bunny they found wandering in their back yard around Easter time, he is one the lucky ones.

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From left to right: Tél, Sufi, Larz, and Django

Thanks to my friend at the Bronx Zoo, we were able to adopt Larz to our flock. Today he is doing great. He is very anxious and hyper but loves spending time with Tél, Sufi, and Django. His favorite food is carrots, which he loves to mash up, turning his face orange. We enjoy our time with Larz, but in the back of my mind I remember that he was once a scared, abandoned bird. This is Larz’s mission: bringing attention to taking responsibility for animals dependent on us and brining attention to spring/Easter pets.


Larz, Urban Hermits, and the rest of the flock!








Django’s Rough Weekend

Mark recently adopted little Django, a once nameless budgie. Django has been doing great. He loves to squawk and spend most of his time making beats by tapping on his mirror with his beak. I was very impressed with how well he did on the ride home from his previous location, his cooperation with hand training, and his ability to navigate while flying. It was truly remarkable to see considering the fact that he was not used to human interaction and had rarely, if at all, been let out of his cage in the past.

This past Friday was rainy and overcast outside. Django was fairly quiet and wasn’t upbeat like he had been the past few days. It seemed that he may have been relaxing and subdued due to the weather. However, as the day passed, his body language became gradually worse. By the time I came home from work to visit, he had looked the worst that he had. I noticed that when he did attempt to eat, he was throwing up seed (this looks like a violent head shake when little seed particles fly across the room). His eyes were also swollen . Mark and I took him into an emergency vet clinic in town (thankfully just opened last year) and waited to see a vet. After looking at his crop, the vet confirmed that he had an avian yeast infection, most likely brought on by stress. She described it as if he had athletes foot in his throat, as the infection causes the crop to feel like it’s burning due a change in PH level. She prescribed two oral medications to give to him twice a day. He is getting better minute by minute and he can hold his food down. His medication is almost done, which he really does not enjoy to say the least. We are looking forward to sharing more stories from a healthy and upbeat bird!


Image: A Fulmer, June 2013