By: Erin Torbett
Bunnies and baby chicks are popular Easter gifts for children. But many parents don't recognize the problems they can bring after the holiday. One Charleston farm offers families the opportunity to bring home chicks for the holiday, then give them back.
Legare Farms', on Johns Island, S.C., offers a program for families to keep two baby chicks for two weeks. The Rent-A-Chick program allows children to have a hands-on experience with taking care of the chicks temporarily.
"It's good for families who are considering a pet and have a child they think is old enough to take care of them. It gives them two weeks to try it and see and if it doesn't work out then they know their child isn't ready for one," says Linda Legare-Berry.
But families with children are not the only customers owners of Legare Farms see. Trudy Bauer lives at home with her two dogs and for the past four years she has picked up two chicks for the holiday.
When Bauer first heard about the program, she says it was her childhood that made her want to participate.
"My parents had about 60 chickens and maybe 15 roosters and I even had pets amongst them," says Bauer. "I had a couple of bantam chickens that I got and they got dressed up in all clothes and I wheeled them around in my carriage, six or seven years old, it was great."
Bauer says she has no plans to stop renting chicks in the coming years either. She says getting the chicks each year allows her to take a trip down memory lane.
It costs $25 to rent two chicks for two weeks and owners of the farm provide a box for the chicks, food and instructions on how to keep the chicks warm.
After the chicks are returned, owners of the farm give out certificates for a dozen eggs to be picked up in the fall once the rented chicks start laying eggs.
"We want to get [the chicks] out into the community and let children enjoy them and we want to educate people about our food and farm animals," says Legare-Berry.
The next time to pick up chicks is April 18 from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. and April 19 from 9 a.m. until noon. Reservations are required.
Legare Farms has been on John Islands since 1725. Legare-Berry and her siblings, Helen Legare-Floyd and Thomas Legare, Jr. are ninth generation owners of the farm.