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Easter bunnies, chicks on the move

“You know what that one reminds me of?” asked 8-year-oldChristopher Robinson as he eyed a rabbit in a cage in front ofWand’s Feed and Seed store. “That’s a wild rabbit. Like maybe PeterRabbit, from the book.”

Robinson and his father Robert were on an Easter mission Fridayto find not just a bunny, but the right bunny to take home to betheir very own.

“I’ve had one before,” Christopher said, who said he wascontemplating the whole bunny issue. “I’m going to name him Steve.That’s what I named my last rabbit.”

The Robinsons were not alone in their rabbit hunt. Local feedand seed store owners said as fast as they get rabbits andducklings and chicks in just before Easter, they sell out.

“We’re completely sold out of ducks,” said two-year Wand’semployee Jeremy Thompson on Friday. “We got them yesterday, andthey go pretty quick.”

And just down Highway 51 at Co-Lin Feed Store, they still hadducks, but they were out of rabbits.

“We usually try to get about 50-100 rabbits, depending on whatwe can find, and every year they’re gone by noon on Saturday,” saidAngie Jordan, who owns the store with her husband Bob. “Every yearjust before Easter we get colored chicks and normal chicks, andhundreds of mallards and white pekings.”

Of course the colored chicks sell out the fastest, Jordan said,explaining that the baby chickens aren’t dyed the same way theyused to be. Whatever color the baby leghorn chickens start off as,they turn out white, and most of them are roosters, she said.

If the rabbits are all gone by the time a customer comes in,they can be special-ordered, Jordan said.

“They used to paint them after they hatched, which wasn’t reallysafe for them,” she said. “Now the egg is injected with color, sowhen the chick is hatched they’re that color.”

And for both stores, just having the new animals on the premisesis a draw.

Nine-year-old Peyton White of Hazlehurst said her grandmotherhad brought her to the store on an errand to pick up a bale of hay,and she ended up playing with the baby ducks. While there wasn’t anew Easter pet in her future, she said she was enjoying getting toplay with the ducklings.

Thompson said there is no particular profile of an Easter bunnybuyer, either.

“We get all different ages of folks – boys, girls, men, women,”he said.

Sometimes the yearly bunny shipment can provide laughs for yearsto come, Jordan said, adding that the little hoppers can have areal mind of their own.

“There used to be some mornings we’d come in and there would berabbits all over the store, before we got our good pens,” she said.”Sometimes we’d be finding rabbits for days after Easter.”