The Franklin County Commissioners reminded residents at their weekly session Tuesday that seasonal pets, such as bunnies or chicks at Easter time, are likely not right for most families. The commissioners noted that there may be many benefits to raising backyard chickens, ducks, and rabbits, but that many of these animals purchased as pets in the spring end up being released into the wild or surrendered to shelters soon after Easter.
Most Central Ohio governments, including Franklin County, do allow for raising chickens, rabbits, and ducks, though all three are considered agricultural animals by the county and many municipalities, so there are often specific zoning rules about raising them. Families seeking to raise these animals should check first with their local government to understand the rules surrounding them and make sure that they have the resources, space, and time required to raise these animals responsibly and legally.
“Spring is an optimistic time,” said Commission President Marilyn Brown. “And there’s nothing cuter than a baby bunny. But residents should understand the differences between having pets and raising agricultural animals. There’s nothing wrong with raising chickens, ducks, or rabbits, but we want people to know what they’re getting into ahead of time so that the animals aren’t left to fend for themselves.”
“Raising chickens, ducks, and rabbits is a year-round responsibility,” said Commissioner O’Grady. “And we all want the animals around us to have a very good quality of life.” He suggested that families consider the stuffed versions of these animals for Easter, but noted that “the chocolate version always got the biggest smiles around my house.”
The county zoning regulations regarding the keeping of chickens, ducks, and rabbits can be found at