A small family business buys baby chicks for easter photoshoots, a surprisingly cruelty-free way to celebrate Spring.
The idea for Live Baby Chick Photoshoots originally began with a bunny. Big Apple Portraits owner Kim Brooks states, “We made a phone call to a local rabbit shelter to make our inquiry, and to our surprise, discovered that bunnies are often adopted for Easter and abandoned afterwards.” Often, many new owners do not research rabbit care and are unable to handle proper upkeep. That is when our baby chicks came into the picture.
Our live baby chicks are shipped to us overnight from a hatchery where they are born. When we first got them, we were certainly surprised to receive a perfectly safe chirping box from the mailman! We were also very surprised at how fast they grew– after three days, they were significantly bigger than they were before. When we extended the shoot times, the chicks grew so quickly, we needed to get a new batch of chicks every week.
Our chicks work in “shifts” at the studio. Often, the look of excitement on a childs face when they see them is priceless. If he or she is reacting well, we try perching a little chick on their head or place a chick in their hands. We have special baskets for the little ones who can’t stand up yet, so we can adopt our chick shoots for any age. Older kids get to hold the chicks or have them perch on their heads.
After the chicks get old, they retire at the owner’s mom’s farm in Pennsylvania with lots of other big chickens from previous year’s photo sessions, and a playhouse all of their own. These chickens live long happy lives–and of course, we only eat the eggs! Every year, we ask for small donations to go towards supporting these chickens and keeping them fed and healthy. After four years of live baby chick shoots, we have quite a lot of chickens. Luckily, we have a lot of space for many more years of chicks to come.
And now two fuzzy bunnies have joined the flock at the Pennsylvania farm. Now the photo shoots have both chicks and bunnies. All cared for as loving backyard animals.