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Marilyn Hagerty, Forum News Service, Published March 31 2013

Marilyn Hagerty: Real bunnies don’t bring eggs, but their owners say they are loving pets

GRAND FORKS - Real rabbits don’t lay eggs. They are not chocolate.

But this is Easter Sunday and most everyone takes liberties with the lore of rabbits. The Easter Bunny is depicted as a creature carrying colored eggs. Never mind that chickens, not rabbits, lay eggs.

On this day, the Easter Bunny is in his glory. Forget the fact that he doesn’t exist. Historians tell us the legend of the Easter Bunny was brought to the United States by German immigrants in the 1700s.

Many people living in Grand Forks know the rabbits are fond of green vegetation and are adept at demolishing flowers and gardens. When approached, the little creatures remain almost motionless until the last possible moment. Then they dash off.

Christa Sandstrom who raises rabbits out near Emerado, N.D., says those rabbits around town are possibly hares. She has never met a rabbit she doesn’t like. And she has been raising them ever since she started out with them as a 4-H project.

She thinks raising rabbits teaches responsibility. She continued with rabbits through her years in Future Farmers of America. And now she has a husband, a 3-year-old and around 40 rabbits.

“Each rabbit has its own personality,” she said. “They are extremely loving. They are just there for you. They show no hostility.”

And she finds rabbits are low maintenance. Clipping their toenails is easy if you are around them a lot.

Becky Martin, a UND student who has grown up on a farm nearby, shares her love of rabbits. Now 20, Becky decided rabbits were interesting when she was 12 and took them on as a 4-H project.

She still has a half dozen rabbits. “A few black, one white and the others are sandy colored,” she said. She feeds them pellets of rabbit food she buys at Tractor Supply Co.

She learned all about rabbits including how to hold them in a show. And she has branched out to raising chickens.

People who raise rabbits love them. They know how to cater to the wish of the bunnies.

And Becky Martin has found that her rabbits like Fruit Loops.