DYED Easter Chicks???

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Chick_In_The_Burbs, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. Chick_In_The_Burbs

    Chick_In_The_Burbs Songster

    Jun 26, 2010
    Western Washington
    I was talking to a Soldier who works in another shop and the topic went to chickens. Everything was cool, and then she made the statement "At Easter you can get these blue or pink or green dyed chick-things on the roadsides, but they always die." [​IMG] The conversation continued and she was very sure these were chicken chicks her family had been buying. I have never seen this and it seems very cruel. From what she was saying no one buys these guys/gals with the expectation that they'll live long, the view was that they were a kinda cool Easter accessory/toy. My guess is they die of starvation, 'cus this individual didn't have a clue about chick food. Question is, does that actually go on?!? Is this no-joke/real that people dye chicks for Easter sale on roadsides??? [​IMG]
  2. Dar

    Dar Crowing

    Jul 31, 2008
    yes this does happen and can become a hot debate here...
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2010
  3. fordmommy

    fordmommy Dancing With My Chickens

    Jul 16, 2009
    My friend bought some from a swap this spring, (just getting into chickens, thought they were cute) and when it came to butchering.....the wing meat was completely colored too. They couldn't even use the meat. She vowed never to buy them again.

    I was told later that when they had dyed them, they must have actualy got IN the bird and not just the embryo. [​IMG]

    I bought a book this spring that has a good discribtion of the process. Maybe it could shed some light on it for you. You can get it at you library if you didn't want to buy it. http://www.amazon.com/Storeys-Guide-Raising-Chickens-3rd/dp/1603424695/ref=dp_ob_image_bk
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2010
  4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeBbxGTuVdM&feature=related

    they really do it, they are more popular now in other countries though. Now I think they do it in the eggs (insert dye in developing egg just like they do with vaccines etc. at hatcheries) but used to they just tossed them in a bowl of dye when they hatched and colored them. My mom used to buy 2 of them every easter when she was a kid at the pharmacy store lol and hers lived quite a good while. I had some as a kid about 6 of them - and they lived till butcher time (4/6 were roosters - lol) and the colors moulted out of them when they started growing in new feathers.

    It shouldn't be harmful to them if its a non toxic dye used on them and it is more likely stress or starvation is what kills them not dye unless the dye used is harmful. There was someone here on BYC who dyed her own chick and duck developing eggs and gave involved process some time I think last year the post was? I don't know. but she hatched out healthy colored babies and they did well. I guess it all depends. I do not see it is cruel if done properly however selling them for a profit at easter time is unethical because they are seen by too many people as 'toys' and are expendable easter gifts. We don't need to add to the easter chick/duck crazy by advertising even cuter brightly colored ones.
  5. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    The process is described online, but I have too much to do this morning to google it. Dyed Easter chicks are very common at Easter time; the internal portions of the bird should not be affected; only the external; as the bird grows and molts out the coloured down and feathering, it will likely end up white. Dyeing chicks is illegal in some states, as is purchasing chicks in onsies and twosies. The thought is that a farmer would purchase a much larger group of chickens. Fact of the matter is that many who purchase chicks have backyard flocks and have no desire for large groups of chicks.

    There is no reason dyed chicks will live only a short length of time; they should be as healthy as any other chick. They are often leghorns, but can be other breeds. Some say they are all male, but the fact is that since they are dyed in the shell, there is no way to determine that one is only dyeing cockerels.

    It is also possible to dye ones own birds with koolaid. THe colour is much softer, less vibrant, though
  6. agnes_day

    agnes_day Songster

    Aug 29, 2008
    i am definitely trying that next spring..i LOVE how dyed chicks look.
  7. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    Quote:I would try it too sometime! Food dye wont hurt anything...

    But i wouldnt inject the dye into the egg like some folks do.... theres no need to... just rub some dye right on the chicks feathers..
  8. eggcited2

    eggcited2 Songster

    Jul 8, 2010
    I am 55 years old and this was very common when I was a kid. A few weeks before Easter, all kinds of stores would be full of chicks and baby ducks. Some natural color and many were dyed colors.

    I remember my parents always would by a chick or two for me. Never the dyed ones, but natural. We also had chickens each year for eggs and meat, so my chicks went into the chickens for eggs.

    Unfortunately, a lot of people bought the chicks who were totally clueless about chickens, and such. Often the people would give them to someone who had chickens. But many times other people were not as kind. Many time those chicks ended up dead from mishandling, ignorance on the buyer's part and not knowing how to feed or care for chicks or chickens. Eventually the practice of selling baby chicks and ducks was stopped (thankfully). And you could only get chicks from farm supply stores or other farm related stores, and never as a single chick or pair. Usually only in 50 or so chicks or ducks.
  9. Quote:Right.. They usually die because they aren't fed. It is terrible [​IMG]
  10. eggcited2

    eggcited2 Songster

    Jul 8, 2010
    Quote:I would try it too sometime! Food dye wont hurt anything...

    But i wouldnt inject the dye into the egg like some folks do.... theres no need to... just rub some dye right on the chicks feathers..

    Yes, if you feel you want to try it, please only use food coloring. And do not inject it into the egg.

    Putting food dye on the fuzz should not hurt the chicks and also will wear off. You would not even have to use the food coloring full strength. Just a bit on water will give plenty of color. You can get about any color you would want from food coloring. If the red, yellow, blue, etc of the colors that come in the box are not ok, them mix them: red and yellow for orange. Yellow and blue for green. Red and Blue for purple. And any variation of any color can be made by mixing the basic colors.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2010

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