Easter Dyed Chicks

Lil Chickie Mama

10 Years
Apr 1, 2009
Yes I know I'm many months late (or early, you choose) but with regards to the dyed chicks that are available around Easter:
How long does the dye last (days? a week?)
I know that if you choose, Ideal also sells colored Cornish Rocks so that would be good if eventual goal is meat. After the dying process which some say harms the chicken (I would think it would at least stress them out) are they (whether WL or not) a good bird to later raise for meat? I'm sure they are mostly roos if not all anyway, but would it have any effect on the quality of the meat?
Are they less likely to survive if this is done? I've heard happy stories and some sad ones, but I'm still looking it up.

Yes I know this seems to be something people either think is adorable or hate with a vengeance and see as cruel, but I'm just trying to find facts. I will be ordering meat birds next spring anyway and raising them for the table, but I thought this way (if I find that it's pretty much harmless) I could enjoy them more when they are little and still raise them for my intended purpose as from what I've seen it is very close in price colored vs. non colored and sometimes cheaper.
My understanding is they are dyed in the shell. The dye will disappear as they feather out. I know it is illegal in some places to sell dyed chicks, ie New York City. Personally I don't see the point - except to sell chicks to people who would n't normally buy a chicken. It's a gimmick and the chicks end up paying for it in the end.

As for physically harming the chick, I believe it's a food colring so as to be non-toxic.
It was initially used to identify chicks from different batches from one another after hatching. If someone had no way of separating the eggs in the hatcher, they could just inject the dye and sort the chicks once they were out of the shell. They will no longer be colored once they feather out and lose their down.
Another thing to keep in mind, regardless of how you feel about the process (I don't like it, think it contributes to impulse buying and uncared for chicks) most places charge more for chicks in the weeks leading up to Easter. I believe they charge even more for dyed chicks, though I'm not for sure about that.
Ideal doesn't dye them while in the egg, they dip them after birth. Don't know about other hatcheries, but I know Ideal made that clear. From what I've seen, the dye stays until the chicks feather out, and from what I've tasted, it doesn't matter an iota as far as how the meat will turn out. The dye isn't toxic or harmful, and as far as stressing out the chicks goes . . . these chicks are being sorted through, placed in boxes, but in trucks and planes and shipped all over the united states in various types of weather and at the mercy of our postal service. Seems to me the dyeing would be the least stressful out of all that, anyway, so pangs from your conscience wouldn't be necessary unless you plan on using them to prompt impulse buys in ignorant passerbys.

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