Thu 17 Mar, 2005 04:08 pm
They look just like the ones in this pic! http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3615191.stm
They have 2 cages FULL of them at the local farm supply store. I find myself curiously drawn to them... I'm going back after my kids get home from school... I can't decide if they are wonderful, or horrible... Is injecting harmless dye really harmless?
The dye, which the farm insists does not contain chemicals, is injected into ordinary chicken eggs a few weeks before Easter
Now, how can a dye not contain chemicals?
They may be cute, but chickens don't usually make good pets. Not for the children; not for the chicks.
They may not make the best pets but they will lay eggs for about a year and then they make a damn tasty coq au vin.
I think it is disgusting and also very cruel. The process of dyeing the chicks in and of itself isn't such a traumatic thing, unless you believe taking a one day old baby chick and running it on a conveyor belt under sprayers filled with dye. The good news is, if there is any good news in relation to this subject at all, they usually do use a vegetable dye
Aren't they cute? Aren't they fluffy? Wouldn't my little 3 year old just have so much fun on easter with a little cute chick like that?
This is where it gets ugly. The chicks normally used for this dyeing process are Cornish Cockerels. A very weak inbred species. Parents who bring one of these babies home usually have no idea how to care for a baby chick. They need a constant 90 degree climate, in a box with pine shavings and a food called medicated chick starter and access to lots of fresh water. And they need to stay in these conditions for a minimum of 6 weeks time. Over handling of these babies, even if the right conditions are met can cause their death within days simply because they are a weak inbred bird. If one happens to be so lucky to have a bird make it past this point and the bird makes it to adolescence, most roosters of the bunch (and you can't tell when you get one, they are too young for sexing) will, because of the Cornish breed in them will grow so fast that their heart will not be able to keep with them and they will simply one day keel over of a heart attack. The hens, are a little less likely to die that young, because the female species does not grow as large as the males, but they do have to be on a very restrictive diet to keep them from getting overweight and then need a lot of free range to get enough exercise. They MAY lay a few eggs, but historically they are not good breeders.
Also keep in mind that all chickens, ducks and geese are flock birds and need the company of other birds like themselves to thrive. Even if you buy 2, chances are one will die very soon, leaving the other chick a very lonely chick.
My suggestion to anyone who is considering such a purchase, to not do it! Take your kids to the feed, farm or pet store and let them look at the pretty chicks and leave it at that. I know it is against the law in our County to sell these chicks and I wish it were illegal everywhere.
Well stated. Lady J. We had a lady who ran the local SPCA. She not only had a great love for animals but she also had a sharp wit and a biting tongue. She landed a spot, perhaps 5 minutes a week, on one of the local radio stations and after a scathing commentary from her on dyed chicks and dead chicks, they are no longer being sold locally. There is no law against it; it is just not done. She died a couple of years ago, but her standards live on.
I remember seeing those in stores when I was a kid, but I haven't seen them in years. I recall hearing from animal specialist that you shouldn't get chicks or bunnies for your kids for Easter. The Easter morning interest quickly gives way to boredom and death for the animals.
I concur with those that say to skip this one.
Indeed. Cruel for the chickens, not much fun for the kids. If you really want chickens, learn first (and make sure your location allows domestic fowl!). There's an urban chicken movment afoot, at least in this corner of the world, that is bringing fresh eggs to many urban and suburban households... The health and safety of the birds AND the kids is paramount, tho.
I don't like it either, it's sad...who thinks this stuff up?
The dye is vegetable so the people selling these chicks see it as harmless so this is there defence argument
If the chicks were not dyed they would still be cute and people would still want to buy them as they are presented en masse.
The real issue here (the cruelty aspect) is that the chicks are available to anyone who wants to buy one, to inexperienced and naive parents for example
Chickens do make great pets and I have 2 children who adore our chickens BUT I am amazed that there are obviously many parents out there who will purchase these chicks without thinking it through,.
This really should be regulated, I wonder how many of these chicks go on to have a happy ending?