Welcome to the world of coloured chicks. I mean chicks as in chickens, not the human chicks.
Dyed chicks that come in a kaleidoscope of colour have been trending across the world from Asia in the last few years.
The chicks are sold by street vendors in many Asian countries and even the US, where they attract the attention of passers by with their unnatural bright colors.
Breeders inject a non-toxic dye into the ordinary chicken eggs to produce a psychedelic spectacle when they hatch. The colours last for the first few weeks of the chicks’ life. As the chicks mature, they shed their colors and grow to be normal-looking chickens.
The process was originally devised by scientists to observe the movement of birds in the wild.
The trend has been blasted by the RSPCA in UK who claim it turns living animals into a novelty item.
Dr Marc Cooper, senior scientific officer at the RSPCA, said: “While this is not something we are aware of happening in the UK, the RSPCA would have serious concerns about this sort of practise taking place.
“From a welfare point of view, the use of dye could not only have potential to harm the animal but it also raises ethical questions about how these chicks would be viewed.
“These are living creatures and by dyeing them it would send out the message that they are more of a novelty than a living animal.”
Most people pay for a colored chick and when it grows into a common cockerel, they just get rid of it, a practice that encourages children to view pets like easily replaceable toys they can just throw away when bored.
Dr. Nicholas Gaffga, an US CDC medical epidemiologist, said that dyed chicks are more dangerous than plain yellow chicks. “Many states prohibit the sale of dyed chicks. This is to prevent them from being sold to children as pets,” he said.
Although these dyed chicks look cute, they probably shouldn’t be picked up or played with. When someone handles a chick, which is especially tempting if it’s dyed purple, blue or red, he or she can also pick up salmonella germs, which can result in stomach cramps, diarrhea and fever.