Incubation and Embryology - University of Illinois

Disposing of Chicks

Prior to starting an incubation and embryology project, a specific plan for disposing of the chicks should be worked out. Chicks from these and related projects should be disposed of in a reasonable, humane way.

The first suggestion is to give the chicks to someone who has proper brooding facilities, successful brooding experience, and the interest to properly care for and raise the chicks.

In the event that the chicks cannot be properly brooded, the next suggestion is to get in touch with the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The S.P.C.A. will dispose of the chicks for you. They will either locate someone who will take proper care of the chicks, or they will dispose of them humanely. There is usually a charge for this service. The S.P.C.A. is listed in the telephone book.

Never give the chicks to the children for pets. A young child's enthusiasm often results in unintentional cruelty. Improper handling can produce broken legs and wings as well as emotional stress for the birds. If a bird dies or is injured, it is not only a traumatic experience for the bird, but for the youngster as well.

Moreover, a child's initial enthusiasm fades, and he or she will likely grow tired of the chick as it becomes an adult. Few people realize how quickly the fluffy yellow down of chicks is replaced by feathers. If one of these chicks survives, it is often abandoned or becomes a burden on the local animal shelter. Or, lack of care leads to unintentional abuse or neglect, thus unintentional cruelty results.

In Illinois, the Humane Care for Animals Act makes it illegal to keep a live chick or duck as a pet.

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