TN SAYS: It is against the law to dye a chic, also a bad gift for Easter

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State warns it is a class C misdemeanor to dye a chic

The state of Tennessee and the Centers for Disease Control have teamed up to give residents a warning about baby ducklings… The state says that you should not dye a chick a different color for Easter. They also say, “Cuddly baby chicks and ducks are as much a part of the Easter holiday as colored eggs and the Easter bunny. But even though they are fun to look at and kids love them, you should not give them as gifts because of the health risks involved.”

The problem with these types of live animals is that they carry the risk of Salmonella.

The state of Tennessee has posted on their website, “Do not let children younger than five, elderly persons, or people with weak immune systems handle chicks, ducklings or other live poultry.”


Tennessee is putting out a poster that reminds Tennesseans that “It’s important to protect the welfare of the animal as well as the human. Caring for animals requires long term commitment. Many people who buy poultry as a gift sometimes forget this fact.” The state also says that it is true ”it is illegal to dye a chick a different color.”

What is the law say about placing dye on a chic?


TCA 39-14-204.  Dyed baby fowl and rabbits. 

  (a)  (1) It is unlawful for any person to:

      (A) Sell, offer for sale, barter or give away baby chickens, ducklings or goslings of any age, or rabbits under two (2) months of age, as pets, toys, premiums or novelties, if those fowl or rabbits have been colored, dyed, stained or otherwise had their natural color changed; or

      (B) Bring or transport such fowl or rabbits into the state for the purposes mentioned in subdivision (a)(1)(A).

   (2) This section shall not be construed to prohibit the sale or display of baby chickens, ducklings, or other fowl or rabbits in proper facilities by breeders or stores engaged in the business of selling for purposes of commercial breeding and raising or laboratory testing.

   (3) Each baby chicken, duckling, other fowl or rabbit sold, offered for sale, bartered or given away in violation of this section constitutes a separate offense.

(b) A violation of this section is a Class C misdemeanor.

HISTORY: Acts 1989, ch. 591, § 1.


State of Tennessee, Dept. of Agriculture
Centers for Disease Control
Tennessee / CDC Chick Poster 
Tennessee Code Annotated 39-14-204

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