47,000 chickens died at farm; 3,000 sent to sanctuaries
Authorities say that 47,000 chickens found at an abandonded Turlock-area farm had died and that the remainder were being treated at sanctuaries.
"These are the sicker birds from the group ... most are able to stand on their feet ... they are interested in food, they are drinking but they are not as lively as the other birds, not as enthusiastic," Harvest Home volunteer Anne Martin told Fox 40.
A&L Poultry, the owner of the abandoned egg farm, issued this statement:
A&L Poultry has been in the process of arranging the shut down of its egg production operations utilizing the industry’s business practices and standards.
An attempt to arrange for delivery of the chickens to a third party in order to avoid the usual business practice of euthanizing the chickens resulted in an unacceptable situation A&L Poultry did not intend, and profoundly regrets.
Authorities told the Modesto Bee that the hens had not been fed in more than two weeks.
Animal service officials investigated after a citizen complained about the business, Patton said, adding the owner is potentially facing animal neglect charges.
Initial testing did not indicate that the birds were diseased, a veterinarian for the animal service agency said.