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Maryland - Drunk Man Kills 70,000 Chickens

Of course if this was Col Sanders for KFC there wouldn't be a story.

DELMAR, Md. - "Authorities said 21-year-old Joshua Shelton was charged
in connection with the deaths of nearly 70,000 chickens over the
weekend. The Wicomico County Sheriff's Office said Shelton was charged with burglary, malicious destruction of property and trespassing."

Looking in peapod for my area, I see whole chickens price about $8 each, but that's after processing, freezing or chilling and wrapping, so I'd value live chickens around $5-6. Even if you take the $5 figure, that's a $350,000 loss on the chickens if none of the meat is redeemable. I suspect they will be quickly processed and chilled and sent to a pet food processor instead, saving some on the loss.

I also have to wonder how a single day of no feed or water would kill these chickens? It's also been unseasonably cooler here lately, even in the 60's at night, and it seems this happened overnight. Don't the owners of these chicken sheds do at least a daily check on them? Automation is great, but that shouldn't do away with timely checks on the power system. What if lightning had created power surges that tripped these breakers? In fact, maybe this person should make that claim if there were storms in the area at the same time. Maybe now they'll install some battery powered emergency alert system that will notify them by phone or internet when there's a power outage at their chicken sheds. Perhaps someone from the state agricultural department should take a look into the operation at those chicken farms.
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I'd say they died of asphyxiation

and the fans proved a needed oxygen exchange. Heat could have been a factor too with lack of ventilation as that number of birds may have raised the temperature above that needed to cause hyperthermia.

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This article claims death in 15 minutes

There is something seriously wrong if a shed of chickens can die in 15 minutes if food, water, and fans are cut off. Obviously it's not lack of food or water that kills them, but over crowding. Without the over crowding, those chickens would still be alive today. This means ANY power outage could cause this loss, whether someone hits utility pole in truck accident, or weather event, or power grid failure. This chicken farmer seemed to have no backup system, and certainly no battery powered warning system that would sound off when the power went out.

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Expect PETA to get involved.

It might be a good time to become a vegetarian anyway. Beef prices are going out of site and chicken won't be far behind....and with all the boycott pressures, one doesn't know what or where they can eat without offending someone.

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It's certainly an issue which would vegin to lift PETA out

of the odium and instant dismissal which it enjoys with the American Public generally.

But food is becoming a major issue. Feed lots are ugly and red meat is bad for you, Chickens are treated inhumanely, loaded with antibiotics and create pollution, though their droppings could generate enough methane in the right equipment to power the whole farm 24/7/365-6 and probably earn returns from the Power Company too.

Truthfully, given the problem of pollution of ground water by intensive cattle raising, sheep raising, piggeries, and poultry production, all of them should have fermentation units big enough to handle the output of the farm to generate a burnable fuel to power the operation and provide excess power to the grid. That only leaves CO2 which massive forestation projects could help solve.

You know, if you could get a bunch of truly committed people together, give them a farm, and massive informational help, the odds are you could create a model farm, with a report showing a clear run-down on the economics of it. Assuming it turned out favourable, it could spread all over the US. An inspection service beginning with one guy to check the operations for environmental safety could ensure that the environment was protected. This is all straight off the top of my head inspired by this topic, but I really think it would work. At the very least, I think it would pay for itself in 5 years, and then significantly reduce electrical consumption by the farm, even if it didn't generate excess power.



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I agree, James. Checks every 4 hours would make sense, 24/7

and remote monitoring of the sheds should be easy, temperature, humidity and CO2 levels. 60 degrees is fine for chickens, but ventilation is necessary to remove CO2 which is heavy and accumulates and builds from ground level.

Good catch and, surprisingly, I am completely sincere.


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There is something strange about this

This supposedly happened at night, and the temps have been mid 60's. Just heat escaping from upper areas should draw in cooler air by natural flow from lower areas. I think it would be more likely the chickens died in the daytime. The drunk said he had no idea how he got there.

Now, let's imagine something isn't as it appears.

A chicken farmer, who has insurance against his production, but doesn't have a backup system or if both fail he doesn't have a battery operated alarm system to warn him of a power failure. Something happens in the daytime and before it can be repaired by chicken farmer he discovers the chickens have all expired. Maybe he wasn't even thinking that would happen at the time. His insurance covers various things, but not negligence. Therefore some cause that can't lay the blame on him has to be sought. Night falls. A local bar known for drunks staggering out late at night is nearby. A plan is hatched to recover over a quarter million dollars for the loss at $4-5 per chicken, a patsy is needed. Some drunk stumbles out a bar and gets konked over the head and finds himself waking up in an unlocked utility room at a farm he's never worked at nor visited, wondering how the heck he got there. The sheriff is called and told a story, and he arrests the drunk.

I know if I was a defense attorney for this guy, I'd have him checked out for a knot on the head, or some drug other than alcohol remains in his body.

No backup system, or one that works. No alarm to signal power outage. Unlocked door to power boxes room. Something that seemingly has NEVER happened before in the county where chicken farms exist. Something about it all seems very convenient if I was a defense attorney or an insurance investigator.

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RE: I'd have him checked out

I'd have him checked out for a knot on the head, or some drug other than alcohol remains in his body.


Recall your monkey, rape, drunk lab worker with pants down to knees story from a few days ago?

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He wasn't in with the chickens

Maybe he was trying to screw in a fuse?

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