TURLOCK, Stanislaus County (CBS / AP) — An estimated 50,000 hens are dead or will be euthanized after authorities found them starving on a chicken ranch in Central California on Wednesday.

The Modesto Bee reports that the hens were found on property near the town of Turlock that is rented by A&L Poultry. Authorities say the hens had not been fed in more than two weeks.

Annette Patton of the Stanislaus Animal Service agency said that about one-third of the hens died of starvation. The rest are in such poor condition they must be euthanized.

Owner Andy Keung Cheung declined to comment when the newspaper reached him by telephone.

Patton said animal service officials investigated after a citizen complained about the business. She said the owner is potentially facing animal neglect charges.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (7)
  1. sharmeee says:

    sick people. why operate such business when you can’t take care of it. owner should be in jail.

  2. Kim Sturla says:

    Animal Place sanctuary offered to take in thousands of the hens to ave their lives but we have been denied access. Call animal control and urge them to release them to the farmed animal rescue groups

    1. Norma Wallace says:

      As a supporter of Animal Place, I know we are waiting to hear an update on whether this sanctuary will be able to help the hens who are still alive. They are obviously SURVIVORS and deserve a new lease on their small lifes, however brief that may be. This nation is freaking out about birth control access and here are live animals being treated as dust motes.

  3. Lacey says:

    Animal Place and Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary are there now and have been granted access. Follow their progress on FB:
    Looks like they will be able to take thousands!!

  4. Kristin says:

    The majority of the surviving hens were taken in by Animal Place. We can use all the assistance we can get caring for the survivors, whether it is donations, volunteers, or people who would like to adopt some of these hens when they are stable enough.


    Special thanks goes to Harvest Home for helping us with the massive task of transporting these birds and taking in some of the saddest cases, as well: http://harvesthomeanimal.org/

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