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More Than 50,000 Hens Found Starving On Central Valley Ranch

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A CBS 5 crew captured footage of hens starving at this ranch near Turlock in Stanislaus County on February 22, 2012. Officials said an estimated 50,000 birds were found starving to death. (CBS)

A CBS 5 crew captured footage of hens starving at this ranch near Turlock in Stanislaus County on February 22, 2012. Officials said an estimated 50,000 birds were found starving to death. (CBS)

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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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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