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Unfed for weeks, 50,000 hens found dead or dying on CA egg farm

Photo by Steven Lilley via Flickr Creative Commons

Animal neglect charges may be filed against the operator of a Central Valley chicken farm where authorities found about 50,000 dead or starving hens. The animals has not been fed in more than two weeks, according to officials, said the L.A. Times.

The hens were found on a property rented to A&L Poultry, following a citizen complaint about the business on Tuesday, the Modesto Bee reported. Company owner Andy Keung Cheung declined to comment when reached by phone by the newspaper.

The birds did not show signs of disease in initial veterinary testing. Annette Patton, executive director of the Stanislaus Animal Services agency, said one-third of the animals died of starvation and the others are in such poor health they will be euthanized.

The rising cost of feed may have contributed to the inhumane situation, said Bill Mattos, president of the California Poultry Federation. No information was immediately available about where A&L eggs were being sold. 

It was unknown what would become of the thousands of carcasses.