Mr. Woodchipper versus The Thirty Thousand Live Chickens

Farmers Put Live Chickens in Wood Chippers

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Two California poultry farmers who fed some 30,000 live chickens into wood chippers will not face criminal charges because they had permission from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, prosecutors said on Friday.

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But a spokesman for the Humane Society of the United States called the farmers "callous and barbaric" and disagreed with the decision not to prosecute them.

The farmers needed to destroy the chickens because they were "spent" -- or no longer able to produce eggs -- and could not make chicken soup out of them because the farms were under quarantine for the poultry virus Exotic Newcastle Disease, District Attorney's spokeswoman Gayle Stewart said.

Stewart said the men, who run a poultry farm near San Diego, asked a senior veterinarian with the Agriculture Department if they could employ the wood chippers and were given permission. "Once they had permission we decided that they did not have any criminal intent," Stewart said.

Brothers Arie and Will Wilgenburg, who run Escondido-based Ward Poultry Farm, could not be reached for comment on Friday. Earlier, they told the San Diego Union Tribune newspaper that they were doing "what we thought we had to do" based on expert advice and stopped as soon as they learned otherwise.

Wayne Pacelle, a spokesman for the Humane Society, said that explanation was unacceptable.

"The act of feeding live chickens into a wood chipper is an extraordinarily callous and barbaric act and I can't imagine any person with a whit of common sense would use a wood chipper as a killing tool," he said. "No person with any experience in killing animals would sanction the use of this technique."

Pacelle said the District Attorney's decision not to prosecute the brothers rested on the "faulty assumption" that using wood chippers to kill chickens was an accepted practice.

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9 Responses:

  1. kingfox says:

    I wonder if that was a bagging or mulching woodchipper.

  2. cschmidt says:

    <invdaic> seriously, think about it, 30000 chickens at around .25 cubic feet each, yeilds 7500 cubit feet of raw chicken chips. what do you do with all that rotting flesh?
    <invdaic> plus, if it takes an average of 2 seconds to feed a chicken through the chipper, with 2 chippers (one for each farmer) that's 8 hours 20 minutes to chip them all
    <ish> oh my god
    <invdaic> in california after 8.3 hours the first thousand or so chickens ought to be really ripe

  3. hukuma says:

    I'm confused - is there a criminal statute for inhumane slaughter of chickens?

  4. psymbiotic says:

    Check this game out!

    "Chicken Shoot is a classic fun shooter with adventure elements. You don't have to think too much ... just blow the chickens away. In each mission the player can collect a number of things and can receive many extra points for different actions. In this way it is easy - especially in the first levels - to score lots of points, but the levels increase in difficulty from mission to mission and becomes a true challenge with a high addiction factor. The implementation of numerous and varied gimmicks - individually made for each level - offers the player many hours of exciting gameplay."

    Obviously, this Chicken Shoot game is to blame for the recent rise in chicken genocide. Although the game doesn't appear to have a wood chipper in it, this clearly dictates that we must ban all video games and find more wholesome activities for ourselves, such as farming...

    Egan >:p

    • "And really comes down to a very basic choice that we have to make
      as a civilization: Either we learn to bury the animosities of our
      poultrocentric, squawking traditions and come to understand that our
      survival depends on our collective, unified production of eggs or we will sustain
      this cycle of violence and whirling blades until chickenkind is returned to the state
      of chunky salsa and the farm reduced to the blood-and-bone fertiliser of antiquity...."

  5. bad_juju says:

    What I wouldn't pay to see -that- footage..

    (I never did like chicken, anyway)

    • belgand says:

      Agreed. That would kick ass. Although I'm certain that after it got going it'd be little more than a continous stream of blood and rather small, but assorted chicken parts. Mmm...nuggets!

  6. stonemonkey says:

    When I read about it I wondered what was barbaric about it. I figured death must be instantaneous. Or do they slowly insert them? Like some James Bond death trap: "I will leave you now Mr McNugget".