Drunk Man Cuts Power on Farm, Kills 70,000 Chickens

When some of people have a few drinks too many, they get a little too emotional. Others get an irrepressible urge to take off all their clothes. But nothing compares to one man in Maryland who accidentally killed three poultry houses full of chickens.

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Fernando Nieto Fotografía

Many of us have done things we’re not proud of when we’ve had a little too much to drink. But one man’s moment of intoxicated stupidity has allegedly cost of the lives of 70,000 chickens — and an estimated $20,000 in damages.

According to local news site DelmavaNow.com, 21-year-old Joshua D. Shelton was found lying unconscious in the power control shed of a farm in Delmar, Maryland, wearing only a t-shirt and boxers.

(MORE: Man Arrested for DUI with Zebra, Parrot in the Car)

The farm owner, Mark Shockley, had earlier discovered that the power had inexplicably been switched off in three of his poultry houses. Left without water, food or cooling fans, the chickens started dying within 15 minutes.

Inadvertently killing a farm full of chickens is among one of the more bizarre acts of animal-related drunkenness NewsFeed has witnessed, but Shelton also suffered a few more typical symptoms. In a press release, reported by NBC News, Wicomico County sheriff’s Lt. Tim Robinson revealed: “This subject was also lying in a pool of his own urine. A strong odor of alcohol was also coming from the subject.”

(MORE: Drunk Man X-Rayed after Falling Asleep on Airport Luggage Cart)

Lt. Robinson also said that Shelton had no memory of what transpired. The “last thing he remembered was being on the property after a nearby concert” but he “did not know how he ended up in the shed.”

It suspected that he accidentally switched off the circuit breakers controlling the three chicken houses in a drunken stupor.

Shelton was arrested and has been charged with second-degree burglary, trespass and malicious destruction of property.

WATCH: Drunk Guy Sings Flawless Rendition of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ in the Back of a Police Car 

99 comments
neuronaut
neuronaut

It sounds like to poor conditions at the plant killed the chickens. If they started dying after 15 minutes, then it must have been one of those horrific slaughterhouse situations.

It's the owner's fault!

Justin
Justin

why in the world would the chickens start dieing in 15 mins? i could see mabe a day that was to hot without the fans, or night without heaters but 15mins makes me think that facility was poorly built to house said chickens. like really if the owner was not home for 15mins and the power grid suddenly went out due to natural causes we would still be seeing 70k dead chickens. seems to me the drunk guy just did a stupid thing, the chickens were already in danger to begin with.

LilPudding
LilPudding

I just kept looking at the picture wondering why the cage was piercing the chicken.

Danielle Guss
Danielle Guss

The feathers are a thicker layer than you're led to believe...

nubwaxer
nubwaxer

" Left without water, food or cooling fans, the chickens started dying within 15 minutes."probably because each chicken is allowed 67 square inches of space (industry standard I believe).   that's like an elevator full of people with each person having only one square foot of space.

Kevin Balasac
Kevin Balasac

Someone kills 70,000 living creatures and there are no murder charges, and the lives of the chickens are attributed to "property damage". Our treatment of animals is heinous and unacceptable. 

Danielle Guss
Danielle Guss

Two things wrong with your statement...murder is when a human is killed and it is intentional.

Adrian Pretto
Adrian Pretto

Wow, just wow. Do you even know what the word "murder" means? I agree, it is awful these chickens died the way they did. But in no way did that drunken man "murder" them. It hasn't even been established that he purposefully turned off the breakers, let alone with an intent to harm.

Jody Kibbe
Jody Kibbe

Oh.......my.G-d....what is happening to people drinking too much?? he has no memory of what he had done? "

And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day." Genesis 1:31

John Fox
John Fox

This guy was a hero. Those poor chickens had a horrendously miserable life of suffering, and he saved them from it.   Anyway, now we know the actual value of a mature adult chicken: about 28 cents.

Gato Stevens
Gato Stevens

OK, so I read all the comments, reread the story and still do not know WHO´S concert he was at to get so wasted. I am seeing a second party law suit in the making.

Joe Peterson
Joe Peterson

All kidding aside, why does my chicken cost so much when these cost 28 cents for a whole chicken!?!?!

osolala
osolala

Read it again and look very carefully for the strategically place word "and".

John Jacobi
John Jacobi

Not sure if worth replying / educating the sheer stupidity.

neilkid
neilkid

No back up generators? Someone selling chickens should probably consider the main power supply to fail or unexpectedly be shut off. It's clear which idiot came first.

eagleville1
eagleville1

Actually the article is an example of poor writing and editing:

1. "When some of people have a few drinks too many..." (some of people?)

2. "According to local news site DelmavaNow.com, ..." (in fact the news site is DelmarvaNow.com)

3. "It suspected that he accidentally ..." (It ?)

To (very loosely) paraphrase Casey Stengel, "Can't anybody here read Strunk and White anymore?"

Read more: http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/...

Craig Pierson
Craig Pierson

For those religious folks:

“They too, are created by the same loving hand of God which Created us...It is our duty to Protect Them and to promote their well-being.”—Mother Teresa.

John Jacobi
John Jacobi

 Does that phrase come to mind when inhaling a hot-dog or burger ?

Uptohere1
Uptohere1

The contempt I feel cannot even be described. He should spend time in a cage under the same conditions that he inflicted on those defenseless birds.

mahagwa
mahagwa

as punishment, they should make him eat all the chickens, after he plucks off their feathers and chops them up. he should be tied down and fed each and every piece of the 70,000 chickens.

that will teach him to kill only one chicken at a time. greedy bastard.

eagleville1
eagleville1

I think the writer and editor of this piece are also guilty of, "...

things we’re not proud of when we’ve had a little too much to drink...". 

See below: "When some of people have a few drinks too many..." (?some of people)and"It suspected that he accidentally switched " (?It suspected)and, even worse, this egregious misspelling of the source of this item"According to local news site DelmavaNow.com" - (it is actually Delmarvanow.com - the hyperlink is correct, but the spelling is not)Is this a hoax? Or just an example of how today's writers and editors fail to live up to their obligation to produce work of high quality?Read more: http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/...

Craig Pierson
Craig Pierson

What kind of conditions did this farmer have in his chicken coups that these chickens couldn't go without air conditioning for more than 15 minutes.  Sounds to me like this farm was already abusing these chickens and this drunk fool just put them out of their misery.

Wanda
Wanda

Sadly, they were in pretty typical conditions. 

Jim Beam
Jim Beam

I heard when I was a kid that every time you mast****** God kills a kitten. I'm just trying to figure if and how that relates to this.

John Jacobi
John Jacobi

Somewhere, a large group of African-americans are sobbing uncontrollably. 

Jim Beam
Jim Beam

That was technically racist, but I chuckled. 

John Russell
John Russell

The picture shows full grown chickens, but the article say the 70,000 chickens were valued at $20,000 --or 25 cents each.   

That suggests they were fairly new chicks and the farm does its own hatching.    i.e. a farm would have a lot more than 25 cents into a poult or chicken.  

John Jacobi
John Jacobi

Let me hold your hand and read that together with you.

" of 70,000 chickens — and an estimated $20,000 in damages."

Key word : and

Protip : Pictures don't always have to match the said article, they are just for visual, stop being 12 John.

Gato Stevens
Gato Stevens

You think because you are paying $4 a pound for chicken legs that the farmer is getting that?

TrueGrissel
TrueGrissel

OGM I only eat brown eggs, now what am I to do and can I even afford them after this atrocity !!!!!!!!

VCQ
VCQ

Thanks, guys, just had my Whiskey Tango Foxtrot moment for the day!

kenshade
kenshade

He should not be charged with homocide. A more fitting charge for this young man would be 1st degree chickacide or maybe since there was no malice and aforethought he should not be charged with Manslaughter but rather with Involuntary Chickaslaughter

ConkyII
ConkyII

Free range chickens now! Where is Sharpton and Jackson.

hellcat79
hellcat79

Don't  worry KFC  was  there with their illegal employee chicken pluckers, The chickens will be in every KFC  bucket all across America and the Drunk Human will be in jail. Corporations win Again.

urizon
urizon

I like how it's perfectly humane to house chickens in  such a manner that they begin to die after 15 minutes without power. The guy is a drunken douche, and we as a society are even worse.

adamrussell
adamrussell

They should give these chickens to the local poorhouse.

John Jacobi
John Jacobi

Temps inside those chicken houses are around 120+ without proper AC, that flesh starts stinking within an hour.

Charlie_O
Charlie_O

Issues of animal cruelty aside, the fact that one person could so easily do that much damage is alarming. 70k chickens represents enough meat for 280k meals. Are poultry farmers even insured for losses due to drunk morons?

Janet Lello Matthews
Janet Lello Matthews

What is more disturbing than the accident itself is the fact that the environment was so unnatural and unsustainable that the chickens started dying within 15 minutes of losing power.  That's FACTORY FARMING.

Andrewlh
Andrewlh

it's worse that we house chickens in such messed up conditions that they'll die within 15 minutes without power than that this guy killed 70,000 chickens

Thaht Guy
Thaht Guy

I wonder if they were still edible. Sale on chicken at the local grocer!