Mystery Chicken Deaths Hit Poultry Sales

GUJURAT, INDIA - The unpleasant discovery of hundreds of dead chickens dumped in a river has hit poultry sales hard in the town of Valsad. The cause of the chickens' death has not yet been identified but it is thought to have been due to heat stress rather than any infection.
calendar icon 6 April 2009
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Hundreds of dead chickens were recovered on 4 April from one of the creeks in Valsad, reports Times of India. The pungent smell emanating from Kolai creek led commuters on Lilapore-Chikhla road to the spot where decomposed chickens were found floating on the water.

There was a direct impact of it on the sale of chickens and poultry products in Valsad town which plummeted when the news spread the following day.

Official sources said some poultry farm in the area might have disposed of the dead chickens in the creek about three days ago, leading to the foul smell.

District collector, R.B. Dave said, "Prima facie investigation does not suggest that the chickens had died of bird flu or any other viral infection. Their samples have been sent for clinical analysis and the report is expected in a couple of days."

Rakesh Patel, a poultry farm owner in Valsad taluka, said, "Two truckloads of chickens returned to the farm in the afternoon. The chicken shops in Valsad town registered low sales as the customers preferred to go for mutton and seafood."

Sajid Khan, a chicken shop owner in the town, said "The customers are opting for mutton and seafood despite fresh chicken and egg stock with us."

Animal husbandry department sources said the birds might have died due to the increase in temperature in the last few days.

"Presumably, the transporter carrying the chicken stock for delivery might have disposed of the dead chickens in the creek after they died due to increase in the temperature," Dr Pankaj Kultara, animal husbandry office, told Times of India.

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