Alcohol kills 70,000 chickens

Murder at the Farm

Joshua D. Shelton of Delmar Maryland was charged with the murder of 70,000 chickens after he wandered into a poultry farm in a drunken stupor and turned off the power to three chicken houses, reports NBC.

According to the report, the property owner found the dead chickens in the morning, along with Shelton, who had passed out on the floor of the control shed.

Once aroused by the investigating deputy, Shelton said he had attended a nearby concert, vaguely remembered being on the property, but did not know how he ended up in the shed.

It’s not too hard to guess what happened.  No doubt he turned off the circuit breakers that controlled the electricity to the chicken house. And without power, chickens will die in 15 minutes, according to the property owner.

The overall cost of the escapade was estimated to be $20,000. Allen Farms, which was going to process the birds, estimated its loss at $220,000.

As for Shelton, he was arrested and charged with second-degree burglary, trespass and malicious destruction of property.

Remember the Chickens

No doubt you’re sitting in your seat, shaking your head—perhaps chuckling incredulously—at this bizarre story.

While the outcome is certainly unusual, none of us should be surprised that alcohol was behind this. We all know the effects of alcohol and the crazy things it makes people do. They never end pleasantly, and no doubt there are many more stories out there.

However, this particular story is a powerful (and humorous) reminder of the scope of alcohol’s effects. The consequences of alcohol affect so much more than just the drinker. The consequences are more than just a hang-over, embarrassing yourself, or even a sick liver. Alcohol can affect the people on the road, your family, and your friends. In this case, it was a farmer, a company, the future consumers…and oh yeah, 70,000 chickens.

You may not care about how much you drink and what happens to you, but other people care about what you could do to them. Not only will your body thank you for drinking responsibly—or better yet, not drinking at all—but so will those around you.

So the next time you’re tempted to pick up another drink, remember the chickens.

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