A man wandering around a Delmar, Md., poultry farm in a drunken stupor turned off the power to three chicken houses, causing the deaths of nearly 70,000 chickens, sheriff’s officials said.
The property owner who made the grisly discovery found the man, identified as Joshua D. Shelton, 21, of Delmar, Md., passed out on the floor of the power control shed, wearing only a T-shirt and boxer shorts.
“This subject was also lying in a pool of his own urine. A strong odor of alcohol was also coming from the subject,” Wicomico County sheriff’s Lt. Tim Robinson said in a press release.
The investigating deputy awakened the man.
“Shelton advised the last thing he remembered was being on the property after a nearby concert but did not know how he ended up in the shed. The deputy surmised that in his intoxicated state, Shelton turned off the circuit breakers that controlled the electricity to the chicken houses,” Robinson said.
Shelton was arrested and booked into jail on charges of second-degree burglary, trespass and malicious destruction of property.
The property owner discovered the dead chickens Saturday morning. He told investigators that without power, the chickens will begin to die within 15 minutes. The birds, which were due to be delivered to a local processing plant the following day, were valued at $20,000.