Authorities seize 75 chickens from apartment

October 14, 2011 8:25:44 PM PDT
One Harris County woman had her own way of avoiding hormones in her chicken. She kept her own chicken coop, which does not sound a problem, until you hear about where she kept the chickens.

The city of Pasadena brought dozens of those chickens here to the Gulf-Tex Feed Store, and workers say many of them are in pretty bad shape.

The chickens there are among the 75 seized at a home in Pasadena this week.

"I can understand maybe 10 or 15, but not 70. That amount seems uncontrollable," said Cory Wright with the Gulf-Tex Feed Store.

Police say they found the fowl stacked in cages in a small space behind an apartment building on Oak Avenue. Officers were initially there investigating junk cars and hazardous conditions, among other violations.

"The past three days, I've seen cops over there, and I thought they were just serving them for tickets for the vehicles," neighbor Cherry Hamm said.

Neighbors say they had no idea the owners were keeping all these chickens cooped up.

"Seventy-five does surprise me, yes," Hamm said.

The owner's son, Abel, say his mom began raising the bird as a hobby and claims since she doesn't like store-bought chicken so she would sometimes kill one of her own to make a meal.

The city calls the volume alone a violation of local ordinance. The property owner gave up these roosters and hens to avoid a big citation.

Animal control sent the chickens to Gulf-Tex Feed Store, and the workers at the feed store say when they picked up the chickens, some of them weren't in the best shape.

"Some had feathers missing. Some had some cuts and scars, but many of them seemed to be a little bit malnutritioned and just beat up in general, from fighting with each other," Wright said.

Now the feed store's trying to find families who'll keep these chickens as pets.

"Priority is to get them fed, get them water and just try to get them to the best home that we can. That way they are taken care of and not abused anymore," Wright said.

The city's given the family warnings and a few days to fix the other code violations. The owner's son says the family's working to correct those issues.

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