Birds in ASPCA facility deteriorate, die following seizure from Upstate New York farm

“I have never seen fowl in this poor of condition. Deplorable is an understatement. Some have gotten to a level of cannibalism, which is a disorder that occurs when fowl get bored. It could also be from a lack of iron in their diet and overcrowded  pens.”

by Marjorie Haun

Tommy Carrano, whose tidy Upstate New York game fowl farm was raided by government officials and the ASPCA last fall, was required to go through legal avenues just to see his prized birds following their seizure. The birds were confiscated from his farm and placed by the ASPCA in cramped, inadequate facilities which Carrano describes as ‘deplorable.’ Since the raid, several of the birds have died under ASPCA ‘care,’ and, according to Carrano, their condition has deteriorated so severely that upon his last inspection, he could identify only a few of them by appearance.

As we reported earlier in January:

The ASPCA seized Carrano’s birds, which are being held in a facility under ‘deplorable’ conditions. According to Carrano,My birds were all taken off my property after being inspected and found all in good health. The eggs were destroyed and 20 chicks, 2 days old, were taken as well.”  He continued,“They took our heat lamp due to the fact that they did not have what they needed to properly care for our birds. We were asked several times to forfeit our birds. We obtained permission, after 5 months, to go and see them.” 

Below are images taken at Carrano’s farm prior to the ASPCA raid, which clearly show well-fed birds in robust health with luxurious plumage.

The contrast between the birds under Carrano’s care versus that of the ASPCA is both alarming and infuriating. The following pictures were taken by Carrano when he visited the ASPCA facility to check on his game fowl.

Hens with missing head feathers, matted feathers in dark enclosure

Carrano, who is recognized by the New York Farm Bureau as an expert in chicken nutrition and show-quality health, described the inadequate feeding of the birds at the ASPCA facility:

“My fowl were raised on a 16 to  17 percent protein with grit. Since chickens don’t have teeth, they need grit for proper digestion. I had two hens who were taken by the ASPCA that over ten years old. One needed oatmeal and grit in very cold weather, but I couldn’t locate her. I assume she was one of the ones that died. The other old hen was in absolute disgusting condition and I would be surprised If she is still alive.”

Stressed chicken in tiny cage in a dark enclosure

Some of the birds were displaying aberrant behaviors as a result of the unstimulating and cramped conditions. According to Carrano, “I have raised game fowl for thirty seven years and I have never seen fowl in this poor of condition. Deplorable is an understatement. Some have gotten to a level of cannibalism, which is a disorder that occurs when fowl get bored. It could also be from a lack of iron in their diet and overcrowded  pens.”

He continued, contrasting his care of the birds with the treatment they’re receiving at the facility. He said, “Because of the climate and environment I slightly adjusted feed in the 4 different seasons and my fowl ran on lush grass with plenty of exercise. Every one of my fowl was treated as an individual on my farm. The birds were definitely put through shock when they were put in this place.”

Chickens raised on spacious farm where they ranged freely each day suffer from overcrowding, stress in ASPCA holding facility

Beyond over-zealousness and the disregard for personal property rights on the parts of animal rights extremists, this case also illustrates their dangerous lack of knowledge about animals and agriculture. Carrano is not just a conscientious farmer, he is an authority in the field of rare game fowl. The consequences to these birds of being taken by force from a well-run farm with excellent food and plenty of room to freely range, and being put into cramped, stressed conditions and a lack of proper care, have been disastrous and deadly.

You can find out more about the case and contribute to Carrano’s legal defense fund by visiting the Tommy Carrano Legal Defense Fund page.

Below is a report compiled by expert game fowl breeder, Anthony Saville, containing extensive explanations and evidence supporting Carrano’s case, and bringing into question the actions of the ASPCA during the raid of his farm and subsequent evidence gathering.

Expert Report on Prosecution Evidence against Game Fowl Producer, Tommy Carrano

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