Mysterious deaths of poultry at Ohio Co. home investigated


OHIO COUNTY, Ky. (WEHT) In Ohio County, a series of mysterious deaths of chickens at one home has the owner and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture looking for answers.

It started at a home outside of Beaver Dam last week.

Some of what you’re about to see may be upsetting to some people.

Rick McCormick has raised chickens since he was a teenager.

“I feed them water every day,” he says.

“He gives them their shots, everything. he gives them their vaccinations,” adds his wife, Norene.

A few days ago, he says some of those animals started to suddenly pass away.

“The first ones started dying, not yesterday, but the day before, and there’s over 40 or 50 dead so far,” McCormick recalled.

“It’s bad. You’re even scared to come outside,” adds Norene.

McCormick says he called the Kentucky Department of Agriculture after as many as several dozen of his chickens died. Workers picked up samples this morning to be tested. Sean Southard of the Kentucky Department Of Agriculture says it appears these deaths are isolated so far.

“Each case is different and each case is dependent on the analysis that we’re going to get back from the lab that’s doing the analysis. We’ve had protocols in the past that we have to take certain action depending on the case, but each case is different,” Southard says.

McCormick claims this isn’t the first time it’s happend to chickens he owned. He says something similar happened several years ago.

He claims both he and Norene fell ill that same time. But state officials could not confirm if the animals at that home had a disease in the past.

“We both laid here and wake up in the middle of the night to be sure we were breathing,” Rick recalled.

Southard says they’ll decide their next steps based on what sample tests conclude.

“Regardless of where the animals are from, this analysis will show us if there was a pathogen present or not,” he says.

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(This story was originally published on August 19, 2019)

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