A Maryland chicken farmer went to check on his birds in the morning and found his entire flock dead—and a drunk passed out in a pool of urine. Joshua Shelton, 21, wandered into the farm's power control shed and accidentally turned off power to three chickenhouses, say police. The birds, which were due to be delivered to a processing plant the next day, began to die just 15 minutes after the cooling fans went off. The farmer is out at least $20,000, and Shelton is facing charges including burglary and animal cruelty.
Shelton had been at a gathering at the farm the night before with people including the farmer's daughter, and he has no memory of entering the shed or turning off the power, according to investigators. "The daughter thought he left, but instead he wandered into the shed where all the power controls and breakers were, and turned them off," a police spokesman tells NBC. "Quite frankly, he was probably in a condition where he really didn’t know what he was doing."