United Poultry Concerns October 4, 2000
Help The Victims of Buckeye Egg Farm Disaster

10/4/2000: News Release - UPC To Adopt 25 Hens Rescued from Buckeye Egg Farm Disaster

Help Still Needed With Hen Rescue

Date: Wed, 4 Oct 2000 12:52:17 -0400 (EDT)

Farm Sanctuary's New York shelter has taken in over 1,000 hens--most recently i went to buckeye farm on monday to pick up birds, and saw tens of thousands of birds still trapped in cages, alive, after 12 days. We have 3 more van loads of hens coming in tommorrow. Our shelter is PAST capacity--we have used up every barn, and now are using quickly renovated garages!

People who can help who are closer to our Watkins Glen, NY shelter-- either by volunteering or adopting chickens--can contact:

Farm Sanctuary Ph: 607-583-2225 x223 email:

Thank you for helping! Lorri Bauston

More on the Buckeye Chickens

Date: Wed, 4 Oct 2000 12:46:54 -0400 (EDT)


This from Jayn of the Animal Rights Community of Greater Cincinnati (ARC):

Help is really needed.

We were en route this AM to assist in the final effort to get more hens out. They continue to bury them alive.

We were halted right before we rented the cargo van by Ritchie. Buckeye put out a press release that all rescue operations scheduled for today (Wed) would be postponed until tomorrow. Ritchie thinks they keep doing this (one day allowing, next day not) to give them time to bury the evidence of what they are doing to the birds.

Other drivers are needed for tomorrow (Thursday) to drive hens to Farm Sanctuary (8 hours) and to a Sanctuary in Penn (3 hours). HSUS (Humane Society of the US) is paying for all expenses for FS and an individual in NY gave the Penn Sanctuary $3,000. when he saw the pictures so they are paying also for van rental etc.

If anybody can think of anyone who might drive -- if anyone can get off work or think of a college student or???, they should call Ritchie who is coordinating all. Her phone number is 614 486-6506. Rithcie was even doing these rescues on her birthday.

And this is another reason to contribute to Farm Sanctuary this Saturday (Farm Sanctuary Walk in Cincinnati). Even though HSUS will fund drivers, Farm Sanctuary will have the food and vet care of these hundreds of birds.

Picture the birds the next time you see someone eating an egg and speak up!. Buckeye had 6 birds packed to these crates that we know cause 4 birds to be immobilized. Each and every egg constitutes 25 hours of misery.

More information at:

Homes Still Needed For Rescued Hens!

Date: Tue, 3 Oct 2000 10:54:15 -0400 (EDT)

From: Jan Hamilton <>

Wilderness Ranch Sanctuary for Farm Animals will be transporting rescued hens from the Ohio Buckeye Factory Farm Disaster this weekend. If there is anyone who is able and willing to adopt chickens along I-70 from Western Pennsylvania to Colorado (but was holding back because of lack of transportation) please reply to this email or call Jan at 970-493-7153 to make arrangements. You may also contact Cayce at Oohmahnee at 724-925-2241 re: adoption and transportation. There are still hundreds of thousands of birds out there suffering. Making a committment now to providing a home for some of the already rescued hens will make it possible for more to be rescued. If you can help, please let us know as soon as possible how many hens you are able to adopt, your phone #, location (distance from I-70), email address, and a reference organization with phone number. Thanks. Also, if you live on the Colorado front range and can come out to the sanctuary to help, Wilderness Ranch is still in need of carpenters, handypeople, and other general volunteers to get ready for the rescued chickens. Please give us a call if you can help. Thank you. Jan Hamilton.

Buckeye Egg Farm Pictures

Date: Tue, 3 Oct 2000 10:48:44 -0400 (EDT)

The following pictures were taken by Nathan Runkle at Buckeye Egg Farm. He is with with the group Mercy for Animals (, a group that has saved about 500 of these hens. They are now placing them in loving homes.

Cameras Intl TV Coverage Needed Re:Birds Dying of Thirst

Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2000 16:30:30 -0400 (EDT)


TV assignment desk, wire service, radio, tv, newspaper magazine, humane society notification needed.. Buckeye looks like the surface of the moon.. The Buckeye Agribusiness factory farms directions: North of Columbus on Rt 71 is Sunbury. Rt 37 runs from Sunbury almost to Newark Ohio. Just before Johnstown proceeding E on 37 is Croton Road. Take a sharp left. Within a mile or two one sees green metal factory farms on the left.. pass them .. there are 6? huge grain elevators on the right. It is immediately beyond them that the most devastated chickens are baking in the sun during the day and freezing featherless at night. In monitoring national tv and radio broadcasts we have not seen coverage of this ..

Update within last hour on Ohio chickens dying of thirst

Today animal rights activists were ordered off of the property in a courteous but firm way. When activists continued to rescue the birds, Buckeye called the sheriff who asked the activists to leave. Company employees who volunteered to sign releases relieving Buckeye (Agrigeneral) of liability were not allowed to continue rescuing the birds. 3 of the metal barns have had the siding and roofs removed.. the chickens are in smashed cages.. there are often 6 to a 3 ft by 1 l/2 ft. cage, not the 3 or 4 that we had read about.

The cages are full of chickens with 1, 2, 3 or 4 dead.. while the remainder are still alive, not having had water for nine days. But when they were let go, though they had never had the ability to move, some of them flew 3 or 4 ft. Many are featherless from disease (or possibly forced molting?)

Activists have stepped into mid thigh deep chicken waste which is like a slippery mud. Without the boards scattered everywhere.. it is

a struggle to get out of the mud. In addition if one were to go into the area under the timbers, they could cave in. But many chickens can be rescued without risk to humans, while heroes might rescue the rest. Flies are everywhere and have been the subject of several lawsuits against Buckeye.

The company is not providing water to the trapped birds.

The entrance road is blocked with a backhoe.

NEWS(CROTON, Ohio):Egg producer stops chicken rescue operation

Egg producer stops chicken rescue operation
11.30 p.m. ET (344 GMT) September 28, 2000

CROTON, Ohio (AP) - The state's largest egg producer on Thursday shut down its rescue operation of chickens trapped in barns damaged by a tornado last week, leaving about 600,000 hens trapped in debris.

Buckeye Egg Farm said a specialist representing the American Humane Association "determined that the work being performed to rescue our hens had become physically and emotionally dangerous to humans.''

The humane association said that Buckeye Egg has mischaracterized its assessment.

The tornado destroyed 12 barns Sept. 20 at three Buckeye Egg sites near this community 25 miles northeast of Columbus. About 1 million chickens have been trapped in metal cages without food and water since then.

The company said it has removed 400,000 chickens. Most have been euthanized while rescue groups had saved about 10,000, the company said.

Humane association spokesman Jack Sparks said its recommendation was to put safety measures in place so that the largest number of animals could be rescued with as little harm as possible to humans.

Sparks said workers did not have the proper safety equipment, such as hard hats. "It's unfortunate that our role has been characterized this way,'' he said.

Buckeye Egg said all possibilities for rescuing more birds have been exhausted. It said it is seeking input from the state on its next step.

--------------------------------------------------------------------- On the Net:

Buckeye Farms:

Residents Adopt Tornado Chickens

Associated Press

Thursday September 28 7:23 AM ET
Residents Adopt Tornado Chickens

By MARK WILLIAMS, Associated Press Writer

CROTON, Ohio (AP) - Ohio's largest egg producer can't give away its starving, thirsty hens fast enough since a tornado last week smashed 12 barns where they roost into a mass of twisted metal and broken wood.

Hundreds of thousands of birds remain in their crumpled coops without food or water after a twister on Sept. 20 tore through two counties and three Buckeye Egg Farm plants. Many are dead, others dying.

``Our biggest situation is to reach these chickens and end their pain and suffering,'' said William Glass, the company's chief operating officer.

By Wednesday morning, of the 1 million hens affected, 290,000 had been put to sleep and 10,000 more had been adopted by animal rights activists and by neighbors of the damaged farms, northeast of Columbus.

Robin Pozzuoli, 39, was among those who lined up Wednesday to collect the abandoned animals.

``I didn't want to see them die,'' Pozzuoli said as Buckeye Egg workers loaded free hens into her rented U-Haul truck. ``I can save a few anyways.''

The company - which tends 15 million hens in four counties - says it has no place else to store and care for the creatures. What people can't keep, the company plans to incinerate.

To burn what's left, however, the Environmental Protection Agency says plastic piping - which would release a toxin - must be removed from each coop.

Besides worries about loss of life and livelihood, company officials say they are concerned about ground water contamination and other biological hazards as the birds die and decompose.

United Poultry Concerns, a group from Machipongo, Va. that rescued 25 birds, says the company wouldn't be in this fix if it didn't keep hens in such cramped quarters.

``Now, they're locked into this horrible death,'' said Karen Davis, president.

``Their destruction saddens us, too,'' said Steve Wagner, the chief production manager. ``If we can find homes through these groups, it is a good thing.''


On the Net:

Buckeye Farms:

United Poultry Concern:

Copyright 2000 The Associated Press.

Buckeye update from Oohmahnee Farm

Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2000 09:15:36 -0400 (EDT)

From: "P.J. McKosky"

Greetings from Oohmahnee...

Since our negotions with Buckeye Egg Farms top executives began last week, we have been able to rescue approximately 1,500 laying hens from the wreckage. After relocating the hens here, the REAL work now begins...

Farm Sanctuary in New York is adopting 400 hens. Which means, we still need to place at least 1,000 birds in loving, permanent homes. Finding placement quickly will enable us to return to the scene and rescue more birds. At the moment, we have an agreement with the Director of Buckeye to come back and rescue more birds if resources allow. It is VERY difficult to mobilize transportation for the birds to their new homes, since we are running a large farmed animal rescue and sanctuary operation. Hence, we need individuals who are willing to travel to pick-up their birds, deliver birds to new homes, and help out in other ways in finding homes in non-exploitive, long-term environments. Call Cayce or Jason at (724) 925-2241 to help.

The press conference that we arranged for Monday at 6:00 PM went very well, and surprisingly Buckeye allowed camera crews from ABC and the AP to enter the premises and film. This allowed us to acquire extensive footage of the suffering that these birds have been experiencing, as well as their living conditions on factory farms.

We need funds! We need funds for fencing, veterinary care, transportation, a barn, and many other expensive factors to care for these individuals. Our address: Ooh-Mah-Nee Farm, Inc. RD 1, Box 409, Hunker, PA 15639 - Volunteers and donations are always welecome and greatly appreciated.

Thanks go to Bill Long, Amy, Molly, Nathan, Ritchie, the Pitt crew (Friends of Animals, University of Pittsburgh), Oohmahnee officials, Farm Sanctuary, and the many others for all of their generous assistance and collaboration on this huge undertaking.

Update on Chicken Situation in Ohio

Date: Wed, 27 Sep 2000 13:02:22 -0400 (EDT)

The following post comes from Ritchie Laymon of POET in Columbus. She can be reached at:


First, let me thank everyone who responded to our call for help and offer my apologies if you are getting these messages more than once via duplicate lists.

Understandably, most people who live in the city have no place to house barnyard animals. And those who live three states away from Ohio are stymied by the transportation problem. The logistics are maddening.

It's late Monday night. I just got back from delivering some survivors from the pullet operation to an activist in Marysville who started her own farm animal sanctuary this summer.

Another caravan of trucks headed back to the sanctuary in Pennsylvania tonight. (The same place that took in nearly 800 birds Sunday night.) Thank you to Nathan Runkle of St. Paris, Oh and Molly Fearing of Cable, Oh for volunteering to make the long drive to New Stanton, Pa. Bill Long and Amie Hafner got back at 8:00 AM Monday and reported that the barn for the hens in Pennsylvania is wonderful. The hens are adapting beautifully which pretty much wrecks the argument by poultry scientists that today's selectively bred hens are little more than laying machines incapable of behavior exhibited by their free-range ancestors.

Here are some informational tidbits that may be helpful to those of you who are deciding how best to participate in the rescue:

1. The birds have been without food and water for five full days. The HSUS has told Buckeye Egg that, in some cases, birds can go for 21 days without food and water. So for those of you who thought you had passed some time line for rescue, you haven't.

2. You must have permission to enter onto Buckeye Egg property. The number to call is 740.893.7200. The persons to contact are Steve Wagner and/or Bill Glass. They are top executives with the company and have arranged for their employees to work overtime to aid with the loading of the birds. The owner of Buckeye Egg, Anton Pohlmann, is no where to be found. Feel free to say that Ritchie Laymon gave you the contact. They are somewhat paranoid about activists calling out of the blue. I'm the devil they know.

3. Buckeye Egg is located on Croton Road in Licking County very close to the juncture of Routes 62 and 37. Look for Johnstown, Oh on the map which is six miles away. The main office is unmarked, but is located on Croton Road just passed Westley Chapel Road on one side and several extremely large grain elevators on the same side as the office. You must always check-in with the main office before proceeding to the laying sites.

4. Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, NY may know of someone in your area who can provide a van or truck for the drive to Croton. You can contact Lorri or Gene Bauston of Farm Sanctuary at 607.583.7376. Please thank them for their efforts.

5. The birds Buckeye Egg is allowing us to rescue are robust. (The nearly "spent" hens are being gassed.) However, having said that, they may still harbor a common respiratory illness in factory-farmed chickens that is transmissible to other birds but not to humans or other animals. It is not a fatal bacteria, but if you are housing these birds on a property with other chickens, the Buckeye birds probably should be kept separate for two weeks, or one month to be absolutely safe.

6. The birds should not be fed immediately after rescue. The most important thing to do is hydrate them. After they've had water, then allow them to eat chicken feed. The reverse could cause bloating and possibly death.

7. For those who have no homes to offer, financial help is important as well. Picking up the tab on a tank of gas could mean the difference between a trip being made or scratched. Contact Farm Sanctuary (above phone) to donate funds.

8. Calls to the sanctuary in Pennsylvania would be welcome and are definitely in order. Please thank Cayce (pronounced K.C.), Jay, and their newborn son Aidan, and their crew for traveling back and forth to Ohio to rescue over 1500 birds, and for providing lifetime care for Our Liberated Ladies. Their number is 724.755.2420.

In another note: Ohio's Director of Agriculture, Fred Dailey, is holding a five-day conference in Columbus starting tomorrow to which all 50 directors of Ag in the U.S. have been invited. Also in attendance will be USDA chief Dan Glickman and representatives of Bush and Gore. Governor Taft will give opening remarks. I plan to attend this conference and corner as many ag directors as I can to tell them of the situation in Ohio and beg them to stop the promotion of CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations) in their states. Ohio is in the process of passing legislation (SB 141 crafted by the Farm Bureau and due to be voted out immediately after the November elections) that will essentially be a welcome mat for more Buckeye Eggs. Shame on our legislature!

Please call or e-mail if I have not adequately answered your questions re the rescue.

Thank you for caring.

Ritchie Laymon POET Columbus 614.486.6506


Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2000 16:02:49 -0400 (EDT)


Please write letters to the editor. Include a simple message: to prevent such tragedies in the future and to stop the suffering of laying hens, there is one simple thing people can do - stop buying eggs.

Letters to the Editor
The Dispatch, 34 S. 3rd St.
Columbus 43215
ph: 614-461-5000.
fax: 614-461-7580

See for info on how to send a letter to the editor.



Date: Friday, September 22, 2000
Section: NEWS
Page: 01A
Illustration: Photo
Byline: Mike Lafferty
Source: Dispatch Staff Reporter

HARTFORD, Ohio -- Trapped in cages in tornado-damaged laying houses, more than 1 million chickens at Buckeye Egg Farm will be killed to prevent them from starving to death.

"There's very little we can do,'' said Bruce Collen, chief financial officer for the facility in northeast Licking County, about 30 miles northeast of Columbus. "There is substantial structural damage to the laying houses. It's dangerous to be in there. We can't feed them.''

The chickens, mostly laying hens, are fed and watered by automatic systems destroyed by the tornado that hit the area about 9 p.m. Wednesday.

Without water, the chickens might live five days. Without food, about a week, Collen said.

He said that about a dozen Buckeye workers and as many as 50 volunteers from nearby Mennonite communities will try to save as many chickens as they can today and Saturday.

Most of the chickens, however, will have to be destroyed, Collen said, because they are trapped in 12 buildings too unsafe for workers to enter.

"Under state law, they need to be buried or burned or rendered,'' said Mark Anthony, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Agriculture. "I can't tell you in hours or days, but quickly.

"And the process has to be done humanely, too. These chickens are not going to die of thirst.''

Fred L. Dailey, the agency's director, and Mike Gallaway, a supervisor with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, met with Collen at the facility yesterday.

"The buildings are a tangle of cages and birds and manure pits below,'' Dailey said.

"This is going to be a herculean task.''

He said chickens that cannot be saved will be killed with gas and taken to a rendering plant in Wapakoneta, in Auglaize County.

Gallaway said manure from the farm did not appear to have flowed into nearby streams. There are 64 laying-hen buildings, 24 young-hen buildings and some egg-processing facilities on the farm.

Each laying-hen building contains about 85,000 chickens.

Collen said that one worker was injured slightly inside a laying house when the tornado hit.

"We consider ourselves lucky not to have serious injuries or loss of life,'' he said.

Bill Glass, chief operating officer for the company, said the buildings are about 600 feet long and 50 feet wide.

Eight buildings were destroyed at a complex off Wesley Chapel Road, three buildings at a site off Croton Road and one building at a site off Parsons Road.

Several more buildings were damaged during the storm, Collen said.

The tornado apparently hit in eastern Delaware County before entering Licking County, where 14 homes were damaged near the egg farm.

The agriculture agency has contacted the United States Humane Society and the U.S. Department of Agriculture for advice.

"The USDA went through this in a much larger scale in North Carolina last summer (1999) with their back- to-back floods,'' Anthony said.

Caption: (1) Craig Holman / Dispatch

Above: An aerial view of Buckeye Egg Farm in Licking County shows the extensive damage that Wednesday night's tornado caused to a number of laying houses.

(2) Jeff Hinckley / Dispatch

Below: Chickens trapped in a laying house are exposed to the elements. Officials say the danger is too great to allow people inside the buildings to rescue the birds.

Urgent! Buckeye Egg Farm Hen Rescue

Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2000 15:50:45 -0400 (EDT)

The following report comes from Ritchie Laymon of POET in Columbus. She can be reached at:

Urgent help is needed if anyone can lend it! =====================================================

Sunday 24 SEP 00 at 4:00 PM Unless you've been locked in a sensory-deprivation tank, you probably know that the twister that got Xenia, moved on to Buckeye Egg Farm last Wednesday night and destroyed at least 12 barns that hold 85,000 to 90,000 hens each. Starting at 8:35 PM that night, over one million birds were stranded without food and water. Since then, Buckeye has started destroying the animals: gassing, then burning, then hauling their carcasses away to a landfill in Wapakoneta. We know how effective gassing is with pound dogs, so you can imagine how haphazard and horrendous it must be with chickens.

Two of us went out there Thursday morning to inquire about rescuing what we could manage to find homes for. We were put on hold until local processors and farmers could get in to remove as many birds as they could take, and until the killing machine could be put in place, which has been done. It's hard to get figures, but it looks like they've been destroying upwards of 25,000 birds per day. As of today, Sunday, something like a quarter million birds are way or the other.

Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen has offered to take 1000 birds and a truck is coming in to collect the animals as soon as the go-ahead comes from Buckeye Egg. The company is a reluctant participant in a humane rescue because they just don't know how the p.r. will shake out for them when animal lovers enter the mix. But they sense that not to let the animals be rescued might be a bigger negative in the press, than to allow the birds to go and risk the ensuing stories about how awful these animal concentration camps are.

The other wrinkle in this rescue is the danger of barn roofs further collapsing and injuring volunteers for which Buckeye would then be held liable. There are plenty of barns where the roofs and walls are missing altogether, but they seem to be killing those animals that are sitting in battery cages in the open air. The management is now trying to bring in cranes to remove those roofs that weren't already blown off, so that rescuers can get access to the birds without fear of being crushed.

****The rescue of one thousand hens could start as early as 6:00 PM tonight. Or may be delayed until sometime Monday.****

Sunday 24 SEP 00 10:30 PM

Just got back from helping load over a thousand hens into a caravan of trucks headed to Pennsylvania, the closest place Farm Sanctuary can find to stash these many animals. Two POET members, Bill Long and Amie Hafner are splitting the four-hour drive each way to deliver one truckload of birds. The rest of the drivers are from a sanctuary in Pennsylvania God bless'em all!

The situation out there is grotesque. HSUS recommended tenting the broken barns and pumping-in gas, as opposed to throwing the birds in a truck and gassing them there. Terminix came in today to try the tent killing and it was a total flop. The barns are the size of airplane hangars. They just couldn't manage such a huge undertaking. That means the birds will just starve to death in their cages, because the truck/gas method is too slow to get to the hundreds upon hundreds of thousand animals before they dehydrate and starve.

If anyone has a relative who lives on a farm and can take a few of these creatures, it would be welcomed by Buckeye Egg and those of us who have seen the situation out there and can't sleep at night.

Not to get too anecdotal, but we had are own disaster when loading the birds into the first truck. It was cold and rainy and we had left the heat on. The birds who were wet and cold themselves piled into one corner of the truck and the hens on the lowest level immediately suffocated. We had to pull the living birds off the dead birds and discard the dead birds. It was devastating. What were we? Their saviors, or their tormentors? We then turned on the air conditioning, which was completely counterintuitive, but it worked. These poor creatures, who were at first terrified by the straw bedding we laid out, soon started nesting and clucking. From factory robots, they turned into "The Girls" and we fell in love with them.

They're out there. If anyone on this list can help chip away at this huge catastrophe by saving just one innocent little life, we'll all be the better for it.

Thanks for any help you can offer.

Ritchie Laymon POET Columbus

United Poultry Concerns. October 4, 2000

United Poultry Concerns, Inc.
PO Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405-0150
FAX: 757-678-5070

(Action Alert - Help The Victims of Buckeye Egg Farm Disaster)