Nearly 200 chickens in Plainville have to be killed after agriculture officials said Friday that they were extremely diseased.
The 192 birds were living in a condemned home on North Washington Street. Police called the home itself a chicken coop.
Neighbors said it was a sound to which they'd grown accustomed.
"I've heard roosters and that's it," said neighbor Joey Tattersall.
"We could hear the crowing at certain times of the day or night from time to time," said John Maciag, also a neighbor. "It wasn't terribly loud."
Officials from the state Department of Agriculture said Joe and Mary Honyak, who lived in the home, had not been allowed to live there since January.
"They were under an order from the health department and fire marshal's office where they could not live in the house any longer because of a faulty furnace," said Ray Connors, of the state Department of Agriculture.
That's when police said they discovered the birds. The couple was renting the home.
However, they were allowed to return to the home and care for the chickens while the process with the town and state played out.
"The wife had a hobby of heritage type breed birds," said Connors.
Agriculture officials also said she did not have the paperwork allowing her to keep them.
They also said the Honyaks were cooperating with authorities.
"Through an order, we have to go ahead and destroy all of the birds here on the property to prevent the spread of a very infectious avian disease," Connors said.
A criminal investigation will be launched.
"I thought maybe they had four or five chickens, hens," said Maciag. "I never realized they had so many."
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