Poultry and livestock theft happens more often than you think, and it can cost farmers in New York thousands every year. Between food shortages, the rising cost of poultry and beef, to even the work of animal rights activists, reported cases of theft from local farms and ranches appears to be on the rise.

Back in the old days, chicken thieves were considered some of the most "low-down, dirtiest of crooks."


New York Almanack says that chicken theft gang operations existed in places like Plattsburgh, Ogdensburg, Watertown, and the Capital Region, where thieves would steal from farms to bring back to the organization's boss. From there, the stolen birds were sold to various buyers on the black market.

See Also: New York Lawmaker Pushes To Ban Certain Countries From Buying Farmland in the State

It was such a serious problem back in the day, that those caught could be sent to prison in Dannemora or Auburn.

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50 Chickens Goes Missing From New York State Farm 

County police had put farmers on the alert for potential trespassers earlier in the week, according to WGRZ. However, this doesn't appear to be the work of a chicken coop gang looking to sell stolen birds to a meat market. Police said they believe it could be the work of animal rights activists, who they say break into farms and attempt to rescue and relocate the animals.

Now, the New York State police are investigating the sudden disappearance of 50 chickens from a farm in the town of Gasport in Niagara County according to WGRZ.

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