Purulia, Feb. 3: Three hundred chicks died over three days around 10 days ago at a poultry farm in Dhanara village, about 320 km from Calcutta, but the deaths are being attributed to poor management and maintenance.
In the backdrop of reports about bird flu elsewhere in Asia, the incident prompted the Purulia district authorities to send a team of experts to the village — in Kasipur block — to investigate.
The team reported that the chicks died because they had been kept in the open in the cold.
The birds were among 900 day-old chicks bought by the owners of the farm from hatcheries in Arambagh and Orissa on January 22, the district’s deputy director of animal husbandry, Amar Shankar Patra, said.
“About 300 of them died over the next three days, which is unusual. As soon as we got the news, we got in touch with the joint director of the Institute of Animal Health and Veterinary Biologicals in Calcutta. He ruled out bird flu as the cause, as the virus does not affect chicks that are so young.”
Even so, a couple of dead chicks are being brought to Purulia for post-mortem at the veterinary hospital here.
“We will also send samples to the institute in Calcutta,” Patra said.
The chicks could not be brought today because of the Bengal bandh.