- Associated Press - Monday, September 28, 2015

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - About 41,000 chickens died from suffocation at Arkansas’ Cummins Unit prison after a tractor accident knocked out power to the layer houses for more than seven hours.

State Department of Correction Director Wendy Kelley described the accident Monday in her report to the Arkansas Board of Corrections. An inmate hit an electricity pole and the ventilators in the chicken enclosure went offline last month.

The 41,000 chickens were close to half of the 91,000 chickens the department had purchased for a new initiative in its farming program. The department had replaced the powdered eggs used in its cafeterias with fresh eggs.

The chickens will cost more than $200,000 to replace. The department plans to buy a generator for about $150,000 for future emergencies.

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