As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

No one here but us (dead) chickens! Thousands of birds die from heat, not Jewish sin ritual

EDITOR'S NOTE: The CFZ is primarily a research organisation, but we are also involved in activism and animal welfare. Therefore, stories like this, which aren't the least bit Fortean, are included because we think that it is important that such events are highlighted, rather than ignored.

Thousands of chickens — condemned to die in a Jewish redemption ritual — instead died in Wednesday's unseasonable heat, causing the annual rites to be put on ice in some Brooklyn neighborhoods, the Daily News has learned.

The soon-to-be-slaughtered poultry perished at the hands of a higher power when the mercury hit the mid-90s — hours before they could be used in Kapparot, an Orthodox tradition wherein Jews symbolically transfer their sins to the bird before sacrificing it.

"We lost about 2,000 chickens because of the heat," said a man who works in Skwere Mosdos, a Borough Park shul.

"It's a big loss," added the man who declined to give his name. Another person at the 45th St. establishment estimated the death toll at 800.

The hot and muggy day caused a calamity for other Kapparot operations.

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