No one likes being stuck in traffic on a highway. Gridlock has everyone in a fowl foul mood and people just want to get to their final destination. This situation might not be so bad if, per chance, you happen to look at the car sitting next to you and strike up a conversation with a beautiful stranger who ends up becoming your spouse. Then you have a great story to tell your grandchildren. The backup might also be permissible if you’re able to reap some financial benefit by being in the right place at the right time. Last week in China’s Shandong province, 10,000 chicks were in the wrong place, but locals helped them find their way.

Truck hanging off side of road with little chicks running about

A poultry truck was on its way to the city of Wuhai, China when the driver lost control of the vehicle. It appears that one of the tires on the truck had been leaking air for some time and finally blew out while hurtling down the highway. The driver swerved into a guard rail and the truck flipped over as it skidded to a stop on the side of the road. Fortunately for the driver, he just avoided crashing through the railing at an overpass, in which case he would likely have plummeted to his death.

Confused chicks by an overturned truck

While the driver survived the accident with only minor injuries, his cargo was not as fortunate. Before the accident, the back of the truck was full of cardboard boxes, piled seven high and secured with only a tarp and straps, containing 10,000 adorable, fluffy, yellow chicks. When the truck flipped, some were killed, but the majority were released from their imprisonment. They quickly spilled forth from the strewn boxes and filled the two-lane highway.

Villagers gather chicks from the accident

Other drivers on the road screeched to a halt after the accident and, upon making sure the operator of the vehicle was okay, decided to make the best of a bad situation. The initial fifteen people on the scene were soon joined by police, who closed the highway for fear of the chicks being run over. This created a six mile backup behind the accident. Soon, local villagers and people stuck in the backup rushed to the site of the incident and began scooping up the recently-liberated chicks. Before long, a crowd of over three hundred people carried away the birds in whatever they could get their hands on, including boxes, plastic bowls, their pockets, and even a few quick-thinking individuals who made bags out of their shirts.

Aerial view of the overturned truck and loose chicks

It took over four hours before the truck was removed from the scene. The highway had opened only two hours after the accident, however, because all the living chicks had been carried off by their new owners. The manager of the poultry farm said that his losses on the animals were nearly $8,000. But, he said that he has no intention of trying to reclaim his stolen property as he is confident that the evidence of the theft has already vanished due to chicken feet being a delicacy in China.

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Steve Pame

Steve Pame

A part-time graduate student and high school teacher, Steve enjoys just about anything that makes him forget all the student loans he'll never be able to pay back. He enjoys visiting his extended family, spread throughout the world, whenever he has a chance.