ONE hundred chicks were killed in a ‘sick’ and ‘disgusting’ attack on a poultry farm last night.

Police believe the birds died when a gang of five teenage boys forced their way into two pens at Knuzden Brook Poultry Farm in Haslingden Old Road, and hit them with bricks and rocks.

The gang of youths, aged around 17 or 18, were spotted outside a chicken pen by the farm manager when he pulled his van up in the yard at 8.30pm.

A passenger in the van ran after the youths, who escaped over fields and towards the Shadsworth estate.

Four live chicks were later found in the fields having been dropped by the gang.

The farm is now looking at upping security on the site, with the possibility of a worker living on the premises.

Recently they have been subject to several break-ins, and have had washing equipment stolen.

The farm currently has 125,000 chickens, which will be reared for eight weeks before being sold on to meat suppliers.

The large pens they are housed in are kept at a stable 30C to keep them alive.

Inspector David Mangan said: “I am absolutely disgusted by the inhumane actions of these sick individuals, who seem to have got some kind of pleasure out of the unnecessary slaughter of new born chickens.

“I believe it’s probably been committed by just one individual out of a group and I would appeal to those who weren’t necessarily directly involved to search their conscience, do the right thing and contact the police.

“I would also ask anybody at all within the community who may have any information about this awful incident to come forward.”

Anybody with any information should contact police on 08451 25 35 45 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.