Italian Night Training “Fowl-Up” Results In Dead Farm Chickens

A nighttime military training mishap in Italy is believed to have resulted in damage to a chicken farm on the outskirts of the commune of Vivaro, in the north of Italy.

The mishap is suspected to have occurred around 9PM on Wednesday, during an exercise by the Lagunari amphibious regiment and Genova Cavelleria cavalry regiment of the Italian Army’s Pozzuolo del Friuli Cavalry Brigade on a training range at the Cellini stream bed. The chicken farm is 200 meters away from the training range, with an employee of the farm contacted by the Corriere Del Veneto saying that employees of the farm are used to the sounds and noises of such exercises. Similarly, the guards of the farm on duty at the time noticed nothing out of the ordinary that night, with the chickens fast asleep.

Another view of damage to the chicken coop.

Only with sunrise on Thursday was the true extent of the damage to the farm revealed. Farm owner Edoardo da Re discovered that two coops had been left with large holes from shells that impacted them. Partial internal collapses of the coops are estimated to have killed around 50 chickens, with the employee contacted saying that farm workers were still in the early stages of assessing damage to the farm. The incident was reported to the carabinieri, who suspected it to have occured during the training exercise. An official investigation has since been opened by the Pordenone Prosecutor’s Office.

The carabinieri have since ordered the impounding of four B1 Centauro tank destroyers used in the exercise. It is suspected that the units on exercise did not notice the mistake due to the 105mm inert training ammunition used. However, it remains to be seen as to how exactly the crews wound up firing in the direction of an inhabited area instead of downrange, the opposite direction from their presumably intended targets.

A fragment of a training shell inside one of the chicken coops.

The Italian Army said in a press statement that it had notified local residents of the routine exercise prior to training. It has since launched its own internal investigation into the incident, saying that it would ensure “maximum” collaboration and transparency with the investigating bodies.