The chickens near Kiryat Gat have been traumatized.

It might sound strange, but when one considers what it might be like to have a rocket slam into your house, at close quarters, it is perhaps not surprising that the chickens in southern Israel have had enough.

One of the rockets fired Sunday morning by Gaza terrorists hit a large chicken coop at a moshav near Kiryat Gat, killing at least 200 of the 160,000 birds.

Another 300 of the birds, however, were badly traumatized, and must be moved – not only because the coop was seriously damaged, but due to the stress they suffered from the attack.

“We must get them out of here, not only because of the damage, but also because of the trauma they are in,” the farmer told the Hebrew-language newspaper Yediot Acharanot. “We are lucky that this is all that happened, and that no human being was hurt.”

A chicken coop was also hit by a mortar fired by Gaza terrorists earlier in the day at an agricultural community in the Sha’ar HaNegev region.

According to Dr. Louis Snipelisky, one of the owners of the Be’er Sheva-based Veterinary Hospital, there really is such a thing as chicken trauma.

“Chickens can be traumatized just as all other animals can be,” he said in an exclusive interview with

The veterinarian, who also maintains an animal clinic in the northern Negev town of Arad, noted that during the 2006 Second Lebanon War, many dogs in northern Israel went missing. “Dogs even on Independence Day tend to get very scared by the loud noises they hear from celebrations… they become anxious and hide under the bed. Sometimes they even run away,” he commented.

Snipelisky added that trauma in chickens can have real economic consequences as well. “They can stop laying eggs, they may lose weight, stop eating, become more susceptible to diseases… production will go down,” he said.

It is not known how many chicken farms have suffered from lowered production levels due to rocket attacks over the past eight years in the Gaza Belt region, during which southern Israel has absorbed at least 10,000 rocket and mortar attacks.