Poultry bound for the Perdue processing plant in Perry were tossed out of an 18-wheeler that turned over Friday morning at the North Avenue entrance to Interstate 16 West.
The on-ramp was blocked for three hours during the cleanup.
Jason Eady was driving by when he saw the truck roll over at about 10:50 a.m.
“When I was going around the corner, it was laying on its side,” Eady said. “I don’t know if he was going too fast, or what. But something happened, the load shifted or something.”
Other witnesses reported a strap holding the chicken pens broke as the truck was turning from Gray Highway onto the interstate ramp, according to Bibb County sheriff’s Lt. Sean DeFoe.
The shifting compartments caused the truck and trailer to overturn in the left lane of the ramp, DeFoe said.
The road was wet and had a rainbow sheen typical of spilled fuel.
Hours earlier, another vehicle went into the ditch by the ramp, but DeFoe said the slick pavement did not cause the accident.
The driver was not hurt, but Macon-Bibb County firefighters pulled another man from the cab and assessed his injuries, which did not initially appear to be life-threatening.
First-responders put a neck brace on him and loaded the man into an ambulance.
Dozens of dazed chickens huddled in a line next to truck. One lone chicken was off by itself in the middle of the strip of grass between the ramp and highway.
The Perdue company sent animal welfare officers and other workers to the accident to evaluate and care for the birds, according to a statement released by Perdue spokeswoman Julie DeYoung.
“Injured birds will be humanely euthanized and the rest will be loaded onto another truck and transported to the plant,” DeYoung said.
With access to the highway blocked, Gray Highway traffic backed up to Shurling Drive at times during the cleanup.
DeYoung apologized for any inconvenience the mishap caused.