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Foreclosures: Flying The Coop

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Hoofy & Boo's hard-hitting look at the recession's forgotten victims: chickens.

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In a recent RealtyTrac report, California, Florida, Arizona, Nevada and Illinois accounted for nearly 60% of all foreclosures in the first quarter of 2009, with 479,516 properties affected.

Las Vegas had the most foreclosures of any US city, with the rate of filings at 4.5%, or 7 times the national average.

Merced, CA had the dubious honor of coming in second, with Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL in third place, Stockton, CA in fourth, and Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA placing fifth.

The recession has affected all types of people and businesses, all across the country. But among the hardest hit are chicken farmers - particularly in North Carolina, where it's a $3.3-billion industry.

While the fate of homebuilders like Centex (CTX), Pulte (PHM), and Toll Brothers (TOL) has been a matter of national concern, few have spared a thought for the 800 to 900 chicken farmers who have lost contracts since last fall, forcing them into foreclosure.

These foreclosures aren't on their houses, mind you - they're on their chicken coops, which can cost up to $500,000 each.

Hoofy & Boo take a look at the littlest -- and featheriest -- victims of the foreclosure crisis.

Just think of the chickens.

No positions in stocks mentioned.

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