The owner of the Yuen Long farm at the centre of the bird flu scare spoke yesterday of his shock at the speed at which thousands of his chickens died. Lam Po-sang, whose 110,000 chickens were being culled last night by officers of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, said: 'I have been in this industry for 32 years and it is the first time I have seen such a mass sudden death of chickens like this.' His farm is in Ng Ka village on Kam Sheung Road. 'Normally chickens die gradually in the case of flu. But this time, all the chickens in the same cage suddenly died within hours. I put about three chickens in every cage, they all died in a few hours. 'The chickens were healthy, normal and had a good appetite. It may be the chicken plague which killed the birds.' Mr Lam said his chickens died without displaying any symptoms. 'One minute they were flapping their wings, the next they were dead. Their bodies turned red after they died.' He revealed that the sudden deaths started on Wednesday, but it was only on Friday that he reported it to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. Up to 30,000 of the 140,000 chickens on his farm subsequently died of the disease over the course of three days. Asked why he did not report the mass deaths to the authorities earlier, Mr Lam replied: 'I did not know what was going on at the time. 'I was not sure what disease had caused them to die.' He claimed he had been following official guidelines to use only disinfected cages. Mr Lam said he agreed that all the remaining birds on his farm should be killed to prevent an epidemic. He estimated his losses would amount to about $3 million, although he will be able to claim compensation from the Government. 'It is only my personal loss. But we should look at the bigger picture of public health and the business loss of the whole chicken industry.' Yesterday morning, a team of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation officers, including vets, arrived at the farm to carry out an investigation. At 4pm, several vehicles with officers and workers carrying gas cylinders, equipment and disinfectant arrived to carry out the slaughter over two days. Workers and officers were required to put on white gowns and boots over their shoes before they were allowed to enter.