Good evening y'all! I've always been a frequent flyer on Backyard Chickens, but never joined. I come to you all today and am asking for your honest opinions. I have had chickens my whole life, both coop chickens and free range. Recently someone called animal control on an "animal welfare concern." I am not new to having to deal with animal control, as we've had large and small livestock, and as the city encroaches closer and closer, the new comers who do not know farming call in their concerns. It can be an inconvenience, but I have really never minded animal control coming out. I'll apologize here as this is getting ready to get lengthy, but I want anyone reading to have a good background on me. About two years ago we rescued six alpaca from an alpaca farmer who was elderly and decided to rehome his alpaca as he could no longer care for them. One of the alpaca began showing signs of neurological problems. Using forums and talking to other alpaca farmers, it became clear quickly that she had a brain worm. I did not call in a vet. I immediately started treatment. Her neurological problems progressed to where she was unable to get up unassisted. My husband and I continued medical treatment, penned her by herself, and did daily muscle massages and stretches. We would stand her up several times a day and assist her with walking. At the same time we rescued a jersey calf who had been pulled from her mother at one and a half weeks old. A farm hand pulled her saying she was a bull calf. I could tell she needed help so we took her. She would NOT drink milk replacer and she would not drink from a bottle. (This is why they were getting rid of her. She was an unneeded bull calf that would not take a bottle on a large scale production farm.) She was so weak that when I put tension on the lead rope on her halter she fell over and would not get up. I tried everything short of a feeding tube to get her to drink the replacer. She would graze and she would drink water on her own. We sold a few chickens to someone who wanted a small flock for a good sized chicken tractor. Long story short, they saw a thin calf and a down alpaca and called animal control. Animal control came out, listened to what I had to say. They wanted me to euthanize the alpaca and told me the calf was emaciated. I told them I would not put the alpaca down. She was bright, alert, eating, drinking, and was trying to regain the ability to walk. She cooperated when we stood her up and you could tell she was trying to walk. She had a huge parasol she laid under, it was summer, and she had just been shorn. When it rained we took her in the barn. They were upset I would not euthanize her. IMHO, if she was going to fight for her life and not give up, I could not give up on her. I explained that a jersey calf is lean, they are a low body fat calf, and that she was thinner than she should be, and all the supplements and care she was getting. They said I needed to bring a vet out immediately, or they would bring out a state vet and I would have to pay for it. I called my vet and he came out. His prognosis for the alpaca was not good. He did agree with my brain worm diagnosis and said my medical and physical therapy regiment was perfect. He said we would reevaluate in two weeks. The calf he said was lucky to be alive and praised us highly for everything we were doing. We had plenty of chickens then and there was no mention of them having anything wrong w them. Nutshell outcome: animal control and the vet came every two weeks to check on the alpaca. Not only did she FULLY recover, but apparently she was pregnant, didn't lose the baby and delivered the baby with no problems after she regained mobility. The calf continued to grow and put on weight and is now a dairy calf at a homesteaders farm. Fast forward two incident free years. Animal Control left a notice on my door, "Welfare Concern." Ok, no big deal. They'll come in and if they see something they don't like, we fix it. I totally forgot to call them the next day. Day 2, get home, 2nd notice. This one was much more severe. Just about every box was checked off. Inadequate shelter, inadequate food and water, and dogs constantly barking. I have a barn that is always open with plenty of nest boxes and even a few plastic dog boxes, all of which, and the floor, covered in straw. Three chicken coops, all with doors and roost poles, and straw in the bottom. I had 18 acres and NO NEIGHBORS. My dogs only bark when something is going on, or someone is in the yard. If they did bark constantly, no one could hear them. I have an underground spring that comes to the surface 100 yards from the coops. They have several water buckets that are cleaned regularly and are filled three times a day as needed. I was going through 50+ lbs in chicken feed every two days. My husband built a stand for a water barrel that is kept hot. Winter weather and fighting icy buckets I have always hated. Several times a day we would carry 150°F water in a 5 gal bucket around to the water buckets and the homemade duck pond to not only de-ice, but we added enough hot water to make the water in the buckets warm. It took awhile for ice to form. I had 2 rabbits in a cage. I would drop their water bottle in the hot bucket as it filled, and it was then warm by the time the hot bucket was full. Rabbit hutch has a split floor, removable wood bottom and wire bottom. They had a nest box with straw and the bottom of the cage itself was covered with straw. End Day 2. Day 3 I called the animal control officer in the morning, while I was at work. She wanted to meet same day, but I could not get off work before her shift ended. We scheduled to meet on Day 4. When I arrived home on Day 3, the officer was in my driveway. She barred me from my property saying she was waiting on "some paperwork and backup." Another AC officer and a Sheriff deputy arrived. I was told to remain in my vehicle. Officer #1 comes to my truck and tells me she has a warrant to search my property and all outbuildings and asked me a series of questions about what was on the farm. I remained calm, courteous, and compliant. She then advised me she was going to start looking around and asked if that was ok. I said ok. She asked me if I was voluntarily agreeing to have my property searched. I said No, you said you had a warrant. Her response was "I don't have a paper copy." I told her she needed one, since she already said she had one, and I needed to see it before this went any further. End game? They got the warrant and took all of my animals except one dog. They are now hitting me w cruelty charges for each animal. The say their vet scored some of my birds as a 1-Emaciated. NOT POSSIBLE. Now, I am not looking for legal advice, I am looking for input from a poultry expert. Is it possible for an emaciated chicken to have full and beautiful feathers, no internal or external parasites, no signs of sickness, and be walking and talking like a healthy bird? I know my birds and I know what it takes to maintain a flock. These birds were friendly, and even free ranged were handled often, as they would come right to you and allow you to pick them up. I was going to have my own vet or expert do an exam on the birds, but every single bird but 5 roosters were adopted out in less than 7 days. I've seen underfed poultry, and they look bad. These looked and still look fantastic. I would also like to bring an expert in with me in court, but am having trouble locating one in my area that I can actually contact. I've found several, but no contact info. Thoughts?