More than 200 neglected chickens, ducks and other birds removed from farm near Solon

Birds rescused from abandoned farmstead on Dec. 9, 2017. — photo courtesy of Iowa City Animal Services

The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office and Iowa City Animal Services removed more than 200 birds from an abandoned farmstead two mile southeast of Solon on Saturday. The 110 ducks and geese, 76 chickens and 49 pigeons were being kept in filthy conditions in sheds, without proper access to water, the Sheriff’s Office told The Gazette. The bodies of numerous dead birds were also found on the property, but it hasn’t been determined how those birds died.

The property is owned by Francis J. Prohaska of Iowa City and his brother. In 2016, Prohaska was charged with a misdemeanor animal neglect, after police were called to the North Dodge Hy-Vee following complaints about the smell coming from a U-Haul van Prohaska had abandoned in the parking lot. Inside the van were cages with 43 dehydrated, undernourished ducks covered in feces, and the remains of 19 ducks that had died.

On Saturday, the 70-year-old Prohaska voluntarily surrendered the birds on his farmstead to Iowa City Animal Services. The birds have been placed into foster homes, so they can be nursed back to health. When they are healthy, the birds will be available for adoption.

Animal Services is asking the public for donations to help care for the sudden influx of neglected birds. In a press release, the agency listed straw bales, “non-medicated poultry food, like ‘All Flock’ or other similar brands” and “farm supply gift cards, like Theisen’s Home Farm & Auto or Orscheln Farm and Home” as its primary needs. Anyone interested in helping should contact the Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center at 319-356-5295.

Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek told The Gazette no decision had been made as to whether charges will be filed against Prohaska.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


40 Years Forward:

A Celebration of Empowerment & Hope

Deb Talan of "The Weepies" will begin our night of celebration with a story of survival, empowerment, and hope told through words and song. Join us in remembering our past and envisioning the future at the Coralville Mariott.


Friday, September 20 at 7:30 p.m.

For 18 years...

Little Village has been telling the truth and changing our little corner of the world.

If you can, help us head into the next 18 years even stronger with a one-time or monthly contribution of $18, or any amount you choose.


A collaboration between The Englert Theatre and FilmScene


Help us build the greatest small city for the arts in America—right here in Iowa City. Learn more »

Donate Today

Strengthen • Grow • Evolve is a collaborative campaign led by two Iowa City-based arts nonprofits, The Englert Theatre and FilmScene that seeks a major reinvestment to strengthen the arts through modern and historic venues, innovative programming, and new models of collaboration.

Little Village's

From Aug. 1-Sept. 30, cast your vote for your favorite places, people, eats and entertainment around the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City area.

Don't forget to explain your picks! The best answers will be published in LV's Best of the CRANDIC issue, out Dec. 3, 2019.