Plans for two huge chicken farms in the southern portion of Delaware are making even the staunchest supporters of the poultry industry question whether or not it’s a good idea for the region.
The Delaware Right to Farm law puts no restriction on the number of chicken houses that can be built on land zoned for agriculture. Basically, it was put in place to help family farmers grow their business at their own pace. But in recent years, big commercial farmers who raise birds for corporate heavy hitters like Perdue and Mountaire Farms have essentially used the state’s lenient law to create megafarms where up to 20 chicken houses, each holding up to 50,000 chickens, operate on one piece of land.
The two proposed megafarms, each separately owned, but only a mile apart, would bring more than 1 million chickens to Kent County, Delaware, but some locals worry that if these farms get built and the loopholes in the law aren't closed, rural Delaware will turn into a massive industrial farmland where 18 wheeler trucks will barrel down the narrow winding backroads carrying away more chickens than there are people in the state every few weeks.
Now locals are faced with the very real quagmire that a place that’s been largely built and perhaps sustained by the poultry industry, could be on the verge of being overtaken by it.