Hillandale Farms can begin construction on a new egg layer production and processing farm in Hicksville, Ohio, after David Daniels, director of the state Department of Agriculture, signed permits to install and operate.

The permits were finalized after a formal 30-day comment period in which the public had the opportunity to voice any concerns about the new poultry facility, the Bryan Times reported. Now that the permit has been approved, construction plans are proceeding.  No exact dates have been set, but farm managers expect the farm to be operational in the near future.

"We are grateful for the local and statewide support that we have received," said Sy Rizvi, Hillandale general manager. "Hillandale Farms has a rich history in Ohio, and Hicksville is a great location both from the standpoint of access to grain and feed and its proximity to the marketplace."

Hillandale Farms plans to start with 2 million hens. Under the Ohio Animal Care Standards, an enriched cage system will be provided, designed to enhance the well-being of the hens with a clean and protective environment, and offering flexibility for future changes in space and amenities, as well as extra space for the hens. Hillandale Farms' daily operation will require an estimated 70 acres of corn and 185 acres of soybeans per day for feed. The farm managers plan to purchase feed grains from local farmers.

This is the first new poultry farm in the state constructed under the new Ohio Livestock Care Standards law.