Plans are in the works for two large poultry farming operations in Southern Delaware’s Kent County. One of the farms would be the site of ten poultry houses, while the other would have 20 houses with each chicken house having a capacity to hold between 35,000 and 50,000 birds.

The operations would grow broilers for Mountaire Farms and Perdue Farms.

Size of poultry farm unprecedented

While both potential poultry farms are larger than the norm for Delaware, the 20-house poultry farm, if plans are realized, would be by far the largest poultry farm in Delaware, according to Delaware Online.

Bill Satterfield, executive director of the Delmarva Poultry Industry, says the plans represent good faith that the property owners and chicken companies have for the poultry industry in Delaware.

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Large poultry farms may prompt changes to law

The unusually large size of the potential poultry farms has caused concerns for area residents, other poultry producers and officials from county and state agencies. One concern is that large operations like these could become a trend and not require any forewarning to neighbors whose lives may be affected by the construction of large poultry farms in their vicinity. The way Delaware’s Right to Farm law reads, anyone can put as many chicken houses on a plot of agriculturally zoned land as they want.

State Rep. Bobby Outten, R-Harrington, suggests changing the law would be a good idea.

“We aren’t going to do too much here now, but we need to get it changed so it doesn’t happen again,” he said.