Chicken-Fried News: Home to roost 

click to enlarge INGVARD ASHBY
  • Ingvard Ashby

The old political promise of “a chicken in every pot” seems more tenable when you consider the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates the world’s chicken population is about 22.8 billion, or roughly three chickens for every human being on the planet.

According to some concerned residents, far too many of those chickens live in northeast Oklahoma.

“Drive Highway 412 from Tulsa to Siloam Springs, see clusters of new white poultry barns in groups of 6,” reads a blog post on the website for Green Country Guardians, an organization created specifically to prevent more large-scale chicken housing from being built in Green Country. “Each barn is 2 football fields long and wide as normal semi-truck with holding capacity of 32,000 or more growing chickens. All pooping, some die, and their bad-bacteria litter emits pungent unforgettable odor of ammonia vapors. … [O]ne undisputable [sic] definition of creating and maintaining a public nuisance is having annually tons of new chicken litter from industrial poultry producers’ barns in your country home’s front and back yards.”

Oklahoma Board of Agriculture temporarily halted processing of new registrations for poultry houses in October and created the Coordinating Council on Poultry Growth to address concerns of residents upset by clucker influx, but the suspension of new registrations will end in May if no further action is taken by the board, which processed applications for more than 200 poultry houses in eastern Oklahoma in the 12 months prior to the moratorium. According to Tulsa World, it approved several more in the months after. Fried chicken and discriminatory housing practices both play major roles in Oklahoma’s history, so it is hard to guess how this one will shake out, but Chicken-Fried News just wants to point out that, as far as we know, no one anywhere is protesting the smell of soybean poop. 

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