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LEACH, Okla. – Residents in eastern Oklahoma have become increasingly concerned about the number of chicken houses popping up across the countryside.

A group of neighbors told KJRH that it has counted more than 50 chicken permits on file with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture in just the last year.

“It’s just a mess,” said Suzzanne Maupin.

She, like many in the area, are concerned about the impacts the chicken farms will have on their well water.

“Where will we get water? If that well goes dry, what are we going to do about it? We depend on it for drinking, bathing, our laundry, everything,” she said.

A state working group that was looking into the spike in poultry permits has now put a hold on any new permits until they get a better idea about the impact the industry will have on the area.

“I think it’s a little bit too late because there are already so many that have been built or are in the process of being built,” said Diane Gentry.

Oklahoma’s poultry industry says it is looking forward to working with the state and citizens to find solutions that will allow the industry to continue to grow.