Poultry production makes up an important part of Delaware’s agricultural industry. In 2012, there were 672 farms raising broiler chickens in the First State. In 2014, the poultry industry provided nearly 14,000 jobs, $800 million in wages and $4.6 billion in total economic activity.

Poultry houses are constructed according to environmental standards that ensure that water quality is protected. In Delaware, the building process involves state and federal permits administered through multiple agencies, including the Delaware Departments of Agriculture (DDA) and Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), the US Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Farm Service Agency (FSA), Conservation Districts and County Offices. In addition, permits required through these rules and regulations often need to be coordinated with financing requirements.

This guide is intended to help in laying out the different steps in the building process, including up-front considerations for the project, the different permits that need to be obtained, and an overall timeline to keep in mind as you move through the development process.

  • Building Process offers an overview of the different stages of the project and the requirements in each stage.
  • Resources has links to forms, regulations and financial assistance, sorted by topic
  • Videos links to recorded presentations for further guidance on some of the rules and regulations that apply to landowners who are building new poultry houses
  • Contacts provides contact information for agencies and partners

Delaware’s Conservation Districts offer assistance to landowners in all stages of land development and farm production.

Image courtesy of Daniel Zencak, Farmer