Residents Complain of Chicken Farm Smell Near Mexia - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Residents Complain of Chicken Farm Smell Near Mexia

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by Sara Talbert

MEXIA- "The odor is so bad, I almost gagged." said Virginia Samford of Mexia.

She's just one of many residents complaining about chicken farms popping up near their homes. Some people say they're trying to sell their homes and move but others, like the Samfords and David Deffner, are fighting these farms.

"Our lives have been changed living with this horrible smell now," said Deffner.

The two chicken farms near those residents homes send their poultry to the Sanderson Farms plant in Waco.

After several complaints by residents, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality investigated.

"The two violations issued in October were for odor; 2 farms in the Mexia area," said Anna Dunbar with the T.C.E.Q.

"Sanderson tells us they're going at 100 percent capacity. They need chickens so new chicken houses are going up pretty chose to Waco," said Dunbar.

But those new farms have to follow state regulations.

"They can't create a nuisance. That's the biggest one chicken farms have issues with. They two nuisance conditions are dust and odor," said Dunbar.

Deffner tells News Channel 25 he's been in contact with Sanderson about the smell. In fact, he said just this week, after months of complaining, a Sanderson representative from their national headquarters came out to see the farms, talking to Deffner about filtration systems for the barns.

"They're going to clean out the barns and keep them idle for a couple of weeks. When they start up from that, we'll see if that helps," said Deffner.

But resident are hoping for a permanent fix.

"But the question, will they do something and will they put filtration in the barns to keep the stench of the property so it don't share with anyone else" said Deffner.

Bob Billingsly with Sanderson Farms returned News Channel 25's call late Thursday afternoon. He said they're committed to being good neighbors. In fact, they're looking at ways to improve conditions.  

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