OKTAHA, Okla. (KTUL) — For the last 18 years of Delbert Luker’s life, his 10 acres outside of Oktaha have become the perfect escape and the perfect place to call home.
“I’ve got too much time, too much struggling to throw it away,” he said.
But when the Navy veteran noticed two chicken houses moving in three years ago, he didn’t realize his home would become a place he might need to run from.
“I just have to leave, I just have to go somewhere else,” Luker said.
He said whatever is in the air from the chicken houses has prompted multiple visits to the VA medical center.
“Shortness of breath, October 21st,” Luker said.
That’s not all, he says his property was once valued at $100,000.
“If I can get $30,000 out of it, I’d be good,” Luker said.
He said when the wind is just right or when his neighbor used chicken litter on the field across the way, things would become unbearable. He doesn’t have anywhere to go.
“That’s limited my freedom because if I have to give this place up, the only place I can move is a veteran’s center,” Luker said.
The chicken houses outside of Oktaha are perfectly legal, even though they’re near him and the school.
“I have tried, I’ve begged. I’ve pleaded with everybody to see what we can do. You can’t even hire an attorney to protect you from [chicken farmers],” Luker said.
It’ll be up to state lawmakers to decide if any new regulations will be put on chicken farms this upcoming year.
“I hope they’ll do something. I don’t know if they will or not,” he said.
For now, Luker worries he’ll have to someday choose between his health and his home.