Chicks In The City? OKC Considers Change To Chicken Ordinance

Friday, October 25th 2013, 7:08 pm
By: Karl Torp

In a push for more sustainability when it comes to food, Oklahoma City could be welcoming urban chickens.

Under a new proposal, people would be able to raise chickens in Oklahoma City without a requirement on the size of their property.

Right now, you have to have at least one acre of land to raise chickens. Councilman Ed Shadid wants to get rid of the size restrictions.

"It's not appropriate for government to be telling us that we can't raise food to feed our families on our private property," says Shadid.

Oklahoma City tells News 9 it receives more than 300 complaints each year about chickens. Those complaints range from the noise they make to the feces they leave behind.

City Planner Russell Claus says most of the chicken-related complaints have to do with roosters. Roosters would still not be allowed if the new proposal gets passed.

"Six hens in my mind doesn't [sic] have a negative impact on a community. It's really that people aren't used to it," Claus said.

A property owner would also be limited to owning a maximum of six hens. They would be required to have a chicken coop and keep it clean.

"Just because you live in a town, doesn't mean you can't have natural organic products," said Marla Hensley. She lives in Oklahoma City, but keeps her chickens at her parents' house because of the current law.

City councilmembers are expected to take up the debate starting in December.

Norman allows people to own chickens regardless of property size, and so do many other large cities.