We are requesting that our City Council add a zoning ordinance that would allow the people of Oklahoma City to keep up to eight chickens.
This addition to the Municipal Code would provide many benefits to Oklahoma City. Chickens' eggs provide a good, inexpensive source of protein. Chickens eat garden pests, and their waste is an excellent fertilizer. A family allowed to keep chickens can have a heightened awareness of where their food comes from, cut down their grocery bills, reduce the amount of fossils fuels burned to bring their food from distant farms, and increase their self-sufficiency. A city that allows its residents to keep chickens demonstrates a sensible and progressive attitude while encouraging sustainability.
In today's difficult economic times, many cities around the country are changing their city ordinances to allow residents to keep chickens. Several states neighboring Oklahoma have cities which allow residents to keep chickens. For example, in Texas, the cities of Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Laredo, and Round Rock all allow chickens. The cities of Topeka, Kansas, And Denver, Colorado, also permit their residents to keep chickens. Looking a bit further away, even the residents of New York City are allowed to keep chickens, as are the residents of Boston, Chicago, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles.
There are several misconceptions regarding the keeping of chickens. For instance, many people think backyard chickens would be noisy. In fact, chickens are quieter than dogs or even songbirds; roosters, however, are noisy. This proposed zoning addition prohibits the keeping of roosters. Another common misconception is that chickens are smelly or dirty. This proposed zoning addition limits the number of chickens to eight and requires that they be provided with a minimum amount of space (2 to 4 square feet per chicken, depending on size of bird) in a clean and dry hen house, and that they be provided with a fenced outdoor enclosure. When cared for in this way, chickens do not smell bad. By limiting the number of chickens and describing the space in which they can be kept, this proposed zoning addition ensures the happiness of the chickens, their owners, and their neighbors.
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