I was in south Oklahoma City this week when I heard a rooster crow. It was shortly before noon, so the rooster was either lazy, had a terrible biological clock or was confused about why he wasn't on a farm.
The debate about urban chickens is a hot one. Chicken cheerleaders have been pushing their cause to the Oklahoma City Council recently. They want legalization of their backyard bird buddies. Ward 2 Councilman Ed Shadid is their main ally. Urban chicken proponents would like to see Oklahoma City join the ranks of Bethany and Midwest City as places that allow the birds.
For now, local urban chickens are living the renegade lifestyle, hopping around their yards in fear that they may be confiscated at any moment by authorities. Honestly, they probably aren't all that worried. They're chickens.
But their owners are worried. Owning chickens is a balancing act.
Chicken owners want to live in town so they can be close to all the conveniences — like the grocery store, where you most certainly will not be buying eggs unless your chicken gets sick or a fox gets into the henhouse or something — but they don't want to leave Henrietta or Chickadee or Attila the Hen behind.
Chickens are a divisive issue.
If only the issue were over less controversial meats, like herring. You never hear an argument about urban herring.
Nevertheless, I started thinking about urban chickens and how they were different from suburban chickens and rural chickens. So, I've put together a little guide.
I'm not sure how I feel about urban chickens, but I do know that I have a “not in my backyard” attitude about it. I don't want chickens in my yard. My backyard is awful enough without chickens wearing skinny jeans.