Check with your city before raising chickens in your backyard

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- More and more Oklahomans City residents are turning to urban farming, like raising chickens in their backyard, as an organic alternative. However, there are a few rules to consider before you adopt a few chickens of your own.

A simple Internet search about chicken farming yields countless hits about the growing trend as more people are eating organic and choosing healthier foods.

"They want to have their own fresh eggs and make sure they know where their food source is coming from," Casey Moore with the City of Edmond said. "I think that's what's driving a lot of it."

But is urban chicken farming legal? It depends on where you live. In Oklahoma City limits as long as you are on one acre of land you can have as many chickens as your property will hold. However, there are a couple of restrictions.

"They must be a minimum of 200 feet from a dwelling on an adjacent property," JJ Chambless with the City of Oklahoma City said.

Farm and Ranch stores sell chicks between the months of February and April. The majority of buyers include people who live within city limits and either raise chickens to eat or for the fresh eggs.

"There has been some interest lately with people wanting to have chickens on a smaller property in their backyard," Chambless said.

In Edmond chickens are allowed but only in areas zoned for agricultural purposes which are located mostly east of Interstate 35.

"Edmond has a lot more land mass than people are aware," Moore said. "Most of the agricultural areas are on the east side of I-35. However, there are pockets that are spread throughout the city even in more developed areas."

It is an alternative to store bought poultry products as long as you follow the rules set forth by your city.

In Oklahoma City limits you must have a permit to build outbuildings like chicken coops. For a map of zoning locations in Edmond, visit the City of Edmond's website.

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