For the LONGEST time I have dreamed of owning and caring for my own flock of backyard chickens! In 2020, my husband made a Massive dream of ours come true and bought our dream house in a city of Oklahoma where we could own chickens and roosters. At the time, I did not intend to own roosters, but more on that later.
Our first Mother’s Day in our new home, my husband gifted me baby chicks from our local Tractor Supply. I had three Rhode Island Reds and three Bantams of various colors. Afterwards, I bought a Lavender Ameraucana, an Olive Egger, three Cream Leg Bars, a Sapphire, and an Easter Egger from a local hatchery.
Of all these chicks that are now chickens or roosters, we have only lost two. Our dog accidentally killed one bantam chick and we lost a Rhode Island when she was an adolescent.
My husband jokes that I am a bird-type pokemon trainer because I collected such a variety of different chicken breeds. My biggest goal in doing so was to be able to collect a rainbow of eggs from our coop every day. As you can see from the photo above, Mission Accomplished! Getting to collect blue, green, and pink colored eggs and share them with friends and family has been wonderful.
When I set out to keep urban chickens in Oklahoma, I never intended to keep roosters. Most often when you buy chickens, you are unable to tell their sex until they are older. So you have to buy your chickens ‘unsexed’ and hope you get a good number of hens instead of Roosters. I totally meant to find different homes for my roosters, but I unexpectedly fell in love with all three. Two of the roosters were supposed to be hens. I did intentionally buy a Cream Leg Bar Rooster because they are beautiful and I wanted to eventually hatch out Cream Leg Bar chicks or sell hatching eggs from my two cream leg bar hens.
I actually handle my roosters far more than my hens. The rooster pictured above, ‘Noodle’ is pretty comfortable being held and carried around. My Pheasant Cochin Bantam Rooster, who is absolutely gorgeous, talks a big game but lets me hold him pretty easy. When I was a kid, I was chased by a terrifying rooster at a family members house. I am glad my boys are not aggressive with people like that one was.
I know that chickens are living breathing animals with instincts obviously, but I didn’t expect them to have so much personality! Each hen is their own ‘little person’ and has quirks. My lavender ameraucana for instance, is the first to try and hop the fence to see if the neighbor next door has better insects in their grass. My Rhode Island reds are the bosses of the coop. My Easter egger follows close behind the lavender. My kids named our Olive Egger ‘Snatcher’ because she will steal food from the other hens or snatch grass from the kids.
They also do weird things like try to lay eggs on top of each other even though there are several other open nesting boxes available.
Raising these quirky little weirdos has been an awesome experience. I am super thankful we have been able to keep almost all of them happy, healthy, and safe from predators. Standing outside and calling ‘Laaaaaadies!’ and seeing almost a dozen chickens run my way like little velociraptors is a dream come true. Plus, their manure has been a fantastic addition to our compost and raised gardens.
I studied all about how to raise and care for chickens for years in the hopes that I could be doing what I do today. Your chicken dreams can come true as well! If you live in Oklahoma City, you can now own backyard chickens! No Roosters though like in my city.
If you are in Oklahoma City and would like to raise your own backyard chickens, you can after March 4th 2022!
On 02/01/2022 The Oklahoma City Council approved the raising of chickens and quail in Oklahoma City backyards.
“The ordinance, which takes effect March 4, allows residents to raise up to a total of six chickens or quail in their backyard. Roosters are not allowed.”
Read more about the new chicken rules here.