Can You Own Chickens In Lawton City Limits?
A conversation over the weekend happened about owning chickens inside city limits, and after a quick search online, a debate ensued over what is and what isn't right and neighborly. It was the kind of debate people used to have before there was the clear cut and dry resource that is the internet. Less facts, more opinion, it was a good time. While you can own and manage chickens inside city limits after paying the proper tax camouflaged as a "license," there is a limit to quantity, but can it be circumvented by playing the system?
Anybody who has paid a Lawton water bill knows, if there is a way for the local government to tax any given thing, they'll find a way to collect revenue for it. This includes having pets. Dogs and cats have to be licensed for whatever reason and it varies based on your pets hardware. A neutered dog/cat license is a one time $10 tax/fee, but that becomes an annual $50 tax/fee if they aren't neutered, and even then, you're capped at having three pets under those specific licenses. If you want more, it's an additional $25 per animal because either our politicians love money more than America. Malls don't pay for themselves you know.
If you want to have chickens in your back yard for fun, pets, or food, you'll have to pay the tax/fees for a license and agree to the terms of having such a license. Same for rabbits, ducks, and what they've termed "any poultry." We raised quail for food growing up, I suppose that falls into that "needs government permission" category. The topic of debate then became, would you want your neighbors to have chickens, and everyone universally agreed no, but it's only because they're a bunch of city slickers.
"Who wants to hear a rooster crow every morning?"
First off, if you're raising chickens for eggs and such, you won't want a rooster at all. They fertilize eggs, and there's nothing worse than cracking open a blood spotted egg. While it is brutal, this is why most chicken processing plants exterminate rooster chicks upon birth. Can they be loud? Yeah, but like most birds, chickens take shelter before dark and quietly sleep the night away in their coop. I've never had ducks, but I'd assume it's something similar. Rabbits don't ever make sounds unless you've heard the wild squeal of one in the last moments of their life. With a dozen being the cap on "all poultry," it's sort of a why bother when it comes to other tasty birds like quail. A dozen quail is practically dinner, who's going to put that kind of effort into raising one meal?