The history of Oviedo's chickens goes back to 1875, when settlers began to appear on the south shore of Lake Jesup at a settlement, known as Solary's Wharf, and with the settlers came the beginning of the fowl that we now know as Oviedo's Chickens.
A few settled at Solary's Wharf and a few more settled at White's Wharf (now known as Hiley's Fish Camp). Others gradually moved inland, to a small village that was later to become known as Oviedo. The settlers grew a variety of crops, including cotton, sugar, citrus, and vegetables. Most of the settlers also had a variety of stock such as horses, pigs, cows and of course our infamous Oviedo chickens.
Some settlers were attracted to Lake Charm, a very small lake that was not far from Lake Jesup and soon others were invited to enjoy the lake's charm. These visitors, believing that the beauty and charm of the lake helped to bring them back to health, is said to have given Lake Charm its name and the settlement that sprung up around it was named Oviedo by Andrew Aulin Sr.
In recent years, Oviedo has grown by leaps and bounds. But despite its growth, the city and its residents have tried to keep its small-town aura. With the growth of Oviedo accelerating, new housing developments appearing, new schools being built and shopping centers being erected, it has been difficult to not let the easy style of country living slip away.
Today's population of over 30 chickens in and around the "Oviedo Shopping Center " in historic downtown Oviedo can be attributed to the merchants and residents of the downtown area.
It was around 1994 when one lone chicken appeared in the parking lot of Land-Tech Surveying and Mapping Corp at 77 Geneva Drive. With Rick Burns, CEO of Land-Tech being a 1975 transplant from a farm nestled in the foothills of the Appalachia Mountains in SE Kentucky and his crew at Land-Tech being lovers of birds and foul it seemed that feeding the chicken was the appropriate thing to do. To everyone's surprise within the a few weeks, 13 new baby chicks with their mother emerged from the hedges that surround the building of Land-Tech. It wasn't until a few days later that a proud rooster showed up to claim responsibility of the new family of the chickens! These few chickens have evolved into today's population.
While livestock and chickens roaming the streets of Oviedo were most surely a common sight in year's past, the chickens of today are not what the newcomers to Oviedo expect to see. Every day that goes by, several people (children and adults alike) stop to see or feed the chickens, some of which have never seen chickens up close and personal.
The presence of our chickens together with the rooster crowing throughout the day, have helped us hold onto our easy style of country living and add to the aura and charm that Oviedo is famous for.