All across the state, Montanans are paying more than ever for groceries.

Of course, there are tips to save here and there. Some folks will use coupons or will buy cheaper, off-brand products. Others will simply just do without, but what do you do when one of the most basic food items has doubled and even tripled in cost?

For the last few months, egg prices have skyrocketed. In fact, I went to the store a couple of weeks ago and picked up an 18-pack and it costs me over 6 bucks. Heck, a year or so ago, I could get a 60-pack for the same price.

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What's the reason behind the increased prices?  According to the Associated Press, the increase is due to a few factors:

  • An outbreak of the Bird Flu
  • Fuel and Labor Costs
  • High Costs of Feed

It's almost enough to make you want to get some chickens and farm your own eggs, right?  I mean it's not a horrible idea, and you certainly know where the product came from, so that's a bonus. But what if you live in town? Are you allowed to have farm animals in the backyard?

Group of small chicken. Isolated on white.

Here in Bozeman, you are allowed to have chickens in town, but there are a few stipulations. For those curious or interested in having chickens in town, you first need to make sure you get a copy of the Urban Chicken Permit Packet. You can find the packet at

According to the document, in order to have your very own little backyard egg factory, you will need to first pay a fee.  The price of the fee is based on the number of chickens that you're planning to have. For those looking to have up to 6 chickens, you will pay 25 dollars.  If you're planning on having between 7 to 15 chickens, the fee jumps up to 50 dollars.

egg's box

Some other things you need to know:

  • No roosters allowed over 3 months old.
  • All chickens must be contained on the property of the permittee.
  • You must provide a preditor-proof shelter that allows the chickens to move around freely.
  • Chickens must have access to food and water.
  • Food must be kept in a rodent and preditor-proof container.
  • Chickens cannot be slaughtered in public view.

In all honesty, it kind of seems like a lot of work to save a few bucks, however, for those that are adventurous, it might be a fun and rewarding hobby.  Plus, you might be able to make a few bucks by going into the egg-selling business.

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