Cities That Allow Backyard Chickens In Montana

In the ever-growing urban homesteading movement, the practice of keeping backyard chickens has become increasingly popular across the United States. However, finding reliable information regarding which cities allow this practice can be a daunting task.

This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide specifically focused on Montana's cities that have embraced the trend of backyard chicken keeping. By synthesizing municipal regulations and consulting with local authorities, it offers an up-to-date and authoritative list of locations where residents can legally raise chickens in their backyards.

4 backyard chickens

Billings, MT

Billings, Montana, has established regulations regarding the ownership of chickens within its city limits. To maintain a harmonious urban environment, residents are allowed to keep up to six female (hen) chickens on their property. However, it is crucial to adhere to the city's guidelines by obtaining a $25 permit before embarking on this endeavor. This ensures that all chicken owners are responsible and committed to maintaining a safe and healthy environment for their feathery companions.

In order to promote good neighborly relations, Billings has implemented a requirement for backyard chicken coops to be positioned at least 10 feet away from neighboring property lines. Billings chicken owners must not slaughter hens within view of adjacent property or the public.

Missoula, MT

In the City of Missoula, residents are allowed to keep chickens, ducks, and geese in their backyards. However, a chicken permit is required to keep a maximum of six birds in your backyard. Structures used to house the birds must be located at least 50 feet from any property line. Additionally, chicken coops must be predator-proof, thoroughly ventilated, and of sufficient size to admit free movement of the chickens, according to Ordinance 3585.

Great Falls, MT

Great Falls residents are required by law to apply for and obtain an Urban Chicken License from the City before keeping any chickens. Before a resident is issued the license his or her property shall be inspected by an Animal Control Officer, who will recommend to the licensing authority either approval or disapproval of the application. The inspection encompasses the chicken house, secure enclosure, as well as the setback of said structure from property lines and adjacent dwelling units. This comprehensive assessment ensures compliance with regulations and standards, guaranteeing the safety and well-being of both the chickens and the surrounding community.

The maximum number of backyard chickens you can keep in Great Falls, MT, is six. Roosters over the age of three months are prohibited from being kept within the City limits.

Bozeman, MT

In the City of Bozeman, MT, residents can keep up to 15 backyard chickens with a permit. In accordance with the regulations set forth by the City of Bozeman, no roosters over the age of three months are permitted within the city limits. This measure ensures a peaceful and harmonious environment for all residents.

For residential parcels measuring up to 3,000 square feet, a maximum of four chickens are allowed. However, for larger residential parcels, an additional hen may be kept for every additional 1,000 square feet, up to a maximum of 15 hens. This provision allows residents to enjoy the benefits of raising chickens while maintaining a balanced and manageable number.

To ensure the well-being of both the chickens and the community, chicken enclosures and houses must be maintained in a neat and sanitary condition at all times. Regular cleaning is required to prevent offensive odors from permeating the surroundings. Furthermore, chicken houses are required to be located at least 20 feet from neighboring properties and 5 feet from any property line.

Butte-Silver Bow County, MT

In Butte-Silver Bow County, MT, the number of chickens residents can keep in their backyard depends on the size of their property. Up to twenty-five chickens are allowed per twenty thousand square feet of property. It is unlawful for any Butte-Silver Bow County resident to maintain a chicken coop or other structure in an unsanitary condition, according to Chapter 6.12 of the City's Code of Ordinances.

Helena, MT

The City of Helena permits residents to keep no more than two chickens over the age of 1 year in their backyards. According to City Code, chickens must be kept in a coop, which must be located at least 25 feet away from the dwelling of another person.

Other Montana Municipalities That Allow Backyard Chickens

  • Kalispell, MT: A permit is required to keep up to 15 hens
  • Belgrade, MT: No more than 6 chickens per permit holder
  • Havre, MT: Chickens must not be allowed to run at large
  • Whitefish, MT: Five chickens may be kept without a permit
  • Miles City, MT: Up to six chickens, but no roosters
  • Columbia Falls, MT: Up to 5 hens per residence
  • Polson, MT: A maximum of 6 hens per permit holder
  • Hamilton, MT: No more than 6 domestic animals, including chickens, per household
The municipalities mentioned in this article are not the exclusive ones permitting the keeping of backyard chickens in the state of Montana. It is advisable to conduct your own local research if your municipality is not included in the list.


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