BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — If you’ve been to the grocery store recently, chances are you’ve experienced some sticker shock in the egg aisle.

A new law shifting the state toward cage-free eggs, coupled with the spread of avian flu, has driven prices to twice what they were one year ago. 

“I see a lot of people talking about it and asking me, ‘Hey, do you have eggs?'” Heidi Bogetveit said.

The scoop on backyard birding

The Boulder County woman has a flock of 20 hens and two roosters in a large, backyard coop named the “Coop-A-Cabana.”

She said there are a lot of misconceptions about backyard birding. Among them: the idea that you’ll save a ton of money on eggs.

“I calculated today: How much am I actually spending on getting these eggs?” she said. “And for us, I think we spend about $6 a dozen, if I don’t include the cost of building the coop.”

Bogetveit said that also doesn’t include the cost of medical care or the time and effort that goes into caring for the birds.

“In order to actually save money, you’d have to control the environment a lot,” she said.

For example, Bogetveit said hens barely lay any eggs throughout the winter months, despite the costs for care remaining steady.

The takeaway: Raising chickens is work

She said chickens make great pets, but only if you’re in it for the right reasons.

“You do it because you want fresh food and to produce your own food and see where things come from,” she said. “It’s involved — and I’m certainly not saying not to do it, because I love having chickens and fresh eggs and I love doing it with my kids — but it’s work.”