Do Chickens Smell Bad

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There is a general view among people that chickens smell bad. This view comes from some experiences with chicken barns or with large scale chicken farms. However, this might not always be the case as we will explore in this article. The key question we will look at is “do chickens smell bad”?

To the surprise of many, chickens do not naturally smell bad! A chicken coop might smell bad if it is not properly kept clean. The bad smells are due to chicken poop building up in a small area. The chickens themselves do have a unique smell, similar to any other animal, but this is not a bad smell.

To avoid any kind of bad smells in your backyard it is important to understand where the bad smells come from and what steps you can take to avoid this. This article will look at those causes and steps of avoidance.

Do Chickens Smell Bad

As mentioned above, chickens do not smell bad. Most people will have a preconception that chickens have a bad smell. This is only because they have not experienced a clean and tidy chicken coop. Once you see how a well-managed chicken coop works you will change your mind about chickens being smelly. You could walk past a clean backyard chicken coop without even noticing a smell at all.

The chickens themselves have a unique smell but it is just a normal animal smell, most chicken keepers find the smell rather pleasant. If chickens are relatively clean no foul odours are coming from them. The biggest cause for smelly odours is the lack of a clean living environment. When chickens live in a small enclosed space together with their own faeces then it should be no surprise that there will be some violent odours.

flock of chickens

Therefore, keeping your chickens clean and keeping their living environment clean will eliminate all the potential for bad smells. It is the same with any animal, if you keep your dogs in a small restricted area and you do not clean it, both the animals and the living space will start smelling bad.

In the next sections, we will take a look at if a chicken coop smells bad as well as some solutions of how to get a bad smell out of your chicken coop.

Does A Chicken Coop Smell Bad

A chicken coop can smell bad, but it does not have to. A well-managed, well-designed, and regularly cleaned chicken coop will not smell bad. The only time when a chicken coop has very bad smells is when faeces and ammonia are allowed to build up.

The smell is thus directly related to the cleanliness of the coop.

There are many ways that chicken coops can develop bad odours, but there are also many ways how this can be avoided and also ways to reduce already existing bad smells. When a chicken coop has proper ventilation, good bedding and the right amount of moisture it will not smell bad.

outdoor chicken coop and run

Similarly, if you keep any animal in a small area and you do not clean it regularly it will develop smelly odours. As we said above, it is not the chickens that smell bad and it is also not the chicken coop itself that smells bad, it is the waste that collects and that develops a bad smell.

If your chicken coop started getting a bad smell then you must do something about it, otherwise, the smell will just build and it will get more intense. The next section will take a look at how do you get the smell out of a chicken coop.

Another thing that maybe contributing to the bad smell in the coop might be rotting wood or rain water seaping through the roof. If you find you have a leaky roof then you’ll need to repair the coop roof as soon as possible, not only for the smell but the health of your chickens

How Do You Get The Smell Out Of A Chicken Coop

The easiest way to get the smell out of a chicken coop is by giving it a good clean. You can clean the coop by taking all the chickens out and allowing them to run around for a bit. You can then remove all the bedding which will include most of the faeces and all the smelly stuff.

Pro Tip – this can be used as a great compost material. Give the floor a good clean and then replace the bedding with nice clean stuff, either straw, woodchips, or sand.

The easiest way is to keep the coop in good shape with regular cleanings. Get most of the chicken poop and pee removed each week and also don’t allow any rotting materials like food scraps to hang around for too long.

How To Reduce Smell in Chicken Run

If the run itself is all muddy and sludgy then this could cause a smell to emanate, there are ways to fix a muddy chicken run and that will definitely help with the smell

A great way to reduce the smell in a chicken run and coop is by increasing ventilation. A well-ventilated coop will allow fresh air in and will take out all the old stagnant air. This will instantly reduce the bad smells.

Another good way is to use a bedding material that helps with moisture control. When things are too wet they will naturally smell worse compared to a dryer environment. The poop will also be able to dry out quicker meaning less odour.

Reducing the smell in a chicken run is all about managing the space and putting in the effort to keep things tidy.

Wrap Up

The main question we looked at was on do chickens smell bad? We answered that chickens themselves don’t really smell, despite what others think. Their stinky reputation comes from the smells that come from their coop. You could say if you consider your chickens to smell, then perhaps you aren’t doing enough to keep their coop clean and free from poop and pee.

The smell comes to an unkept coop which can build up if not cleaned regularly.

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