Do Chickens Fart? Why and How to Reduce the Smell

girl holding a chicken

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Animals farting is often humorous, interesting and actually quite a serious topic as most people want to know if it’s normal for their animal to fart, why they do this and in most cases how to limit or prevent it. 

Let’s be honest, farting is a natural, biological occurrence that happens in most animals during the digestive process. While some animals are exempt from this process, many often wonder whether or not chickens fart?

Chickens do fart and it’s a completely normal and expected occurrence which shouldn’t cause you much concern. A chicken fart is typically the result of the digestive process and is a healthy occurrence, for the most part. If however, your chickens have particularly foul-smelling farts then this could indicate an issue digesting particular food sources or even an underlying health condition and would need to be looked into. 

If you’ve noticed your chickens farting (or never farting for that matter) then we are going to give you the rundown on why they fart, what key things to look out for and even ways to reduce the smell as there’s no denying this can be an unpleasant experience during your egg collection!

lady feeding a chicken

Do Chickens Fart

Yes, chickens do fart. This may be painfully obvious or you might be rather surprised to hear this but as chickens digest food and have intestines, they are just as likely to pass gas as you are reading this (though not quite to the same extent). 

For those that own a dog, you’ll frequently notice that they fart either by hearing it or, more unfortunately, smelling it! The key point however is that you likely spend much more time around a dog than you do with your chickens and therefore a chicken fart could definitely come as a surprise to you. 

There’s even a YouTube video which shows a chicken farting such is the intrigue of the topic (though we are a bit dubious as to whether its real or not!).

It’s worth pointing out that a chickens biology and digestion is similar in nature to other mammals but not quite as large, therefore when a chicken does fart, it’s a much less frequent occurrence and if a chicken is farting with regularity or it has a particularly bad smell, it’s a sign that you need to get them checked out by a vet.

The fact of the matter is that chickens are omnivores which means they can (and will) eat just about anything that they come across in terms of food.

This is great for variety and providing them with a balanced and healthy diet but it’s also a leading reason as to why chickens fart.

If your Chicken smells – Try these Natural Feeds

Why Do Chickens Fart

Farting is a natural outcome of a healthy digestive system. A chicken is not too dissimilar to a human in terms of this process and therefore, farting can happen for a number of reasons:

  • Air has been swallowed during eating or drinking and will pass through the intestines resulting in a fart (you might also notice air bubbles in the chicken’s poop which is a sign of swallowed air).
  • An internal reaction with bacteria and the food that is being digested creating a gas reaction.
  • Undigested carbohydrates, when carbohydrate-rich foods aren’t fully digested they will be broken down into carbon dioxide and hydrogen which then results in farting. 

This process is very similar to humans and you’ll see that Healthline lists similar causes of farting in humans, though in general, our digestive system is more complex so you can think of a chicken’s digestion and causes of farting as a scaled-down version of our own. 

Dietary Effects

As one of the key causes of farting in chickens is the digestive process itself you might be wondering whether specific food choices and your chicken’s diet as a whole is resulting in more frequent (or foul-smelling) farts.

On a very basic level, food sources like fibrous green vegetables, legumes and dairy are more likely to cause gas in chickens during the digestive process. These foods typically cause gaseous exchange in the intestines and will result in farting for most mammals.

On a very specific level, however, studies now show (yes, people are actually studying why chickens fart and what foods cause the most foul-smelling farts) that there are some specific foods that cause more potent farts in chickens than others. 

The key culprits are soybean and canola seeds which are high in sulfur and amino acids and tend to cause the worst smelling farts in chickens.

Therefore we’d recommend looking into your current brand of feed and seeing if it includes these ingredients and if so, it’s likely time to switch brands.

How to Stop the Smell?

There is unfortunately no way to stop a fart smell completely, it’s the combination of digestive gases and environmental factors that are just not under a chicken owner’s control.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t take steps to reduce the smell though and below are some key points you can use to minimize foul-smelling farts made by your chicken:

  • Firstly, farts are unpredictable and the scent can vary greatly. Just because you’ve smelled one particularly bad fart does not mean you need to jump to extreme measures, it’s only through frequently bad occurrences that you should start to take action. 
  • If you are noticing some particularly bad farts in a particular chicken or coop, the first step should be diet analysis. Use high-quality feed, make sure the diet doesn’t contain soybeans or canola seeds in your feed and also be aware of fibrous green veg, legumes and dairy consumed in a high quantity.
  • If bad-smelling farts persist, then this could be a key indicator of an issue with a chicken’s digestion or intestines and in these instances, it’s best to seek medical help as a vet could uncover an underlying medical issue. 

For the most part, farts are natural, harmless and will often smell to varying degrees. It’s only if you notice frequent or particularly bad-smelling farts that you’d need to employ some of the above tips. 

Round Up

This is certainly not the most pleasant or table friendly topic of conversation but there’s no denying that it’s an incredibly interesting topic that millions of people have secretly searched for out of intrigue and general randomness. 

We therefore wanted to give a clear answer that chickens do indeed fart. It’s not likely to be a frequent or common occurrence however if it does become frequent and/or foul-smelling, it could actually be a sign of digestive or health issues and would be a sign that you should seek medical advice. 

Knowing that chickens do fart it’s definitely an amusing topic and a fun fact to have in your arsenal but also keep in mind that it can be a good indicator of digestive health or potential issues.

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