Let’s be honest — In a world teeming with incredible creatures, not many of them come close to the awe-inspiring cluckers occupying our backyard coops.
Chickens are undisputably charming in a multitude of ways. From the early-morning cock-a-doodle-doos and the rhythmic flapping of the wings to the allure exuded in their magnificent plumage, there’s so much that these feathery friends bring into our homes.
Yet, amidst all this beauty, companionship, and excellent spirit, one question draws up curiosity — Do chickens fart?
Well, today’s article revolves around this lingering query. Herein, we’ll dive deeply into the fascinating poultry world, ready to unearth all the ins and outs of whether chickens actually do fart.
Can Chickens Fart?
Like most living creatures, chickens can develop air pockets within their intestines and pass them out from the body through a fart. In fact, farting is one way you can tell that your chicken’s digestive system is in good health.
While some chicken keepers strongly believe that chicken farting is a sign of illness, that’s not exactly the case. Sometimes the fart may signal an underlying medical condition, but chances of it being so are minute.
5 Reasons Chickens Fart
Chickens fart just as often as other animals. And while the cause of the fart is usually biological and perfectly normal, that’s not always the case. Knowing what’s driving the farting in your feathered companions is imperative.
Here are the 5 common reasons chickens fart:
1. It’s a Normal Biological Process
Chicken’s digestive anatomy differs a bit from that of other animals. But they still have a few similarities, one of which is the presence of intestines. Now, as food moves through this tubular structure, it becomes easy for air to get trapped in between the food.
Naturally, the trapped air can’t be contained within the bird’s intestines for prolonged periods as that would be dangerous.
Therefore, technically, the chicken has to expel it through either of the exits, but as it turns out, the air almost always chooses to use the shorter route, and that’s how they end up with a fart.
2. Dietary Reasons
Apparently, some foods are more inclined to cause flatulence in chickens than others. Cruciferous vegetables, dairy products, cereals, high-sulfur foods, and those containing massive amounts of plant proteins are some of the options that will make your chickens fart abnormally.
As such, if you’re giving your chickens either of these foods, especially in large portions, it may be time to consider some dietary modifications to help manage the issue. Adopting more thoughtful changes in your chicken’s diet can give them a more pleasant experience and a better life.
3. Eating Habits
Farting in chickens may also be impacted by how they eat. When eating in haste, chickens are more likely to swallow air alongside food. The ingested air then accumulates in the digestive tract before finding its way out through the other exit.
The same applies when a chicken overeats. The more food your chicken eats, the higher the chances of it upsetting the digestive system and, thus, the more likely it is to cause the accumulation of gas in the digestive tract.
Chickens may have a voracious appetite, but they still have certain food sensitivities that can cause them issues. Usually, these allergies differ from bird to bird, so what one bird is allergic to doesn’t necessarily cut across all others.
Once a chicken eats food to which it’s allergic, chances of gastrointestinal disturbances are multiplied, which may cause gas to accumulate in the digestive tract and, consequently, persistent farting.
Sometimes, your feathered friends can suffer from diseases affecting the gastrointestinal tract. These illnesses negatively impact the smooth flow of digestion, creating a wide range of problems, including gas build-up in the digestive system.
Coccidiosis, salmonellosis, necrotic enteritis, and avian influenza are some of the conditions that cause digestion issues in chickens. Marek’s disease, a condition that attracts tumors in the abdominal area, can also cause the problem.
As such, you’ll want to closely monitor your chickens’ overall health to identify any underlying health conditions before it worsens.
When Your Chicken Fart Isn’t Just A Fart
Usually, chicken farts shouldn’t be a cause for concern. Nonetheless, paying a keen eye to your bird’s gaseous expulsion will help you know when the farting is no longer a sign of good health.
Some of the indicators of unhealthy flatulence in chickens include:
- Foul-smelling farts that carry on for days: If the farts are terribly smelly and don’t get better after some days, it could be a sign that something is wrong with your feathered friend.
- Change in farting frequency: As with humans, more frequent farts are sometimes a good indicator that something isn’t right with your bird’s digestive system.
- Other signs of disease: If the farting is accompanied by diarrhea, inactivity, lack of appetite, or any other unusual signs, it’s likely to be part of the symptoms than a sign of good health.
- Visible swelling: If your chicken appears to have some swelling in the abdomen, the fart should tell you that your feathered friend has a more serious condition that needs medical intervention.
When you notice your chicken exhibiting unusual behavior, take them to a licensed vet. The doctor will run a diagnosis to pinpoint any underlying condition and adopt the necessary treatment plan.
Should Chicken Fart Be Smelly?
Chicken fart isn’t exactly pleasant, the same way you’d describe that of any other animal. The smell can be terrible depending on several factors, such as the chicken’s diet and environment.
Chickens aren’t picky eaters and will send almost anything edible down their gut. That’s especially true for those foraging for their food. This results in a wide variety of substances coming together within the same digestive system.
Combining this concoction with digestive fluids, the resulting gas definitely won’t give the best impression to our scent cells.
But then, if your chicken gives off a terribly-smelling fart for a couple of days, it should give you a pause for thought.
Chicken farts aren’t meant to entertain our noses, nor should they harm them. If you think the smell is too awful to be considered normal, it could be a good tell-tale sign that it’s time to see the vet.
What to Do to Manage the Unhealthy Fart
If you’re finding your chicken fart too stinky, the number one thing you should do is consult the vet. You want to ensure that the professional rules out any underlying condition before you make the necessary changes to mitigate the problem.
If the vet finds your feathered friend suffering from any condition, they should provide a solution. However, where the test turns out negative, you may consider diverting your attention to your bird’s diet and environment.
Regarding the diet, reduce the amount of broccoli, cabbage, collards, brussels sprouts, and other cruciferous vegetables you offer your chickens. Also, steer clear of dairy foods and foods rich in sulfur and plant protein.
Instead, opt for higher-quality foods. Ideally, your chickens’ food should feature a perfect balance of proteins, vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, and other essential nutrients and minerals.
However, specific dietary requirements may differ depending on the bird’s age, health, and purpose, so again, consult the vet to know the best food to offer your avian companions.
On the environmental aspect, your chickens’ fart is already terrible, and you don’t want to make it even worse by keeping the coop dirty. So, clean your chickens’ house regularly to prevent any smell build-up.
Changing the bedding may also be necessary, especially if the one you’re using doesn’t mask the odors effectively. Consider switching to hemp bedding as it’s highly odor-absorbent, comfortable, and even serves as a natural pesticide capable of repelling flies, mites, and other insects coming in that line.
Of course, don’t forget to ramp up the ventilation aspect of the coop. It will keep the coop well-aerated and prevent any unpleasant smells that might arise from the dingy space.
Related: Do Chickens Pee?
Chickens fart, just like most other animals, and the smell can be terrible. Usually, the fart is a normal biological occurrence and may even be a sign that your feathered friends are healthy.
But then, it’s always advisable to closely monitor your chickens for any unusual behavior or just in case their fart smells more terrible than you’d consider normal. If it turns out that your chickens’ farting behavior isn’t normal, work with a vet to find the solution.