All living things have a lot of things in common. One among many is the digestive system. Therefore, it is in our nature that we fart. Animals and insects, too, are not exempted from farting. And if you have ever wondered, “Do chickens fart?” the answer is yes.
This article will cover
- Do Chickens Fart?
- A Chicken’s Digestive System
- What Causes Chickens to Fart?
- Is it Normal for Chickens to Fart?
- Do Chickens Fart Methane Gas?
- What Does the Chicken Fart Smell Like?
- What Should You Do to Terminate the Foul Smell of the Chicken Fart?
- What are the Foods to Avoid Unpleasant Fart to Chickens?
Do Chickens Fart?
Just like any other animal with a digestive system or an intestine, chickens too have the ability to fart. And that is quite a regular occurrence just as much as we, humans, do. However, this is an unusual conversation as not all people know about this except for chicken owners.
Like humans, chickens also fart as they have to pass the air coming from the intestine and release it. Not only can chickens fart, but another piece of information that you might find strange is that chickens can burp as well.
Though it may be expected, once you notice your chicken frequently farting, we suggest you visit a veterinarian to check if there may be underlying health concerns.
A Chicken’s Digestive System
Here is a quick review for us to understand more about how the digestive system works, although it is pretty much similar to the digestive system of humans and other animals. They do not chew their food because they lack teeth, but they have an efficient, effective digestive system.
Chickens are also omnivores, so basically, they can eat almost everything aside from the vegetables and commercial pellets you provide them. They can eat meat such as insects, worms, and more.
A quick tour of the digestive system:
- Mouth – This is where it all starts. The tiny bit of saliva, as well as the digestive enzymes, help the food move coming from the mouth and across the esophagus.
- Esophagus – The food taken in by the chicken travels through the esophagus, going to the stomach. Afterward, it travels down from the crop to the chicken’s abdomen, where the digestive enzymes are supplemented to the mixture, and the food grinding occurs. The food can be stored in the crop for up to 12 hours only.
- Stomach – The stomach has two parts which is the proventriculus that is used as storage. It is in the stomach where the food is broken down into pieces. The other part is called the gizzard, which is a muscular pouch because it uses force to grind undigested food.
- Small Intestine – This is where all the nutrients from the food are being absorbed.
- Liver – The liver helps in aiding the metabolism of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.
- Ceca – The ceca are where the undigested food that passes through the intestine is broken down into smaller particles.
- Large Intestine – After passing through the ceca, the move travels to the large intestine, where the indigestible food is dried out, and all water is absorbed.
- Cloaca – The cloaca is where the residual passes, which is then mixed with the waste that exits the vent of the chicken.
- Urinary System – The urinary system has two ureters and two kidneys. The waste coming from the blood is being filtered then passes through the ureter to exit through the vent.
- Vent – The vent is the external hole where the waste exits the chicken body.
Watch the video to learn more about the chicken’s digestive system:
What Causes Chickens to Fart?
Even though some people find the thought of chickens farting strange, it is a natural process. Similar to humans and other animals, it is a common occurrence in each of our everyday lives. If your chickens experience any stress from farting, then try to give them Epsom Salt Water. This will help the flock clear out what is in their system that they find bothersome.
Chickens tend to eat whatever you feed them, and sometimes, they will also eat practically everything they see. Hence, one of the root causes as to why chickens fart is because of their staple diet. Foods that are rich in either or both diacetyl and methanethiol make the chicken’s fart very unpleasant.
Foods Rich in Sulfur
Chickens are more prone to farting when they intake any food that is rich in sulfur. These foods are believed to generate more gas. The chickens will eventually release the gas through their vent. Though it may be expected, the food they take also causes the worst and unpleasant smell of their fart.
An enlarged abdomen may be an indication that your chicken has been enduring possibly poultry disease and one among which is Marek’s disease. Marek’s disease causes tumors in the abdomen.
Obesity or Fatty Liver Syndrome
These two collect fluid around the stomach and chest cavity of your chicken, resulting in them causing gas.
Release unwanted Air
Chickens could swallow Air every time they eat or drink. Eventually, they will release that Air through the vent.
Non-digestion of Carbohydrates
Non-digested food that is rich in carbohydrates will then turn into hydrogen and carbon dioxide. It could produce gas when hydrogen and carbon dioxide are combined.
Is it Normal for Chickens to Fart?
Yes, definitely. Farting is a natural occurrence to all living things; however, if you start to discover that the smell of the fart is constantly getting more unpleasant, then you may reach out to your veterinarian and have them checked.
Do Chickens Fart Methane Gas?
The air swallowed by chickens gets absorbed inside their digestive system, eventually making its own gas. The undigested food and the grinding process create carbon dioxide and hydrogen. At times, it produces methane gas, too. So yes, chickens do fart methane gas.
What Does the Chicken Fart Smell Like?
No fart smells like perfume. Chickens, too, are not exempted from releasing an unpleasant smell of gas that comes out of their bodies.
Animal farts, including those from chickens, are more awful than what humans release. This is because the scent in their digestive tract is different compared to human flatulence. This is because of the fermented gas in their gastrointestinal tract, where oxygen levels are either lacking or non-existent.
Although it is a natural incident, the awful smell of a fart can still be lessened by avoiding some triggers.
What Should You Do to Terminate the Foul Smell of the Chicken Fart?
Farting is an everyday occurrence and commonly smells awful. There is no specific way to stop it from smelling awful completely. However, this does not necessarily mean that we cannot control or prevent it from constantly smelling unpleasant. There are a few ways on how to reduce its pungent smell.
● Observe your flock frequently, and if a particular chicken has been releasing an extremely unpleasant smell, then that is the time to analyze their staple diet. Ensure that their diet neither contains soybeans nor canola, dairy products, green leafy vegetables, or any sulfur foods. Make sure that their intake of high fiber products is reduced by about 45% per day.
● Use a high-quality chicken feed for them instead. Though quite expensive, you are guaranteed that the ingredients used are of quality and provide all the nutrients your chicken needs. Poor quality chicken feed often uses additives and fillers, which may cause digestive concerns to your chickens.
● If symptoms of continuous unpleasant smell persist, it is best to bring your chicken to a professional and run some tests. This is to detect an underlying medical concern or digestive problem your chicken has been enduring.
● To help you terminate the foul smell of the chicken fart in your keep, it is recommended that you invest in a high-quality air filter or provide enough ventilation for fresh and proper air circulation.
Watch the video and learn how to eradicate unpleasant odors in your coop:
What Foods Can Cause Chickens to Fart?
Green Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables are not recommended to be fed to your chickens as these will cause gastrointestinal concerns.
Soybean and Canola Seeds
Soybean and Canola seeds are both rich in sulfur and amino acids. These two can cause digestive concerns, which will eventually make the chickens release an unwanted smell.
The effect of consuming spicy food is the same for chickens as it is for humans, just as we unleash terrible smells due to the consumption of spicy foods.
Ensure that you keep away spicy leftovers that the chickens will eat. Remember that these chickens will eat or taste whatever is in front of them regardless if it is spicy or not.
Now that we have answered your question, “Do chickens fart?” you will not have to worry as it is a common occurrence not only to poultry but also to other living things. As a backyard chicken owner, it is necessary that you know the smell that signs your chickens need special attention.
Joseph Hudson has been raising chickens for over 15 years. In 2018, he completed the Agriculture & Natural Resources program at Mt. San Antonio College. He currently raises over 1400 chickens on his 7.5-hectare farm. He keeps sharing his experience on raising healthy and happy chickens on Chicken Scratch The Foundry.