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Can chickens smell?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Someone told me that chickens have no sense of smell.  Does anyone know if this is true or not?  I cannot think why they wouldn't be able to smell--others birds can.  How do they know what to eat if they cannot smell it?

Just wondering. 

Catherine

4 Italian Greyhounds: Penny, Huckleberry, Becky, and Tina; 1 Scottish Deerhound:  Nancy; 2 Kitties: KoKo and Katie, Chickens, mostly R.I. Reds; 7 Peafowl; One husband; 3 adult children, (son just back from Iraq); and 2 Granddaughters. 
West Virginia
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4 Italian Greyhounds: Penny, Huckleberry, Becky, and Tina; 1 Scottish Deerhound:  Nancy; 2 Kitties: KoKo and Katie, Chickens, mostly R.I. Reds; 7 Peafowl; One husband; 3 adult children, (son just back from Iraq); and 2 Granddaughters. 
West Virginia
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post #2 of 17

Maybe thats why they eat their own pooh? No sense of smell?hu

 My how this farm has changed us!

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 My how this farm has changed us!

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post #3 of 17

Some people think they smell, but I think they're just fine. lol

post #4 of 17

Mine smell like feathers, and if they happen to step in something icky, then they stink for awhile. lol

Elisabeth
Chicken mom to 1 Japanese Black-tailed Buff Bantam hen (Baby), 1 EE hen (Biddy) and 1 SLW hen (Betty)
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Elisabeth
Chicken mom to 1 Japanese Black-tailed Buff Bantam hen (Baby), 1 EE hen (Biddy) and 1 SLW hen (Betty)
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post #5 of 17

Link below for entire article

Chicken Sense 

By Dr. Clive Dalton and ScienceDaily.com
16 November 2008
Senses in Poultry, by Dr. Clive Dalton

Smell

Not much is known about how important smell is to poultry.
Hens are not keen on food that smells of mould or is sour, so presumably smell is involved in this feed rejection.
Its suggested that birds can definitely smell blood.

Have new coop, new tractor and new flock of 26 RIR'S.  Have raised 3 children, dogs, cats, fish, racing pigeons along with one large peacock (lived to be 12 YO).  Have had birds on and off for 20 years; much easier with internet for reference....Thanks al gore
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Have new coop, new tractor and new flock of 26 RIR'S.  Have raised 3 children, dogs, cats, fish, racing pigeons along with one large peacock (lived to be 12 YO).  Have had birds on and off for 20 years; much easier with internet for reference....Thanks al gore
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post #6 of 17

Pretty sure they do smell - My girls shake their heads in absolute disgust to any food they don't like, and especially if they are curious about poo - Wow they don't look at it again. lol

Silver Laced Polish, Tolbunt Polish, and Shamos
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Silver Laced Polish, Tolbunt Polish, and Shamos
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post #7 of 17

I've also ready they have no sense of smell....but they must have TASTE because they do have their favorites!

44  Fluffy Butts!!! 6 EEs, 2 BRs, 2 RIRs, 2 BLHs, 3 BSLs, 3 RSLs, 4 CMs, 2 Delaware, 2 broody banties,  EE Roo named Mickey, 2 Seramas, 2 Bronze Turkeys and 12 True  Auracaunas,
Just moved to our 22 acre ranch in the country Life is GOOD!!
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44  Fluffy Butts!!! 6 EEs, 2 BRs, 2 RIRs, 2 BLHs, 3 BSLs, 3 RSLs, 4 CMs, 2 Delaware, 2 broody banties,  EE Roo named Mickey, 2 Seramas, 2 Bronze Turkeys and 12 True  Auracaunas,
Just moved to our 22 acre ranch in the country Life is GOOD!!
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post #8 of 17

If they can't smell, then why do they have a nose?  I think they can smell but it is not that good. Each sense has a dominant one and the rest decent. So smell is probably at the bottom of the totem pole. This is what I think.

Starting 2011 with 70 chickens big and small.
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Starting 2011 with 70 chickens big and small.
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post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeslewmazer 

If they can't smell, then why do they have a nose?  I think they can smell but it is not that good. Each sense has a dominant one and the rest decent. So smell is probably at the bottom of the totem pole. This is what I think.


I don't know if they can smell or not but I would guess they have a nose so they can breathe.  Maybe they can breathe through their beak/mouth but then they would look like they're panting all the time!

7 chicks-2 Golden Polish, 2 Buff Laced Polish, 1 Mottled Houdan, 1 Crevecoeur, 1 Unknown

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7 chicks-2 Golden Polish, 2 Buff Laced Polish, 1 Mottled Houdan, 1 Crevecoeur, 1 Unknown

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post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chauqg 

Link below for entire article

Chicken Sense 

By Dr. Clive Dalton and ScienceDaily.com
16 November 2008
Senses in Poultry, by Dr. Clive Dalton

Smell

Not much is known about how important smell is to poultry.
Hens are not keen on food that smells of mould or is sour, so presumably smell is involved in this feed rejection.
Its suggested that birds can definitely smell blood.


Thanks!

I will check it out.

We have the swarming ladybugs here, which smell truly horrible, and I notice there is not one bird, not even the Guineas, that will eat them.

Catherine

4 Italian Greyhounds: Penny, Huckleberry, Becky, and Tina; 1 Scottish Deerhound:  Nancy; 2 Kitties: KoKo and Katie, Chickens, mostly R.I. Reds; 7 Peafowl; One husband; 3 adult children, (son just back from Iraq); and 2 Granddaughters. 
West Virginia
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4 Italian Greyhounds: Penny, Huckleberry, Becky, and Tina; 1 Scottish Deerhound:  Nancy; 2 Kitties: KoKo and Katie, Chickens, mostly R.I. Reds; 7 Peafowl; One husband; 3 adult children, (son just back from Iraq); and 2 Granddaughters. 
West Virginia
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