Can chickens smell?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by IggiMom, Mar 1, 2010.

  1. IggiMom

    IggiMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2009
    West Virginia
    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.

  2. The Chicken People

    The Chicken People Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2009
    Smithville, Mo
    Maybe thats why they eat their own pooh? No sense of smell?[​IMG]
  3. shandiane78

    shandiane78 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 23, 2009
    Woodinville, WA
    Some people think they smell, but I think they're just fine. [​IMG]
  4. welovechickens

    welovechickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 7, 2009
    Round Rock
    Mine smell like feathers, and if they happen to step in something icky, then they stink for awhile. [​IMG]
  5. chauqg

    chauqg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2009
    Link below for entire article

    Chicken Sense

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


    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.
    ItÂ’s suggested that birds can definitely smell blood.
  6. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    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. [​IMG]
  7. Armageddon

    Armageddon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 3, 2010
    Southern California
    I've also ready they have no sense of smell....but they must have TASTE because they do have their favorites!
  8. jeslewmazer

    jeslewmazer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 24, 2009
    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.
  9. msgenie516

    msgenie516 The Happy Hen

    May 16, 2008
    Nesconset, LI, NY
    Quote: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!
  10. IggiMom

    IggiMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2009
    West Virginia

    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.


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