Have you ever smelled your chickens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by woodmort, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    Okay before we start a couple of things. First, after we were first married we lived next door to a large egg "factory" so I know what these things smell like (took me another 25 years to convince my DW that chickens could be kept under circumstances that did not smell like that!) Also I'm not Mr Clean or Harriet Homemaker who thinks the coop has to be cleaned every day--no poop board!!!. I clean my 12 by 12 coop down to bare floor once a year--in April--and then toss in 4 bales of pine shavings. Sometimes, in midwinter if I think the shavings may be getting matted down too much under the roosts, I'll spread another bale. Under these circumstances the coop does not smell like chicken manure but remains pretty neutral to piney smelling. As far as outside is concerned the only time it smells of chicken poop around there is between the time I spread it until I rototill it under in April. We have enough room outside that the chickens are dispersed enough so there is never any problem aside from what gets tracked into the house. My point being that I know the bad chicken smell and it isn't happening here.

    Now to smelling chickens. Each night when I close the pop door I have to pass in front of the open coop windows, usually being eyed by a dozen or so birds who, despite the fact I do this every night don't seem to know what I'm doing. Given the open window and proximity of the chickens as I pass by I get a whiff of "chicken". This is not a perfume smell but a very pleasant, earthy smell like the smell of the plowed ground after a rain, the air on a dewy morning, crushed maple leaves or freshly mown grass. You can get the same smell--and I have--by picking up a chicken and burying your nose in it's neck feathers--assuming it hasn't just been dusting itself or rolling in the pine shavings. Maybe if people were aware of this there would be less of that "chickens smell bad" PR that seems to be going around.
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Yes! I LOVE the way my chickens smell. Very fresh and clean. I agree, and I am amazed that they stay so beautiful and clean without taking showers and baths all the time like we do!

    Good thread!
  3. BloominOrchid

    BloominOrchid Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 18, 2010
    Worcester Township
    I smell mine too, as do my children. Esp the youngest he loves to bury his face in Silkie necks. [​IMG]
    Im not alone [​IMG]
  4. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    I think this is one of those things we all know about but never discuss with nonchicken people lest they are really convinced we're nuts. [​IMG]
  5. Three Cedars Silkies

    Three Cedars Silkies Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 17, 2008
    Gainesville, Fl.
    All the time...I love the way they smell!! [​IMG]
  6. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Chickens smell fine unless they are wet. I always bury my nose on the backs of their necks when I carry them (the sweeter hens that is, not my half-tame roos)
    Wet feathers is a smell that I could live without, though it's definitely not "untolerable" - I've smelled people who stank much worse.
  7. gvntofly05

    gvntofly05 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 21, 2009
    I'm just glad I'm not the only one! [​IMG]
  8. GraceAK

    GraceAK Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 28, 2009
    Eagle River, AK
    They do smell really nice and.... natural, I guess [​IMG]
  9. Flewthecoop42

    Flewthecoop42 New Egg

    Aug 27, 2010
    SW Wisconsin
    Excellent point to make, I haven't had chickens that long but this was a concern that I had in the beginning. After making it through the summer with my new flock which we enjoy a great deal there is really very little odor, and the odor we do have really isn't repulsive at all. Compared to my old dog kennel that housed my beloved beagles for many years, I'll take the chicken odor any day.
  10. cindy99

    cindy99 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2010
    Tioga County PA
    I smell our chickens. [​IMG] When Bluebell got sick I said to my husband "yes, I am sure that she is sick - she doesn't smell right" he looked at me like I was crazy. LOL She is better now and back to normal chicken smell. [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2010

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