Do Chicken Coops Smell/Stink? Do Chickens Care?

chicken emerging from coop Chicken coops can smell but don’t need to. The truth is that a well-maintained chicken coop can be odorless, while a poorly maintained one can be quite stinky!

It all comes down to the type and quality of materials used in the coop construction, as well as proper care and maintenance. But do chickens care about smells in their environment?


Are Chickens Affected By A Bad-Smelling Coop?

To answer this question, let’s first look at whether or not chickens can actually smell. The simple answer is yes! Chickens have a pretty good sense of smell and are able to detect odors around them. This means they could be sensitive to smells coming from their coop, such as animal waste, mold, and other unpleasant odors.

What Causes A Stinky Coop?

So if your chicken coop does happen to stink, what sources of odors should you look out for?

One issue could be from animal waste – if your chickens aren’t able to move freely enough or if you’re using too much bedding material for them to lay in, it could become a breeding ground for fecal bacteria, which leads to the unpleasant smell.

Another potential source of bad smells comes from mold growth inside your chicken coop due to moisture buildup – so make sure any areas where water pools up either get dried out quickly or have some kind of drain installed.

Do Chickens Mind A Stinky Coop?

But do chickens actually mind these smells? It’s hard to tell since they don’t express themselves as openly as humans do when exposed to something unpleasant.

However, research suggests that having an overly smelly environment can cause distress among chickens and make them less productive overall, so it’s important to keep this in mind! It’s safest to assume that they like clean and nice-smelling environments like you and I.

What Smells Do Chickens Dislike?

Chickens may have strong opinions on smells they like and don’t like, just like people do.

Many chickens love citrus, pumpkin, kale, or other leafy greens; some strongly dislike them. Even strong-smelling herbs, such as oregano or thyme, can leave chickens with an unpleasant taste in their mouth and reaction.

That’s why it’s important to get to know your individual flock; chickens have their own personalities and tend to take their time deciding if they do or don’t like a particular food. Ultimately, it pays off for chicken owners to give chickens variety in their diet; from that, you can find out what smells they like and dislike!

How To Prevent Your Coop From Stinking

So now that we know why chicken coops might start smelling bad, how can we prevent it from happening?

The simplest solution is through regular cleaning – removing bedding material that has been contaminated by feces and replacing it with fresh material goes a long way towards keeping odors at bay.

Another thing many people use is what’s known as the “deep litter method,” where wood shavings are added regularly until there’s a thick layer of bedding material present. This helps absorb moisture and reduce odors significantly without needing regular cleaning sessions every other day.


All in all, keeping your chicken coop clean is essential for not only reducing nasty smells but also improving your flock’s overall health and productivity.

So take the time every once in a while to inspect your coop and remove any odor sources before they become overwhelming – your chickens will thank you for it!

Photo by Tom Ungerer on Unsplash.