Is It Smelly to Keep Chickens?

by Backyard Homestead HQ

(What You Need to Know)

Are Chickens Smelly?

Chickens have a neutral smell and they are quite a clean animal.

Their poop, however, smells like ammonia.

a bad chicken smell requires a breakdown in your overall chicken-keeping systems. 

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The coop doesn’t have enough airflow and smells of ammonia (chicken poop).


Add a window (screen it with chicken wire) to improve airflow and get rid of the dangerous-for-all-creatures smell.


Wet coops, runs, and chickens smell due to the molds and fungi that grow.


Keep your coops, runs, and chickens dry by improving the drainage.


Easy Fix

Chickens need access to dry dust in order to take a dust bath. They need to not walk in wet/manure on a regular basis.




Easy Fix

Having a dust bath area will keep the chickens clean and free from parasites like mites.

Over-cleaning of a coop means you’ll need to clean it out at least once a week to stay on top of the smell.





Consider learning about deep litter methods to minimize cleaning by using natural composting to your benefit.

Easy Fix

Multiple Problems

Watch your chickens to see if they can keep dry, and clean, or if things get too stinky.




Fix the individual issues as they arise and are noticed. Be vigilant and proactive.

The main places you’ll notice a chicken smell are in the coop and in the run.

01 Evaluate your coop’s ventilation

02 Fix any drainage issues

Here’s how to get rid of the chicken poop smell in your coop.

03 Let them clean with a dust bath

04 Work through each system

If your chickens, coop, or run are stinky… there’s a problem. They shouldn’t be smelly.  So go fix that stinky coop. Your neighbors will appreciate it – and so will your back.

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Final Thoughts