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Smelly Chick

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Hey Guys!


I have four three week old chicks in the brooder in the kitchen. They are doing really well but one of them stinks!! Its definately only one of the chicks and he smells weird like fish paste! It stinks out the kitchen. We're cleaning them out all the time. Is it weird to get a smelly chick? I've not had one before! xx

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I can't say that I have ever heard of it before, although a quick internet search threw up a human condition that sounds similar...


Trimethylaminuria is a metabolic illness where the liver cannot metabolise trimethylamine, a chemical produced by naturally occurring intestinal bacteria properly.


It can be triggered by a kidney or liver infection or the excess intake of the chemical choline, which the body turns into trimethylamine.


There is no cure, but diets avoiding foods that contain choline, like salt water fish, egg yolk, peas, liver, kidney, and legumes, can have a degree of success.


Levels of trimethylamine in urine above 15 or 20 mg indicate a patient is suffering from trimethylaminuria. Trimethylamine is excreted in the breath, sweat and the urine itself.


Dr Antonio Baldellou is an expert in metabolic diseases at the Children's Hospital Miguel Servet in Zaragoza, Spain.


He said: "The excess of trimethylamine in the urine produces the characteristic smell that the patients give off and as a consequence it affects their quality of living."


Does it have diarrhoea?


I'd take it to the vet to be sure as it sounds likely to be some sort of digestive issue. Is it otherwise healthy?


Speed is of the essence though in case the other chicks could be affected.

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Ooh thanks for the advice, i didn't think it could be that serious. I just thought I'd got a smelly one! He hasn't got diarrohea and is eating and drinking fine. He's the only boy with 3 girls (I think) and I thought it might be pheromones (if that's how you spell it) or something like that. He's not gaping or panting and is really chirpy. In fact they all are. I'm gonna go have a smell of his bottom, see if it smells the strongest!

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Hiya guys!


Medicated chick crumb is on the way just in case! It seems like the smell is coming from his head and not from his vent though! Thanks for all the advice, I'm glad I mentioned it, I honestly just thought everyone might get a smelly one every now and again! :lol:

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Yes my thoughts are coccidiosis as well..

I had never had a chick with it until earlier this year and the smell was memorable... even though they were on ACS medicated crumb - it does not cover all strains.

Don't give COXOID and medicated crumb though aparently it counteracts the effects.

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Hi guys,


Just thought I'd give you an update. I've given the little'uns medicated chick crumb and he seems to be much less smelly so maybe it was coccidiosis after all. There didnt seem to be any other symtoms at all and they seem fine; growing up and feathering up nicely! Unfortunately the name fish paste seems to have stuck though, poor thing! :lol:

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