Skip to Content

Do Chickens Have Kidneys?

Do Chickens Have Kidneys?

Sharing is caring!

If you are new to raising chickens, you could be wondering whether or not chickens have kidneys. It may even be a mystery to you how no streams of liquids (pee) anywhere around your coop.

So, do chickens have kidneys? Yes, chickens have right and left kidneys. They are dark red to almost dark brown.

Their kidneys have three distinctive lobes; the caudal, cranial, and middle. They also have the ureter, which connects each kidney to the cloaca. 

If you have been wondering whether or not chickens have kidneys, you have come to the right place.

This article will discuss everything you need to know about a chicken’s kidney anatomy and the urinary system. Keep reading to learn more. 

Backyard chickens

The Chicken Kidney

Chickens have two kidneys located symmetrically on either side of the vertebral column below the pelvis and synsacrum. The kidney’s surface has fine lobulations, usually divided into three parts; cranial, middle, and caudal.

The ureter is divided into the pelvic part and the renal part. The pelvic part runs from the caudal end to the cloaca. Unlike mammals, chickens do not have any urinary bladder.

This feature enables chickens to fly by reducing their body weight. The urinary component of birds excretes together with feces.

The length and width of the chicken kidney may vary depending on the breed. Generally, the greatest traverse width of the kidney is about 3 centimeters, while the length is about six centimeters. 

How Do Chickens Release Their Urine

Backyard chickens

Chickens do not urinate the same way as human beings and other creatures. You will hardly find liquid excretions in their coop. In fact, their urine is never separated from the poop.

The reason why chickens follow a different excretory release process is that they do not have a urinary bladder, unlike humans. They have the kidney, which serves as the base of the excretory system.

Kidneys are essential organs in chickens, and any damage to them can be lethal and even cause death to your birds. Chicken kidneys perform the following duties.

Managing the Balance of Electrolytes

Electrolytes are essential in chickens as they help to replenish minerals and nutrients. These nutrients and minerals are lost when a chicken is stressed or in heat. 

Removing Metabolic Waste From the Chicken’s Body

Kidneys help remove metabolic waste left after the metabolic process in chickens. Your birds cannot use these elements, thus the need for their excretion.

They include water, sulfates, phosphates, and nitrogen compounds.

Sustaining the Water Levels in the Chicken’s Body

Another role of the kidney in chickens is to help sustain the water levels in their bodies.

Maintaining a healthy water level in birds is essential as it prevents them from dehydrating. Dehydration in chickens can easily lead to death. 

The Chicken Excretory System

Like human beings, a chicken’s excretory system is important too. As stated, a chicken’s kidney has three lobes under the lungs.

Since a chicken has no urinary bladder, its pee is non-water soluble uric acid. If you have closely observed your chicken’s poop, the “pee” is the white paste and a liquid that is excreted out as it releases its waste.

Chicken kidneys are crucial characters when it comes to excretion. Their main role is to filter the chicken’s urine.

The urine is then passed to the cloaca through the ureters. A chicken’s cloaca is where you can find the intestinal, genital, and urinary tract.

The cloaca is where chickens expel their feces, waste, and eggs. Because of its location, you can hardly see it.

It is located under the tail base on the rear of a chicken’s body. It is also covered with feathers located on the lower abdomen. The opening or slit is often referred to as the vent.

While other creatures have specific openings for eggs, liquid, and solid wastes, chickens have one vent that performs all those functions.

The folds are separated and divided inside the cloaca. Since chickens do not have a bladder, a unique process known as peristalsis occurs. The process is the rerouting of urine into the large intestines.

Once the urine is in the large intestines, the chicken’s body will absorb all the excess water from it.

It will then be reduced to a white paste of uric acid. This is why you will find some white paste with your flock’s feces. 

How Often Do Chickens Poo And Pee?

Backyard chickens

If you plan to raise chickens in your backyard, it is good to anticipate how much mess your birds will make. This will help you manage their waste.

It will also help you know how much you can hold your bird before they poop on you if you want to pet and cuddle with them. 

Like other creatures, several factors will determine the way your chickens poop. One of the main factors is the size of your chickens. Smaller chickens tend to poop more often than bigger chickens. 

An average-sized chicken poops in 20-25 minutes. On the other hand, a smaller chicken will release its waste every ten minutes.

Chickens are known to be regular poopers. However, they usually excrete small amounts despite the frequency.

What Does a Normal Chicken Dropping Look Like?

It is important to know what normal chicken droppings should look like, as signs of various diseases can manifest in their droppings.

Therefore, you should always check their droppings from time to time to see whether there are significant changes.

The color of your chickens’ droppings can point to something happening in their bodies. It ranges in several colors, such as yellow, green, black, tan, or brown. In most cases, the droppings are shades of brown with a white paste. 

Which color is considered suspicious, and what does the color of the droppings tell about the condition of your backyard flock?

Black Droppings

Black droppings can indicate blood in the stool of your chickens. While this is possible, it is important to take note of the surroundings.

You should also take note of the kind of food your chickens are eating. In some cases, your chickens may have consumed grayish or black elements that may make their stool look black.

Some dark elements, such as wood ash, can lead to black droppings. If your chickens eat blackberries, charcoal, or dark purple foods, they will likely produce black droppings.

While wood ash is beneficial to chickens, they should on feed on it in moderation. If you notice black droppings in your coop, you will want to check on your flock’s consumption and environment.

Yellowish Droppings

You can easily notice yellowish droppings since they stand out from the chickens’ space. They can possibly signal internal worms, kidney malfunction, or typhoid.

Yellow droppings in chickens can also be an indicator of coccidiosis. It can also as a result of a diet filled with forsythia blossoms, strawberries, and corn.

Green Droppings

Green droppings can signal that something wrong is going on in your bird’s body. It can be a sign of worms, Marek’s disease, or avian flu.

On the other hand, it can also just be your chicken consuming a lot of vegetables, weeds, grass, and other green things. 

Runny Brown Droppings

Runny brown droppings are too flowy to look at and can be alarming. If you spot this color in your coop, it could signify infectious bronchitis or E.coli.

On the other hand, it can result from your birds overeating food with too much liquid or water. 

How To Prevent Chicken Urinary Problems

Taking care of your birds also includes ensuring they do not experience any problems with their excretion process.

Excretion is important as it releases unnecessary and dangerous materials inside a chicken’s body.

Here is how you can prevent chicken urinary problems.

Ensure they Drink Enough

You should ensure that your chickens have plenty of clean water. Chickens are easily thirsty, and lack of water can lead to dehydration.

Giving them enough water will help them to release the excess uric acid from their bodies.

Avoid High Protein Food

Giving your birds food with high protein will cause too much uric acid. High levels of uric acid in chickens can be fatal.

Give them Appropriate Food

While treats are good for your birds, you should not overdo them. You should only give them foods that meet their nutrient needs.


If you were asking yourself whether or not chickens have kidneys, you are now answered. Chickens have two kidneys that are dark red to almost dark brown.

However, unlike humans, chickens do not have a urinary bladder.

Sharing is caring!