As we collectively grow more conscious of the environment and our health, organic chicken becomes more and more popular. And rightfully so, since organic chicken has up to 38% more omega-3 fatty acids than regular chicken, contains fewer preservatives and other additives, and is far less likely to cause food poisoning.

It can also smell and taste a little different than regular chicken if that is all you are used to. This is due to the strict dietary guidelines that dictate what types of food organic chickens can be fed, as well as the methods used to slaughter them.

As a result, the slightly different taste and smell of organic chicken meat often lead a lot of people to wonder if their organic chicken is bad or is still safe to eat. After all, a different smell or taste is one of the first signs of bad chicken.

This is why it is so important to learn to tell the difference between the smell of organic chicken and that of chicken that has gone bad.

And today I’m going to help you do just that. So,

Does Organic Chicken Smell Differently Than Regular Chicken?

Yes, the smell of organic chicken can differ slightly from that of conventionally raised chicken. Besides odor, organic chicken will also have a different taste and color than regular chicken meat.

This all happens because organic chickens are raised under completely different, more humane standards.

For example, while the regular chicken can be fed a mix of genetically engineered grain, antibiotics, growth, hormones, and even animal by-products, organic chicken can only be fed a certifiably organic feed that is free of all of these things.

Organic chickens are also allowed to roam free and generally enjoy more sanitary conditions and more humane butchering methods. All of this changes the protein and fat composition in their meat, resulting in meat that tastes and smells differently.

What Does Organic Chicken Smell Like?

What Does Organic Chicken Smell Like?

Organic chicken, when fresh, should have a very mild smell. However, in contrast to regular chicken’s “neutral” smell, organic chicken can have a very light, slightly more gamey aroma.

Now that you know to expect a slightly different smell, it’s important that you learn to recognize it and develop the ability to tell when your chicken has gone bad.

If your chicken has a strong smell, you may want to honor the old saying “when in doubt, throw it out”. After all, chicken is one of the most easily perishable meats and the consequences of eating spoiled chicken meat can be rather severe, even deadly.

Immediately dispose of raw chicken that smells like rotten eggs, sulfurous, pungent, or like something died in your kitchen.

Signs That Your Chicken Meat May Have Gone Bad

Since not everyone has a sensitive sense of smell, here are some other signs that your chicken may have gone bad:

  • A slimy or sticky coating
  • A gooey texture
  • A mottled surface
  • Gray or green discoloration

These are the standards to look for with all cuts from whole chicken the chicken breast,

So how do you know if it is safe to eat? The bottom line is that raw, fresh chicken, regardless of whether it is organic or not, should have a very mild, non-offensive smell. Anything else and you should probably toss it in the trash bin. So stay safe, and eat fresh, fully-cooked chicken.