GRAPHIC: abnormal finding in the coop

Juxtaposition of shell-less egg, poo, and abnormal item.

Alright, a gross mystery for you all.

Ben went out to check on the ladies this morning, and came back in telling me there was weird red egg inside the coop.  He described it as looking like “a cherry tomato”.  Scary.  I went to investigate.

There was a red lump, surrounded by wet bedding.  Above, a shell-less egg with a TON of watery poo nearby.  Keep in mind- I clean this coop every day, so this wasn’t a buildup of poo from a few days or anything.

I can only assume one of my ladies had a VERY bad morning.

I examined the mass at length: it felt like it contained liquid (it did), had an attached ‘cord’ with what appeared to be ova at the end, a dark spot inside that, after dissection, turned out to be extra tissue inside the sac, and the ‘liquid’ inside appeared to be egg yolk.

So… what is this thing?  Did my hen lay an egg yolk… maybe dragging other egg yolks with it?  Is it a cyst?  Whatever it is, the ladies all seemed healthy and happy  and were running around scratching like normal, so I’ve got to assume that it’s not, ya know, vital to their function.

8 thoughts on “GRAPHIC: abnormal finding in the coop

  1. Oh holy criminy! What the hell is that?! Seriously, chickens are crazy – everything’s good until OMG WHAT THE HELL IS THAT UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT THAT JUST CAME OUT THEIR BUMS?! I’m glad the girls all appear to be a-ok.🙂

    1. No kidding! According to a few people she passed a yolk, but the normally whitish membrane is extra vascular and the blood vessels inside probably ruptured. The stringy bit attached might be the chalaze, which holds the yolk together as it travels through the oviduct- and it looks like there are some ova tagging along.

      Here’s hoping this is a one-off event as the ladies start laying again after their molt. I don’t know how well I’d handle seeing one of these in the coop on a regular basis.

  2. I wasn’t through in my reading, but the feeling of Google Goggles came to mind. I would toss in a few searches into Google Images to see if you can come up with a (close)match, then go from there.

    You were right on the ‘must read graphic content’ disclaimer. In all aspects, too.

    I await the result!

    1. I posted the pics to a few chicken forums and the Reddit hivemind too, and have come up with this:
      “It’s an undeveloped egg connected to the other eggs in her ovaries. If you can find a video on that it shows the red covering breaks open and releases a yolk and then it goes throughout the rest of the process.”
      “It is an egg yolk, it’s just been laid without its shell, and for some reason, blood vessel[s] have ruptured inside the membrane structure as well. The long stringy bit is the chalaze, which holds the yolk together as it travels through the oviduct.
      It could be a dietary problem, it could just be a one off, maybe the weather or something in the environment… it could be a symptom of a larger problem. My hens lay yolks every now and again, I think I have seen it three times or so over the last 6 or so years.”

      Since they’re just starting to lay again, this is likely a one-off incident. Definitely keeping an eye on her though.

    2. Also, here’s my theory:
      This yolk with the attached membrane came down the oviduct at the same time as a yolk in front of it… and kind of overwhelmed the hen, since this would be the first time she passed an egg this year. The shell gland wasn’t ‘ready’ yet, and didn’t deposit the shell… so we got one fully formed soft shell egg, and this yolk slipped out behind it. The yolk wouldn’t have had time in the assembly line to develop into a full egg, and essentially slipped by behind the soft shell egg without her system recognizing it as something that needed to be addressed.
      Granted, it’s just a guess, but with the way things lined up in the coop, and the way their chicken system works, I’m thinking I’m close. We’ll see.

  3. I came across your post this morning during a Google search, your picture matched mine this morning. I see this post is old, do you have any other feedback on the problem since then?

    1. Hi Lynn:
      Little Girl, the chicken who made this weird thing, died recently. She didn’t really change per se after laying this, but continued laying tiny yolkless eggs on an infrequent basis as she had before. I think this was more a symptom of a larger genetic problem than an issue in and of itself.

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