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.

12 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.

  4. My point-of-lay pullet had similar today. Lots of white, watery, bloody faeces outside the pen and a big mass of bloody gloop which smelled a bit eggy. She’s drinking but not eating and her crop feels empty. She sat in the nesting box for most of the day.The other older two are fine. I just bought her ten days ago but spoke to the farmer who sold her to me and he gives the hens a feed with a coccidiosis treatment in it. His birds are penned in a large movable run in a grass field and are wormed and vaccinated. I’ve never seen this before and when I spoke to the farmer he was baffled, but interested, too.

  5. My point-of-lay pullet had similar today. Lots of white, watery, bloody faeces outside the pen and a big mass of bloody gloop which smelled a bit eggy. She’s drinking but not eating and her crop feels empty. She sat in the nesting box for most of the day.The other older two are fine. I just bought her ten days ago but spoke to the farmer who sold her to me and he gives the hens a feed with a coccidiosis treatment in it. His birds are penned in a large movable run in a grass field and are wormed and vaccinated. I’ve never seen this before and when I spoke to the farmer he was baffled, but interested, too. Any ideas?

    1. Did the bloody goop have a shape? In the case of this bird, the blood was part of a membrane covering. Do you have pics? It sounds like coccidiosis, which is strange given the vaccination/feed. If she’s just started laying, it could be a simple ‘misfire’ while her system works itself out.

      1. Thanks, no, I don’t have pics. I think coccidiosis is really unlikely as the run they are in here is a large aviary and no contact with wild birds is happening. There is no coccidiosis in the flock she came from. The bloody mass was rather like the kind of large clot a woman might get when having a heavy period with a few stringy bits thrown in. When I went to clean it there was an eggy smell. I cleaned out the nesting box she has been sitting in all day as it was damp through. I know this isn’t very chicken-speak but it put me in mind of a mammal’s ‘show’ followed by waters. My previous chickens were so free-range they were all over the place and so I never saw anything like this but also they were never ill until they were old and on their last legs. So I have no experience of this. There was a pic I saw which had photos of poop and the kind of poop she did this morning was on the normal ranking. It was copious, very extensive, lots of white with blood around the edges. She is bit her usual perky self. She is drinking but I haven’t seen her eating today.

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