Abnormal Enlarged Liver **PICS* Graphic

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by HidingInTheHenHouse, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. HidingInTheHenHouse

    HidingInTheHenHouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2008
    One of my chickens became very ill this afternoon and quickly died. I decided to check out the internal organs to see if I could tell what happened, since I've had several hens die from unknown causes. In the abdomen, I found a severely enlarged mottled liver. I have never seen a liver this large on a chicken that had to weigh maybe 1-2 lbs. I also have never seen this color. I'm sure this has to be evidence of disease of some kind, so I'm hoping all you guys here can help me figure this out so I can stop my chickens from dying.

    What we saw first when we opened the abdomen.

    The 3 lobes and gall bladder visible.


    Unknown "red stuff" under organs??

    Red stuff runs along both sides of spine. What is this stuff? It isn't normally this large on the meat birds we butcher.

    Any help or guesses would be greatly appreciated.
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I found a few things that would mottle the liver like that. It's really swollen and mottled. Aflatoxicosis is one of them. Read about that here:

    Also, they say a rodenticide could cause it (rat poison) as well as castor bean poisioning. I'm no expert on this stuff, but I have opened up several of my girls who died from internal laying. Those organs look odd.
  3. LauraSBale

    LauraSBale Chillin' With My Peeps

    I was going to say it looks like Fatty liver, before i went to the link.

    I know fatty liver can be from a high fat diet, nuts, seeds, oils, high fat dairy. and so on

    I breed chinchillas, and we have to watch they dont get a high fat diets, they can get fatty liver fast, and they show signs like having a cold, water eyes,. and some dont show signs at all, one day they are fine the next you find them died in there cage.

    Good luck with you Chickens
  4. HidingInTheHenHouse

    HidingInTheHenHouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2008
    Thanks for the help!! I spending today completely cleaning and inspecting the run and all feeders and waterers. I discarded all open feed, scratch, and oyster shell, and cleaned all storage containers. I have a fresh bag of feed that hasn't been opened and has been stored in the house, so I'm using that for now.

    We do use rat poison, so it is very possible that the chicken found some. I try to always put the poison where the chickens can't get to it, but we have been re-arranging out run area lately, and some covered areas that I use to bait for rats was uncovered, so this definitely seems like the most likely explanation. It is just surprising how fast it happened.

    I since have found out that the red stuff along the spine is the kidneys. So poisoning of some sort seems very possible considering all the factors.
  5. Hens_And_Chicks

    Hens_And_Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 23, 2009
    I don't have any experience but I want to commend you for not only doing your own necropsy but sharing the pictures. This board does lend unending information!
  6. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    Rats are also famous for moving poison to other locations (if movement is possible) before consuming it, thus endangering unintended victims.
    Sad to hear about your hen.

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