GIGANTIC KIDNEYS - what happened to this chicken?!

Little Cheepers

Hatching
5 Years
Nov 6, 2014
6
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7
Lawrence, Kansas
We found Pumpkin waddling around like a little penguin, tail down, breathing heavy - classic egg bound behaviors. We brought her in, gave her an epsom salt bath, and poked into her vent to feel for the egg. But no egg. Her abdomen was hard, so we figured we just weren't poking right. Let her rest apart from the flock and tried again the next day. Same thing. She was getting pale, just wanted to sit, and wasn't drinking water. We researched and researched only to find the same suggestions about treating egg binding. On day 4 we put her down out of mercy.

Upon cutting her open, we still didn't find an egg, but instead found these large dark red masses. At first I thought I hadn't bled her out properly. I gutted what I could, which wasn't much because these masses were taking up so much space in her cavity. After butchering her and removing all her muscle I finally realized -- these are organs. Kidneys?! Gigantic kidneys?! The size of human kidneys?! We couldn't believe it. Still can't. How was she living like this? And for how long until she couldn't any longer?

We can't figure out what happened to Pumpkin. Any insight and suggestions would be highly relieving.

Graphic pictures now:





 

HEChicken

Crowing
11 Years
Aug 12, 2009
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I believe what you are seeing is liver. Birds actually only have one kidney and it is not very big. The liver is much larger and has 2 lobes. That most certainly does look like an enlarged liver! What caused it? I don't know.
 

casportpony

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I believe what you are seeing is liver. Birds actually only have one kidney and it is not very big. The liver is much larger and has 2 lobes. That most certainly does look like an enlarged liver! What caused it? I don't know.
I think they they have two kidneys.
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Quote:
The excretory system in the domestic fowl consists of the two kidneys, each with a ureter that carries the urine produced by the kidneys to the cloaca where it leaves the body. When the kidneys are diseased or damaged and unable to carry out their functions efficiently, the animal becomes debilitated and death often occurs quickly. Its functions in the domestic fowl are to:
-Kathy
 

casportpony

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Quote: I've butchered about 200 birds - one at a time - in the past few years. Never had a bird with more than one kidney.
I've eaten more than 200 in my life, and each one has always had two kidneys. Did you not look at Cornell link?
http://www.poultrydisease.ir/Atlases/avian-atlas/search/lesion/384.html , it has pictures like this where *anyone* can see very clearly that chickenss have TWO kidneys, NOT one:


That picture shows two testicles and two diseased kidneys.

This picture shows where the left kidney is.


And what about this:
http://www.poultryhub.org/physiology/body-systems/excretory-system/
"The excretory system in the domestic fowl consists of the two kidneys, each with a ureter that carries the urine produced by the kidneys to the cloaca where it leaves the body. When the kidneys are diseased or damaged and unable to carry out their functions efficiently, the animal becomes debilitated and death often occurs quickly."


Please show us documentation that says birds have only one kidney.


-Kathy
 
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HEChicken

Crowing
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Aug 12, 2009
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BuCo, KS
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I learned a long time ago not to believe everything you read on the internet so I tend to trust what I experience myself over what I read. What I do know is that when I researched how to butcher and eviscerate, I read that there was only one kidney. When I attended a poultry processing seminar put on by Joel Salatin, he also stated that there is only one kidney. I myself have only ever found one kidney in a chicken - and that is butchering and evsicerating 200+ in the past few years - one bird at a time. If you are finding kidney(s) when you are eating birds, someone didn't do a very good job of cleaning them out! I am not seeing kidneys in that photo you posted here. I'm seeing testicles but I can't tell what tissue they are sitting on. It is not kidneys though - the shape is completely wrong.
 

HEChicken

Crowing
11 Years
Aug 12, 2009
7,552
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BuCo, KS
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I think I know what's going on. Your description of "eating" chicken with kidneys combined with the picture you posted to demonstrate the kidneys....I think you are mistaking the tissue that is on either side of the spine for the kidneys. The kidney is the shape and color of a red kidney bean. In a chicken, it is also about the size of a bean. However in addition to the liver and kidney, there is tissue of the a similar color, that is located on either side of the spine. It is irregular in shape because it follows the contours of the spine. I believe that is what is pictured in your photo above and that would make more sense that you are seeing it when you eat the bird, as that is typically left in the cavity, while the kidney and liver are removed along with the intestines, heart and lungs.

I am very thorough when I clean a bird, as I want to make use of every single piece of it. Therefore, I keep the kidney and when I have enough of them, I use them to make a steak and kidney pie. I save the liver and we cook that up and eat it as liver and onions. We cook the testicles, heart and gizzard along with the bird. The intestines are fed to the animals. Because I carefully take apart every part of the contents of the bird's cavity, if there were more than one kidney, I would have been happy to add it to my baggie of kidneys, since with only one, it takes a long time to save up enough of them for a pie
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