Help Something came out of my chicken??? (Pics & Video)


In the Brooder
7 Years
Nov 11, 2012
Southcentral Alaska
I built a nice coop and adopted half a dozen mature hens. 3 black lace Wyandotte (~1.5 years old), and 3 yellow/orange Cochins (~2.5 years old). The chickens look like they have been well cared for. Tame and have been handled by adults/children. These chickens were from an urban area where they were shared by two families. One week one family would take care of them, the second week the second family tended to them and collected their eggs.

They are very happy now in a large heated/ventilated coop. Feed everything they need, and lots of table scraps. None have laid so far. None of my roosters have tried to mount any of the hens (that I have seen). All the chickens have been the same health wise since they have came to live in my coop. Upon arrival, I inspecting the cochins and noticed missing feathers on their bellies. One had some missing feathers. Two had a lot (in my opinion) of feathers missing. These chickens were given up because they all stopped laying in the fall, and the former owners wanted one person/family to take care of them.

I researched the missing feathers and the swollen abdomens. I though they may be egg bound. I watched them carefully for a while, and separated a few. But they did not exhibit the signs of an egg bound hen(s). None are lethargic at all. All six chickens have VERY healthy appetites. They come running when table scraps are served (often, as we cook lots). They drink, dirt bathe, hop around, crow, sleep, dig through straw in their coop. Everything a normal chicken does, they do also. I cannot not tell with certainty if their abdomens have become more swollen since they came to me. They look approximately the same. One thing I did notice was that the Cochins rarely get up on their roosts. Only the Wyandotte's get up really high, with the rest of my flock. I decided this was because the Cochins are older, and very heavy birds.
Two days ago (11-9-12) I was feeding/watering the chickens in the evening. I checked one of the Cochins that was not eating. Everything was fine, until I looked at the vent. It looked like she had something halfway out of her swollen vent, but it was not an egg. I pushed on the sides of the lower abdomen gently (I read people do this for many reasons) the mystery item popped out of the chicken's vent immediately. It was an almost perfectly round ball. White in appearance, solid and meaty looking. It came out clean, it was not attached to anything. A little blood oozed out after. That was all. As soon as it landed one of my other chickens pecked at it.

I took pictures of the of ball thing, it turned a little yellow because it dried up on the outside. I also cut it in half for a sideways view. I have pictures of two of my chickens posted as well. The smaller one with the black zip tie on the leg is the one that laid the mystery ball. It's been two days now. They seem to all be fine. Eating, running around etc. The Cochins are still not getting up on the roost much. Also, the smaller Cochin that laid the mystery meat thing has a couple of white looking bumps on her belly. They look like boils/burn marks but white. The other bigger Cochin spends a lot of time flexing/dilating her rear. That is the best I can describe it. She moves her belly and vent as if she is trying to lay an egg. Its almost normal behavior. Two videos are attached.

My question is,
  1. What is the mystery ball thing?
  2. What are the white looking boil things?
  3. Why are their abdomens missing feathers and red looking?
  4. Should I apply more pressure to see if anything else comes out like egg shells, mystery stuff, or liquid from an internal infection?
  5. Should I put down one of the hens with a swollen abdomen to see what could be inside?
  6. Why is the bigger Cochin act like she is trying to lay an egg? Is she dilating her belly/vent, or is it a stuck egg? What do you think?
  7. If these birds are sick, would you use them for human consumption or feed them to the dogs?
  8. Are the two chickens pictured the same breed? They look the same, but one is smaller than the other, and one had feathers on the legs and one does not.

I want to see these hens live, be healthy and lay eggs again. But if they are suffering, then I will do what's best.

My best guess is that the mystery white ball thing is the solidified yolk of an egg that broke apart inside. Somehow no infection occurred or is still occurring. The swollen abdomen is because they were once egg bound and didn't get treatment. Sorry for the long post. All advice will be appreciated.
Thank you

Smaller chicken that laid the ball thing

Mystery Ball thing

Bigger hen that flexs her belly/vent

She is flexing her belly. Is she egg bound?
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8 Years
Jul 6, 2011
Perry, IL
ok i might be able to help with a couple of your questions. i wouldnt do anything drastic like culling if they all eat and poop fine. the meaty looking thing is something i have seen before on here and it has something to do with a particle of the reproductive tract coming loose and growing or something like that, but it is no cause for concern. at first when you were describing plucked bellies it sounded like they were broody but from the pic i would say they are possibly plucking eachothers bum feathers out.


In the Brooder
7 Years
Nov 11, 2012
Southcentral Alaska
Thank you litmisredneck, I didn't know how these forum posts work, its my first one. Now I know. Tnx

And thanks bobzant, I though it may be something like that. The cutaway view of the meaty thing looks like an organ. I will try to research your suggestion. Also, I think I will separate the hen see if they grow feathers back.

Thank you all
Any more suggestions are welcome
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7 Years
Nov 13, 2012

I have what I think is a similar problem. I found this in the nesting box after my ISA types had finished laying:

It appears to be a series of layers of "cooked" albumen around an "Alien" eruption in browns and yellows. There is a clear whiff of sulphur. I'm guessing a lash but that's based on a brief search of various sites. None of the chickens seem upset, ill or without appetite. Any thoughts? opinions? advice?


Premium Feather Member
14 Years
Nov 27, 2008
Glen St Mary, Florida
The weird egg is called "Lash." Here's one of many links regarding lash. You can type "lash" in the search box and read more about it if you wish.
No need to cull your birds, as long as they are eating and drinking normally, not to worry too much. Lower your roosts down to about 20" above the floor for your cochins if you havnt done so. Roosts that are too high can cause foot/leg problems when they hop down off the roosts especially with older and heavy breed birds. The redness could be caused by lice/mites. Visually inspect your birds for external parasites. Lice are whittish in color and are fast movers among the feathers or skin. Mites look like pepper, slow movers, suck blood. Inspect the vent area especially.
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