Internal Layer - Necropsy (Warning - Graphic Pics)

dkosh

Songster
9 Years
Jul 6, 2010
318
4
111
Eastern MA
I had a hen that I thought was egg bound. After doing all the normal treatments techniques I had to do the humane thing and cull her. I decided to do a necropsy to see exactly why she died. It turns out she was an internal layer. Here are the pics.







 

Karhog

In the Brooder
7 Years
Feb 15, 2012
82
3
33
Wow... looks like she was full of it, poor girl. What symptoms did she have and for how long before she got too bad? I am concerned that I have a chook with EYP and she may well be an internal layer- I know each hen and their conditions vary but it may give me an idea of what to look for.
Sorry that you lost your girl but at least you didn't let her suffer.
 

dkosh

Songster
9 Years
Jul 6, 2010
318
4
111
Eastern MA
She got quiet and separated herself. She was standing in the egg laying position. I picked her up and noticed she had a hard lump between her legs that felt like an egg. I used the warm water soak. I tried lubricant for a couple of days, I also kept the heat lamp on her hoping to relax her. Nothing worked then I noticed that she seemed to be struggling to breath. I felt she was suffering too much and decided to cull her. My curiosity got the best of me so I decided to do the necropsy. Other things I noticed other than the incredibly hard abdomen was she had a clean vent and never seemed to cry out like other hens I've seen that were egg bound. She also still walked around a bit and continued to eat and drink. I hope that helps.
 

klmclain1

Songster
8 Years
Mar 14, 2011
1,198
10
148
Wow....poor girl. I'm glad you did the humane thing. Thank you for the pictures. Although not real nice to look at, it helps me to learn what can be going on "in there".
 

CMV

Flock Mistress
10 Years
Apr 15, 2009
6,770
164
281
Wow. That mass is huge.

Sorry for your loss.
 

Lacy Blues

Crowing
7 Years
dkosh, you say her abdomen was hard? I have a hen that has been acting ill the past couple days. She was separating herself yesterday and not eating but drinking. I checked her out and her abdomen is very hard but not hot and extended like other internal layers I've had. Last night, she spent the night in a box on the floor. Today she was at least eating so I don't know. Her abdomen is still hard.

Something I'm experimenting with... black cohosh. Years ago, one of my better hens became an internal layer in her second year. I researched for a long time and she had been this way for several months at least. I didn't know what to do and couldn't find any cures so I decided to try black cohosh as it is used with women having troubles with their reproductive processes. She was going to die if I didn't help anyway so I figured I had nothing to lose. I sprinkled about a half teaspoon on her food each day. She ate it and also ate charcoal like it was a lifeline. Apparently it absorbs toxins and helps them flush it from their bodies. Anyway, this went on for quite a while and she actually started passing the yolks onto the poop board at night. It was pretty icky. No shells were being formed and I don't remember seeing egg whites. But I thought maybe she was getting better so I stopped the treatment and it wasn't long til she was laying internally again. I ended up culling her.

But this hen is different, although when I picked her up tonight to check her out, I noticed she had egg yolk on her back end. Now either she is an internal layer now or she had an egg break inside. I gave her some black cohosh tonight. I'm hoping that if I catch it sooner, it might be more beneficial. Tomorrow I may try probing to find an empty shell... maybe. Not sure on that one. I'm not real sure what to do yet. Need to think about it some more and see how she is.
 

CMV

Flock Mistress
10 Years
Apr 15, 2009
6,770
164
281
what happened to her?
She was an internal layer meaning instead of eggs being produced and then released out the vent, something caused them to be released into the abdomen. This can go on for years, but generally at around 2 y.o. the mass builds up to the point where it causes all kinds of problems followed by death. There is no cure and it is always fatal without dangerous and expensive surgery (hysterectomy).
 

speckledhen

Intentional Solitude
Premium member
13 Years
Feb 3, 2007
78,447
11,655
936
Blue Ridge Mtns. of North Georgia
She was really bad off, poor thing. I've had one about that bad, most weren't quite as bad when they passed on. It's chronic, of course, nothing you can do to prevent it or cure it other than a surgical hysterectomy, though one study said that flax seed may have limited benefit in staving it off (my hens were given flax seed periodically, but were internal layers anyway).
 
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