My hen passed away, here is her x Ray...


Nov 25, 2017
Omaha, Nebraska
I lost a really specially member of my flock a few days back, she was one of my original birds (the OGs I called them, one of only two) that were the start of my flock! I immediately noticed that something was wrong Wednesday morning when I opened the coop, every one comes out to party in the yard, and Kourtney just stayed perched with her eyes closed. The day before she’s ran out and ate corn out of my hand. At any rate, I brought her inside and started messaging her crop I thought maybe it was impcted I did this for several hours. I bathed her, gave her coconut oil, water with a seringe - everything I could read I tried she eventually became unresponsive and I rushed her to the vet (they looked at me crazy but they did take my girl back) she died shortly there after. I paid for an x Ray to get further information and to hopefully learn how to prevent something like this in the future. To me the egg looks very large to me and the finding were inconclusive... was she egg bound? Thanks in advance for your opinions. - A beginner


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I'm so sorry you lost your girl so suddenly like that.

I'm not used to seeing Xrays. It would have been more help if you had cut her open and taken real photographs or spent that money on a professional necropsy instead of an Xray. State veterinary facilities usually offer a discounted service for poultry and a necropsy can be as little as $20. If you still have her body and can refrigerate it until you can get details and send it off, that would be the best option.

The only comments I can make as regards the Xray is to ask if you have any idea what the group of dots are below the vent? They appear to be metal..... could she have eaten some lead shot?
I'm guessing the other light mass between the top of the legs is the gizzard but that seems a long way further back than I would expect it to be... I'm guessing this is a duck from the general shape, so perhaps duck's gizzards are normally further back than chickens... I haven't opened a duck up before.
Personally, I don't think the egg is overly big or that that is was what killed her.

If she was mine I would be having a look inside, but I appreciate that not everyone can countenance that with a beloved pet.

I would be interested to read what @casportpony makes of it.
Kourtney was a barred rock chicken not a duck, I think her head is just sitting funny in the photo. They still have her, I will look into having her sent for necropsy, however I’m not sure how much more effort my husbands going to be willing to put in finically. Taking any pet to the vet is costly. My chicken bill is already close to $300. I also agree that the pellets look weird... I thought it was her food but now I’m wondering if it could be something like lead... BBs or something, is that what you mean? I’m just not sure how she would have came in contact with anything like that. She’s a backyard chicken. I appreciate all the input. Thank you guys again.
Yes that is what I mean and I wondered if someone (neighbourhood kids perhaps) had been using her as target practice. I would definitely investigate that issue further even if you do it yourself, but that is not right to me and I'm surprised the vets did not make mention of it. Definitely not food pellets or even stones in my opinion as stones/grit gets broken down in the gizzard before being released and those are just too distinct and regular size and shape to be stones. I'm thinking lead shot or ball bearings or pellets.... but you would only know by examining her body and perhaps cutting her open to find them and id them. It may well be that she has ingested them and they are in her gut, or embedded in her flesh.... feathers hide a lot of issues in chickens.
I am so sorry you lost Kourtney, especially so unexpectedly. I've lost some of my best friends too and know it's emotionally difficult. I'm surprised the Vet didn't notice the buckshot looking pellets and investigate. Or did he/she? I would want to check this out just to be able to keep the other chickens safe. One never knows about kids, teens and such stalking around. I also understand not wanting to spend a bunch of money for a chicken that's already gone. You can get a new chicken for $4!! Again, sorry for your loss. :hit
I also was wondering about the metal which may be located in the gizzard and large instestine. That could mean that she had consumed metal and some of it was passed on to the intestines. When chickens eat metal, it is called hardware disease. They will eat nails, screws, jewelry, and old lead shot or bb’s that heave up out of the ground. She may have been egg bound, or the egg could have just been there, as she died of the hardware disease or another cause. I would also recommend a necropsy, and please post any results here. If not possible, you could open the abdomen yourself to have a look before burying her. Sorry for your loss.

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