Nercopsy report - anyone might understand this?


In the Brooder
8 Years
Feb 15, 2011

I had two hens that died within two weeks of unknown causes.
With the second hen we had necropsy done at UC Davis and we got few preliminary reports and one final report sent to us. They all say pretty much the same thing.
It is almost confusing to read and it sounds like totally foreign language to me and we were wondering if there is some expert who could explain to us what exactly happened and what we need to do now.
As much as I understand there was some infection going on and I can just assume that the first hen probably died of the same thing therefore my other hens might be also infected.
So I think that I might need to preventively treat my remaining hen so they don't die of the same thing.

Also the report says that the hen had abundant body fat. Does that mean my hen was too fat that could cause some of the the illnesses?
How much are you suppose to feed the hens? We gave them unlimited chicken feed and every morning they also got small half head of lettuce and 1-2 tomatoes.
That doesn't seem to me like it should get them fat.

Please let me know what you think.

thank you

Laboratory Findings/Diagnosis

Final Report:
1. Tracheobronchitis, lymphoplasmacytic, lymphofollicular, moderate, indeterminate Mycoplasma synoviae PCR result.
2. Serositis, heterophilic with egg yolk protein, “egg yolk peritonitis”, Gallibacterium anatis biovar haemolytica isolated.
3. Hepatic lipidosis.

Case Summary

All tests are now completed and the results remain the same as previously reported.
The cause for the tracheobronchitis is uncertain but a Mycoplasma infection remains a possibility. The bacterial cultures
from the lung and trachea were unremarkable. The Mycoplasma PCR from Mycoplasma synoviae was not definitive but
Mycoplasma synoviae infection remains a likely cause for the respiratory lesioins but this can not be confirmed.
The serositis appears to be related to the egg yolk protein and a bacterial infection caused by Gallibacterium anatis biovar
haemolytica which was isolated from the coelomic cavity.
A final will be sent when the rest of the tests are completed.
In the respiratory tract the lesions in the trachea and to a lesser degree, the major bronchi of the lung, are suggestive of
an infectious etiology. Tests are in progress in an attempt to identify the cause. Mycoplasma infection would be a
possibility. The gross and histologic changes in the coelomic cavity are consistent with so -called “egg yolk peritonitis” and
it appears that there has been a secondary bacterial infection. Cultures are pending on this. Another report will be

Gross Observation

Examined was an adult hen that was in fair postmortem condition. The animal has abundant body fat. Internally, the ovary
has multiple 2-3 cm diameter ova. The oviduct is large, but empty and grossly unremarkable. There is a small amount of
yellow sticky semifluid material in the coelomic cavity surrounding the oviduct and ovary. The liver is slightly enlarged and
friable with a yellow-brown discoloration, consistent with fat accumulation. The spleen is grossly unremarkable. In the
respiratory tract, the trachea contains excess clear to slightly gray mucoid exudate and the tracheal mucosa is diffusely
congested. The lungs are moderately congested with equivocal red areas of consolidation bilaterally on the dorsolateral
margins of the lung. The air sacs are grossly unremarkable. No remarkable gross lesions were noted in the infraorbital
sinuses. No remarkable gross lesions were noted in the brain or peripheral nerves. In the crop there is grayish -green fluid
with roughage. The proventriculus contains a small amount of feed material. The ventriculus contains grit and feed
material. The small intestine contains a small amount of greenish-brown fluid content. The ceca contained pasty
greenish-brown content. The colon is empty. No remarkable gross lesions are noted in the kidneys.


Histologic examinations were performed on samples of brain, peripheral nerve, trachea, lung, heart, liver, kidney, spleen,
ovary, oviduct, crop, proventriculus, ventriculus, small intestine, pancreas, cecum and skeletal muscle. The tissues are in
fair postmortem condition. Significant histologic lesions will be summarized.
No remarkable histological lesions were identified in the brain or peripheral nerve. In multiple sections of trachea
examined, there is multifocal mucosal infiltrate by lymphocytes and plasma cells with occasional lymphofollicular
aggregates. The tracheal epithelium is intact. There is mucus on the surface. In the lung, there is mild lymphoplasmacytic
peribronchial infiltrate. In the liver, there is marked cytoplasmic vacuolization of centrilobular and mid zonal hepatocytes ,
consistent with lipidosis. The spleen has lymphofollicular hyperplasia. In the proventriculus, there is mucosal
lymphoplasmacytic infiltrate in the mucosa. In the sections of the ventriculus, small intestine, cecum and oviduct, there is
an accumulation of eosinophilic globular material, interpreted as egg yolk protein, accumulating on the surface with
multifocal areas of heterophilic exudation associated with bacterial colonization. The serosa is expanded with edema fluid
and mixed inflammatory cell infiltrate. No other remarkable histologic lesions are identified.
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Year of the Rooster

Sebright Savvy
11 Years
Jun 27, 2008
West Central Ohio
I might be able to help a little bit. Be warned, I am not an expert nor a vet, and my only credentials are that I did a Veterinary Science project for 4-H this year and I focused on necropsy.

That being said, it seems that your hen had some kind of respiratory infection. And as the report suggests it was most likely Mycoplasmosis (this can refer to two infections: Mycoplasma gallisepticum aka Chronic Respiratory Disease or Mycoplasma synoviae Infection aka Infectious Synovitis). Also, how old were these hens?

Hope this was able to clear some of that up. I actually found the report quite interesting to read


In the Brooder
8 Years
Feb 15, 2011
Hi Brad

thank you so much for reading. Yeah I understood as much too. My hens were probably less than 2 or so. They were still very young.
I understood from rough reading that some outside birds who feed on our hens food might have brought some disease in.
I guess i have to talk to vet and get some antibiotics for my remaining hens just to make sure it doesn't spread. Even thou I think they might be already sick, they are just not showing it.

Year of the Rooster

Sebright Savvy
11 Years
Jun 27, 2008
West Central Ohio
Definitely seems like the best thing to do.

Mine have 24/7 access to feed in there coop. Currently I have 9 chickens all together. Used to be 10, actually, but earlier this summer right before our county fair, one of my Silkie hens died that I planned on taking. So I took her to our local vet and they necropsied her. Now they didn't do any specific tests or anything, but from what we saw (i got to watch
) there was a lot of mucus in the trachea/lungs and the doctor suggested Pneumonia or heat stress. Nothing wrong with the liver and no egg peritonitis like your hen.

ETA: I also feed them scraps. Anything from tomatoes (which they absolutely love), sunflower seeds, cucumber, strawberries, blueberries, broccoli, apples, peppers, bananas, and whatever they find around in the yard when I let them out.
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Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
South Georgia
It sounds like they were unable to culture anything positively from the lungs. Really the report is unclear whether the lung lesions or the peritonitis caused the death. Ordinarily the causes of death are listed in order of significance. The presence of peritonitis, which is lethal at least eventually, with the #1 item being the lungs without a definitive culture report, is confusing to me.

Can you contact them to ask if they would recommend any treatment for the rest of the flock based on their results?
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8 Years
Aug 2, 2011
Madison, CT
They think that it was most likely an infection of mycoplasma but there test could not say for sure, the chicken also had lesions around the lung and trachea due to infection.
There could have been a secondary infection. They mention something about the eggs being infected i think but i couldn't fully understand those parts.

mycoplasma is a parasite/bacteria that i presume is easily transmitted, so i would check/treat your other chickens for it

This will explain what mycoplasma is and what it can do to poultry:

Enchanted Sunrise Farms

12 Years
Apr 26, 2007
Fair Oaks, California
Call the number on the top of the report, ask to talk to the vet who performed the necropsy and ask them to explain it to you in plain english. They have always been very helpful with me when i have been confused by a report. If they can't explain things to your satisfaction, there is a specialist at the cafslab in Turlock who is supposedly a poultry specialist. Ask the vet at UC Davis for the name of someone to speak with there. Here is that information:

CAHFS Lab – Turlock
1550 N Soderquist Road
Post Office Box 1522
Fulkerth Avenue and Soderquist Road
Turlock, CA 95381
(209) 634–5837

Those reports can be overwhelming and it really helps to have an expert break it down for you. i have also spoken with our state vet in the past for clarification. Alternately, if you have a regular vet, they may be able to interpret the reports and provide recommendations.

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