Question about chicken organs found in bird? (See photos included)

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by fiddleblue, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. fiddleblue

    fiddleblue Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2009
    I slaughtered one of my chickens for the first time today and had some questions about some of the organs I found in the bird.

    First, I found that the liver was an odd color: not the pinkish red color of chicken livers I buy in the store, but rather a striking ochre color (see 1st photo below). It seemed such an odd color that I was reluctant to eat the liver, wondering if it was healthy. What do you think?

    Second, there was a hard round object with the organs, meaty, and I don't know what it is. Can anyone enlighten me? (2nd Photo).

    Third, there were several orange balls of a yolky substance in the chicken: are these eggs on their way to being formed? There were some only pea-sized, and some closer to the size of a yolk in a regular egg. The thing is, this chicken has not been laying eggs for some time, due to winter in part and perhaps to stress too (she was picked on a lot by the others). (See 3rd photo).


  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Liver color - ? somewhat light in color, but I think OK.

    "Hard round object' is the gizzard - grinder of feed so that it may be more readily digested.

    The 'round orange balls' are indeed developing egg yolks.
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Liver appearance I associate with a overly reach diet like used to promote egg production and fast growth. Liver has lots of fat in it. Heathy birds not pushed so hard have smaller darker livers like you would expect.

    Gizzard. Cut it open and you should find grit.

    Yes, developing eggs particularly the part that will become the yellow yolk. The clear albumen comes on last.
  4. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    That hard round thing is the gizzard. You slice that open. It will be full of grit. Remove the grit and rinse. Then there is a yellow colored lining in the gizzard. You work an edge of that up and if you move slowly. it will peel right off. Rinse the gizzard again and it is ready to cook with any method you prefer.
  5. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    That liver has seen too much protein, I'm thinking.

    Here's a pic of some organs and such you might find interesting:


    From left to right, top to bottom...gall bladder, liver, lungs, testes of two sizes, another liver, hearts, kidneys , spleen.


    More of the same but with the addition of the digestive tract...crop and accessories, gizzard, intestines.


    Peeling inner lining of gizzard out.


    Reproductive organs...ovary, oviduct.




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