What is this?


In the Brooder
10 Years
Apr 15, 2009
I found this on my hens drop board today. All other poops are normal.

It is the size of a golf ball. All hens are acting normal. What is it?

It's solid egg yolk mixed with infection, most likely. Hens who are laying internally often have masses of those in their abdomens and oviducts. Good thing it's OUT rather than IN. Bad news is that there are probably more of them.

How do I resolve this? What kind of infection could it be? I think I found another one under their roost.

I have four hens, how do I figure out who is laying these? Are there signs of illness I should be looking for?
Egg yolk peritonitis is the infection I'm talking about, very common in laying hens, especially hatchery stock. It is what goes along with internal laying most of the time. It may or may not be a sign of bad things to come, but if it's internal laying, there is nothing you can do short of a vet doing a hysterectomy on the hen. You can try a round of penicillin injections, but that may not resolve anything permanently since internal laying is a chronic condition. Hopefully, she passed a couple of "clots" of egg yolk gunk and that will be the end of it.

These threads may be helpful to you. https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=362422

Looks like one of your hens is a internal layer, the yolks are getting stuck in the magnum and are not passing. But it looks like she has passed one. This is what we call peritonitis. Usually when a hen has done this, they will continue to have this problem. But I have also seen it when a young hen does this and never has a problem again, very unusual. The hen that has this issue should be put on antibiotics to help them through the peritonitis. Penicillin or amoxycillin. This is what egg bound hens usually die from. I would watch this hen carefully her behavior should be different when it comes to laying in the nest box, restless, very loud squacking in and out of the nest box. Also feel her abdomen is should be somewhat enlarged compared to the others. I hope this helps I'm sure specklhen can say a lot more on this too.
This must not happen all the time because there are many days when I get 4 good eggs, so I know whichever hen has this problem is capable of laying a normal egg some times. I will check their abdomens tomorrow. As far as being vocal when laying....well ALL my hens love to announce very loudy when they lay an egg. They have always been like that. The whole neighborhood knows when they are laying.

It does not seem contagious, so that good.

We will be getting hit with the hurricane or tropical storm by the time it gets to us in the next or two, but I will watch my hens closely.

It's funny because my hens have lived together for two years now and gotten along great. About three weeks ago out of no where they all started to chase and pick on one hen. She is very sweet and never fights back. I had wondered if something was wrong with her that was not obvious to me becaue she looks and acts fine. I don't know if she is the one with this problem or not, but it if she is the one, would the other hens scense that about her and suddenly reject her?

I will check out the other links and thank you for letting me know what this is.
OK, so I just read those two threads.....very depressing. I lost one of my buffs when she was only about one year old. Found her dead one morning, not a mark on her. Just a little over a month ago I lost one of my barred rocks. Her vent was wet and it almost looked like she had prolapsed. I thought she must have been egg bound.

Now I wonder if they had the same problem. I had one of my hens laying soft shelled eggs. I would find them on the drop board and the shell was like a thick gel like form. When I lost my BR I figured those must of been her eggs since I could not figure out which hen was laying those.
Sure, if she's even laying. After they start this, usually, they don't lay again. If she passed that thing, it may have opened up her oviduct and allowed the next egg to come down the pike. Hard to know what's going on in there. Just know that egg binding is completely different than internal laying, but both are reproductive malfunctions. Poor hens go through a lot to lay that egg every day.
Yes, the other hens knew that this hen was not well. They will/do peck or chase a ill hen. Maybe since she passed this she will act and feel much better. Remember they will do there best to hide any illness! Good luck

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