Where's the oviduct?

Wol1

Songster
5 Years
Feb 28, 2014
282
72
136
SW Ohio
I know this info is on here somewhere, but I just can't find it. I've been searching for almost an hour. Just don't know the magic search term. I've done this in the past, so not entirely new, but I've also ended up in the rectum sometimes. I think left side down low, but other times I've read to go straight.
I've got a hen with what I'm pretty sure is an egg stuck in the oviduct. Someone laid a giant egg about a couple weeks ago, and I found a large "lash egg" with two round nodules the size of marbles in the next box about a week and a half ago. This girl was sitting hunched up the last two days, which I thought was the cold. I checked her belly last night and it's large and tight.
I think she's just too swollen to find the oviduct. Perhaps another huge egg is in there pushing and distorting things. She's not eating layer pellets, but grabs bits of bread like she's starving. She's not drinking, and only pooping little bits, and she's straining like trying to lay. I tried putting her in a warm bath last night, but couldn't get her to sit down. I"ll be looking around the house this morning for a deeper container so she doesn't have to sit down to soak. I've got her on doxicycline.
I appreciate any suggestions.
 

mountaingirl196

Songster
May 27, 2016
68
63
101
Lamoille, NV, USA
Please don't feed her bread. It's terrible for them.

The oviduct is connected to the cloaca (vent) along with the intestine - same hole, two tubes once you're inside. The oviduct is closer to her vertebrae.

If the non-invasive options for getting her to lay aren't getting you results (search for egg bound chicken), scrub your hands, put on some surgical gloves, lube with some K-Y or other type of personal lubricant, and gently insert a finger into her cloaca. The egg won't be far in, you can feel it even if you're in the wrong tube.
 

Wol1

Songster
5 Years
Feb 28, 2014
282
72
136
SW Ohio
Thanks for your suggestions. It helps to have others "around" who understand. My husband isn't helpful. He'd just kill it at the first sign of trouble, so he just listens and watches with amusement as I doctor them.
I've been "in" a chicken before. I've helped straighten a sideways egg, I've cleaned out bits of broken shell, I've put a prolapse back in, etc. But it happens so rarely that I can't remember each time I'm faced with it. This time, I don't feel the egg itself where I expected it to be, there's just the wall of flesh.
The oviduct is closer to her vertebrae
I did feel something up but slightly to the right. That was closer to the vertebrae, so I'll try there first. She DIDN'T want me to go there, and it was very tight, which is what made me worry it was the wrong place. At least I got some KY a few inches in there.

Lubricate finger and try going both ways up the vent.[/QUOTE
I guess I just don't want to be digging around aggressively in the wrong place. Then again, what have I got to lose? If you think it won't harm her if I go up the "wrong" way, I'll try both. I assume I should change gloves so as not to introduce bacteria to the vagina/uterus?

I've been using the bread to get doxycycline in her. This is the med the vet always charged me lots of money for. He said it works well on the reproductive tract and also inhibits laying. I only have the powdered form and have to mix it with a little water (next time, I'm getting tablets). I dip little pieces of bread in it and she gobbles them up. In total, it's only about a 1/2 dollar size piece. I could give it to her with a syringe, but the bread tidbits seem to be helping her trust me more. She's part of a cohort brought up by a broody hen that didn't like to be handled and none of them have ever been comfortable with us.

I'll check back later with any news. Today is unfortunately a busier than usual day of chauffeuring the kid around.
 

rebrascora

Free Ranging
5 Years
Feb 14, 2014
7,127
8,756
556
Consett Co.Durham. UK
If you had a lash egg recently then the chances are this girl was the culprit and she is impacted with lash egg material caused by salpingitis. Your description of her being swollen and tight and meeting a wall of flesh inside all points in that direction. Sadly, if that is the case, then she is probably too far gone and it might be kinder to put her out of her misery. The lash egg material can build up to the size of a grapefruit in the oviduct and there is absolutely no way she can pass it. The mass of it puts a strain on her other organs and it will eventually constrict her gut and she will be unable to eliminate waste. It may be that she has already reached that stage.... have you seen her poop? Being unable to pass faeces will usually back them up quite quickly and discourage them from eating..... the crop may become slow or sour too. Usually there will be swelling around the vent as well as between the legs and they will often be hunched backed.
I hope I am wrong but for future reference finding a lash egg is usually a warning of impending doom and you need to try to identify the culprit and start her on antibiotics asap. Unfortunately it tends to get beyond the point of no return within a few days and whilst the bird may survive for a week or two, she has an unhappy existence.

Hopefully the diagram below will help you locate the oviduct, since that was your original request for info.
chicken_anatomy_eng_small.gif
 

Wol1

Songster
5 Years
Feb 28, 2014
282
72
136
SW Ohio
Yes, she is hunched up. At first I thought it was the cold. Others do that and they're fine. I've dealt with the salpingitis before, but not a tumor. That could explain why I'm having so much trouble finding the egg this time. I think I've found the oviduct, but it's so tight, I can't get in very far. I can feel her having contractions, though. I think it hurts her a lot when I do that. Of course, I find this on a Friday. How to find a vet to put a chicken down on the weekend.... The avian vet I see isn't in.

Update. Found a vet. Tomorrow morning. Sigh. It's so sad. But I don't want her to suffer. I'll definitely give her a few morsels of bread while we wait.
 
Last edited:

mountaingirl196

Songster
May 27, 2016
68
63
101
Lamoille, NV, USA
If you can’t find a vet the easiest and kindest thing is to use a kill cone. You can Jerry-rig one pretty easily with a feed bag and duct tape. The idea is to hug her wings to her body so she calms down, hang her upside down and quickly use a knife to cut her carotid right behind her ear. She will lose consciousness pretty quickly. If you are careful, fast and gentle it won’t be traumatic for her.
 

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