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#19854 - 07/08/05 09:05 AM yellow fluid
J. Henderson Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 08/16/02
Posts: 674
Loc: New York
I culled a four year old Barred Rock hen a few days ago, and when I started to eviscerate her, a yellow fluid poured out from the body cavity. She had been listless for a few days and did not or could not roost at night, and she had lost color in her comb. However, she was not bloated. She had a dirty bottom, but her vent was not pasted over. Since she was four years old, I suspect she hadn't been laying much recently. There were no fully or large partially developed eggs inside her.

Anyone know what the bile would be? Would it affect the quality or safety of the meat?

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#19855 - 07/08/05 10:37 AM Re: yellow fluid
Anonymous
Unregistered


The yellow fluid would be a build up of peritoneal fluid also called ascites. (I am assuming the fluid was yellow and clear as opposed to yellow and turbid or cloudy.) Many different causes are possible. In meat birds it is almost always heart failure. In a layer heart failure would be much less likely, but possible. More likely in a hen would be a sterile peritonitis related to an internal egg being laid (and resorbed?, but usually there is some other evndence) or maybe liver disease/failure. Fatty liver disease is relatively common in older hens. Was the liver pale in color and easy to break apart? That's how fatty livers appear. Kidney failure or cancer can lead to ascites too.

Ascites would be a reason for condemnation at a processing plant. That being said, I routinely eat my meat chickens with ascites because I know the cause. I don't know if I would eat a hen or not unless the cause was quite obvious. Then again, I eat some pretty gross stuff, so maybe I would. LOL!

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#19856 - 07/08/05 11:23 AM Re: yellow fluid
J. Henderson Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 08/16/02
Posts: 674
Loc: New York
Yes, the fluid was clear and the liver broke apart easily. I don't recall it being pale, but the organs in general were in such poor quality, I didn't save them as giblets. I think I won't try to serve up the rest of her. Thanks.

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#19857 - 07/08/05 02:05 PM Re: yellow fluid
Bill Ludwig Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 2582
Loc: Ohio
bluedog
Thanks for that information. I had asked that a long time ago and didn't get an answer. In my case it was a hen who had been very perky and normal in every way the day before and was dead on the floor in the morning. I opened her up but really did not know what I was looking at and can't say if liver was diseased or not. Would a sudden death without prier symptoms lead one to think it may have been the heart?

Bill L

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#19858 - 07/08/05 03:07 PM Re: yellow fluid
Anonymous
Unregistered


Bill, I've had three hens die of fatty liver. Two got sick slowly and then died. One died suddenly with no symptoms. In all of three cases I found a large blood clot by the liver. Usually the cause of death is that the liver becomes so fragile that even jumping down from the roost can cause a split in the liver and then hemorrhage. One of the hens was old and also an internal layer. The other two were young hens in their first lay cycle (one of these was the sudden death one). The two younger birds had no ascites associated with the liver disease. The old hen did have ascites which I attributed more to internal laying.

I would suspect if liver disease was the cause of the ascites than there might(?) be signs of illness prior to death. Same with my broilers with ascites from heart failure, i.e. they always show symptoms before they die. Well, now I know what is going on and I butcher them before they can die. On the other hand, there is a syndrome in broilers that people call "heart attack" or "flip overs" because they are often found dead on their backs. That is most likely another variation of the heart disease that broilers get, but without the ascites. Those birds are fine one minute and dead the next.

Now in layers, I'm sure they can get heart disease, but I don't think it is anywhere the same as what goes on in broilers. Probably not very common in layers either. Still, if the heart had a problem, it could cause sudden death.

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